News Highlights – January 12, 2016




Everyone Else Against ISIL


Internal Security

Veterans & Helping Veterans

What’s Canada Buying?

Canada’s Saudi Arms Deal




Taliban Propaganda Watch: Bowe Bergdahl

Given the apparent demand, here’s what the Taliban is saying on its “Voice of Jihad” web pageabout the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap – usual caveats about clicking on the bad guy’s links, etc.


“al-Imārah Studio presents a new video message from the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan: “Exchange of Prisoners Between the Islamic Emirate and U.S. Government” “  (links to analyst blog

“Statement of the Islamic Emirate about the release of five heads from ‘Guantanamo Jail’ “  (screen capture at non-terrorist site here)
Created on Sunday, 01 June 2014 07:34

We heartily congratulate the whole nation, Mujahidin of the Islamic Emirate, particularly the kith and kin of the released ones that five heads of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan namely Mulla Muhammad Fazal Akhund, Mulla Noorulla Noori, Mulla Khairulla Khairkhwa, Mulla Abdul Haq Waseeq and Moulavi Muhammad Nabi who had been incarcerated for the last thirteen years in ‘Guantanamo Jail’ are released due to the benevolence of Allah Almighty and the sacrifices of the heroic and courageous Mujahidin of the Islamic Emirate.

These five heads were released in the result of an indirect negotiation between the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and the United States mediated by Qatari government. They will remain with their families inside Qatar and will lead a normal life.

To get the preceding five heads released, it is worth mentioning that the Islamic Emirate handed over the American soldier to the US who was captive with us approximately for the last five years.

These five heads of the Islamic Emirate were handed over on Saturday at 07:00 pm Afghanistan standard time to the delegation of Qatar who has been waiting there in ‘Guantanamo Bay’ for the previous three days. This delegation, including five heads of the Islamic Emirate, left Guantanamo at 10:00 pm and will arrive in Qatar today Sunday. They will be received and welcomed by the Political Bureau of the Islamic Emirate inside Qatar and members of the leading council of the Islamic Emirate. Similarly, the American prisoner ‘Bergdahl’ was handed over in the suburbs of ‘Khost’ province to the other side on Saturday at 07:00 pm Afghanistan standard time.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has been taking all possible measures since long to get all the Afghan prisoners released whether they are incarcerated inside the country or outside and to let them enjoy a free and peaceful life.

In the future too, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is determined to get all the Mujahidin prisoners released as soon as possible. In this regard, we expect all the legal and human rights societies particularly the United Nations to share and accelerate their efforts with Afghan people and the Islamic Emirate on the basis of human sympathy so that all the incarcerated people are freed and their basic legal and human rights are safeguarded and they could lead an independent and peaceful life of their own accord.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

“Felicitation message of esteemed Amir-ul-Momineen (May Allah safeguard him) regarding the release of Jihadi heads from ‘Guantanamo Jail’ “ (screen capture at non-terrorist site here)
Created on Monday, 02 June 2014 08:31

I would like to congratulate from the core of my heart the whole Afghan nation, the devoted Mujahidin and the kith and kin of the prisoners on the auspicious occasion of this great achievement of the release of five distinguished Mujahidin heads from the ‘Guantanamo Jail’.

All praise is to Allah Almighty! Due to the benevolence of Allah Almighty, the enormous sacrifices of courageous Mujahidin and the statesmanship of the Political Bureau of the Islamic Emirate in Qatar, five prominent heads of the Islamic Emirate are soundly released from the ‘Guantanamo Jail’.

This huge and vivid triumph requires from all Mujahidin to offer thanks to the Benevolent Creator who accepted the sincere sacrifices of our Mujahid nation and managed the release of these five renowned Mujahidin from the enemy’s clutch.

The efforts and endeavors of all Mujahidin, leading council of the Islamic Emirate, the detainers and keepers of the American prisoner ‘Bergdahl’ and generally the whole nation which played a significant role in this colossal victory are appreciated and I beg even deeper divine help, guidance and favorable turn of circumstances for all of them.

I would like to thank his highness ‘Shaikh Tameem Bin Hamd Al-Thani’ the Amir of Qatar, for his sincere and friendly efforts and mediation in the release of these five prominent Mujahidin heads. I pray to Allah Almighty to reward him reciprocally in this world and in the world hereafter.

