Sunday, January 20, 2008

Daily Digest January 19-20, 2008



ST.JOHN'S TELEGRAM - Tough questions

CHARLOTTETOWN GUARDIAN - What's a reasonable request for oil? print this article
People on low and fixed incomes are finding it difficult to deal with skyrocketing prices for home-heating oil.

HALIFAX CHRONICLE HERALD - Re-examine 15-seat vans


MONTREAL GAZETTE - Private medical schools are worth studying

OTTAWA CITIZEN - Hands-on parenting

BELLEVILLE INTELLIGENCER - If Dion wants to impress voters, tell the truth on Afghanistan

TORONTO STAR - For once, Harper should copy Bush

NATIONAL POST - The coward at Queen's Park

HAMILTON SPECTATOR - Edited excerpts of editorials after the federal government this week fired Linda Keen, head of Canada's nuclear safety commission, just before she was to testify before a Commons natural resources committee:

K-W RECORD - Tough questions on Afghanistan


CALGARY HERALD - Oil sales to U.S. in little danger

        Embryo cloning should cease
        Research should focus on work that doesn't compromise ethics

EDMONTON JOURNAL - Let's debate rules for organ gifts

LETHBRIDGE HERALD - Passport needed now or later

PRINCE GEORGE CITIZEN - Spitting out the 'R' word

VANCOUVER SUN - Revenue minister offers little hope taxpayers will receive any better treatment

VANCOUVER PROVINCE - Planned carbon tax endangers B.C.'s fragile economy

VICTORIA TIMES-COLONIST - Torture is ineffective - and also immoral


Aboriginals live in a nation divided, census indicators of well-being show

Who is going to pay?'

Land claims a long, sad story in this province

Desperate Afghans swarm Canadian health clinic

Come clean on why we are in Afghanistan

U.S. presents new complaint on Canada timber support

RCMP rejects U.S.'s 'extreme ecstasy' claim

How would a U.S. recession impact Canadians?

Looming downturn not typical

Banks' timing strange

Recession beats stagflation

Canada's beekeepers hope to save fragile industry

Torture manual wrongly includes allies: Bernier

Two conservative Alberta opposition parties merge

Liberal MPs torn over prospect of defeating next Tory budget

Duceppe sets sights on Tories in Quebec as Bloc gears up for election

The Liberal leader, speaking in London, said a Grit government would target assistance to lure new investment.

Layton talks tough on handguns

Lunn says he didn't know about reactor problems

Not Keen on this move

Aging nuclear reactor needs back-up

Union head says Keen's treatment is 'alarming'
CTV's Question Period: John Gordon, Public Service Alliance of Canada 5:17's%20Question%20Period:%20John%20Gordon,%20Public%20Service%20Alliance%20of%20Canada&clip_id=ctvnews.20080120.00230000-00230891-clip2&subhub=video&no_ads=&sortdate=20080120&slug=keen_firing_080120&archive=CTVNews

Manley must consider mission's effectiveness

Question Period: Janice Stein, author and Alain Pellerin, retired colonel 7:23,%20author%20and%20Alain%20Pellerin,%20retired%20colonel&clip_id=ctvnews.20080120.00230000-00230894-clip1&subhub=video&no_ads=&sortdate=20080120&slug=manley_panel_080120&archive=CTVNews

CTV News: Robert Fife with exclusive report details 2:18

No troop cuts, Manley expected to advise

Come clean on why we are in Afghanistan

Manley to deliver report on Canada's role in Afghanistan

Afghan war in beginning stages: Report

Taking the Earth's temperature is not an exact science -- results likely to vary

To work, carbon tax must sting
Governments, business not rushing to embrace it, which is why report will languish on the shelf

Regulator's nuclear decision lacked common sense

Harper & Co. reinforce a negative perception

Dion scores a medal sweep for foot-in-mouth policy plan

Liberal fireworks not yet finished

Tory investment would calm 'perfect storm'

A bloody step backward

The closed minds of today's intellectuals

Open up the skies
Canada's airlines should face foreign competition, for the best interests of Canadian consumers

Finish the work of Reform

Gates' slur of NATO troops shows ignorance

Stimulus for Canada?
There's a downside risk to countercyclical fiscal policy

Garfield Mahood's great contribution to public health

Canadians are living the American dream

Here we go again
As another U.S. president seeks a Middle East legacy, Peter Jones examines why seeking peace in the region has had such allure despite the low odds of success

Fighting for freedom

U.S. arms sales to Saudi aid oppression


Le train électoral est en marche

Pour une constitution québécoise

Torture: l'ambassadeur israélien est outré

Les libéraux réfléchissent à la possibilité de provoquer des élections

Bernier refuse de considérer les É-U comme un pays tortionnaire

Le Bloc peaufine sa stratégie électorale à Montréal

Duceppe choisit de ne s'attaquer qu'aux conservateurs

Des centaines de soldats s'apprêtent à partir pour l'Afghanistan

Loi 101: Le PQ voudrait imposer le français aux enfants dès le berceau

La GRC dément les propos d'un responsable US sur le supposé dumping de drogue


Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.

        The Manley Commission Report and decisions following it are of greater consequence than Chalk River and the Mulroney Inquiry.
        Not being a fatalist it is my belief that while the future can not be seen, actions taken in the present can and do play a role in what takes place.

