Archive for the ‘CANADA IN AFGHANISTAN’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TEN YEARS LATER AND AFGHANISTAN IS PROVING TO BE AN UTTER WASTE OF LIFE AND TREASURE – CANADA’S SAD ROLE

 

 

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY PAUL KORING IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

We went into Afghanistan for one reason only.

The exact quote is: we owe one to the Pentagon.

Those words were said considering Canada’s previous principled refusal to enter the insane slaughter in Iraq and to participate in one of America’s projects for the militarization of space.

The Liberals, in agreeing, thought Canadians would not be in front-line duty and serve only as the kind of behind-the-front (fairly token) support true so many other NATO nations hoping to placate America.

Also since America had managed to get a UN resolution – as it mostly does in such matters through quiet browbeating, threats to aid, cajoling, and even pay-back threats – Canada took it as a sign of international recognition of legitimacy.

But Afghanistan never had real legitimacy.

Just look at all the NATO contributions. In view of the size of the country and of the exaggerated American claims of its vital nature and world-importance, all the contributions are token, ranging in size from a few hundred to a few thousand.

Does anyone not believe that had NATO countries believed the American nonsense about the vital nature of the mission that the contributions would have been in the tens of thousands?

The entire matter has been a vast charade, a charade basically covering America’s naked desire for extreme revenge in Afghanistan.

The Taleban never attacked anyone, and to this day we haven’t one ounce of proof bin Laden had anything to do with it, other than to enjoy the spectacle of an enemy being hurt.

Nasty as the Taleban were, they were no worse than the ugly members of the Northern Alliance, the people America used – behind a front of carpet-bombing – to actually fight the Taleban and the people some of whose members rule until this day.

All the stuff about rights was the lowest form of propaganda.

After all, the Russians during their invasion and occupation did many things in keeping with improving Afghanistan’s modernity, and what was the American response? To send billions in armaments to the people fighting the Russians.

We have no better modern example of a pointless war presented as something which it was not.

Even Vietnam, that modern holocaust in which the United States killed perhaps 3 million people and left behind a hideous mess of mine and Agent Orange and craters from carpet-bombing, never had such phony propaganda about its purpose.

A fool’s mission all around I am sorry to say, but the ugly truth may better prepare Canadians against such lunatic American projects in future.

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JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A JOURNALIST WRITES ABOUT WHAT THE F-35 BRINGS TO THE FIGHT – MISSING THE POINT THAT THIS IS LIKE A RESIDENT OF GEORGIA BUYING A DELUXE SNOW-BLOWER AND MISSING TOO HOW WARS START


JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN BY PAUL KORING IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

This guy is shilling for Harper.

We can “maintain our air defense” with much less costly weapons.

Besides, there are no serious challenges to our air defense. None.

We need planes to escort errant air liners and the like. That doesn’t require the ultimate sophistication.

Having a large storehouse of highly sophisticated weapons is an open invitation to getting involved with nonsense like Libya or war crimes like Iraq.

Many of the best historians agree that the useless horror of WWI started in large part because all of Europe was a heavily armed camp.

Politicians and military people will always use power if it is there.

Just so right now in Libya, a lunatic business we do not even discuss.

And just so America’s pointless crusade in Afghanistan where we have spent a considerable number of lives and great treasure.

A sheer waste.
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“However, if you throw your back out trying to shovel deep snow when it does fall, you can be very uncomfortable for a long time. That event can make the snowblower look cheap and handy.

Note to Putin or any other aggressive interloper – we understand the need for snowblowers. Don’t even think about messing with us or our pals.”

A totally false analogy.

A snow-blower is a useful and time-saving tool, used many times a year.

And snow-blowers never start wars, the most wasteful and savage enterprise on earth.

A high-tech supersonic fighter is useless unless something extraordinary happens.

It just sits on the tarmac most of the time, gets its exquisitely fine-tuning put out of tune by jet jockeys taking it out for a playful spin, and absorbs vast amounts of cash on maintenance.

Even mentioning Putin marks the writer as something of a right-wing crank.

Its the cheap Harper ploy on Arctic sovereignty, ignoring the genuine threat against which these planes are useless.

We have infinitely less to fear from Putin’s Russia truly than we do from the United States, a country which now regularly attacks and bombs countries it doesn’t agree with.

Arctic sovereignty and Great Lakes water are two great targets for American interests.

Were the United States inclined to flex its muscle on us, this small number of jets would be shot down in a day.

The contract represents little more than a subsidy to the Pentagon trying to develop this costly machine.
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Further on the silly snow-blower analogy.

If you live in Georgia, a snow-blower is an utterly useless thing with no conceivable use ever, a vast waste of money and time.