May Allah Almighty get, just like these five heads, all those oppressed prisoners released who are incarcerated in the path of liberating their country and serving their creed.

This huge accomplishment brings the glad tidings of liberation of the whole country and reassures us that our aspirations are on the verge of fulfillment, Insha-Allah.

And it is never hard for Allah Almighty.

Servant of Islam, Mulla Mohammad Omar Mujahid

03/07/1435 A.H. (Lunar)
11/03/1393 A.H. (Solar)        01/06/2014 A.D.

“The release of prominent heads brings the glad tidings of the absolute freedom of our homeland!”  (screen capture at non-terrorist site here)
Created on Friday, 06 June 2014 09:06

Five significant and distinguished heads of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan were swapped for a an American prisoner, Bowe Bargdahl, on 31st May 2014 and just one day later, on 1st June 2014, at 03:00 pm Afghanistan standard time, these renowned heads of the Islamic Emirate arrived at ‘Doha’ the capital of Qatar where they were warmly received by the head of Political Bureau and its members. Verily it is a huge achievement.

It was an impressive and remarkable occasion when the officials of the Islamic Emirate were welcoming their significant and commendable heads namely Mulla Mohammad Fazil (commander in-chief of the Islamic Emirate government), Mulla Noorulla Noori (in-charge of northern zone and governor of Balkh province), Mulla Khairulla Khairkhuwa (interior minister then in-charge of south-western zone and governor of Herat province), Mulla Abdul Haq Waseeq (deputy director general of Intelligence department) and Mulla Mohammad Nabi Omari (commander of frontiers’ brigade) having been outside their nearest and dearest and beloved country for a prolonged period of thirteen years. They were bright to sight and heart’s delight.

Verily it was a remarkable occasion of delight which conveyed the glad tidings of the absolute freedom of Afghanistan. It was a tangible outcome of the sincere sacrifices of Martyrs and Mujahidin which were honestly rendered in the path of Allah Almighty and in the service of Islam. It was an explicit favor and benevolence of Allah Almighty; it was a great victory for Mujahidin who sacrificed their lives for making it feasible; it was the logical outcome of guidance of the leadership of Islamic Emirate and the endeavors of its Political Bureau inside Qatar.

Verily, by the grace of Allah Almighty, it has been a historical glory that they have preserved their patience, faithfulness and determination. With the support of Allah Almighty, peace stability and an Islamic government will be restored inside Afghanistan in the near future in which the masses will be served in all walks of their lives i.e. socially, economically and educationally.

The felicitation message of the esteemed Amir-ul-Mominin (may Allah safeguard him) contains explicitly allusion to the success of this Jihadi caravan. It seems that his Excellency is fully confident that the issues and sufferings of the oppressed people of Afghanistan will be resolved in the near future. A part of his message says that this significant achievement gives us the glad tidings of liberation of the whole country. It encourages us that, Insha-Allah, (God willing) the aspirations of the Mujahid people of Afghanistan will be fulfilled very soon. And it is never hard for Allah Almighty!!! News Highlights – 15 Nov 11 News Highlights – 5 Oct 11

