Sunday, October 31, 2010

Omar Khadr gets novel thrown at him.

The perfect end to a perfect trial.

Now, it's our turn.

Breach of responsibility by a superior

*(2) A superior commits an indictable offence if

(a) the superior
(i) fails to exercise control properly over a person under their effective authority and control, and as a result the person commits an offence under section 4, or

(ii) fails, after the coming into force of this section, to exercise control properly over a person under their effective authority and control, and as a result the person commits an offence under section 6;

(b) the superior knows that the person is about to commit or is committing such an offence, or consciously disregards information that clearly indicates that such an offence is about to be committed or is being committed by the person;
(c) the offence relates to activities for which the superior has effective authority and control; and
(d) the superior subsequently
(i) fails to take, as soon as practicable, all necessary and reasonable measures within their power to prevent or repress the commission of the offence, or the further commission of offences under section 4 or 6, or

(ii) fails to take, as soon as practicable, all necessary and reasonable measures within their power to submit the matter to the competent authorities for investigation and prosecution.

Conspiracy, attempt, etc.

(2.1) Every person who conspires or attempts to commit, is an accessory after the fact in relation to, or counsels in relation to, an offence referred to in subsection (1) or (2) is guilty of an indictable offence.


(3) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1), (2) or (2.1) is liable to imprisonment for life.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

"History repeats itself first as tragedy, then as farce...

...then as stupidity."

The (New) Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson

There are a number of "counterinsurgency" strategies available from history. The most effective is extermination of the native population. This was employed successfully in Newfoundland, Tasmania, New Zealand (by the Maoris), and the Inuit in the Canadian Arctic (who exterminated the Dorset). There are other examples.

The second most effective strategy is to deport the native population to somewhere else. This was notably employed by Stalin, although the long term results seem more ambiguous than total extermination. People tend to come back, if left alive.

The least effective strategy is colonization. This has other names, euphemisms, what have you, but involves one alien culture from Somewhere Else trying to impose itself on the native culture that Lives There. The alien culture always Means Well, but is usually using the Native Country for its own purposes, and finds the natives who Live There to be an inconvenience, unless economically useful.

The lesson of history is that Colonization doesn't work. People keep not learning this. The only way it is at all successful is if combined in some form with Extermination. Extermination can of course be accomplished obliquely, with drugs and disease, but the Alien Culture often shows delusional requirements of acting for the Greater Good.

This never works. It always ends up that the people who actually live there want to run their own lives and have the benefit of their own resources. It's much more practical, if you want the resources in some particular territory, to kill all the natives.

The truth of a confession

On 22 June 1633 Galileo, having been found guilty at his trial, was forced to make a 'confession' to the Cardinals of the Holy Office of the Church. He read from the text of which a translation is given below:

I, Galileo Galilei, son of the late Vincenzio Galilei of Florence, aged seventy years, being brought personally to judgment, and kneeling before you, Most Eminent and Most Reverend Lords Cardinals, General Inquisitors of the Universal Christian Commonwealth against heretical depravity, having before my eyes the Holy Gospels which I touch with my own hands, swear that I have always believed, and, with the help of God, will in future believe, every article which the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of Rome holds, teaches, and preaches. But because I have been enjoined, by this Holy Office, altogether to abandon the false opinion which maintains that the Sun is the centre and immovable, and forbidden to hold, defend, or teach, the said false doctrine in any manner ... I am willing to remove from the minds of your Eminences, and of every Catholic Christian, this vehement suspicion rightly entertained towards me, therefore, with a sincere heart and unfeigned faith, I abjure, curse, and detest the said errors and heresies, and generally every other error and sect contrary to the said Holy Church; and I swear that I will never more in future say, or assert anything, verbally or in writing, which may give rise to a similar suspicion of me; but that if I shall know any heretic, or any one suspected of heresy, I will denounce him to this Holy Office, or to the Inquisitor and Ordinary of the place in which I may be. I swear, moreover, and promise that I will fulfil and observe fully all the penances which have been or shall be laid on me by this Holy Office. But if it shall happen that I violate any of my said promises, oaths, and protestations (which God avert!), I subject myself to all the pains and punishments which have been decreed and promulgated by the sacred canons and other general and particular constitutions against delinquents of this description. So, may God help me, and His Holy Gospels, which I touch with my own hands, I, the above named Galileo Galilei, have abjured, sworn, promised, and bound myself as above; and, in witness thereof, with my own hand have subscribed this present writing of my abjuration, which I have recited word for word.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ducks Fucked

