Tuesday, February 22, 2011

US Desperation on the Cusp of Madness

As reported by The Washington Post 21 February 2011, US military commander in Afghanistan, David Petraeus, is blaming the victims for US slaughter of Afghans.
In a closed door meeting aimed at explaining why they had killed so many civilians, General Petraeus actually accused parents in the region of burning their own children in an attempt to raise the death count and make the US look bad.
According to the Post article:
"The exact language Petraeus used in the closed-door session is not known, and neither is the precise message he meant to convey. But his remarks about the deadly U.S. military operation in Konar province were deemed deeply offensive by some in the room. They spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the private discussions."

The US has a long history of making up ridiculous stories in attempting explain away massive civilian death tolls, including the May 2009 Farah Province massacre, in which the US initially claimed the Taliban had "pre-killed" a large number of civilians and stored them in buildings before tricking the US into bombing them, and scattering the bodies. They later admitted the claim was entirely false.
The US has also regularly accused Afghan civilians of fabricating stories of dead relatives in efforts to claim the paltry reparations that the military offers for accidentally killing civilians. This latest US story may the first time the US military has accused parents of killing their children just to make the US occupation look bad.

US does not need any help in making itself look bad.

In a related story yesterday from Norway's Views and News, the Norwegian government has been complicit with the US in concealing the extent of civilian slaughter committed by NATO forces in Afghanistan.

The Norwegian news report says:
WikiLeaks’s documents have shown that NATO’s standard response to civilian casualties been, at the urging of the Americans, to apologize for the loss of life, promise an investigation and put the blame on the Taliban.
WikiLeaks releases, accessed by Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten, continue to embarrass the Norwegian government as well as the US, with latest revelations suggesting that Norway’s ambassadors joined their US-led NATO allies in attempts to avoid a messy debate on civilian casualties in Afghanistan.
Leaked cables from the American delegation to NATO, written in September 2008, allege that "Norway’s ambassador emphasized the need to avoid a public debate about the reporting of the number of civilians killed."

Saturday, February 19, 2011

US Negotiating with Taliban

The New Yorker magazine reported yesterday that "the Obama Administration has entered into direct, secret talks with senior Afghan Taliban leaders."
The report by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Steve Coll says, "The discussions are continuing; they are of an exploratory nature and do not yet amount to a peace negotiation."

So it seems that the US is engaging in negotations, as Canada's New Democratic Party leader advised five years ago.
“A comprehensive peace process has to bring all the combatants to the table,” Jack Layton said on September 1, 2006.

The suggestion was ridiculed by Prime Minister Harper and other idiots in his Cabinet.

Now that the United States has entered direct talks with the Taliban, however, one may wonder what Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party followers will have to say about this development. If they remain true to form--and they lack the creativity or initiative to do anything else--they will wait for instructions from the US regime and then speak on the issue as ordered.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Canada's Minister of International Cooperation: RESIGN

It appears that there is plenty of evidence that Bev Oda, minister of international cooperation in the Stephen Harper government, is responsible for altering a government document or had somebody alter it. Even if it was done without her understanding of the gravity of what she did, it is still forgery, and if she did not realize what she did, she is not capable of doing the job she holds.

The document concerned government funding of seven million dollars to the Kairos alliance of religious groups involved in international development projects. Oda inserted the word "NOT" into a report (or she ordered the insertion to be made), reversing the decision for funding.

To repeat for the benefit of the people (Harper included) who don't seem to understand the issue:
A Cabinet Minister overruling the recommendation of her officials is perfectly acceptable.
But that is not the issue.
It is a red herring offered by Harper that Oda had the right to overrule the bureaucrats.

There is no justification for altering a document to hide the fact that she had done so is deemed OK by this government.

A Cabinet Minister lying to The House and a parliamentary committee is definitely not acceptable.
And a Prime Minister should not be commending one of his ministers for doing so. He should be firing her if she does not resign.

This is more than an integrity issue. A legal document was altered after it was signed. It is illegal to do so.

Even if it wasn't a legal document per se, it is a document signed by other people, which Oda altered to make it appear as though the other signatories recommended the denial of funding. It is a falsified document. That is forgery, which is crimina fraud.
The "NOT" was hand written on the document. If this was done before it was signed, then it would have to have been initialed. If it was done after it would have to be initialed by all parties and and dated.
But a document that concerns seven million dollars that has "NOT" hand written in is
a defaced document and is void. It reverts to a draft document.

Oda was also caught in a lie and possibly an attempt to deceive a Parliamentary committee and Parliament. If Harper does not understand that allowing this to pass as though it is insignificant is evidences either his complete contempt for the fundamentals of parliamentary procedure or his lack of understanding for why those procedures must be upheld. Either explanation reveals him to be one of the least responsible Prime Ministers Canada has ever had.
If Harper cannot see the seriousness of Oda's actions, he should not be Prime Minister.
To allow this to pass without, at the minimum, an acknowledgement of wrong-doing and an appology by both Bev Oda and Stephen Harper is completely unacceptable. But in truth, one or both of them should be dismissed.

Bev Oda claimed that she did not know anything about the change. Then she admitted she directed that the change be made (presumably she did not want to soil her hand by printing "NOT"), but she claims not know whom she directed.
Now it is solely her decision, but she can't/hasn't explained why she reversed her own department's recommendation. Perhaps Harper hasn't briefed her on this yet.

It is not as if only partisan opponents of Harper are calling for Bev Oda to be removed from Harper's Cabinet.

Oda must resign, says the Ottawa Citizen.

Oda must (not) stay, says the Calgary Herald.

Oda discredited for misleading Parliament, says the Vancouver Sun.

Oda, Kairos, should both be pruned, says the Toronto Sun.

Oda should resign, or be fired, says National Post.