Sunday, February 03, 2008

Daily Digest February 3, 2008




CALGARY HERALD - Rights charter hateful work
Arbour's judgment suspect after initial support of charter

VICTORIA TIMES-COLONIST - Canada's economy will weather storm


It's high time that Canada ended its tokenism towards its native people

Millions in aboriginal compensation buy joy but also breed fresh trauma

Day-Chertoff letters point to stalemate on Arar's watch-listing

B.C. company cites labour shortages for move to Ontario

Stop 'public calls' for troops: NATO
Secretary general urges use of normal 'quiet channels' to discuss mission

Al-Qaeda 'killing' spawns doubts

Taliban take a hit, but the fight goes on

US Afghan stand-off puzzles Nato allies

Canada reiterates commitment to Afghanistan

Our top court is heavily divided, judges' decisions are all over the map, unpredictability reigns

Gomery, Chretien head for another legal showdown over sponsorship scandal

Defeating Tories a two-step process
Comparisons between Stelmach and Strom are unavoidable

Oil industry clout the background issue in upcoming election
With boom picking up speed, voters will be asking 'What's the rush?'

Alberta's carbon plan dangerously empty

MP Casey recovering from prostate cancer surgery

NDP presses for stronger stand by Ottawa on Afghan death sentence

Dion's Afghanistan balancing act could be toppled by internal tensions

Conservatives welcome Khan back into the fold

Khan a Conservative again

Critics say Harper creating 'fog over information'

Who'll be the last leader standing?

Border agency to expand surveillance program to buses, trains, cruise ships

New audit ordered at Privy Council
Study of 2002-2003 contracts showed rules were broken

Afghanistan is an American war

Journalist's death sentence shows Afghanistan has a long way to go
Freedom of speech and of the press are foreign notions to the war-torn country

Let Ménard loose on Mulroney
Bloc MP was the only parliamentarian to lay a glove on the former prime minister during the first committee hearings

The 'Vietnam Syndrome'

Free the government scientists
Tories are in Orwell territory by controlling what experts can say to the media

Five health-care myths debunked by hard facts

Pakistan more sinned against than sinning

What slavery did to Africa
To mark the start of Black History Month, a calculation of what the continent lost

Commission canadienne du blé
Harper fauche la vice-présidente

Tortures en Afghanistan
Le gouverneur Khalid se défend

Un Canadien aux commandes

L'agence frontalière veut étendre la portée de son programme de surveillance

Gomery et Chrétien s'affronteront à nouveau en cour au sujet des commandites

Les Etats-Unis et le Canada sont dans une impasse au sujet de Maher Arar

Une contravention relance le débat sur les phares et les contrôles de vitesse

Ottawa doit soutenir plus fermement un journaliste afghan, dit Jack Layton

Le commandement des forces du Sud de l'Afghanistan est transféré au Canada

Layton fustige Harper pour le congédiement d'une employée

Nominations du fédéral: bras de fer au Québec


Border agency to expand surveillance program to buses, trains, cruise ships

The headline is misleading.  It ought to read "Border agency WANTS to. 

QUESTION: In your opinion is what is wanted necessary and desirable?