So, mere days after liability for previous duck deaths on "tailings ponds" in Alberta was assigned to Syncrude at about $3 million plus costs, a whole new set of ducks has landed in Alberta "tailings ponds", with a loss of some 1,000 duck lives.

I think I've got the answer to this: they're suicide ducks. They're terrorist ducks, jihadist ducks, ducks who have suffered massive inbreeding and are genetically crazed enough to attack our values like decent God-fearing oil mining. These ducks think public transit is a good idea, and will go to insane terrorist lengths to cripple Canada's infrastructure so that everybody has to take socialist buses.

You can't argue with these ducks. They're beyond reason. The only good duck is a dead duck.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"Khadr trial: A travesty of justice"

You know, I tried to repost this from the Toronto Star, but it didn't work. The intellectual property is theirs.

Khadr trial: A travesty of justice
Published On Tue Oct 26 2010

Canada’s notorious Omar Khadr finally buckled before a discredited American military tribunal and provided the guilty plea it was set up to elicit. But nothing like justice has been done in this wretched case.

U.S. President Barack Obama can take no pride in the judicial coercion he faced. And Prime Minister Stephen Harper shamed the nation by acquiescing to it.

Khadr, a marginal militant if ever there was one, has spent eight years in prison for killing Army Sgt. Christopher Speer in Afghanistan in a 2002 firefight, when he was all of 15. That’s more than he would have served in Canada for committing murder as a young offender.

Yet Khadr still faced trial before a U.S. military judge and military officers in a Guantanamo Bay process the American Civil Liberties Union has called “irretrievably defective” and that no U.S. citizen would ever face. It might well have ended in a life sentence. His plea bargain Monday to murder and war crimes was a “hellish decision” to get home. The satisfaction voiced by the U.S. military was nauseating.

Khadr will reportedly serve one more year at Gitmo and more time here.

He could have been tried in a fair U.S. federal court, as others have been, but prosecutors would have had a hard time getting a conviction. Alternatively he might have been shipped back here and deemed to have done enough time. Instead, he was railroaded.

Compare that rough justice with the fair treatment given Fahim Ahmad, the ringleader of the “Toronto 18” terror plot. During an open and credible Canadian trial, Ahmad pleaded guilty to planning to attack Parliament and cut off heads. On Monday, he got 16 years.

Khadr was forced into battle by his Al Qaeda father. He got neither the protection nor the rehabilitation to which he was entitled under international law. His trial would not pass muster in any normal circumstances.

The guilty plea spares Obama the ignominy of a full trial of a child soldier in a sham court. But it makes the Harper government complicit in an injustice. And it offends the principle that justice should not only be done but also be seen to be done.

"We've been in Afghanistan. We didn't like it."

Article 43
All Members of the United Nations, in order to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security, undertake to make available to the Security Council, on its call and in accordance with a special agreement or agreements, armed forces, assistance, and facilities, including rights of passage, necessary for the purpose of maintaining international peace and security.
Such agreement or agreements shall govern the numbers and types of forces, their degree of readiness and general location, and the nature of the facilities and assistance to be provided.
The agreement or agreements shall be negotiated as soon as possible on the initiative of the Security Council. They shall be concluded between the Security Council and Members or between the Security Council and groups of Members and shall be subject to ratification by the signatory states in accordance with their respective constitutional processes.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Patrick Parrish

"What kind of people do they think we are?"

So this kangaroo court judge - Parrish - has the audacity to set aside the Magna Carta, habeas corpus, the Geneva Conventions, and carry on as if this were the Moscow Show Trials?

The New York Times vs. United States of America (1971)

"Those were the days, my friend,
We thought they'd never end..."

The good news is that - 40 years on - The New York Times is being trashed by own readers for cowardice.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Financial Times Sees Evil, Hears Evil...