In terms of geo-politics, we actually do live in Georgia.

The world’s Frankenstein military resides next door, watching with unblinking eyes.

No one else, but I mean no one, is going to come calling.

So we do not need this plane for any possible circumstance.

The Pentagon wants us to buy it – as it wants other NATO countries to buy it – to help subsidize its astronomical cost.

Just as when the US fights its various wars, it is always cajoling and pressuring its allies to join them – effectively a subsidy of activities they chose alone to engage in.

What a damn poor way to blow tens of billions of dollars.

Remember, Harper is the most pathetically servile prime minister towards the United States in our history.

He supports and goes along with whatever they choose to do but he is always disingenuous about just what he is doing, and just so this silly plane.

His stuff about Arctic sovereignty is a cheap political game because he entirely ignores the genuine threat to it, instead serving its interests without hesitation, and even completely adopting the political methods and language of the Republican Party.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: IS STEPHEN HARPER’S SANITY CRUMBLING? CANADA’S AFGHANISTAN COMMITMENT – PLUS WORDS ON CANADIANS VS AMERICANS IN PRINCIPLES AND HANDLING TRUTH


JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

I think there is a real possibility that Harper’s sanity is crumbling.

First, we had his troubling ramblings about fighting anti-Semitism as a defense for his abject failure at United Nations diplomacy.

Then, we had his economically-ignorant defense at the G-20 of America’s debasing its currency, truly bizarre since he has a graduate degree in economics and is known as rather a Chicago-school man.

Now, we have his claim for unilateral powers over the armed forces. I did think the Governor-General was Commander-in-Chief, and I did think Parliament always was the ultimate decision-maker in our society.

There are late-onset forms of certain serious mental illnesses from which he may be suffering, or this could just be a form of megalomania that has set in.

Whether that is the case or not, I would think he is under terrible stress, his entire political career being widely regarded as unsuccessful beyond the mechanics of holding onto office through tricks and games.

He must realize that he will never get a majority government, something I am sure he has worked tirelessly towards, and he must know most Canadians do not trust, or even particularly like, him.

He also must realize he has not managed to build a Conservative Party the population regards well, his cabinet being mainly controlled yes-men and intellectual mediocrities, each afraid of Harper’s reported ugly private rages.

And he has failed utterly to establish a Conservative brand for ethics, having been caught time and again indulging in shady and unethical and even nasty-child practices.

On the international scene, his years have sent Canada’s reputation tumbling, and even he must be aware of that.

It is an unwelcome test of the strength of our political institutions if we can survive with dignity the assault on our traditions Harper represents.
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Erika from America:

Canadians “aren’t that principled…”?

Oh, my, Americans are so principled.

I think we saw that at Abu Ghraib, didn’t we?

And at Guantanamo?

And when General Dostum, America’s Northern Alliance friend, drove 3,000 Taleban prisoners in batches in sealed vans out onto the desert to suffocate while American soldiers watched and picked their noses?

And in all the trail of lies leading to an illegal invasion in Iraq, something which should make members of Bush cabinet subject to trial as war criminals?

Oh, and the holocaust in Vietnam reflected proudly on those principles, didn’t it?

Slaughtering 3 million. Using napalm. Torturing. Throwing men from helicopters. Sending in nightcrawler special forces to villages to cut people’s throats in their sleep: 20,000 village leaders in good old Operation Phoenix.

You sure can’t beat that for principled.

How about the toppling of the peaceful government of Cambodia, allowing the Khmer Rouge to take over and murder a million more?

How about the overthrow of many democratic governments with which the US did not agree? Guatemala, Haiti. Chile. Iran. And more.

How about America’s not speaking out one meaningful word as Israel slowly starves one and a half million in Gaza today?

“Canadians can’t handle the truth.”

I think the writer has been watching too many Jack Nicholson movies.

It is clearly, overwhelmingly Americans who cannot “handle the truth,” including of course the fact that their sense of entitlement and poor regulation have sent the world tumbling into an economic crisis.

But don’t worry, America will climb out, not by passing reasonable measures or needed new taxes, but by debasing its currency, just as it did after Vietnam, leaving the whole world “holding the bag” as it were.

“The widespread sentiment is that it’s an American war,” but dear Erika from America that’s exactly what it is, a pointless American war, one in a long string of pointless wars since WWII.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AFGHANISTAN – JUST WHAT IS IT THAT CANADA IS SUPPOSED TO SEE THROUGH? IN TRUTH AFGHANISTAN IS A FOOL’S MISSION

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY JEFFREY SIMPSON IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

You lose when you choose the wrong battles.

America is fighting the people of Afghanistan, at least a very large portion of them.