  • We have a border security deal (reportedly)!  A much-ballyhooed perimeter security deal between Canada and the United States will come with a $1-billion price tag for new border facilities and programs to make trade and travel easier, The Canadian Press has learned. The Conservative government will use money cut from existing programs to cover the hefty cost of the international pact — an attempt to protect the continent from terrorist threats while speeding the flow of people and products across the 49th parallel. The deal, as described by several sources, is more evolutionary than revolutionary, falling short of the grand vision outlined with fanfare eight months ago when Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama announced negotiations ….”  More here.
  • Libya Mission  Latest ROTO takes first flight downrange“The CP 140 Aurora aircraft continued to add to an impressive list of firsts, flying its first mission over Libya and its first strike coordination and armed reconnaissance-coordinator (SCAR-C) mission during Operation MOBILE. On 22 September 2011, crew from 405 Long Range Patrol Squadron at 14 Wing Greenwood, flew its first intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) mission over Libyan soil ….” (via CEFCOM Info-Machine)
  • NATO defense ministers are exploring ways Wednesday of ending the alliance’s aerial campaign in Libya and training Afghan security forces for a larger role in their country’s war. In a speech before the meeting, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta urged NATO member states to cooperate more closely and pool their resources in order to make up for the shortfalls that have plagued the alliance’s operations in Libya and Afghanistan. “It would be a tragic outcome if the alliance shed the very capabilities that allowed it to successfully conduct these operations,” said Panetta, who is making his first visit to Europe after taking over from Robert Gates as Pentagon chief in July. European members and Canada provided most of the strike aircraft used in the Libya campaign. But the war exposed shortages in their capabilities in strategic transport, aerial surveillance, air refueling, and unmanned drones, most of which had to be supplied by the U.S. ….”  More on the U.S. poking allies to crank up the military capabilities here.
  • Afghanistan (1)  Poking the Defence Minister in Question Period – again – on (based on a book that’s not out yet) being out of the loop on Afghanistan.
  • Afghanistan (2)  Canada fighting the fight (against polio) in Afghanistan.
  • Afghanistan (3)  Editorial“Part of the rationale for military intervention in Afghanistan was the deplorable state of women’s rights, and the need to free women from the gender apartheid practised by the Taliban. This was a country where women could not have direct contact with men after the age of eight, could not go to school or work outside the home, visit public baths to stay clean, wear nail polish, high heels or be seen in public without a burqa, or a male relative. As the 10th anniversary of the military invasion approaches on Oct. 7, the hard-won gains that women have made over the past decade must be safeguarded. They cannot be sacrificed for the larger goal of ending Afghanistan’s protracted conflict ….”
  • Provincial politicians use CF search & rescue as provincial campaign lighting rod. Newfoundland nd Labrador’s premier and the opposition leader say search and rescue services provided by the federal government must be investigated to see if improvements are necessary. Progressive Conservative Leader Kathy Dunderdale said a recent episode of CBC’s The Fifth Estate on search and rescue has left her with concerns about the military’s service. “It is not satisfactory to the people of this province, to the people who earn their living on the sea, to be at further risk because of a slow response time or policies that affect response time in marine search and rescue,” she said. Dunderdale said she plans to vigorously pursue the issue of search and rescue with the federal government. Liberal Leader Kevin Aylward agreed and went further, calling for a full inquiry into federal search and rescue services. Both Aylward and Dunderdale are campaigning in preparation for the provincial election on Oct. 11 ….”
  • Wounded Warriors, Mental Health & Suicide (1)  For decades, the issue of suicide in active soldiers and retired veterans was something that no one wanted to talk about. But a number of programs both within and outside the military are finally focusing attention on the issue. How big a problem is suicide in Canada’s military? It’s difficult to say. The Canadian Forces reports that the suicide rate among currently active soldiers is actually lower than that of the general public. But once many of those soldiers are released from the military, research shows their suicide risk can rise to higher levels than that of civilians. Assessing the toll can be difficult, because beyond the clear-cut suicides are the more subtle instances in which soldiers end their own lives. A veteran who drinks heavily to dull mental pain might be engaging in a slow form of suicide. A soldier with post-traumatic stress disorder and anger issues might take reckless risks if he’s lost his will to live. And how about the veteran with depression who ends up homeless and dies far too young? None of these deaths would register on the books as a suicide, but all might well be traced back to the soldier’s time in service ….”
  • Wounded Warriors, Mental Health & Suicide (2)  From Question Period (QP)“Hon. John McKay (Scarborough—Guildwood, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, last week, the Minister of National Defence and I, along with others, attended a conference put on by the military called “Caring for our Own”. One of the concerns raised by some of the soldiers was the fear that the military would not be there for them in their hour of need. Specific worries included PTSD, suicide ideation and suicide itself. The next budget will be under severe pressure for cutting these “soft services”. Could the minister give the House assurances that our vulnerable soldiers and their families will be protected from these budgetary pressures? Hon. Peter MacKay (Minister of National Defence, CPC): Mr. Speaker, my colleague is correct. My friend was in attendance, along with many members who are specifically tasked with how we deal with the scourge of post-traumatic stress and many of the challenges related to overseas deployments. I am very pleased to report that Canada has in fact become a world leader in fighting the stigmatization and raising awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder and other operational stress injuries. As well, we have increased mental health awareness and we have increased the number of mental health professionals who are dealing specifically with these challenges.”