...thinks WikiLeaks should shut up about it.

The Financial Times has a respectful request on its website not to cut and paste its original material. I've chosen to ignore this request in order to Fisk them in the public interest. So sue me.

Wikileaks: Lifting the fog of battle
Published: October 24 2010 20:41 | Last updated: October 24 2010 20:41

This weekend’s leak of confidential military files on the Iraq war – which follows similar disclosures earlier this summer about the Afghan conflict – is deeply embarrassing for the US government.

While the logs themselves reveal little that was not known or widely suspected, they leave Washington (and its allies) with awkward questions to answer about US and allied conduct during and after the war. The disclosures push unambiguously under the public’s nose the human cost of the conflict, and the compromises to human rights that were involved in waging it.

The scale of the leak is also a reminder of the extent to which network computing has changed the way information is used. This should force governments to rethink the nature of state secrets.

Thus far, Washington has concentrated its fire on Wikileaks, the online clearing house that released the logs. Any organisation that encourages illegal behaviour cannot be beyond reproach. Wikileaks’ Afghan disclosures put people in danger, and it remains to be seen whether it has redacted its Iraqi cache more diligently. Wikileaks may argue that its activities are an extension of traditional journalism, but its organisational structure – designed to be beyond the reach of any jurisdiction’s enforcement – breeds dangerous editorial irresponsibility.

I can't believe I'm reading this. WikiLeaks is doing the job the Financial Times should be doing. This isn't an extension of journalism, it's real journalism. If you're going to admonish Assange for "illegal behaviour", you might want to recall Article 6 of the London Charter of the International Military Tribunal, August, 1945:

"(a) CRIMES AGAINST PEACE: namely, planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing;"

However governments should realise that the information revolution which spawned Wikileaks is not about to be rolled back. Technology makes it ever harder to shield populations from the consequences of armed conflicts. If there was a time when the horrors could be hidden, it is over.

The whole point of this leak is that the American and British governments have gone out of their way to hide the effects of their chosen armed conflicts on the civilian populations.

One lesson is that governments must focus on the secrets it is vital to keep lest they lose their effectiveness in war – such as strategic and tactical plans, and information about weapons systems. Trying to protect everything, including the incompetent (or even illegal) conduct of one’s own troops, is probably fruitless and will only spur citizens’ desire to snoop.

Snoop? I thought international criminal law now required citizens to be interested and involved in what their own governments are doing. This is snooping?

There are wider lessons for the way governments resort to force too. Increasing transparency on the battlefield means that the public must be convinced both of the necessity for war, and of the cause being fought for, if the fight is to be sustained. The ebbing of support for Iraq was a consequence of the cavalier way that war was entered into.

So if the war could be sustained without the public being "convinced both of the necessity for war, and of the cause being fought for" then everything would be fine?

Greater transparency may ultimately make it harder to go to war. But it means the public should be willing to endure the demands of wars they do accept.

Agh! Goldsmith said in the House of Lords:

"The Attorney-General (Lord Goldsmith) My Lords, it is well established that the conduct of foreign affairs and defence policy are matters that fall within the Royal prerogative. It would, therefore, be lawful and constitutional for the Government, in exercising the Royal prerogative, to make a declaration of war or to engage United Kingdom forces in military action without the prior approval of Parliament."

As far as I can see, there was never a consensus among the British public that accepted the Iraq War. WikiLeaks is doing heroic and largely unpaid service in exposing the evils of arbitrary government that are well known, of which the Iraq invasion is a startling example, and that a free press like the Financial Times is supposed to expose.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hell in Brussels (continued)

