Army staff and National Defence headquarters officials were told in 2007 that young boys had allegedly been sexually abused by Afghan security forces at a Canadian base in Afghanistan, but the concern at the time was that the incident might be reported in the news media, according to military records obtained by the Ottawa Citizen.
In addition, last year Brig.-Gen. J.C. Collin, commander of Land Force Central Area, passed on to senior army leadership concerns raised by military police who said they had been told by their commanders not to interfere in incidents where Afghan forces were having sex with children.
The newly released records raise questions about a military investigation that earlier this year concluded that allegations of sexual abuse of Afghan children by members of the Afghan army and police were unfounded. The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service also stated that its thorough investigation concluded allegations of such incidents were never reported to Canadian military commanders.
Read the whole thing and weep--not just for the women, some of whom by now even long for the return of the Taliban, but for our soldiers, dying in a pointless cause.
Realpolitik? Get out now and cut our losses on every front: military, social, political. The war is useless, unwinnable, fueled by ideology and wild hopes and cockeyed optimism.
Not that the stupid fuckers aren't going to try! Check out the sludge left by "Junker" in the comments section to Dawg's post:
Sure, we got plenty of things wrong.(While we're at it, care to admit your side got Iraq completely wrong?). The transition from a campaign to destroy Al-Queda and their enablers, to one of nation building and peace making was awkward and often unrecognized, and certainly not examined and debated enough. The war in Iraq did much to distract from the milder conflict in Afghanistan.
In Canada specifically, the left offered no constructive criticism or alternatives, only generic pacifist platitudes with the occasional baseless conspiracy theory thrown in (Afghan pipeline, continuation of the “Great Game”, American imperialism). More recently on the right, among the political class at least, any idea of debate or a change of direction was thrown out the window to gain support in Quebec, and win elections. “Out in 2011, no ifs ands or buts”. Even more recently, former supporters of the effort have thrown in the towel, some over the 130th casualty, some sort of magic number apparently(Poor number 129 doesn’t count I guess).
With what is as close to victory as you are going to get in an asymmetrical and confused conflict in Iraq, we are seeing a re-focus of effort in Afghanistan. While the UN and NATO are well committed to the conflict, it has and will always hinge on American effort. Right now in the US there is a vigorous debate taking place over strategy and goals, a debate we just haven’t seen in Canada, or Britain, or anywhere else among the key players. It should have happened sooner, but at least it’s happening where its most important.
If Obama continues to give a free reign to those directing the war for him, I think the outlook will certainly continue to improve.
Congress and the Senate authorized the war Bush pushed for, based on numerous reasons, only one of which was WMDs. The Iraqi government is not a showcase of democracy, and yet it is more democratic than any other in the region. There was a violent civil war, and free Iraqis won it.
It was during the darkest moments in Iraq, when the struggle was at its peak, that the opposition reached a crescendo in the west. All the while soldiers of the west along with free Iraqi’s ignored the din, crushed the enemy, and stabilized the country against tremendous odds. Had we pulled out then we would have left a horrific violent mess. Instead we leave a free Iraq with the chance to build a stable future.
Wonder if there is a parallel there to be drawn about Afghanistan?
BTW, if you want to know what constructive criticism and a deep knowledge of and interest in the conflict looks like, try stopping by here once and a while:
What is usually offered by the anti’s are broad uninformed strokes of opposition backed up by small tidbits of anecdotal evidence.
Richard over at Defence of the Realm has consistently dug deeper and put more thought into the conflict then any other commentator I've read. He has been extremely critical of equipment, tactics, strategy, and leadership. At the same time he has examined in depth the hardware, planning, and mind set that are required to win. He has constantly pleaded for a fundamental change of direction in their MoD. At no point has he decided the conflict to be unwinnable, although he is quite certain that the path Britain seems stuck to will certainly lead to defeat, at least for them.
Getting back to your post. The 2nd and third hand comments of a dead soldier, the awful story of a "15-year-old, named Sitara", and alleged rape of a young Afghani on CF property. All worth reporting. Certainly tragic. Somewhat anecdotal, and largely irrelevant to the larger debate.
Getting down to the fundamentals of the argument. I certainly respect your position that we should pull out. I mean, who doesn’t want less dead young Canadians, right? But I believe it is possible to see a positive outcome in this conflict, and here’s the critical bit, I believe leaving Afghanistan now is tantamount to handing countless peaceful Afghanis over to a murderous bunch of theocratic killers. In my mind it is stay the course(all the while looking to improve our strategy) and fight for something better(an outcome certainly not guaranteed), or leave Afghanistan to an almost certain relapse back into the dark ages.
Insane isn't it? And I grow so weary from explaining for the 100th time to these morons that the world is round and it goes around the sun while they explain that it's held up by Rush Limbaugh and the sun is Glenn Beck's ass.
I had no intention of "debating" this "Junker" idiot. As you can see, I spent most of my slight effort just trying to tell the yammering fool to shut up. (It appears that he was inspired to post something on his own blog to the effect of telling me and others in the reality-based community to shut up by quoting the revolting Terry "Raped children? I know NUT-TING!" Glavin's war mongering tirades!)
But let's go through this stew of stupidity, delusion and murderous self-righteousness here shall we?
[And let's do it later too. Goddamned Microsoft updates took all goddamned morning and i got other shit to do.]
ETA: If I ever get around to taking apart Junker's delusions, it'll be in another post. I am rather weary of trying to convince these dunderheads that the invasion of Iraq was based on hypocrisy and lies and that it's been a complete disaster.