Afghanistan, Still Losing the War, Part 11

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M. Spector M. Spector's picture
Afghanistan, Still Losing the War, Part 11

Continued from [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/international-news-and-politics/afghanistan-stil..., Still Losing the War, Part 10.[/url]

Graeme Smith wrote:
Three Canadian soldiers were killed in an explosion this morning on a notoriously dangerous stretch of road west of Kandahar city.

Their convoy had been summoned to investigate part of Highway #1 because of suspicions that a bomb had been planted under the road, a common hazard on the main route out of the city.

Little more than a week earlier, another blast in roughly the same part of Highway #1, near a suburb known as Senjaray, killed three other soldiers: Warrant Officer Robert John Wilson, Corporal Mark Robert McLaren, and Private Demetrios Diplaros.

[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081213.wafghanistan... and Mail[/url]

Unionist

They went to investigate reports of an IED, and they got blown to kingdom come by an IED.

No wonder "military intelligence" is held to be an oxymoron.

==========================
Join M. Spector's tagline [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satyagraha]Satyagraha[/url]!

Webgear

The soldiers killed have been identified as: Cpl. Thomas James Hamilton, Pvt. John Michael Roy Curwin and Pvt. Justin Peter Jones.

All three were with Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, RCR

 

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20081213/afghanistan_mission_081213/20081214?hub=TopStories

Fidel

And cut down in the prime of their lives, sacrificed for Crazy George's sake and the vicious empire. It's such a waste. Too large a sacrifice for those scum of the earth in Warshington and our colonial administrativeship in Ottawa

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Fidel wrote:

Too large a sacrifice for those scum of the earth in Warshington and our colonial administrativeship in Ottawa.

You mean the colonial administration that the NDP hopes to be an integral part of in the very near future, under the fearless leadership of Iggy Thumbscrews? 

 

[img]http://www.free-blinkies.com/blinkie-maker/img/777629001229223584.gif[/img]

Fidel

Fidel wrote:
Too large a sacrifice for those scum of the earth in Warshington and our colonial administrativeship in Ottawa.

 

You mean the colonial administration that the NDP hopes to be an integral part of in the very near future, under the fearless leadership of Iggy Thumbscrews?

That's right. It could be the first babysitting job in Ottawa for the NDP. Former Liberal Mel Hurtig said that party held too many closed door meetings in achieving too little for ordinary Canadians for his liking. The NDP and Bloc both realized that the troops arent coming home before 2011 no matter what they say or do in Ottawa. Might as well make the Liberals a minority in the coalition than put up with herr Harper and his 22 percenters until the next $300 million dollar election.

Realigned

 I just wanted to throw a couple of comments out regarding a few Afghanistan comments.

I'm not trying to preach here believe me. I know that would find myself short of friends pretty fast and even shorter in welcome at Babble.

This is just a different persective, humor me friends.

 

Quote:
I'm no military genius, but I would say, they should either stay
indoors, or maybe go back home. That way, they might leave fewer
bereaved families to mourn their useless "sacrifice".

Quote:

They went to investigate reports of an IED, and they got blown to kingdom come by an IED.

No wonder "military intelligence" is held to be an oxymoron.

I realize how devoted many of the posters here are to their opions and feelings on the topic. (Canada out of Afghanistan etc.) I really respect the resolve you guys have. It's something all of you believe in whole heartedly with all your heart and soul. How can you not respect something like that?

Imagine though that same amount of devotion and belief but in the hearts of these soldiers. Imagine these guys don't care about the bigger picture, the oil pipeline, Bush or any of that. Imagine they are very simple dudes who feel that their presence (and sacrifice) in Afghanistan is helping people. Without arguing what if's in this case, just believe for the sake of this argument that they think they are helping.

Now the point about military intelligence popped up and also about wasted sacrifice- let me try and play devils advocate and paint a picture.