Excerpt from The War Diary of ISAF's Media Operations Centre NATO Headquarters Blvd Leopold III 1110 Brussels, Belgium Friday, October 15, 2010 9:30 AM Au Repos de la Montagne Montagne de Saint-Job 39 Coffee en route to work. More bad news from the front. Seventeen ISAF soldiers killed in three days and many wounded, although of course the wounded are not significant in strategic communication. Nevertheless, ISAF faces a significant media challenge. 11:00 AM SITREP with ISAF and SHAPE. Significant progress is being made in Operation Dragon Strike. We don’t know what it is. There are continued and reliable reports that the Taliban are negotiating with the Afghan government in Kabul. This is encouraging news, but absurd on the face of it. Why would the Taliban start negotiating when they’re winning? This is like the Paris peace negotiations over Vietnam: it’s all about the shape of the table. Meanwhile, Supreme Commander, SHAPE, authorizes emergency focus group (EFG) sessions on the weekend to best determine subsequent policy. 3:00 PM Informal discussions. Le 19ième Bar, Hotel Metropole. Stirring speech from the Chief, only slightly slurred. We are in a public relations crisis similar to Dunkirk, and the same selfless sacrifice is required. Staff will be expected to work on the weekend. Saturday, October 16, 2010 Noon. Really, one wouldn’t think there’s a war on. The Emergency Fan-Out List from the Media Operations Centre (MOC) has produced many opportunities to leave messages. Direct action is required. Chief, ISAF MOC is apprised of emergency, and proposes further emergency executive meeting in the bar of the Hotel Metropole at 3:00 PM. 4:00 PM, The Bar, Hotel Metropole Working for the greater good can be a very lonely experience, particularly on the weekend. Quorum finally assembled of The Chief, Secretary to The Chief, Manager (Emergency Fan Out Procedure), and Recording Secretary. Difficulties of assembling a focus group in Brussels at the weekend discussed in detail. Alternatives considered. Moved: that an ad hoc focus group be assembled from the bar patrons. Carried. A standardized list of questions was evolved. 1. What image do you have of playgrounds in Afghanistan? 2. Which of the following do you associate with the term "quagmire"? a. Saigon, 1963, b. Dienbienphu, 1954, c. Algiers 1962, d. Delhi, 1947, e. Rome, 387 BC, f. Boston, 1773. 3. How do you feel about pomegranate gardens? 4. If you knew that the Sarpoza Central Prison in Kandahar had suddenly misplaced all of its clients, would you: a. feel personally threatened? b. feel concern for your loved ones? c. feel the need to travel to Afghanistan? d. write to your Member of the European Parliament? e. buy an AK-47? Attempts were made to assemble an actual group, but proved futile. Individual patrons were approached, cautiously. Participant Peter Mandelson: What is Kandahar? I feel personally threatened by you asking me these questions, and I'm now a Lord. I'm very relaxed about the prospect of arms dealers getting filthy rich in Afghanistan. I think you should sod off. Participant Tony Blair: These are tremendously interesting questions that I hope to address in the context of the European Union, particularly as its head. I certainly acted in good faith while I was Prime Minister, and I would be more than happy to answer all questions in private. Meanwhile, you should sod off. Participant Anna Chapman: Do you always come on to women like this? I've heard more interesting lines in the Post Office queue. Sod off. Participant Gordon Brown: Go away. Can't you see I've got enough troubles? I didn't know anything about Iraq and I don't know anything about Afghanistan except as Chancellor of the Exchequer; foreign policy was beyond my remit. Sod off. Participant Stephen Harper: The New Government of Canada takes the position that whatever works for the American Joint Chiefs of Staff works for us. We stand behind the courage and dedication of Canadian armed forces in Afghanistan. Anyway, we've got an agreement with the Americans that makes all this discussion unnecessary, and obviously, subversive. Participant David Cameron: You’re not in full Buller rig. If we’re going to trash this place you’ll have to dress appropriately. The results were discussed and collated. The optimal strategy was to do nothing and pretend that nothing of consequence had occurred.

"3 NATO service members die in Afghanistan; 17 dead in 3 days as violence surges"

Associated Press, October 15, 2010

...and yet, 5 days later, we don't know the nationality of NATO's casualties.

Meanwhile, we have pictures of idyllic playgrounds on ISAF's website.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Gunfight at the UN Corral

[OK, I thought I invented this title, but as usual, many people got there before me.]

...and the results for the third round of voting at the recent General Assembly elections for a non-permanent seat on the Security Council: Portugal 150 - Canada 32 (10 abstentions)

You know, this is still sinking in. First of all Canada "withdrew" after its poor showing in the second round of voting, but there still had to be voting so that Portugal got the required number of votes. Of note, 191 of 192 Member Nations voted in the second round.

