- Word of a Canadian, said to be part of the anti-Ghaddafi underground, was questioned by CSIS while a…. guest of the former regime. “Canadian spies teamed up with the Gadhafi regime to question a Canadian jailed in Libya, a prominent human-rights group says. Canadian Security Intelligence Service officers travelled to Libya several times to interview the prisoner between 2002 and 2005, Human Rights Watch says. The New York-based group will circulate a statement on Wednesday revealing that it has obtained documents on this obscure case from an abandoned intelligence complex in Tripoli. Mustafa Krer, 56, immigrated to Canada from Libya in the 1990s. He was jailed as a terrorism suspect when he returned to his homeland almost a decade ago. Released only last year, he hopes to return to Canada in coming months ….” More here (Toronto Star) and here (usual Wikipedia caveats apply).
- Nelly Furtado donates bucks she made doing a show for Libya’s former boss to charity. “Canadian singer-songwriter Nelly Furtado plans to donate the $1-million she was paid to perform for then Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s clan to the Free the Children charity. Ms. Furtado made the announcement Tuesday at the Air Canada Centre at WE day, a youth empowerment day organized by Canadian co-founders of Free the Children, Craig and Marc Kielburger ….”
- Afghanistan (1) Troops raising money for breast cancer research while packing up in Kandahar.
- Afghanistan (2) Nova Scotia’s flag flying over Kandahar.
- Taliban Propaganda Watch Taliban says “those Haqqani characters work for US!”
- Some photos of the final exercise “Tireur Accompli” of a basic sniper’s course run in Valcartier, Quebec (via Army.ca)
- What’s Canada Buying? Anyone interested in developing a “a Naval Remote Weapons Station defence capability to the HALIFAX and IROQUOIS classes of HMC ships”? More technical detail in the draft Statement of Work here.
- CF Info-Machine issues new Backgrounder on its physical rehab program.
- Way Up North “As global interest in Arctic exploration explodes, Canada is pushing to assert rights over a larger chunk of the polar region and lure companies to exploit the territory’s promising natural resources. The government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has long engaged in saber-rattling with Russia—Canada’s biggest Arctic rival—over territorial claims in the region. Both sides have recently sent troops to the Arctic to back up their claims, with Canada winding down its largest, and northernmost, military exercise this month. During a trip late last month to Canada’s Far North, Mr. Harper criticized Russia in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, portraying its strategy in the region as aggressive and “a disappointment.” But he said Russia’s actions—including alleged incursions into Canada’s Arctic airspace, which Moscow denies—strengthen Ottawa’s commitment to the region. Those actions “remind us, as I say, that we have an obligation as a sovereign nation to have an ability on land, sea and air to be present and to assert that presence at all times,” Mr. Harper said ….”
- Bad news about a war memorial in Montreal – this from a House of Commons statement on the issue: “…. our cenotaphs and monuments are powerful reminders of the sacrifices made by generations of Canadians. They are symbolic places where people can gather in memory of our fellow Canadians, our loved ones and family members, who served our country in the name of peace and the freedom we all enjoy today. Unfortunately, this morning, we learned that a war memorial in Girouard Park in Montreal had been vandalized. We have an obligation to preserve and respect memorials in tribute to the service and sacrifices of our men and women in uniform. I commend Sergeant Jones who notified the police about this vandalism and I hope the guilty parties will be held accountable for the seriousness of their mischief.”
- Conservative MP John Carmichael has introduced a Private Members Bill to keep folks from banning the flying of the Canadian flag (like in this case): Bill C-288, An Act respecting the National Flag of Canada. Here’s what he said in the House of Commons, here’s a summary of where the Act is at and here’s what QMI/Sun Media had to say. Caveat: most Private Members Bills don’t make it to law.
- “As the Conservative Government returns to Parliament to set new national priorities, one of these is to reinstate two expired clauses to the Anti-Terrorism Act. The Conservative Party brings back the Investigative Hearings and Preventive Arrest powers, which expired and were removed by Parliament in 2007. These two powers, which have raised criticism since they were first adopted, face few barriers with the current Conservative majority which can out-vote the combined powers of the Opposition Parties ….”
- Greeeeeeaaat…. “A soon-to-be released book about the crimes of former Canadian military commander Russell Williams may be turned into a feature film. Richard Lowry Productions Inc. has acquired the rights to Camouflaged Killer: The Shocking Double Life of Canadian Air Force Colonel Russell Williams by David A. Gibb. Gibb, a former private investigator turned journalist, delved into the psychology of Williams, a seemingly normal and responsible man who was convicted of killing two women in Eastern Ontario. The book is to be released by Penguin Group Canada on Oct. 4 ….” More here.
