News Highlights – 16 Jul 11

  • Libya Mission (1)  Canada is looking at opening a line of credit worth hundreds of millions of dollars for the group orchestrating the overthrow of Libyan madman Moammar Gadhafi and establishing a diplomatic post in the rebel-held city where the Transitional National Council is based. Officials are looking at the feasibility of funnelling upwards of 20% of the value of Libyan assets frozen here and abroad in Canadian financial institutions to the council. A United Nations resolution prohibits Canada from unfreezing the assets — believed to be about $2.3 billion. The government would recoup the cash from the assets after the UN gives the green light to unlock the accounts. The Americans have seized about $30 billion in Gadhafi plunder ….”  More on this here, here and here.
  • Libya Mission (2) “…. Five months after a protest movement to oust Colonel Gadhafi in February turned into an all-out war with military support from NATO, nobody has a clear idea how the war might be brought to an end – and few nations place much trust in the Libyan actors who are promising to end it ….”
  • Afghanistan (1)  The first of the stories about the new job.  “If Canada’s nine-year war in Afghanistan is over, nobody told Cpl. Austin Dickson. The 21-year-old Victorian is in a force-protection platoon, spends his days shepherding fellow Canadian soldiers from base to base in and around Kabul. Canada’s combat role might have ended with great fanfare this month, but now the next phase has begun, Ottawa committing up to 950 troops to help train the Afghan military in a mission due to last until March 2014. About 430 of the Canadians have arrived so far ….”
  • Afghanistan (2)  Niiiice……  Military police in Edmonton are tracking down soldiers in Afghanistan and asking if they are missing any campers, ATVs or snowmobiles back home. The call-out is to help an ongoing city police investigation of two soldiers accused of stealing and trying to sell recreational vehicles owned by three of their colleagues who were serving overseas. Capt. Derrick Forsythe, a spokesman at Edmonton Garrison, said there may well be more victims. But it’s been difficult reaching soldiers in Afghanistan who are busy and may not know if their toys are missing from a shared storage compound on the Edmonton base. “Trying to get a hold of them in Afghanistan with everything that’s going on over there with packing up of the kit and bringing it home — they’re kind of busy at the other end,” Forsythe said Friday …. Two of the soldiers robbed of recreational vehicles are still in Afghanistan. The third was recently injured and sent home. Forsythe said soldiers targeting other soldiers is disturbing. “There’s a pretty strong culture of trust inside the military. There has to be. It’s the nature of the job. So any time something like this happens, it’s particularly troubling.” Privates Varrel Fitz-Charles, 25, and Kieran Lawless-Johnston, 21, were charged last month with possession of stolen property, and break, enter and theft. They are to appear in court in August ….”  A reminder:  The Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and Canada’s constitution, guarantees the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.  More on this one here, here and here.
  • Afghanistan (3)  More on the Afghan interpreters being fast-tracked into Canada. “The federal government will resettle hundreds of Afghans who worked as interpreters for the Canadian military mission in Kandahar, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Friday in Calgary. A group of interpreters and their families — 56 people in total — have arrived since the special immigration program was first announced in 2009. Interpreters working in Kandahar province for Canadian soldiers and officials faced serious risks and threats from insurgents as a result of their work, Kenney said at the time of the program’s announcement. “There are Afghans who face extraordinary personal risk as a result of their work in support of Canada’s mission in Kandahar,” he said. “Their lives and those of their families may be threatened by insurgents, and some have suffered serious injury and can no longer work.” Another 33 Afghan nationals are expected to arrive in Canada over the summer, and 130 more in the fall, a spokeswoman for Citizenship and Immigration Canada told Postmedia News in an email. The program allows for resettlement of 550 people in total and should wrap up in spring 2012, she said ….”
  • Afghanistan (4)  “How Capt. Trevor Greene came back from an Afghan axe to the head
  • Afghanistan (5)  How other wounded warriors (and not-as-old-as-they-used-to-be vets) are coping.
  • Afghanistan (6)  Other allied nations have made no secret of their wish to follow suit, and the withdrawals will place a heavier burden on those troops left behind. Senior U.S. officials have been reassuring wary Afghans, who say violence is still rampant ….”
  • Afghanistan (7)  Uh, riiiiiight….  “…. If Canada were to be an integral part of stopping the New World Order agenda which would need to including stopping the Security and Prosperity and Partnership North American Union (SPP-NAU) agenda now, and rooting out the evil that exists and will persist, they might be able to save face with the rest of the world. 9/11 was an inside job, for sure. Bring home the troops Canada without any further delay, you’ve been fooled from the beginning. The people are waking to the truth. If you want the truth then seek it and it will set you free. No more innocent children and women need to die in Afghanistan ….”
  • Taliban Propaganda Watch (1)  Taliban’s further take on the assassination of Karzai’s half-brother warlord/facilitator in Kandahar.
  • Taliban Propaganda Watch (2)  The Canadian Press declares Taliban’s propaganda campaign a success based on speaking to two subject matter expertsIf having the west GTFO, yes, it’s succeeded.  I guess the mainstream media missed the 14:1 ratio of Canadians the Taliban said it had killed versus every one that had been killed.  They did catch the Taliban hitting Twitter (here, too) though.
  • F-35 Tug o’ War (1) “Those Pesky F-35 Costs: “A Billion Here, A Billion There” “ (h/t to Mark Collins)
  • F-35 Tug o’ War (2)  First one delivered to U.S. military “to fly in a non-testing role”.
  • What’s Canada Buying?  Defence Construction Canada (DCC) has hired three Vancouver Island firms to complete $330,000 in upgrades at CFB Comox. DCC – the Crown corporation tasked with awarding infrastructure contracts on behalf of the Canadian military – awarded a $150,000 tender to Nelson Roofing and Sheet Metal Ltd. for replacement and removal of existing roofs on two buildings on the Base. Wacor Holdings Ltd., meanwhile, secured a $110,000 contract to complete a new parking lot next to CFB Comox’s child care centre. And Comox Consolidators Ltd. is being paid $70,000 to replace brick chimneys at the residential housing complex, near to the Base ….”
  • The Canadian government is trying to spare hunting rifles and sporting arms from a United Nations one-size-fits-all international standard to regulate the flow of weapons around the world. Gun advocates in Canada praised the feds Friday, but gun control advocates and the opposition blasted the move as an irresponsible ploy to hamper the UN’s efforts to save lives. On Thursday, Canadian diplomats at the treaty’s preliminary negotiations in New York tried to exempt sporting and hunting firearms in the treaty’s preamble, remove ammunition and other high-volume items from the reporting requirements and add a clause that reads, in part, “small arms have certain legitimate civilian uses, including sporting, hunting and collecting purposes.” Tony Bernardo, a spokesman for the Canadian Shooting Sports Association, derided the UN as “incredibly anti-gun” and said Canada’s attempts to exempt sporting arms is the right call ….”

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