  • Wounded Warriors, Mental Health & Suicide (3)  More from QP“Mr. Sean Casey (Charlottetown, Lib.):  Mr. Speaker, there is a great need to enhance suicide prevention programs in Canada. With respect to our veterans, the data is alarming. The suicide rate in the armed services is nearly three times that of the general population. According to a departmental study of all males who enrolled in the regular forces after 1972 and were released before 2007, a total of 2,620 died and almost 700 of them were suicides. Could the minister outline new steps or strategies that his department is undertaking to tackle this crisis among veterans?  Hon. Steven Blaney (Minister of Veterans Affairs, CPC):  Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his important question. While mental health was taboo then, it is a priority for our government now. That is why we have established, in conjunction with the Department of National Defence, 17 operational stress injury clinics that provide services to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress across the country and at various levels that they might experience. This approach is working. As of June, Veterans Affairs Canada is helping more than 14,300 veterans with mental health conditions and their families ….”
  • New fur hats for the troops (and the animal rights activists are unhappy)“The Department of National Defence has decided to add fur to the winter gear of the Canadian Forces, a move that’s getting a frosty reception from animal-rights advocates. The government says fur is part of Canada’s heritage and the winter tuque currently in use doesn’t stand up to the rigours of the Canadian winter. So it’s buying an initial run of 1,000 fur-trimmed caps at a cost of $65,000, for use by guards of honour and Canadian Forces starting this winter …. “There are synthetics that are just as good and that don’t necessitate the killing of animals,” Elizabeth Sharpe of the World Society for the Protection of Animals said from Toronto. “Killing animals for their fur is completely unnecessary and cruel.” Lesley Fox of the British Columbia-based Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals says muskrats are known to chew off their limbs to free themselves from leg-hold traps ….”
  • F-35 Tug o’ War (1)  Defence Minister Peter MacKay, facing questions from the NDP on the upcoming F-35 buy:   “These aircraft, as the House will know, will replace our aging CF-18 fleet of fighter jets. These aircraft, like other aircraft, have served our country extremely well. They are used in Libya today. They have been used in previous missions, but that they aging. As a matter of course we are taking the responsible step of following a procurement process that has been in place for a significant period of time in which a number of countries are participating …. We committed $9 billion for the replacement of the CF-18. In fact, it not only includes the cost of the aircraft, this will include: spares, weapons systems, infrastructure and training simulators as well as the contingency associated with this important procurement. We are purchasing the most cost-effective variant at the prime of peak production when the costs will be at their lowest. Even the Parliamentary Budget Officer has admitted to that. Why are the NDP members constantly against getting the best equipment for the best forces in the world?”
  • F-35 Tug o’ War (2)  The latest from the Associate Minister of National Defence Julian FantinoAn overall $9 billion cost estimate is more honest than relying on individual plane costs, says the minister handling the purchase of Canada’s new fighter jets. Despite a promise by manufacturer Lockheed Martin that Canada will get its F-35 fighter jets at a cost of $65 million each, Julian Fantino, Associate Minister of National Defence, says the government’s overall $9 billion estimate is the more honest number. The cost of the F-35 depends on the number of planes ordered by other countries, as well as on how early Canada wants to get its order. The manufacturing cost goes down as more planes come off the assembly line, with Canada expecting the U.S. to absorb the bulk of the F-35’s development costs. “There are just so many variables, and that’s why I think the more honest, ethical response to all these issues is the $9 billion figure, which in fact will be the ceiling that Canada will be investing in these particular aircraft,” Fantino told Evan Solomon, host of CBC’s Power & Politics ….”
  • What’s Canada Buying?  Someone to make fake explosives to test detection equipment (more in Statement of Work – 4 page PDF – here), upgrading the range at CFB Valcartier, someone to manage Canada’s presence at the Farnborough Air Show, and CADPAT rank slip-ons.
  • Canada’s top military cop to chair NATO committee“The Canadian Forces Provost Marshal (CFPM), Colonel Tim Grubb assumed the post of Chairman of the NATO Nations Military Police (MP) Chiefs’ Committee at a brief ceremony last week in Prague, Czech Republic. The ceremony concluded the committee’s annual meeting …. Colonel Grubb has been the CFPM since 2009 and during his tenure has overseen significant transformation in the Canadian Forces Military Police organization ….”
  • The Pearson Peacekeeping Centre engaged in some diplomacy of its own recently when its leaders invited ambassadors and military attachés to its Carleton University headquarters to update them on its activities. Michael Snell, project manager for the centre, told the group of about 30 diplomats about the work the centre has been doing with the 10 training centres that compose the Association of Latin America Peacekeeping Centres. The centre’s three causes, Snell said, are: women and peacekeeping; supporting new training centres; and enhancing police participation in UN missions from Latin America ….”
  • How some of the Americans are doing the War of 1812 anniversary.  Out of the murk of history and the trough of government funding, here comes the War of 1812 again, 200 years old and as ambiguous as ever on both sides of the Canada-U.S. frontier. “The festivities reach a crescendo!” trumpets the Maryland Bicentennial Commission, as if three years of bombarding, cannonading, spearing, shooting, scalping, burning, sinking, drowning, pillaging, invading, retreating, ambushing, marching, fleeing, starving, freezing, and occupying had been a holiday for all concerned. Undeterred by the carnage – after all, the war didn’t kill THAT many guys, compared to, like, Gettysburg or Hitler or whatever – we are going to have “a Star-Spangled tribute to the defense of America” down here, a display at the U.S. Naval Academy of “the British flag captured at Fort York (Toronto),” plus “a week-long maritime event to kick off the bicentennial celebration.” In other words, there are going to be a lot of people in pantaloons hoisting mainsails and firing muskets before this thing is put away for another century ….” News Highlights – 22 Sept 11