        Hopefully you will find what follows adds to your knowledgeability in regard to making a value judgement on the directions Manley suggests.




Tough questions on Afghanistan

U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates shouldn't be surprised that his comments about western troops in Afghanistan caused hard feelings among America's allies. While some critics, such as British Conservative Patrick Mercer, called Gates' comments "bloody outrageous," the defence secretary's opinions deserves more than a quick response that condemns him for being insensitive, misinformed or even "bloody outrageous."

First consider what Gates said that got him into trouble. In an article published in the Los Angeles Times, Gates complained about NATO troops in southern Afghanistan not knowing how to fight a guerrilla insurgency. There aren't many NATO countries in southern Afghanistan so, by default, Gates was referring either to British, Canadian or Dutch troops who have led the fight there.

After Gates' comments ricocheted around defence offices in Canada, Britain and the Netherlands, his spokesperson, Geoff Morrell, tried to clarify them by saying they didn't refer to any particular country. Morrell said Gates had pointed out that, "NATO as an alliance does not train for counter-insurgency. The alliance has never had to do it before."

NATO was set up shortly after the Second World War to confront the Soviet Union, which the West feared might try to dominate western Europe. It was not designed to be a counter-insurgency organization. But NATO troops have been in Afghanistan since shortly after al-Qaida, once backed by the Taliban government in Afghanistan, launched terrorist attacks on the U.S. in 2001.

To say now that the alliance isn't prepared to counter an insurgency is to raise questions about the entire mission.

Gates' comments, regardless of whether he said what he meant to say, may be interpreted as implying that NATO has had a harder time dealing with the anti-western, pro-Taliban extremists in Afghanistan than the United States originally expected.

Where should the blame lie for NATO's inability, so far, to make Afghanistan a stable nation that won't threaten western countries again? Have countries such as Canada, Britain and the Netherlands not trained their troops for the mission they were expected to undertake? Or, did the U.S. rely at first too much upon air power, failing to understand that it could become counterproductive by causing civilian casualties? Or, as the U.S. has suggested, should more NATO countries have committed troops to combat tasks, thereby creating an image of western unity? Or, as some critics of President George W. Bush have argued, did the U.S. government jeopardize the Afghan campaign by invading Iraq? Or, are westerners, in general, not able to deal with the insurgency because they don't understand how many Afghans think?

Questions come easier than answers. From the Canadian perspective, the best answers may come in a report that former Liberal cabinet minister John Manley and his panel are preparing. Prime Minister Stephen Harper asked the panel last fall to offer advice on Canada's future commitment to Afghanistan. As the Gates incident shows, good advice on Afghanistan is badly needed.


Sticks 'n' Stones and Allies
The New York Times, Editorial (01/20/2008)
By this time next year, President Bush will be gone, along with Europe's antipathy toward him. But it may be too late to salvage Afghanistan, especially...

NATO tensions surface amid growing pressure in Afghanistan
Pascal Mallet - AFP (01/20/2008)
Tensions between NATO allies, notably with the United States, and doubts about the powers of a new UN envoy are a sign of growing pressure as the alliance struggles in Afghanistan...

Indian Soaps Fall to Islamic Censorship in Afghanistan
Lorenzo Cremonesi - World Politics Review (01/19/2008)
It comes as no surprise that this time Karzai has declined to take on the Islamic Council directly. To the contrary, he is more or less openly backing it...

Ashdown throws down the gauntlet
Hamish McDonald - The Sydney Morning Herald (01/19/2008)
IN THE days after the warlord Ismail Khan ousted the Taliban from Herat at the end of 2001, the name "Colonel Imam" figured in gossip as the local literati emerged from suppression...

A bubble bursts
The Economist (01/19/2008)
The 140 suicide attacks in Afghanistan in 2007 were almost all aimed at Western or Afghan security forces. This was the first by the Taliban to make Kabul's...

Afghan president stresses for regional co-op in war on terror
Xinhua (01/19/2008)
"Terrorists do not recognize border and so, it is for all the Muslims of the world particularly for the people of the region to get united and eradicate the menace from the Islam World," Karzai said on Ashura...

Afghanistan must be won by U.S., not NATO
The Washington Post (01/19/2008)
If that means downgrading NATO's role or bruising the feelings of some allied governments, so be it...

US to deploy 500 mine-resistant vehicles to Afghanistan
Daphne Benoit - AFP (01/19/2008)
The US military plans to ship 500 roadside bomb-resistant vehicles to Afghanistan amid a reinforcement of 3,200 extra US troops to be deployed to fight Taliban militants...

Call to woo 'moderate' Afghan rebels
James Blitz - (01/19/2008)
The international community must try to attract "moderate" Afghan insurgents away from the Taliban by giving them financial support that encourages them to support the Kabul government...

Militants make a claim for talks
Syed Saleem Shahzad - Asia Times (01/19/2008)
The curtailment and revival of al-Qaeda The mastermind of a new approach in Iraq was former US ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and US commander in Iraq General David Petraeus...

Opium Poppy Economy And Conflict
Roohullah Rahimi - e-Ariana (01/18/2008)
The nexus of OPE and the continuing violence in Afghanistan perpetrated by the Taliban led insurgency is a disturbing development of a conflict spanning for...