What's remarkable about this is, even after Canada "withdrew":

1. 182 nations voted (out of 192, and in comparison with 191/192 in the second round);

2. the result was emphatic - Canada got about 17% of the General Assembly vote.

That isn't merely decisive - it's a "good old-fashioned ass kicking."

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Crushing Canada at the United Nations

There are many reasons Canada deserved to lose its bid for a seat in the Security Council. Among these are: the diplomatic slap in the face administered publically to Prime Minister Stephen Harper by the Premier of China for ignoring Canada-China relations, the enthusiasm of the Government of Canada for NATO and the G8/G20 but a pathetic showing at the Copenhagen climate change conference, an indifference to its own diplomats in making foreign policy (see Robert Fowler’s excoriation) and in particular, the trashing of Richard Colvin whose testimony was taken very seriously by the British High Court of Justice ([2010] EWHC 1445) but not by the Government of Canada.

230. The Canadian Government asserted that the allegations were unfounded; but continuing press activity coupled with the legal proceedings have made this a high profile issue within Canada. In evidence to the Afghanistan Committee, Mr Richard Colvin (a senior Canadian diplomat, formerly head of the political section and chargé d'affaires at the Canadian Embassy in Kabul) referred to various important differences between Canadian practice and the practice of the UK and other ISAF states at the time when such allegations were made. He said that as of May 2007 Canada had transferred six times as many detainees as the British; unlike the British, Canada was not monitoring its own detainees after transfer but relied instead on the ICRC and AIHRC to monitor, and was extremely slow to inform the ICRC when a transfer had been made; another difference was that Canada had unusually poor record-keeping; and the final difference was that Canada cloaked its detainee practices in extreme secrecy. He observed:

"… [In] the critical days after a detainee had been transferred to the Afghan intelligence service, nobody was able to monitor them. …

During those crucial first days, what happened to our detainees? According to a number of reliable sources, they were tortured.

The most common forms of torture were beating, whipping with power cables, and the use of electricity. Also common was sleep deprivation, use of temperature extremes, use of knives and open flames, and sexual abuse – that is, rape. Torture might be limited to the first days or it could go on for months.

According to our information, the likelihood is that all the Afghans we handed over were tortured. For interrogators in Kandahar, it was standard operating procedure."

And then we have the illegal interference of the government in George Galloway’s attempt to enter Canada, the lack of interest in Africa, the Attorney-General’s apparent view that obstruction of justice is part of his job description, the arbitrary disposal of the long form census despite arguments to the contrary, the proroguing of Parliament in dubious circumstances….the list goes on.

And yet, shortly before the General Assembly vote, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Lawrence Cannon was making delusional statements:

“The mood among the Canadian delegation at the United Nations was likely drastically different than earlier in the day, when a smiling Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said he was “confident” that Canada’s efforts to rejoin the council will be successful.

“Canada’s campaign “went well,” Cannon said.”

There is a discernible trait in the current government, which is magical thinking: if we believe a thing is true and tell the world it’s true, then it’s true.

Enter, reality.

The most obvious example is the UN Human Rights Council, trashed by the Canadian government, and the Goldstone Report, also trashed by the Canadian government, apparently without actually reading it. This is an inconvenient reality that somehow doesn’t get press, but can be scarcely ignored in the third world, or whatever it’s called these days. The Goldstone Report, to anybody who reads it, goes out of its way to be fair, just, and humane. If you don’t think that, you haven’t read it.

Meanwhile, Canada has tried to throw its weight around as if it were America, at a time when America can’t throw it weight around as if it were America. The world is sending Canada a message, and by proxy, America a message. The Fourth Reich is dead.

“In his book, The Next 100 Years, realist thinker George Friedman lays out what he calls the “Grand Strategy” of the United States.”

The Globe quotes this “realist thinker” as if he’s some disinterested historian, but the reality is he’s got his own company and is selling propaganda.