THese guys are sitting around when a local calls in and says "Hey ISAF, there is a big IED under such and such bridge". 

The Canadians say "We need to remove it so that NATO soldiers and local Afghans don't get kille by it."

The soldiers platoon gets the order to mount up and roll out-which they do.  They head out to investigate the suspectd IED.  On the way there they hit an IED.  It might have been shit luck, or it might have been a trick-The Taliban called in the fake IED because they know the routes the Canadians will take.

Either way, 3 Canadians are dead.  The soldiers died while on route to preserve both the lives of local afghans and their fellow soldiers. They 'gave their lives so that others may live'.

Anyone who dies in war is a useless death as far as I'm concerned. These guys quite possibly died for something they whole heartedly believed in (wether we agree or not) and they died trying to preserve the life of other human beings. 

Yes all deaths are useless but they fell doing something noble and agree with the war/policy/presence or not we should still see their deaths (at a personal level) more than just 'useless'. I appologize if that comes off as preachy, that's not my intent. I just want their to be  visable difference between Canadian policy/war arguments and the sacrifices canadian citizens are making on behest of our government. Make sense?

Cueball Cueball's picture

And as you learned in basic, the fact is that soldiers actually fight, mostly for their friends around them, their squad and their unit, not the cause to which their leaders deem to be just. All training focuses on and manipulates this fact.

This way sacrifice in the service of a bad cause can be propped up by the natural and normal and positive instinct to protect ones own.

But the fact remains that war is not about who is right but who is left.

Realigned

Hi Cueball,

This is where I say there is no manipulation in the army, right? :)

Naw you're right. From the very first day in basic it's all about your buddies this is true. You screw up and the whole section suffers-powerful motivator, believe me. (of course we see manipulation and conditioning from obeying traffic lights to highschool shooters putting their guns down mid killing spree when told to "stop" by unarmed teachers.)

In truth though from the start we are trained Mission, men, self.   Accomplish the mission, protect your buddies, take care of yourself.

I've heard stuff along those lines a lot "In the shit it's not about you're country it's about your buddy beside you!" etc..

Yes and no I'd say.  Yesterday when those soldiers died they weren't crawling through mud with bullets wizzing overhead trying to desperately reach a fallen commerade. They were soldiers performing their job-their job being to protect both one another and local citizens. In this case locals and other forces before themselves.

Good point about the winners being who's left and not always who is right.

 

Unionist

Realigned wrote:
Anyone who dies in war is a useless death as far as I'm concerned.
These guys quite possibly died for something they whole heartedly
believed in (wether we agree or not) and they died trying to preserve
the life of other human beings.

Not at all. Allied soldiers who bravely fought and died in World War II contributed, in small and large measure, to the defeat of Nazism and Fascism and the liberation of the peoples of Europe and elsewhere from aggression.

Canadian deaths in Afghanistan, on the other hand, are a shameful and total waste. It is difficult for bereaved parents to face the truth, that "my child fought and died in vain", or "my child was sent to another land, filled with lies by the commanders, maimed and murdered based on those lies, then died in a criminal cause". But it's the truth, all the same.

The irony of this particular incident is even more powerful. For years, Canadian and U.S. and NATO soldiers (but mostly the Canadians, who are so happy to be sent to the front lines of Kandahar), have been driving by IEDs or stepping on land mines and blowing themselves to bits.

I find it very telling that these invading armies, armed with the most powerful technologies known to humanity, capable of detecting conversations using satellites - can't seem to detect or evade home-made booby traps. And they've had lots of practice!

It's a sure indication that the Afghan people, for the nth time, will triumph and throw these invaders out. Hopefully the invaders will remember the lesson for a few years (as the current crop of idiots did not) before they try again...

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Join M. Spector's tagline [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satyagraha]Satyagraha[/url]!

