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Are you angry yet?

seamus

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Another reporter going for the headlines not the story, the common thread of the downfall of the modern press.
 

cavalryman

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Susan Riley is well known as having a distinct anti-Afghan mission agenda, as well as a distinct anti-Conservative agenda, etc..... one of the Ottawa Citizen's resident unreconstructed marxists.  Taliban Jack is too right wing for her, no doubt.  I can't ever recall her doing a balanced piece.  Why she hasn't yet been relegated to the Sunday lifestyles section doing poof pieces like the other Ottawa Citizen's raving marxist, Janice Kennedy, is beyond me.
 

Wookilar

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As I am not normally an Ottawa Citizen reader, can someone tell me if this tripe is standard fare for this arm of the Canwest family?

And just how do we do it? What are Ms Riley's qualifications in international politics and/or security issues? Is this another TV critic spouting off about issues they have no grasp of or does the author actually have some experience that makes this oped piece relevent?

It sounds to me like all she did was watch Frontline one night and looks for comments from Ministers to be taken out of context.

And what the hell was that crack about the Afghan police liking the paycheck more than their flag? Obviously, she has no connection to her own flag or maybe she would understand the power that such symbols can have. I'm not saying they don't appreciate the check or the authority the get to wield, but the risks these guys take just by wearing that uniform tell me that many of them do it for more than just the money.To insult and belittle their efforts serves no purpose whatsoever.

edit: cavalryman: thanks for the additional info. My skies are much clearer now.

Wook
 

slowmode

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You Know I can see how everyone has different opinoins but I believe this is a totally wrong way of looking at the Mission in Afghan. We as a democratic and peacefull country have the duty to make sure others around the world can live as well as we do. So far in afghanistan we lost 57 Soldiers. They lost their lives doing whats right for Afghan and defending Canadian Values and Interests. We went in their to get a job done, we lost 57 Men doing so.  To honour those brave men who have fallen we should finish the mission.

WHen Has Canada EVER pulled out of a mission? Were not known for retreating but for finishing the job. Thats what we should do, finish the job we were asked to take on.  :cdn: :army:
 

Cdn Blackshirt

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Some of you guys who have been there may want to email her regarding this specific comment:

They understand that however noble our ambitions for that battered country, however idealistic our soldiers (another of whom died yesterday) and diplomats, this is a war the West will never win. The best we can hope for is a lull in hostilities lasting long enough to allow NATO to declare victory and get the heck out.

Specifically, has she ever been there to make such an assessment?

I'm guessing "no".....



Matthew.  :salute:
 

MarkOttawa

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Ms Riley is always like that, and loves linking the PM and Bush.  However the Citizen balances her (and a couple of other lefties) with very conservative columnists John Robson, Brigitte Pellerin (John's wife),  and David Warren.
http://thejohnrobson.com/
http://www.brigittepellerin.com/
http://www.davidwarrenonline.com/

Mark
Ottawa
 

medaid

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I say stick her in the middle of a patrol without a LAV, Coyote, Nayala or G-Wagen. Stick her on the pointy end with the res of the troops, and ask HER to win hearts and minds. I think the first question I'd ask her is:

"Ms.Riley, do you speak Pashto or Dari? No? So you didn't understand a thing that the village elders just said to us? Well then. SHUT the #$@$ UP!"

Or words to that effect... but then being a supposed 'officer and gentleman' I shall refrain from such comments directly at her... :mad:
 

safeboy43

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Step 1

Rid the county of insurgants who will disrupt the rebuilding efforts. Help when needed

Step 2

Make the CF's primary job to rebuild and assist the people of Afghanistan.


Two steps that will take years of hard work. Do them in reverse and we are doomed to fail.  Very simple, really. Some people just have no perspective in real life.  ::)
 

GUNS

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During the "Burn the bra" era, it would have been nice if she was still wearing hers. ;D
 
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Twitch said:
Step 1

Rid the county of insurgants who will disrupt the rebuilding efforts. Help when needed

Step 2

Make the CF's primary job to rebuild and assist the people of Afghanistan.


Two steps that will take years of hard work. Do them in reverse and we are doomed to fail.  Very simple, really. Some people just have no perspective in real life.  ::)


Its not even that simple IMHO.
We have to do both at the same time. I mean, how much easier would it be if we could just "close with the destroy" the country, THEN go in with food, meds and other goodies. I think this is what most people don't get, these 2 components are not separate.

 

Exarecr

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I caught the last half of the program in question, and the only confusion or friction I observed  was between a PRT team and the Infantry dudes that were I presume there for protection. You could sense a tension between the PRT leader,a female Captain I believe,sporting a logistics cap badge, and the troops which seemed to appear on a philosophical as well as operational level. As for the snafus in getting equipment delivered any where on time to it,s proper location,well, this  is to be expected in a system of transportation as antiquated as Afghanistan's.
 

Navy_Blue

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I saw the frontline episode they are speaking of.  The impression I got was that our people are getting the short end of the stick.  Take some villages water pumps for repairs in the spring.  Call them back to pick them up and find out only 2 of many arrive back in the fall.  These pumps were to get them through the winter.  Another incindent they were to drive out and deliver supplies and medical aid and I can't remember why they couldn't go them selves but the people were told to come (walk many miles) to them.  They didn't have anywhere close to the quantity needed for these people to get by.  If your going to win harts and minds you need the goods.  At the very least be organized and tell the people what you have and what you can do so they don't get disappointed.
 