  • Libya Mission  NATO goes for three month extension – more from the SecGen here.
  • Afghanistan (1)  A new ROTO is training and getting ready in Edmonton.
  • Afghanistan (2)  Terry Glavin on negotiating with the Taliban“…. In Washington, London and Brussels, the whole point now is to convince “war-weary” electorates that capitulation is compromise, that the whole nightmare was brought about by stupid neo-conservatives, and that the problem is an incorrigibly violent and uncivilized Afghan people in whom we need not see the basic human rights we ordinarily recognize in our fairer-skinned selves. In the world’s rich and comfortable countries, and perhaps especially in Canada, this is what it means nowadays to be on the side of the angels.”  More here.
  • MacKay’s Helicopter Ride  New Target:  the Defence Minister“Defence Minister Peter MacKay used one of only three search-and-rescue helicopters available in Newfoundland to transport him from a vacation spot last year, CTV News has learned. MacKay was picked up at a private salmon fishing lodge along the Gander River last July by a Canadian Forces Cormorant helicopter. Military sources said the order to collect MacKay came from the defence minister’s own office. “This is not a common practice . . . this is the only time a search-and-rescue asset was used as shuttle service,” a source told CTV News ….”
  • Natynczyk’s Plane Rides (1)  Opinion, from former RCAF officer: “…. Any use of military aircraft by the chief, to my mind, is justifiable if he as the head of Canada’s military makes a decision to use them. Come on folks, the general is not out for a joyride on a Challenger aircraft ….”
  • Natynczyk’s Plane Rides (2)  Opinion, from a blogger“…. While Robert Fife should not be criticized for bringing the issue forward for debate, he should be taken to task by not providing a more through analysis of the Chief of the Defence Staff’s travelling costs, especially since they were pre-authorized or incurred to satisfy the obligations of his position as head of the military ….”
  • The old adage that good advice is certain to be ignored is given new meaning in a study that concludes Canada’s Defence Department pays almost no attention to what experts and parliamentarians say. The report, “Let Sleeping Dogs Lie,” argues that mountains of studies and recommendations from academics and even House of Commons and Senate committees almost never find their way into government policy. The advice is allowed to collect dust, according to the study being released this week by the defence management institute at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont. Researchers Douglas Bland and Richard Shimooka paint a picture of combative defence bureaucrats and advisers who pay lip service to suggestions and then stuff reports into filing cabinets once the media has lost interest ….”
  • Why was a Canadian military with 65,000 men and women on active duty and 25,000 reservists sorely tested by the task of keeping 1,500 soldiers in the field in Afghanistan? Why are Arctic sovereignty patrols a strain on the same military? The way Andrew Leslie sees it, it’s because the Canadian Forces’ tail has grown bigger than its teeth ….”
  • More on what one former officer says Canada’s Reserves should be looking like – the report here (PDF), and some more media coverage of the report here and here.
  • A bit of editorial comment on “what should be done with the Reserves” report:  “…. The army likes a big standing army because it wants regular soldiers it can order around full-time, not part-timers who come and go. The smaller the standing army, after all, the less justification there is for a bloated bureaucracy. (Not that there’s ever a good justification for bureaucratic bloat, but it’s easier to dismiss for a large organization than for a small one). So they just didn’t do it ….”