Fidel

unionist wrote:
The irony of this particular incident is even more powerful. For years, Canadian and U.S. and NATO soldiers (but mostly the Canadians, who are so happy to be sent to the front lines of Kandahar),

I think it a bit more than glee and personal choice that Canadian troops are in there like dirty shirts chasing down Taliban with aggressive U.S.-style combat role. Paul Martin's government volunteered Canadian troops to an aggressive U.S.-style combat role in 2005 while some other NATO countries decided on peacekeeping roles for their troops. No hide and seek with the Taliban for certain other NATO troops.

Unionist

While awaiting their inevitable total humiliation and defeat at the hands of Afghan fighters, members of the Canadian forces, their friends and families, might wish to lobby the Harper government to spend some money protecting them against IEDs.

Every little bit helps - including cancelling 18 Senate appointments - if it can save lives.

Help is available if one wishes to allocate resources to save young lives (and I know, that's a big "if" in the case of Commander-In-Chief Michaelle Jean), but just in case, [url=http://www.mde.es/dgam/SYMPOSIUM/file/exhibitors.htm]here is a list of exhibitors[/url] from the 2004 Improvised Explosive Devices Symposium in Madrid. I'm sure they'd be happy to sell us some protection.

==========================
Join M. Spector's tagline [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satyagraha]Satyagraha[/url]!

Fidel

Arent our guys getting new helicopters to taxi them through the air and over all those roadside IED's? I'm thinking it could be a matter of time before the Taliban get their hands on some old stinger missiles or even bring down a few of them with rpg's as was the case in Iraq apparently. Taliban might have to put in an order for stingers with some of Karzai's people who've been selling them weapons all along according to Malalai Joya.

Slumberjack

We haven't had many examples that have compelled us to dwell upon the right or wrong of our involvement in conflicts of the past, or at least ones that the majority of the population didn't support.  We're sort of new at it, engaging in conflict that is, where the public questions the underlying premise of the cause, and the price that is being paid for it.  The institutions that we normally turn to for information when national level questions arise seem woefully unprepared or unable to provide the answers through critical analysis.  The media, for example, haven't been able to move much beyond the patriotic cheerleading mode that normally is found at the early stages of conflict.  As the war has progressed, they have relied heavily on covering the sacrifices and it's impact on the home front to such a degree as to render journalistic detachment unrecognizable from the emotional aspects of the losses.  The leading faces within our news establishments report on these events with the solemnness and sympathy of a beravement councellor, becoming personally attached to the grief, which makes it impossible to turn the story toward debating the rationale for the losses.  Against the backdrop of an unjust war, professional skeptics seem incapable of figuring out what their role is supposed to be.  It is not the responsibility of soldiers to fill this void.  Indeed, training programs conducted at the basic and battleschool levels do not indoctrinate soldiers to consider the merits of skepticism.  In the absence of vocal dissent within the ranks, which is not at all likely in that environment, the attrition, retention and recruiting rates could be seen as one of the indicators of how soldiers see the cause they are being asked to support.  I would argue that the rates of mental illness found within those returning from the conflict might also be an indicator.

Military Recruiting and Retention

Mental Health Survey Results

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Quote:
Imagine these guys don't care about the bigger picture, the oil
pipeline, Bush or any of that. Imagine they are very simple dudes who
feel that their presence (and sacrifice) in Afghanistan is helping
people.
Okay, let's imagine that. I what point to we shatter their illusions? 150 dead? 200? 300? More? What is the cost in Canadian lives before Canada has paid the necessary price for this century's admission in to the Empire? A centurey ago our admission was the Boer war in South Africa. When was the last time you attended a memorial service for our "heroes" from that colonial war?

Slumberjack

There isn't much thought given nowadays in remembrance of the heroes that defended us from the Fenian invasions either.

remind remind's picture

Realigned wrote:
This is just a different persective, humor me friends.
Nah, sorry, why should we humour you?

