- Do not forget to remember.
- One mom remembers – this from QMI/Sun Media: “It’ll be with feelings of both pride and senseless loss that Calgarians Diane and Gaetan Dallaire will lay a wreath at a city Remembrance Day service on Thursday. The couple’s world became a darker place Aug. 3, 2006 when their 22-year-old son, Pte. Kevin Dallaire was killed in Afghanistan along with Sgt. Vaughn Ingram and Cpl. Bryce Keller by a Taliban rocket-propelled grenade (RPG). His mother, Diane, said she’s ready to emerge from the crowd at the ceremony at The Military Museums to pay tribute to her son. “We’ve stayed quiet but this year I want to lay a wreath for my son,” said Dallaire. “I get good days and bad days…this time of year, it’s worse.” ….”
- Good question from the Toronto Star: “What happens to a soldier who can’t be a soldier?”
- Remembrance Day: time to remember the fallen, or time to “save, save, save!”? Interesting Army.ca discussion on the evolution of an Eddie Bauer “Remembrance Day” sales promotion (based on the success of Veterans’ Day sales in the U.S.). This, from the company’s CEO on FaceBook on realizing the difference in how these days are observed: “We appreciate the feedback we’ve been getting from our Canadian customers about Remembrance Day. We are sensitive to this matter and have adjusted our marketing and communication accordingly. We regret any offense that may have been taken to our sale. By way of background, every year in the U.S. we join other American retailers in holding a Veterans Day Sale. This year we wanted to extend similar sale offers to our Canadian customers. However, please be assured we will no longer market this promotion as a Remembrance Day sale.”
- The “Training Mission Post-2011 Door” is open just a crack. Prime Minister Harper told CTV News from Korea: “….Speaking from Seoul, South Korea, ahead of the G20 meeting, Harper told CTV News that he’s “looking at the 2011 to 2014 period” for the new mission. If the government chooses to act on the proposal, Canadian forces would take up a training role in the war-torn country once its combat troops return home. “As you know we’ve been in Afghanistan for a very long time,” Harper said in a phone interview Wednesday evening. “We do want to make sure that as we leave, what we leave behind is a situation that will ensure that the sacrifices that Canadians have made… are appropriately honoured,” he said. “I think that will require some additional training,” he added. “It cannot involve any more combat.” ….’
- We have an answer, now, to a good question from the Globe & Mail’s Bill Curry: “Will PM break his Afghan silence on Remembrance Day?” He did indeed, but only with a “we’re thinking about it.” Next phase, now that the flag’s been run up the flagpole: let’s see what the opposition and the public have to say.
- Who’s fault is it Canada is (allegedly) keeping troops in Afghanistan to train Afghan security forces? According to the Canadian Peace Alliance’s co-chair, NOT the Prime Minister: “…. According to (Canadian Peace Alliance cochair Derrick) O’Keefe, under Michael Ignatieff’s leadership, the federal Liberals have made it easy for the Harper government to make this decision. “If you had to blame one person or party for this move right now,” he said, “you can actually fault Ignatieff and the Liberals more so because they have been publicly advocating for this war for some time.” O’Keefe argues that both the Conservative and Liberal parties are ideologically in favour of the war in Afghanistan, as well as being receptive to pressure from NATO and the U.S. government to extend the mission. Canadians should question the timing of the announcement, he said, charging that the Harper government is using Remembrance Day to “drum up patriotism for this war”. ” Calm down, buddy – let’s at least wait for a final decision being said out loud by someone on the record before rounding up the usual suspects.
- When it comes to covering Afghanistan, National Post blogger Adrian MacNair says it’s all in what the reporter chooses to pick and share: “When it comes to the 232-page document released by the Asia Foundation about their Afghan survey, the same problem poses itself. What some of the press decided was critical in the survey is that 43 per cent of Afghans strongly support Karzai’s negotiations with the Taliban. And that’s all they decided to report. It’s almost as if the reporter had already decided the negotiations were the key point, and leafed through in search of some figures regardless of all other information released by the Asia Foundation. Well, that’s one way to write the story. Here’s mine: “Nearly half of all Afghans are confident their country is moving in the right direction — up seven per cent from last year — according to a nation-wide survey released on Tuesday.” ….” He’s also underwhelmed with a recent Toronto Star column on the idea of Canada staying to train Afghan security forces.