  • What’s Canada Buying? (1)  Nasty allegations over the contract to provide moving services to the CF and rest of the public service “The losing bidder for a billion-dollar contract to relocate Canada’s military, RC-MP and public servants levelled allegations of bid-rigging and an ensuing attempt at a coverup against the federal government on the first day of a civil trial Wednesday. Bruce Atyeo, president of Envoy Relocation Services, is seeking $62 million in damages and is accusing Public Works of having a conflict of interest when it twice awarded a competitor, Royal LePage Relocation Services, the contract to provide the services in 2002 and again in 2004. The awarding of the contracts has been mired in controversy, internal probes and several investigations by the Canadian International Trade Tribunal ….”
  • What’s Canada Buying? (2)  “The Canadian Space Agency in collaboration with Environment Canada, the Department of National Defence, Natural Resources Canada and the Communications Research Center (hereinafter referred to as the clients) is examining the potential for a communications and weather services satellite system referred to as the Polar Communications and Weather (PCW) Mission, a Mission which will in its operations, contribute to resolving some of the challenges and at the same time, leverage opportunities in the Arctic. This Mission is currently in Phase A (Concept study) of development with a launch date targeted for 2017. PCW will provide high capacity, continuous communication services throughout the Canadian Arctic as well as meteorological Earth observations leading to improved weather forecasting …. The purpose of this Request for Proposal is to …. perform a study that will quantify and delineate the socio economic benefits resulting from the proposed Polar Communications and Weather (PCW) Mission, in terms of the projected improvement in the quality of weather forecasts, including those associated with space weather events, and in terms of the benefits accruing from filling the gap in communications over the Canadian high Arctic region ….”  More on the study and the PCW mission here (14 page PDF).
  • What’s Canada Buying? (3)  Wanted:  slick new live fire target system with robotic figures “running” around on their own for research at CFB Suffield.
  • What’s Canada Buying? (4)  Wanted:  someone to “build and install a new monument on Tilley Avenue, Gagetown, New Brunswick”.
  • What’s Canada Buying? (5)  Wanted:  “Support to analytical, numerical and experimental investigations in flight mechanics” various projectiles, mini-UAVs or missiles – more in the tech documents here (6 page PDF).
  • What’s Canada Buying? (6) Wanted: “Suspenders, Trousers, overall cotton, elastic and webbing color: average green, adjustable length; leather six-point button straps”, quantity: up to 24,600 sets – more technical details on what the CF specifically seeks in a set of suspenders here (11 page PDF).
  • Letter to the editor writer seeks “balance” in submarine coverage “…. The point is, these are not like the Chevy sitting in your driveway. Submarines are incredibly complex machines and require huge amounts of maintenance. The Royal Canadian Navy has four submarines. At the moment, none is operational, but one will be next year, followed by another the year after. With only four hulls, that is to be expected. When you talk of the submarines being laid up longer than expected, you also have to remember the huge expenditures (and rightly so) on military equipment acquired due to the war in Afghanistan, which obviously took funds away from the work on the boats ….”
  • A chunk of Canada’s aviation history to be paved over to make a hockey rink“Second World War pilot Philip Gray says it is “immoral” that Downsview Park is evicting the Canadian Air and Space Museum. “This is a terrible way to repay young 21-year-old boys who went to war and never turned 22. I am disgusted that their heritage can be just wiped out,” the 89-year-old Gray said Tuesday as the museum was packing up artifacts. “I got the shock of my life when I heard this. We could lose all this history. It makes you wonder what these boys died for … a government that doesn’t care about heritage.” Downsview Park — which gave the eviction notice on Tuesday — is a federal park. There was no notice given for the eviction, museum CEO Robert Cohen said ….”