 

Quote:
Yes all deaths are useless but they fell doing something noble 

No actually they didn't. They died a useless death. There is only 1 noble action that any soldier could do, facing going to Afghanistan or in Afghanistan, and that would be refuse to go, or to stay.

And what unionist said.

_______________________________________________________________
"watching the tide roll away"

Unionist

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2008/12/14/afghan-officers.html?ref=rss]Bomb kills 3 Afghan policemen in Kandahar, wounds 11[/url]

Quote:
A bomb hidden in a wooden cart exploded in Afghanistan's largest
southern city Sunday, killing three police officers and wounding 11
other people, a government official said.

The attack targeted a police vehicle in the city of Kandahar, said Zalmai Ayubi, a spokesman for the governor.

He said five police officers were among the 11 wounded. ...

The latest explosion happened 14 kilometres from where three
Canadian soldiers were killed Saturday when the armoured vehicle they
were travelling in struck a roadside bomb.

On Friday morning, three British Marines died in an explosion in Afghanistan's Helmand province.

I know it's been 7 years, but any day now I expect cheering crowds of garland-bearing Afghans to hail Canada for freeing them from themselves.

 

Unionist

Quote:
“He loved it, I think. It was an adventure for him. That was his dream to join the military.”

[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081214.wsoldiersfam.... Justin Peter Jones' great aunt.[/url]

Realigned

Fidel wrote:

Arent our guys getting new helicopters to taxi them through the air and over all those roadside IED's? I'm thinking it could be a matter of time before the Taliban get their hands on some old stinger missiles or even bring down a few of them with rpg's as was the case in Iraq apparently. Taliban might have to put in an order for stingers with some of Karzai's people who've been selling them weapons all along according to Malalai Joya.

Which helicopters are those?

There is no way helicopters can replace supply convoys. We just have too many of them to do and too much supplies to move around.

It would be a dream if we could just fly the stuff. One of the ways out int guys do their things is to record the local reactions in areas. Are they happy are they pissed off. DO they wave to us or do they throw rocks. Do they make hand signs and gestures, if so what?

You've heard the local ANA is selling weapons to the Taliban?

Wouldnt it be ironic, our helicopers getting shotdown by our own missles.

The Taliban don't usually show up with enough force to engage helicopters. Most transport or medical ones have gunship escorts.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

[quote[

There isn't much thought given nowadays in remembrance of the heroes that defended us from the Fenian invasions either.


Perhaps, but Canadians fought the Boer war as Canadians and as part of the empire and while Canada's military seldom "celeberates" the Finian battles, in my day, on a regular basis, there was a showing of British soldiers mowing down Zulu warriors accompanied by much drink and merriment. I think this is it: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058777/

I'm sure you have a flippant retort in your belt.

Slumberjack

Frustrated Mess wrote:
I'm sure you have a flippant retort in your belt.

The point was that with any luck, they'll all eventually pass into obscurity and not continue to be the means through which terms such as sacrifice, honour, and duty are trotted out for remembrance, to compell the current generation to carry that stupid torch.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Ah! Sorry, I had misunderstood.

 

____________________________

Look what they did to my sig!

Fidel

Realigned wrote:

Which helicopters are those?

There is no way helicopters can replace supply convoys. We just have too many of them to do and too much supplies to move around.

Canada to send Griffon attack helicopters to Afghanistan

And what about the millions spent on aerial drones?

 

Quote:
The Taliban don't usually show up with enough force to engage helicopters. Most transport or medical ones have gunship escorts.

Their predecessors, the mujahideen, were using stinger missiles to bring down Soviet helicopters and cargo planes in the 1980's. Rumors suggest that the Pakistani ISI(our allies), received requests from today's insurgents for new battery packs to re-activate unused stingers floating around Afghanistan and surrounding countries since the 1980's. The Bushies warned Iran a couple of years ago against supplying Iraqi insurgents with heat-seeking shoulder rockets, but apparently they've been somewhat successful with bringing down U.S. helicopters in Iraq with rpgs.  