That is a battle you can never win unless you are prepared to behave like Stalin’s Russia and crush everyone.

Sadly, America is being pulled in that direction. Its drone killings and air attacks have almost certainly killed far more innocent people than suspected “bad guys.”

There never has been a definable “mission” in Afghanistan, other than not-to-be-uttered task of American vengeance.

America went there, against the advice of many wise people at the time, as a response to arm-pumping bullies sitting in bars across the land watching images of the twin towers endlessly repeated over beer. It was the same belly-over-belt battle cry you get for the Superbowl.

The effort gained a modicum of international respectability by Bush-Cheney strong-arming the United Nations into passing a resolution, something which at that time, with America’s great financial and economic strengths and calling in many markers with threats and promises, was not overly difficult to achieve and something it has done a number of times.

But the real test of the international community’s belief in America’s “cause” is the numbers of troops they committed and the nature of their assignments.

The numbers are so small and the assignments are so limited that it becomes a very black joke when America sounds its trumpet about a mission vital to the whole world.

It clearly is not, else millions of troops would have poured into Afghanistan and completely occupied it. NATO fully engaged would be an awesome event, but it was never more engaged than press briefings and contingents of troops the size of a Remembrance Day parade.

Canada went there, having offended the Bush-Cheney sensibilities a few times (thank you, again, Mr. Chretien, for keeping us out of the dirty, murderous hell of Iraq) because it felt the pressure – the same kind of pressure with which the U.S. obtains U.N. resolutions – that it “owed one to the Pentagon.”

The Liberals expected the commitment to be similar to that of other NATO countries – that is, minimal – but our current wannabe-Republican government managed to put them in the worst possible spot. Pure incompetence, as was the turning over of detainees, mostly poor farmers – for torture, something they continue to hide.

Ours is a fool’s mission. Canada’s forces have done their best, but doing your best in a pointless task goes nowhere, and that is where we are, nowhere.

The Taleban need never have been our enemies. They attacked no one. And the guys we allied ourselves with are every bit as backward. Indeed, few seem aware of the fact but it was the Northern Alliance – “our” guys – who first let bin Laden stay in the country.

The Taleban, formed in the face of a murderous chaos after the Russians left to provide what locals regarded as clean government, only refused to extradite bin Laden because the U.S. provided not one scrap of evidence against him, the provision of such evidence being the normal procedure in extraditions everywhere.

The measure of American dissimulation is the absurd occasional recording of bin Laden, a man who was certainly killed in the air bombardment at the beginning, a bombardment so awful the U.S. never wanted to reveal the details, just as it has always hidden the extent of its victims in Iraq.

All the garbage about women and backwardness is just that, garbage: it was Bush-Cheney propaganda to win over soccer moms for war. Yes, Afghanistan is backward, but we have done very little in reality to change that – actually an impossible task for a vast land of 30 million – and the world is screaming with backward places and abuse against women.

In Africa, 3 million women a year suffer genital mutilation, and in many places there young girls are routinely raped by the older men in their village who are in no way held accountable. Where are the calls to invade and sort that horror out? There are none, of course, but we kid ourselves that that is why we are wasting lives and great treasure in Afghanistan.

Again, Afghanistan is a fool’s mission.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A RIDICULOUS EDITORIAL ON CANADA IN AFGHANISTAN – AND A COMMENTER REVEALS JUST HOW ARROGANT AND UNINFORMED AMERICANS CAN BE

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSES TO AN EDITORIAL IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

“The refreshing openness shown by some MPs to continuing Canada’s military presence in Afghanistan beyond 2011 is welcome”

Welcome by whom?

Who writes such rubbish as an editorial?

Afghanistan is the biggest waste of life and treasure in Canadian modern history.

We have no purpose there at all, other than “owing one to the Pentagon.”

President Karzai and the other parties there are perfectly capable of sorting things out themselves.

One thing is sure, occupation by foreign soldiers hinders Afghanistan’s ability to mend its affairs.
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Americano reminds us, if we needed reminding, of the mindset that gave the world the holocaust of Vietnam, the atrocities of Cambodia, the savagery of Iraq, and the stupid blundering of Afghanistan.

Along the way, there were countless lesser Appalachian Throwback works, from Chile to Somalia.

And America crowned its glories by so steeping itself in debt that it caused a financial collapse.

Truly, is there any country on earth more poorly run or more destructive in its actions?

China is almost a model world citizen by comparison.

And why does everyone not treat the U.S. as though these truths were obvious?

Only because of its wealth, and nothing else.

But all its stupidities are putting stress even on that for the future.

Some clown calling himself or herself “Americano” should give Canadians advice?

