Via: Web of Democracy.
– ‘Afghanistan no Just War‘: After all that has happened in Afghanistan, all the innocents that have been murdered, villages destroyed, women kidnapped and sold into the sex trade, little boys and girls getting kidnapped and also sold into the sex trade, people like Allan Woods are still trying to convince us that we Canadians are fighting a just war.”
– The above letter [excerpt] was in response to Allan Woods’ fawning ‘inside story’ on the Canadian Special Forces in Afghanistan (JTF2, pre-CSOR), ‘Canada’s elite commandos and the invasion of Afghanistan.’ Despite the 2500 words, there is little of substance that is being “told for the first time,” rendering the strategic asset still “all-but-invisible to Canadians except for the highest ranks of the government and military leadership,” leaving one to wonder whether this article is little more than propaganda in the service of bolstering “Canada’s reputation as one of the top special forces teams in the world.”
– On Tuesday, it was finally confirmed that ‘Blackwater trained Canadian troops,‘ thanks to documents obtained via Access to Information Act request by CanWest reporter Tom Blackwell:
“The department [of defence] sent a succession of personnel to Blackwater’s Moyock, N.C., training compound from 2005 to as recently as April 2009, some of them learning tactics for working in dangerous settings, records obtained through access-to-information legislation indicate.”
Although this was treated as earth-shattering news, we should keep in mind that Blackwater is only one among several mercenary firms that have been employed by Canadians. Indeed, in 2008, DND hired the Blackwater subsidiary, the Terrorism Research Center, to provide “advanced counterinsurgency training.” At the time, then-NDP defence critic said:
“It will shock many Canadians to think of our soldiers, who are amongst the best trained in the world, to be sent down to the U.S. to work with a private war-making company that has been indicted in some of its operations in Iraq in the past…It raises a terrible spectre.”
Likewise, Hart Security, who “once employed a former member of a South African military unit that assassinated opponents of the apartheid regime” (and who were among the first IPOA member-companies to pile into Haiti following the January 12th earthquake) provided protection to Canada’s Strategic Advisory Team in Kabul (the brainchild of Rick Hillier, a bilateral agreement between Canada and Afghanistan which embedded Canadian Forces officers dressed in civilian garb in key Afghan ministries). The SAT-A program ended in 2008, and has been effectively replaced by the ‘democracy’ promoting arms length organization, CANADEM, under the guise of their CIDA and DFAIT-funded ‘Canadian Governance Support Office.’ No word on what mercenary firm, if any, protects CANADEM employees.
Last year, it was disclosed that the Canadian Forces spend ” millions of dollars each year for private firms that guard military bases and development projects in the increasingly dangerous Kandahar province.” (Globe & Mail, Nov 18, 2009, “Canada spending millions on private security in Afghanistan.”) Then, the DND refused to “divulge the names of the firms under contract for reasons of operational security,” so it is still possible that Canada employs Blackwater in theatre, in addition to the training they get from them in North Carolina.
“It should no longer be a matter of dispute that US Special Forces in Afghanistan are responsible for an increasing number of murders, whether part of targeted extra-judicial killings or the result of bad intelligence. From the attack on a bridal shower in Gardez on February 12, 2010 that killed numerous civilians, including two pregnant women, to the growing list of executions of insurgents in the Kandahar area, Special Forces have become the US military version of death squads.”
– Tom Hayden writes, ‘The Military Occupation of Our Minds‘:
“As Congress weighs Afghanistan funding, the military is escalating what it calls the “war of perceptions” at home and abroad…It is no accident that the Pentagon is shaping the “information battlespace” by welcoming friendly reporters and think tank hacks to beam back commentaries about the Kandahar offensive to the American people…The current cycle of military media manipulation began with the Iraq war, when the Pentagon enticed generals, intelligence officers, and defense contractors to become “message force multipliers” for the Bush administration’s version of the war, “sometimes even when they suspected the information was false or inflated.”…The strategy goes far deeper than the sleaze of everyday public relations. This is about the Pentagon’s turning of computer science into a weapon in the emerging field of information warfare, in which the deaths of men, women and children are less important than the perception of those deaths, or whether they are perceived by anyone at all.”