Cueball Cueball's picture

Realigned wrote:

Hi Cueball,

This is where I say there is no manipulation in the army, right? :)

Naw you're right. From the very first day in basic it's all about your buddies this is true. You screw up and the whole section suffers-powerful motivator, believe me. (of course we see manipulation and conditioning from obeying traffic lights to highschool shooters putting their guns down mid killing spree when told to "stop" by unarmed teachers.)

In truth though from the start we are trained Mission, men, self.   Accomplish the mission, protect your buddies, take care of yourself.

I've heard stuff along those lines a lot "In the shit it's not about you're country it's about your buddy beside you!" etc..

Yes and no I'd say.  Yesterday when those soldiers died they weren't crawling through mud with bullets wizzing overhead trying to desperately reach a fallen commerade. They were soldiers performing their job-their job being to protect both one another and local citizens. In this case locals and other forces before themselves.

Good point about the winners being who's left and not always who is right.

 

I suggest you try and find a copy of "Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character " by Jonathan Shay

 

Quote:
We begin in the moral world of the soldier — what his culture understands to be right — and betrayal of that moral order by a commander. This is how Homer opens the Iliad. Agamémnon, Achilles' commander, wrongfully seizes the prize of honor voted to Achilles by the troops. Achilles' experience of betrayal of "what's right," and his reactions to it, are identical to those of American soldiers in Vietnam. I shall describe some of the many violations of what American soldiers understood to be right by holders of responsibility and trust.

Quote:
Now, there was a LURP [Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol] team from the First Brigade off of Highway One, that looked over the South China Sea. There was a bay there.... Now, they saw boats come in. And they suspected, now, uh — the word came down [that] they were unloading weapons off them. Three boats.

At that time we moved. It was about ten o'clock at night. We moved down, across Highway One along the beach line, and it took us [until] about three or four o'clock in the morning to get on line while these people are unloading their boats. And we opened up on them — aaah.

And the fucking firepower was unreal, the firepower that we put into them boats. It was just a constant, constant firepower. It seemed like no one ever ran out of ammo.

Daylight came [long pause], and we found out we killed a lot of fishermen and kids.

What got us thoroughly fucking confused is, at that time you turn to the team and you say to the team, "Don't worry about it. Everything's fucking fine." Because that's what you're getting from upstairs.

The fucking colonel says, "Don't worry about it. We'll take care of it." Y'know, uh, "We got body count!" "We have body count!" So it starts working on your head.

So you know in your heart it's wrong, but at the time, here's your superiors telling you that it was okay. So, I mean, that's okay then, right? This is part of war. Y'know? Gung-HO! Y'know? "AirBORNE! AirBORNE! Let's go!"

So we packed up and we moved out.

They wanted to give us a fucking Unit Citation — them fucking maggots. A lot of medals came down from it. The lieutenants got medals, and I know the colonel got his fucking medal. And they would have award ceremonies, y'know, I'd be standing like a fucking jerk and they'd be handing out fucking medals for killing civilians.

This veteran received his Combat Infantry Badge for participating in this action. The CIB was one of the most prized U.S. Army awards, supposed to be awarded for actual engagement in ground combat. He subsequently earned his CIB a thousand times over in four combat tours. Nonetheless, he still feels deeply dishonored by the circumstances of its official award for killing unarmed civilians on an intelligence error. He declares that the day it happened, Christmas Eve, should be stricken from the calendar.

Now, I have a simple question, amid the many good things, and positive intentions that you and your comrades experience, can you honestly tell me that you have seen nothing at all that is a betrayal of your concept of "what is right", in the name of the mission?

Realigned

Griffon ATTACK helicopter eh? Sure :)  Calling it an atack helicopter doesn't make it that.  Not a fan of the Griffon, guess we'll see how well it works but I don' have my hopes up.