It’s just more proof of arrogance and ignorance beyond measure.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ON THE FAMILIES OF SOME DEAD SOLDIERS PLEADING WITH HARPER TO STAY IN AFGHANISTAN

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

“…stay course…”?

More stupid American war speech infecting Canada like a contagious disease.

Some Canadians now say “the boys” and we have the brainless McGuinty offering of “the Highway of Heroes.”

And, of course, the pathetic, stick-on plastic yellow ribbons.

Our CBC Radio in its decline produced and broadcast an idiotic series called Afghanada. Every word and sound of that propaganda could have passed for something from America, save only the actor with the phony Newfoundland speech.

These are all signs of how destructive this business has been to Canadian values.

The Pentagon is like the fabled tar-baby. You can’t touch it without pitch stuck to your hands.

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“… I disrespected parents of dead soldiers?”

Sorry, but there’s another example of trash American speech.

There is no such word as “disrespected.” You “show disrespect,” unless you come from Arkansas or the streets of Detroit.

Further, if parents have the sheer arrogance to beg the government to stay in the killing business just to make the loss of their children somehow more meaningful, they themselves are opening the door to justified attacks on their judgment.

Having lost someone doesn’t give you a special right to advocate like that. It is shameful and abusive.

It is exactly the kind of non-think we see in America’s professional-victim society.

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“Sorry, old bean. Disrespect may also be used as a transitive verb”

Only by those who also use barbarities like “flied out.”

War is, if you will, the secret life of chimpanzees. It is when humans drop all the rules and decencies we have patiently built up over time and set out to murder, rape, and destroy.

That’s why, for example, soldiers in Afghanistan are warned by the Canadian authorities to ignore the bloody rapes of boys that take place regularly in this place we’re supposed to be saving.

Many have witnessed our own allies and workers like interpreters literally leaving children bleeding on the ground from gang rapes.

I point out that I believe the corruption of language reflects this corruption of values.

America has been a society dedicated to war for decades. It has killed millions needlessly, three million just in Vietnam.

Propagandists now are working overtime to alter our culture in the same direction.

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“Most of us have the power to use logic and factual information. Use it.”

Thus says someone whose entire comment shows little of either.

The Taliban were the government of the country, and they attacked no one. The U.S. invasion drove them out.

The very word “insurgents” is a weasel-word. The Taliban are not invaders. They are not foreigners. They are a large portion of the population of the place.

The governors America has put in their place belonged to the Northern Alliance, people every bit as backward as the Taliban, their former opponents. Indeed, it was the Northern Alliance who permitted bin Laden to reside in Afghanistan.

After the Russians withdrew, the Northern Alliance took power, and ran the country the way a bloodthirsty mafia would. There was chaos in the streets. Fighting everywhere. Injustice everywhere. Corruption everywhere.

The Taliban actually were formed as a “clean government” party, and they did clean things up on taking power, as for instance by totally stopping opium production.

They are not to our tastes, but, believe me, none of the parties in Afghanistan are. They all have 14th century views because the country lives in the 14th century.

Indeed, the drugs are pouring out of Afghanistan, completely ignored by the U.S. because it is some of their people profiting.

You want modernity? You help the economy develop. You do not bomb people.

America went there to kill, it went for vengeance. Everything else is window-dressing. And Canadian soldiers are part of the decorations.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: RICHARD COLVIN STRIKES BACK AT THE GOVERNMENT’S EFFORTS TO COVER UP ITS INCOMPETENT BEHAVIOR AROUND TROOPS IN AFGHANISTAN

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED COMMENT TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

“What happened over there that he has become so bitter against our troops and freedom.”

How many times have we read a variation of this completely uninformed comment?

It originated with that great bulk of twisted ethics, Stephen Harper, the very man who is entirely responsible for the behavior of the government and its representatives abroad, including troops.

What are the facts?

Armies are disciplined to do what they are told – that is a major part of their often humiliating basic training, always saluting and saying “Sir.”

Armies, in every modern democracy, are under the command of an elected government.

Armies’ policies are all set by civilian overlords.

Armies go nowhere and do nothing without civilian direction.

And we would not have it any other way.

So, who are the civilians responsible for what happened in Afghanistan?

Stephen Harper.

This is Harper’s shabbiest performance to date.

He’s blaming others for his own failure and trying to sound patriotic while doing it.

I do recall him doing other very similar things. It clearly is a basic part of his character. After Israel’s savage slaughters in Lebanon and Gaza, he attempted to pin the label of anti-Semite on honest Canadian critics.

Our own prime minister calling us names because we say things with which he disagrees.

What a disaster he is as a national leader.

How far we have fallen.