From: Bill McCullough <>

You will already be familiar with my views on the importance and value of a continued significant Canadian presence in Afghanistan. The centre of the Globe has long since shifted away from Europe and North America. Indeed, the new centre of Planet Earth is no longer to be found anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere. 
Over the course of the next few months, Canadians will have to decide how much our National Interest is now at stake in Afghanistan and, therfore, how much we're prepared to invest in winning in Afghanistan.
In 1938, the "civilized" world, largely represented by France & Britain, sold out Czechoslovakia to Nazi Germany, on the premise that we should not have been thinking of war " because of a quarrel in a far-away country between people of whom we know nothing."
Although not so crudely stated now, this is very much the shortsighted mind-state of Canada's New Left and its campaign to get us out of Afghanistan, come hell or high water. To them and to Quebec nationalists, if the Americans are involved it must be bad. If NATO is also invloved, it must be evil.
Politics, pure and simple, will decide on the future of our mission in Afghanistan. If the mision stays unpopular with too many voters, we'll pull out ASAP no matter who's in government in Ottawa. When we go, many of our NATO patners will follow, leaving the future for Asia entirely in the hands of the Big Powers, both new and old.
But, if we and NATO have the stomach for it, the counter-insurgency can be won. Despite the handwringing down at the confluence of the Rideau and Ottawa Rivers, Canada is still capable of providing NATO with a brigade group headquarters & command element; most of the necessary support services for a brigade-sized formation; and, one-third to one quarter of the combat regiments/battalions that make up the fighting components of an all-arms brigade.
In another forum. I have suggested just such a NATO brigade group, built around the existing Canadian force in Kandahar, reinforced by one French and one British mechanized infantry battalion group, could be enough to defeat the Taliban in Kandahar Province, thus making room for the PRTs and the NGOs necessary to winning the peace.
The kind of war that has to be fought in the south is exactly that the Taliban want to fight. It's a war of ambush and hit & run. It's a struggle for hearts and minds. For one side or the other, or, maybe for both, it can be a death by a thousand cuts. Both the British and the French have had bags of experience, good and bad, in such insurgencies. Indeed, the British won just such a struggle in then-Malaya half-a-century ago.
Insurgencies are defeated by winning small unit (platoon and company) fights; by winning the intelligence war; by integrating what the Karzai Government is doing or trying to do, with what NATO is doing; and, by accomplishing the mission with minimum casualties to civilians. Tactical air, heavy artillery and main battle tanks can be helpful in such a war, but over-reliance on them may save our lives at the cost of even more collateral casualties.
The Afghans have to see that not only are the Taliban being defeated, but that life is actually getting better for the ordinary folk who are fed-up with the gunmen in and out of uniform.
If we lose in Afghanistan, the shock waves will roll out across the rest of South East Asia. The consequences are not entirely predictable, but we will be left to deal with a New Order marked by the eclipse of the North and the West.
Joe, this is a war that just has to be fought and has to be won.
Bill McCullough
From: <Jacob Rempel>
Subject:  "Pakistan is to Cambodia as Afghanistan is to Vietnam"  and  "Afghanistan is to Vietnam as Pakistan is to Cambodia"

To Joe Hueglin -- Editor, DAILY DIGEST
This is my open letter to Mr.StéphaneDion, with
a copy of your today's item in your DAILY DIGEST
...Jacob Rempel
Attn Gian Luca, for Stéphane Dion
Dear Mr. Dion,
Note location of thousands of US soldiers and air power.
I'm wondering how much depleted uranium they continue
to scatter in the mountain villages and orchards.
No way will Afghan trainees ever take over from
US air power in the hills of the Pakistan border.
Taliban and tribal war lords will be there first.
This war is a oil corporate America imperial venture.
They need to leave, and the UN must help reconcile
Aghan people with each other, promote Marshall Plan
type reconstruction and peaceful trade opportunities.
More civil war will not beget harmony and democracy.
It never did.

Jacob Rempel, Vancouver
Post Script:
Ignatieff urges a more intense and wider war.
Into Pakistan? Like the US into Cambodia?
Ignatieff's counsel is the same as he gave
to support George Bush for the Iraq war, 
which is why I and many Liberals in every
camp opposed him and supported you at
the leadership convention.
We still do.
Ignatieff is an American liberal
imperialist. He accepts all US wars.
Get tough on Taliban
Ignatieff urges international intensity
You are saying,
"Pakistan is to Cambodia as Afghanistan is to Vietnam"
"Afghanistan is to Vietnam as Pakistan is to Cambodia"
I agree. I've been saying that too.
...Jacob Rempel
From:Joe Hueglin, Progressive Canadian Party founding member.