Quote:
I suggest you try and find a copy of "Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character " by Jonathan Shay

You're the second person to recomend this book. It's definatly going on my list of next books to pick up from Chapters or Amazon.

 

Quote:
Now, I have a simple question, amid the many good things, and positive
intentions that you and your comrades experience, can you honestly tell
me that you have seen nothing at all that is a betrayal of your concept
of "what is right", in the name of the mission?

Good question and well worded.

No I can't.

Jingles

Quote:
 These guys quite possibly died for something they whole heartedly believed in (wether we agree or not) 

That's not a justification either. I'm sure Kurt Meyer's whole heartedly believed in their noble cause too. I'll have to ask the Pope about that.

Speaking about the Battle of Normandy, I saw a cool documentary tonight about Michael Wittman. Now that guy knew how to run a tank. 

 

Unionist

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2008/12/18/kandahar-gov.html?ref=rss]Long-... Canadian resident is the new "governor" of Kandahar!![/url]

It must be getting tougher to find home-grown puppets,  hence this new character - an "agricultural expert" at UBC who has lived in Coquitlam for 13 years!

I'm quite confident his BC agricultural expertise has nothing to do with growing controlled substances.

Quote:
"I have … plans from the grassroots level. We will work with the small
farmers, we will work with the large farmers and hopefully we will
increase the production the way people are expecting," he said.

"Grassroots", no less.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Quote:
The Canadian military is spending more than $10 million on 500 laser dazzlers for troops in Afghanistan in what it calls an attempt to reduce civilian casualties.

The devices cause temporarily blindness and the army is hoping they can be used to ward off Afghans who drive or walk too closely to Canadian checkpoints or convoys. Troops -- worried about suicide bombers -- have killed or wounded civilians who ignored or didn't heed warnings to keep their distance.

The dazzlers, also called "laser-generated visual warning technology," could be in the hands of Canadian troops in Kandahar as early as next fall.

Project director Maj. Stephane Dufour says the devices are designed to protect both soldiers and Afghan civilians. He says being hit by a laser is like someone looking at the sun….

But Anthony Salloum, program director of the Rideau Institute, an advocacy group that has raised concerns about the dazzlers, contends they are being put into the field without proper testing. That could mean Canada violating international treaties on the introduction of new weapons.

Salloum says Canada has also ratified a treaty that prevents the use of weapons that cause permanent blindness, all of which "begs the question about why the government is going full hog on purchasing 500 of these weapons when they haven't been fully tested."

An air force report on the dazzlers says injuries could range from "quite significant" to "virtually undetectable." The report says it will be important for soldiers to receive proper training so they do not use the dazzlers on people at too close range.

[url=http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/story.html?id=e87c0e42-7ed1-4b89-...

 

[IMG]http://i38.tinypic.com/1r9lpy.gif[/IMG]

Unionist

[url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7793098.stm]Three Danish troops and one Dutch killed in separate incidents[/url]

By my count, that increases Denmark's total fatalities in Afghanistan since 2002 by 11%, and the Netherlands' since 2006 by 6%. Perhaps such events will help convince them to go home and stay home.

Meanwhile, U.S. shows [url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7792899.stm]great self-restraint and sensitivity toward Afghan people's self-determination[/url] in plans to beef up its troop deployment by only 65% under Mr. Obama's reign:

Quote:
Mr Gates said that the US "should think long and hard" before sending
significantly more than the 20,000 additional troops requested by Gen
McKiernan so they do not become [sic] to be seen as an occupying force.

Realigned

M. Spector wrote:

Quote:
The Canadian military is spending more than $10 million on 500 laser dazzlers for troops in Afghanistan in what it calls an attempt to reduce civilian casualties.

The devices cause temporarily blindness and the army is hoping they can be used to ward off Afghans who drive or walk too closely to Canadian checkpoints or convoys. Troops -- worried about suicide bombers -- have killed or wounded civilians who ignored or didn't heed warnings to keep their distance.