“This is the overriding series of goals that must be achieved to maintain American power, domestic peace and high standards of living. It is a strong example of Realist thinking that coldly calculates the factors necessary in national security, rather than what would be nice.
“The list can summarized as:
“1. U.S. Army controls the continental United States.
“2. Naval control of the approaches to the continental United States.
“3. No rivals in the Western Hemisphere.
“4. Control of ocean trade routes in the rest of the world.”

This is a blueprint for The Fourth Reich. The world voted on this proposition at the UN General Assembly election for the Security Council in October 2010, and the message is unmistakable: the tally of the third round was, Portugal 150, Canada, 32. It doesn’t get clearer than that. Of the 192 members of the United Nations, Canada has 32 friends, and 10 members who don’t care. The Fourth Reich is dead.

Friday, October 15, 2010


So I tried to find out what's going on in Afghanistan. I consulted UNSCR 1943 (2010) which was passed by a unanimous resolution following a 5 minute meeting (S/PV.6395) that authorized ISAF but not EOF. EOF was referred to obliquely, presumably to protect UNSC from prosecution by the ICC for war crimes at Bagram. Previously, a more comprehensive meeting (S/PV.6394) praised UNAMA for its "refocused" assistance during the recent Afghan parliamentary elections, the results of which are being assessed by the IEC and the ECC. The original mandate for ISAF was of course UNSCR 1386 (2001), subsequently extended by UNSCR 1510 (2003), whereas UNAMA was established by UNSCR 1401(2002).

I came to the following conclusions:

1. Russia wants ISAF to die in Afghanistan (see also, Retreat from Kabul).

2. China wants ISAF to stay in Afghanistan while it buys up the neighourhood.

3. Pakistan thinks ISAF is getting what it deserves.

4. A regional peace conference is inevitable.

5. ISAF is circling the drain.

6. OEF is a loose, airborne, and possibly nuclear cannon.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Atlantic Charter


So, I'm cruising the website of the International Committee of the Red Cross - it's a weird hobby - and this obvious statement leaps out in the context of Canadian prisoner transfers in Afghanistan.

The ICRC speaks in private with detainees who are about to be transferred home or to a third country to give them the opportunity to raise any fears they may have regarding their treatment following the transfer. The ICRC conveys any such concerns to the detaining authorities and, depending on circumstances, may make recommendations as to how to proceed. This procedure aims to ensure compliance with the principle of non-refoulement, which prohibits a State from transferring people to another State or authority if there is a risk that they may be subjected to any kind of ill-treatment or arbitrary deprivation of life, or that they may face persecution on account of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion. Irrespective of any ICRC involvement, it is the transferring authority which bears primary responsibility for ensuring that this rule is upheld and for implementing the necessary procedures.

[emphasis added]

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Defeating the Taliban, 2010

"Soldiers of Alpha Company(A Coy) watch as an engineer bulldozer clears away rubble in the Panjwaii District of Kandahar Province as part of Operation MEDUSA."

“The Taleban are broken and defeated here,” Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of the President and the south’s most powerful Afghan leader, told The Times yesterday. “They are in a miserable state. Their best commanders are all dead and their fighters run here and there. Their casualties are high and they can barely fightThe Times Online, October 8, 2010

"The ability of the Taliban to stay and fight in groups is finished," said Asadullah Khalid, Kandahar province's governor. "The enemy has been crushed." CTV News, September 17, 2006

Friday, October 8, 2010

It's not a matter of opinion....

It's a matter of law, 60 years old.


In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions:

(1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed ' hors de combat ' by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria. To this end, the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons: (a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture; (b) taking of hostages; (c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment; (d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.

(2) The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for. An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to the conflict.The Parties to the conflict should further endeavour to bring into force, by means of special agreements, all or part of the other provisions of the present Convention.The application of the preceding provisions shall not affect the legal status of the Parties to the conflict.

