Posts Tagged ‘Dimitri Soudas’
- The PM’s Office is keeping the world updated via Twitter about Canadians GTFO’ing Libya. Most recent examples: “Canadian C130 has landed in Malta with 9 Cdn citizens, US, UK, Ukrainian, and others evacuated from Libya.” “Almost 330 Cdns have been evacuated from Libya thus far. Canadian Armed Forces flight scheduled today (Saturday) to continue evacuation.” Shame the politicians didn’t Tweet about the Afghan mission…. More on this from MSM coverage here and here.
- Conrad Black’s take on what Canada should do: “…. The best solution to Libya, as I suggested here recently, would be an Arab one; the fraternal invasion of Libya by Egypt, in support of an amenable regime, as all friendly parties engaged in the expulsion of Gaddafi would welcome such an initiative, and Egypt could negotiate in advance a revenue-producing arrangement for itself in securing the pacification of the country and the full resumption of oil flows …. At least all indications are that in the buzz of collegiality with which the West is noisily worrying about the dangers of doing anything about Libya except imitating King Canute from the White House balcony, Canada is being consulted. And there is something Canada can do, which would be noticed by our allies: We should recognize the provisional government of Libya as legitimate, and make contact with it. This could have a catalytic effect, inspirit the rebels, nudge the Americans and Europeans into doing something, and generally start a rockslide around Gaddafi. The Europeans, who are disposed to do something, would be grateful, and so would the U.S. Republicans, at the moment the majority party in the United States. Even President Obama says that Gaddafi lacks legitimacy; so let us confer legitimacy on those who have earned it. A gangster and terrorist regime is slaughtering its own population, which is fighting back gallantly. We owe them our support, and every day’s delay is shameful and could make a benign outcome more doubtful. For once, Canada could make a difference and be seen by the world to do so. There is no excuse for waiting.” The only problem: who’s in charge of the other side?
- Anti-Gadhafi Libyans in Regina highlight the situation. “People in Regina with roots in Libya have rallied for the third weekend in a row to show support for anti-Gadhafi protests. About 30 people carrying signs calling for the downfall of the Libyan leader marched and talked with passersby on Saturday during a demonstration at Victoria Park in the city’s downtown. They said they want to ensure people in Saskatchewan know what family and friends are facing in Libya …. Muftah said the group will continue to hold demonstrations in Regina every week until major change happens in Libya ….”
- Meanwhile, some British special forces troops and a diplomatic team seem to be…. guests? …. of anti-Gaddafi forces. “Details of a UK operation to rebel-held Benghazi in Libya in which eight men – six reportedly SAS – were arrested, have been disclosed to the BBC. Defence Secretary Liam Fox told the BBC a small diplomatic team was in Benghazi and “they were in touch with them”. The BBC’s Jon Leyne said eyewitnesses saw six men in black overalls land in a helicopter near the city early on Friday who were met by two others. They were later arrested when it was discovered they were carrying weapons. According to an earlier report in the Sunday Times the unit was trying to put UK diplomats in touch with rebels trying to topple the Gaddafi regime. In a statement, the MoD said: “We neither confirm nor deny the story and we do not comment on the special forces.” ….”
- More news on the latest in Libya here (Google News), here (EMM News Brief: Libya), here (NewsNow), here (BBC) and here (Al Jazeera English).
- What’s Canada Buying? More details on the scrapping of 2 (maybe 3) Oberon-class submarines in the Statement of Work from the bid documents downloadable at Milnet.ca here.
- Taliban Propaganda Watch: Attacks and assassinations alleged in Kandahar.
There will still be a need for security and counter-insurgency operations when Canada’s current mandate expires in 2011, he said. If experienced Canadian troops leave Kanadhar, some other nation, likely less familiar with the local terrain and power brokers, will have to do the job.
Hillier also said there’s also no need for Canadian troops, except in Kandahar or the northeast, and there’s no way Canada can carry out a goodwill mission without encountering frequent violence.
“If you stay in the south and try to do something like training, you will still be in combat. I don’t care what (political) staffers say in the media about how they can find a way to do it. You simply will not. You will be in combat,” Hillier said during a promotional interview for his new book, A Soldier First: Bullets, Bureaucrats and the Politics of War.
Living behind blast walls and trying to carry out aid and reconstruction projects are futile, and potentially dangerous in a country where NATO and insurgent forces are battling for the trust of the local population.
“It would be like going to shore at Normandy on the sixth of June (1944) and driving around . . . sightseeing and leaving the enemy the opportunity, flexibility and initiative to attack you when they want,” Hillier said … “to have people and staffers coming out and saying that we can do this job in two years or five years, or we can train without being in combat . . . it’s just baloney.”
Get it now?
UPDATE (1): More of the same quoted by Macleans:
Is there a safer way to teach those Afghan recruits? Hillier doesn’t think so. Here’s what he told us about the sort of scenario sketched by Soudas: “You can come up with all kinds of schemes to hide away in a camp and train people for the Afghan army or police, but they lack credibility. If you try to help train and develop the Afghan army or police in southern Afghanistan, you are going to be in combat.”
“By 2011, when this military mission ends, our Canadian soldiers will have served there a decade on the front lines, much longer than during either of the world wars,” Harper said at Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa, which became a national cemetery earlier this year honouring Canada’s war dead from all conflicts.”
“Canada will not extend its mission in Afghanistan even if President Barack Obama asks him to when the countries’ leaders meet this week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office said Monday. Harper spokesman Dimitri Soudas reiterated in a briefing Monday that Canada will withdraw its troops in 2011 …. “Canada’s position is clear,” Soudas said. “The military component of the mission ends in 2011.” “
Now, we see these words in a news release that, I’m guessing, has been approved by everyone in the government food chain (including the Prime Minister and his team) about a program to allow easier immigration to Canada for Afghans at risk because their helping Canadians in Afghanistan:
“Successful applicants will receive health-care coverage under the Interim Federal Health Program as well as resettlement services similar to what is currently offered to government-assisted refugees, including up to 12 months of income support upon arrival in Canada. Applicants may apply under this program until the end of the Canadian combat mission in Kandahar in 2011.“
Now, even the latest quarterly report on Canada’s mission in Afghanistan (PDF) has its own iteration:
“Under the House of Commons motion of March 13, 2008, the Canadian military presence in Kandahar is to end in 2011.”
The first two quotes, to me, mean “no more Canadian troops left in Afghanistan” by the end of 2011, while the last one can mean “no more troops fighting in Kandahar”.
All this, overlaid on top of the the wording of the March 2008 resolution of Parliament.
Yes, words matter. And consistent words send a consistent message.
You wonder why Canadians just don’t get it?
– edited to add link to official text of PM’s speech and QP exchange –