The dazzlers, also called "laser-generated visual warning technology," could be in the hands of Canadian troops in Kandahar as early as next fall.

Project director Maj. Stephane Dufour says the devices are designed to protect both soldiers and Afghan civilians. He says being hit by a laser is like someone looking at the sun….

But Anthony Salloum, program director of the Rideau Institute, an advocacy group that has raised concerns about the dazzlers, contends they are being put into the field without proper testing. That could mean Canada violating international treaties on the introduction of new weapons.

Salloum says Canada has also ratified a treaty that prevents the use of weapons that cause permanent blindness, all of which "begs the question about why the government is going full hog on purchasing 500 of these weapons when they haven't been fully tested."

An air force report on the dazzlers says injuries could range from "quite significant" to "virtually undetectable." The report says it will be important for soldiers to receive proper training so they do not use the dazzlers on people at too close range.

[url=http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/story.html?id=e87c0e42-7ed1-4b89-...

 

[IMG]http://i38.tinypic.com/1r9lpy.gif[/IMG]

M.Spector what do you think of the Dazzlers? Worth the money?

I've been hit by one before (from another NATO nation) and they work really  well IMO. It didn't cause blindness but it disorientated me enough to make me stop my vehicle. I think things like the Dazzlers and penflares the brits (and now Canadians) use are great ways to help avoid local Afghani's being shot. Well worth the price tag.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Matt Hartley, in today's Globe, wrote:
The postal elves who answer letters to Santa are witnessing a small but noticeable new trend this year: messages from the children of Canadian soldiers who want nothing more than for their mothers and fathers to come home from the war in Afghanistan.

Canada Post assembles a team of volunteers to answer letters to Santa Claus every year. But the 11,000 "elves" are seeing these heartfelt pleas atop the list of more Canadian children than ever this holiday season, mixed in among the requests for video games and iPods, for Barbies and new bikes.

Out of the mouths of babes...

 

 

[IMG]http://i38.tinypic.com/1r9lpy.gif[/IMG]

Jingles

Those kids just need to be patient. In a few years, they can enlist and join their parents over there.

Unionist

I can't believe those kids, undermining the mission on the home front. Don't they want mommy and daddy to finish reconstructing Afghanistan?

Jingles

Someone should tell Don Cherry about this.

Unionist

[url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7792899.stm]This morning:[/url]

Quote:
Mr Gates said that the US "should think long and hard" before sending significantly more than the 20,000 additional troops requested by Gen McKiernan so they do not become [sic] to be seen as an occupying force.

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2008/12/20/us-afghan.html?ref=rss]This evening:[/url]

Quote:
The U.S. military could double its presence in Afghanistan in 2009 with the deployment of up to 30,000 extra troops by next summer at the latest, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff said Saturday.

The U.S. thought long and hard over the course of the day, and decided that WTF, we're already an occupation force, what were we thinking!?

Fidel

 Taliban Leader Mullah Omar Urges Seven Point Plan for Peace

Quote:
Taliban leader Mullah Omar released a statement warning that the increase of U.S. troops in Afghanistan will have a direct relation to the level of violence there, and vowed to direct attacks at NATO forces. But, as an alternative, he offered a "seven point plan" to resolve the conflict.

According to Press TV, a 24-hour news channel based in Tehran, Mullah Omar delivered his plan through Saudi King Abdullah. The demands reflect a softening in the Taliban's position, despite their increasing influence. . .

Warlords in Karzai's guvmint are urging for proportional democracy in Afghanistan against the USSA's wishes, and against their plan for a colonial outpost, military base, and permament destabilization of Afghanistan and Central Asia since the phony war on terror began.

Cueball Cueball's picture

[quote)Now, the Taliban are willing to accept a timetable for the withdrawal of all foreign forces and suggested the introduction of Muslim peacekeeping forces to ensure a smooth transition, until the Afghans can reach a consensus government.

Definitely worth considering.