International and local human rights groups working in Afghanistan have shifted their focus toward condemning abuses committed by the Taliban insurgents, rather than those attributed to the American military and its allies.
“NATO, in some cases they acknowledge their mistakes; to some extent they have taken positive steps in terms of reducing their impact,” said Ajmal Samadi, director of Afghanistan Rights Monitor. “On the insurgent side we don’t have any acknowledgment of the problem and instead we see a brazen continuation of their crimes.”
“We haven’t seen any change in the conduct of the Taliban since their code of conduct,” said Ahmad Nader Nadery, a commissioner of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. “To the contrary, we’ve seen an increase in roadside bombs and suicide attacks in places where there are civilian populations.”
“NATO, with the tactical directives, they’ve moved a long way,” said Rachel Reid, Human Rights Watch’s Afghanistan analyst. “It’s very possible to engage with them, even organizations like mine, they’ll meet with us and listen to our concerns.” “There is a real need for more pressure and open dialogue with insurgent forces for their violations of the laws of war,” she said.
Some of my previous ranting on this one:
- On civilian casualties, Taliban try to look like victims
- Who’s (Still) Killing the Majority of Civilians in AFG?
- Who’s Killing the Civvies in Afghanistan?
- Yet More on Who’s Killing Civilians in Afghanistan
- UN: Bad Guys Killed +2/3 of Civilian Casualties in 2009
Update: American Security Project fellow and Registan.net contributor Joshua Foust has this take on the NY Times coverage. This leads to me clarifying a bit: The NYT piece makes it look like the new development is human rights groups focusing on Taliban human rights issues. To me, it looks more like the groups have been pointing out the Taliban’s misdeeds for some time, with MSM not reporting in proportion to the source of the problem.
This appears to be a new tack for the Taliban Info-Machine: pointing out everyone ELSE’s human rights violations.
This latest missive on the Voice of Jihad English-language site (PDF at non-terrorist site here) scolds Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the United Nations Human Rights Commission about being “tight lipped over what are (sic.) happening in Afghanistan.”
Yeah, we know the Taliban’s record on respecting human rights, don’t we?
The last time the Taliban called for help from the U.N. was over the air strike against hijacked fuel trucks in Kunduz.
Still, a few highlights jump out at me in the latest missive.
1) NEW NUMBER OF DEAD IN KUNDUZ FUEL TRUCK STRIKE: In earlier statements on this event, the Taliban mentioned 150 civilians dead (4 Sept 09 statement, at non-terrorist site) and 120 dead (Taliban investigation report issued 9 Sept 09, at non-terrorist site). The latest “guesstimate”?
“In the first week of last September, American jets killed 140 poor villagers in Kunduz province when they were siphoning oil from tankers.”
2) THE TALIBAN MISSED SOME OF THE LATEST MEDIA COVERAGE: I’m drawn by this lead sentence:
“Last week, American forces in Helmand province killed 9 civilians by firing a missile late at night.”
Usually, the Taliban’s statements are reasonably timely, with recent news references included. I guess Taliban Info-Central missed this 2 Oct 09 headline: “Dutch jet accidentally bombs Afghan civilians”. Then again, since previous Taliban statements have been known to be liberal with the facts, maybe they’re just drawing the eye to the key “crusader invaders”?
3) WHAT MAINSTREAM MEDIA MIGHT PICK UP: There are several mentions (bolded and italicized, in fact) of the “war on terror”, further drawing the eye to America’s role in the fight by using its (old) phraseology. A couple of other quotes that may pop up in MSM:
“When we try to inform the public of the world about the bloodshed, the violence, the genocide and the racial cleansing unleashed by Pentagon and its allies in Afghanistan, they suffocate our voice by blocking our websites and not publishing our news and statements.”
(Re: the red bit – if I can find alternative sites for Taliban lies, they can’t be getting smothered too, too severely.)
“Our people have seen atrocities by foreign invaders from the time of Alexander down to Chengis khan, Tamerlane, the Red Army but the American atrocities are worst in terms of brutality and barbarism.”
(I don’t know enough about ancient history, but I’m looking forward to seeing the Taliban’s evidence of Americans, say, poisoning wells and fields.)
Keep enjoying the lies!
I really, really hope a human rights organization is NOT just helping the Taliban fight its information war against NATO.
I’m sooooooooooooooo reassured by this week’s statement by the Tailban that they’re not using human shields in Afghanistan.