TALIBAN PROPAGANDA WATCH: English sites down, some material shifted

A few updates:

  • Voice of Jihad English sites here and here are down – this Pashto site seems to still be working.
  •  The Taliban webmeisters seem to improvising – Mullah Omar’s latest Eid message is on the Pashto-language site in English (PDF of screen capture here in case this, too, disappears).
  • With all the Taliban and Taliban-supporting Twitter feeds out there (most recently updates ones here, here, here and here), you know they’re a player when someone cranks up a Taliban satire feed:  @NotAlemarahweb.  A bit harsh sometimes, but an intriguing read nonetheless.

TALIBAN PROPAGANDA WATCH: Taliban Info-Machine’s Warning to Canada as it Leaves K’Har

Proof the Taliban read Canadian papers – highlights mine.  Usual disclaimer:  if you don’t want the Taliban’s webmaster to see your IP number, don’t click,and just because it’s here doesn’t mean I believe it or endorse it – just sharing it.

Remarks of the Spokesman of the Islamic Emirate Regarding the Withdrawal of the Canadian Invading Forces from Afghanistan  (screen capture of full statement downloadable here via

Yesterday, Canada officially ended its war mission in Afghanistan by pulling its last soldiers out of Afghanistan. Soon after the invasion of Afghanistan, the Canadian troops were stationed in Kandahar and some other parts of the country.

However, in the last few years, they sustained heavy casualties in various attacks at the hands of Mujahideen, compelling them to withdraw their troops from Afghanistan. As a result, many of their troops were either killed or injured in these encounters. In addition to the life loss, the heavy economic burden of the war dawned on the people and members of the Parliament of Canada to press the ruling regime in Canada to withdraw their forces.

While appreciating the responsible step of the people of Canada, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan calls on the people of other invading countries to realize the ground realities of the illegitimate and worthless war of Afghanistan and oblige their governments to put an end to the aimless war.

The people of Canada have to ask their government and military chiefs what are the objectives and achievements that they have obtained during the past decade, apart from the innumerous losses in life and equipments. If they have no answer, then why they allow them to continue their illegitimate intervention in Afghanistan under another title in the name of military training.

We are sure, the new mission of Canada under the name of military training will bring in only losses and bitter outcome like the precedent of their war mission which has had self-same consequences.

Qari Mohammad Yousaf Ahmadi
Spokesman of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan News Highlights – 2 Nov 10

  • Canada’s Governor General is handing out awards this morning to a number of people today to honour them for displaying “gallantry and devotion to duty in combat” and bringing “honour to the Canadian Forces and to Canada.”  Congrats to all!
  • After getting kicked out of Dubai over an airline landing rights fight, Postmedia News reports the last (Canadian) military flight outta the UAE following “a modest military ceremony.
  • The Royal Canadian Legion has announced that the mother of RSM Robert Girouard (killed in Afghanistan in 2006), Mabel Girouard, is this year’s Silver Cross Mother – more on that here from
  • According to the Canadian Press, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon reportedly told the House of Commons during Question Period that Omar Khadr will be coming back to Canada eventually. Here’s the diplomatic note (PDF, courtesy of, which says:  “…. The Government of Canada …. wishes to convey that, as requested by the United States, the Government of Canada is inclined to favourably consider Mr. Khadr’s application to be transferred to Canada to serve the remainder of his sentence….” Here’s what Hansard, the official transcript of the House of Commons, says Cannon said:  “….the Government of Canada did not participate in the negotiations concerning the sentence. In fact, when asked, the tribunal’s chief prosecutor, Navy Captain John Murphy, said that Canada was not part of the agreement and that the agreement was between the Government of the United States and Khadr’s defence team.  Mr. Speaker, the Government of the United States agreed to send Omar Khadr back to Canada, and we will implement the agreement between Mr. Khadr and the Government of the United States.” Smart ass commentary:  Is “inclined to favourably consider” the same as “yup, we WILL take him”?  Just sayin’…
  • Meanwhile , according to an Ipsos-Reid poll carried out for Postmedia News and Global National, “While one half (49%) of Canadians believe that Khadr should serve ‘none’ of his time in Canada, the other half (51%) of Canadians believe he should be able to serve ‘all’ (25%) or at least ‘some’ (26%) of his sentence in Canada ….”  More on that from Postmedia News here.
  • Taliban Propaganda Watch: At least nine claimed killed in Kandahar, Uruzgan and Zabul and Meme o’ the moment – “cowardly”
  • Speaking of the Taliban (or, more specifically, speaking about speaking to the Taliban), a spokesperson with the Afghan President’s Office denies recent reports that President Hamid Karzai has been holding “secret” talks with folks from the “al-Qaida linked Haqqani network”.

Have a great day!