And from the ICRC website statement of September 21, 2010

The study concluded that, with regard to most of the issues it examined, humanitarian law remains, on the whole, a suitable framework for regulating the conduct of parties to armed conflicts, international and non-international. Treaty and customary law have developed over the years: gaps have been filled in and ambiguities clarified. Recent experience has demonstrated the enduring relevance and adequacy of humanitarian law in preserving human life and dignity during armed conflict. What is required in most cases - to improve the situation of persons affected by armed conflict - is greater compliance with the existing legal framework, not the adoption of new rules. One can say with some certainty that if all the parties concerned showed perfect regard for humanitarian law, most of the humanitarian issues before us would not exist. All attempts to strengthen humanitarian law should, therefore, build on the existing legal framework. There is no need to discuss rules whose adequacy is long established.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Christian Paradis - Tip of the Swamp

So we're actually winning in Afghanistan. Yay! On the other hand, I thought we'd won after Operation Medusa in September, 2006.

A top NATO general says the alliance's massive, two-week-long anti-Taliban offensive in southern Afghanistan has been "successfully completed."
Lieut.-Gen. David Richards, head of the 20,000 NATO-led force, hailed Operation Medusa in the insurgent stronghold of southern Afghanistan as a "significant success.''
Reconstruction and development efforts will soon begin in three southern areas, said Richards, after coalition forces drove insurgents from their positions.

"The ability of the Taliban to stay and fight in groups is finished," said Asadullah Khalid, Kandahar province's governor. "The enemy has been crushed."
NATO launched Operation Medusa on Sept. 2 with the aim of clearing out Taliban fighters from a Panjwaii district near Kandahar. NATO said its troops killed 512 Taliban and captured another 136.

You know, I think CTV News has an attention deficit disorder. They said we'd tidied up Panjawaii four years ago. Also, I think the Department of National Defence has a special Pathetic Metaphor Training Programme for senior officers.

Here we have Dean Somebody saying with a straight face:

"It's almost a turning tide," Milner said following the meeting.In recent weeks, Canadian troops have conducted a half-dozen operations against the Taliban in Panjwaii.

The manoeuvres were timed to coincide with the U.S.-led Operation Dragon Strike, which got underway in the Arghandab and Zhari districts of Kandahar last week.

Meanwhile back in Ottawa, we have concrete evidence of political interference in Access to Information Act requests (hereafter referred to as ATIP) which is illegal, and part of a pattern: "abuse of process."

Here's a good description of "abuse of process" from the United States:

The court regards the instant case as a textbook case of discovery abuse. The court finds that Plaintiff has been prejudiced in two ways-the Trustee has been denied all the documents necessary to depose witnesses and prepare expert reports and the Trustee's preparation has been made disjointed and difficult and it has been forced to expend a fair amount of time and money and effort to get that which should have been more easily obtained. The court is most disturbed about Defendants' behavior with respect to the transfer interrogatories and e-mail discovery. In both of these areas, Defendants have blatantly ignored orders of the court and prompted multiple motions to compel. Defendants' only defense is their unpersuasive argument that they have now complied and Plaintiff has suffered no prejudice. Defendants' defense completely ignores the burdens the court and Plaintiff have endured to garner their compliance and the destructive precedent this court would set were it to allow Defendants to escape the consequences of three years of bad behavior simply because they believe they have now complied.

The judge is talking about Nigel Wright and Onex.

If it was only Christian Paradis, we might buy the "a few rotten apples" argument so beloved by war criminals the world over. The thing is, it's part of a pattern:
1. Jason Kenney, interfering with George Galloway's attempt to enter Canada. George might well be a grandiose jerk, but he's in good company in Ottawa.

2. Johns Sims' precipitous resignation as Deputy Attorney General, without any explanation.

3. Evidence for obstruction of justice by the Department of Justice: letter of Lori Bokenfohr, legal counsel for Richard Colvin, to Alain Prefontaine, Department of Justice, October 13, 2009.

4. Failure to renew the mandate of the Veterans' Affairs ombudsman.

5. Stupidity and lies about the Long Form Census, resulting in the principled resignation of the head of Statistics Canada

6. Even more stupidity and lies about the Long Form Census, from a guy who can't tell his girl friend from NATO
7. Breach of trust by Veterans' Affairs

8. Failure to re-appoint a Science Advisor

9. Failure to renew the mandate of the Commissioner of the Military Police Complaints Commission of Canada. be continued