- If there’s no death to be written about, how about writing how there hasn’t been any deaths for x days? This, from the Ottawa Citizen.
- It’s one thing for consumers of services for veterans being worried about the privacy of their records. Now, a Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) editorial (PDF) calls on Veterans Affairs to get a grip on protecting health records: “…. Health professionals, both civilian and military, would do well to advocate for service men and women. Our military personnel protect our rights; it’s time we worked to protect theirs.” More on there in the CMAJ’s news release here.
- What’re the troops going to be eating out of their plasticized foil pouches down the road? Check out the menus here.
- Taliban Propaganda Watch: Taliban claims responsibility for a swack of attacks through Kandahar City.
Main website’s on the fritz, so I’m sharing some Canadian military news tidbits that catch my eye here – enjoy!
- CBC’s Brian Stewart asks a vital question: “With our exit in sight, how will we honour those who served?”
- If one believes in reading tea leaves about Canada’s future mission in Afghanistan, Canada’s Ambassador to AFG drops by a northern AFG training centre (with no reference of any any Canadians working there). Also note all the other police-y stuff on Canada’s AFG page this week:
– “Questions from a Seventh Grader” (answered by a police Sgt in AFG)
– “My Experience at a Forward Operating Base” (Attributed to an RCMP constable)
– “Chiefs of Police Get the Scoop on Canada’s Civilian Policing in Afghanistan.”
Whatever could it all mean?
- Canada’s outgoing Commander-in-Chief announces bravery awards from action in Afghanistan , shortly before the new Commander-in-Chief is sworn in in Ottawa (text of his installation speech here).
- In Afghanistan, Canada’s TF Commander tells reporters the troops are “gaining momentum” in a push under way in Kandahar.
- Postmedia News’ Matt Fisher looks at Canada’s recent casualty stats: “While NATO has already suffered its worst year for deaths in Afghanistan, Canada’s fatality rate has dropped more than 40 per cent, according to calculations by Postmedia News. An analysis derived from statistics kept by iCasualties.org and other sources shows 14 Canadians have died so far this year, compared to 25 during the first nine months of last year, with the rate of decline accelerating throughout the so-called summer fighting season. Over the past four months, for example, six Canadians have died. There were 13 Canadian deaths during the same four months in 2009, when fighting usually peaks ….”
- Meanwhile, back home, an Ipsos-Reid poll conducted for Global TV has this to say from Canadians who responded: “Most Canadians support Ottawa’s plan to pull out of Afghanistan next year, according to an exclusive poll for Global News. Sixty-one per cent of respondents to the TV network’s “Canada’s Pulse” poll say all Canadian troops need to come home, while 28 per cent think Canada should leave some troops behind to train Afghan police and soldiers. Just 11 per cent want to extend the mission. As Canada prepares for its 2011 exit, 38 per cent of those polled also say the 152 Canadian soldiers who died there did so in vain ….”
- Adrian MacNair, owner of the Unambiguously Ambidextrous blog, is in Afghanistan – looking forward to reading what he shares.
- Canadian Helicopters is getting a good chunk of business from flying people, beans and bullets around Afghanistan for U.S. Transport Command.
- The Taliban’s latest lies: Load’s o’ attacks alleged around Kandahar and they deny even tentative approaches to the Kabul regime and NATO (as alleged by some).
- Meanwhile, let’s not forget the work Canadian troops are doing in Darfur and Kosovo.
Some scribes claim Jack “Taliban Jack” Layton was ahead of his time several years ago when he said we should talk to the Taliban.
I can’t put it better than the others already have (h/t to Mark at The Torch):
- If Jack Layton Wants Credit For This, By All Means, Let Him Have It. (Terry Glavin)
- What Layton Said (Brian Platt)
- Jack Layton The Peacemaker (Adrian MacNair)
My humble contribution to the debate? A possible T-shirt graphic:
Then again, let’s also not forget how some think he’s STILL too supportive of the troops.