Wootan 9

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Here's a draft OpEd that I sent to the "Citizen"...

Afghanistan: It’s About the People!
Colonel Mike Capstick (Canadian Forces, Retired)

Commentary such as Susan Riley’s recent column on Afghanistan (“Afghan Tragedy and Farce”, 13 June) is one of the major reasons that Canadians have come to believe that Afghanistan is “un-winnable.”

It is a simplistic (and probably politically motivated) misrepresentation of the real situation in Afghanistan.  Even worse, it demonstrates a total lack of both understanding and respect for the Afghan people.  Sadly, these criticisms apply equally to most of the commentary that emanates from the Toronto – Ottawa media elites.

In the first place, Afghanistan is not NATO’s to “win or lose.”  Let there be no doubt, the future of Afghanistan will be determined by Afghans.  It may be fashionable for uninformed commentators to scoff at the elected President and Parliament but I visited polling stations on the 18th of September 2005 and witnessed Afghans – men and women, Pasthun, Tajik and Hezara, urban and rural, Sunni and Shia – defy the insurgents to exercise their right to determine the future of their country.

NATO’s task is to assist the Afghan security forces stabilize the situation enough so that substantive development can progress and the mechanisms of good governance can be put in place.  It is the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, supported by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and the sixty plus donor nations who are actually doing the development work and supporting the governance effort.  Although Canadians wouldn’t know it from reading their daily newspapers, significant progress in these areas has been made in about 75% of the country where the security situation is stable.

For a year I led a team of Canadians that worked very closely with Afghan leaders, working level civil servants, members of civil society groups and entrepreneurs.  Some of these Afghans had returned from Canada, the US and Europe.  Others had remained in the region and worked with NGOs during Afghanistan’s darkest days.  Still others had fought the Soviets, the Taliban and each other.  Despite their differences, all of these men and women have two things in common – they share a national identity and love of Afghanistan and they care enough about the future of their country and its people to take the kinds of risks necessary to rebuild a shattered society.

The unspoken but crucial assumption that guides commentary like Riley’s is that Afghans are somehow incapable of meeting the challenge of rebuilding their state and their society.  Snide remarks about “human rights workshops” and “gourmet cooking classes for Afghan women” are indicative of the level of ignorance that exists concerning this ancient, proud and complex society.

The reality is that Afghans are seizing control of their future.  Yes, progress is slow and there have been setbacks.  However, I’m not sure why Canadians would expect anything else.  Afghanistan was shattered by three decades of coups, invasions and civil war.  Its people are at or near the bottom of every single UN Human Development Indicator.  Repairing infrastructure, building roads and opening airports destroyed by war is difficult.  Rehabilitating irrigation systems, digging wells and even acquiring spark plugs can seem challenging.  Despite the difficulties, all of these things are being done on a day-to-day basis throughout the country.

These physical tasks are simple in comparison to the challenge of repairing the social fabric of a devastated nation.  Establishing the rule of law, building an understanding and respect for human rights and eliminating corruption in a society that has been regulated by the AK 47 for over three decades will take time and patience.

Only people who are totally disconnected from the Afghan reality would expect that Afghans will succeed in meeting these challenges without robust military support to stabilize the security situation and without the long-term commitment of the international community, both to development and the establishment of good governance.

This is what Canada is doing in Afghanistan.  The real tragedy is the politicization of the mission for partisan advantage.  The real farce is the way that supposedly well-informed commentators have concluded that the people of Afghanistan no longer deserve Canada’s support.

Mike Capstick retired from the Canadian Armed Forces (Regular) in late 2006 after 32 years of service.  His final appointment was as Commander of the first deployment of the CF Strategic Advisory Team – Afghanistan from August 2005 until August 2006.  This unique unit, a mixed military – civilian team, provided strategic planning advice and capacity building to development related ministries and agencies of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. In 2007 he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his leadership of that team.  Currently he is an Associate of the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary.






 

safeboy43

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48 highlander said:
Its not even that simple IMHO.
We have to do both at the same time. I mean, how much easier would it be if we could just "close with the destroy" the country, THEN go in with food, meds and other goodies. I think this is what most people don't get, these 2 components are not separate.
You are right, we must do both at the same time. Note when I said "Help when needed." However, the Taliban will do everything in their power to stop us from gaining the Afghan's trust. That is why we must focus most of our efforts on suppression of the Taliban. It is also why people complain about most of the reconstruction money not being spent.
 

Reccesoldier

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48 highlander said:
Its not even that simple IMHO.
We have to do both at the same time. I mean, how much easier would it be if we could just "close with the destroy" the country, THEN go in with food, meds and other goodies. I think this is what most people don't get, these 2 components are not separate.

+1  Concurrent Activity... It's not just for PLQ anymore!
 

jaawod

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Wootan 9 said:
Here's a draft OpEd that I sent to the "Citizen"...

Afghanistan: It’s About the People!
Colonel Mike Capstick (Canadian Forces, Retired)

Commentary such as Susan Riley’s recent column on Afghanistan (“Afghan Tragedy and Farce”, 13 June) is one of the major reasons that Canadians have come to believe that Afghanistan is “un-winnable.”

It is a simplistic (and probably politically motivated) misrepresentation of the real situation in Afghanistan.  Even worse, it demonstrates a total lack of both understanding and respect for the Afghan people.  Sadly, these criticisms apply equally to most of the commentary that emanates from the Toronto – Ottawa media elites.

In the first place, Afghanistan is not NATO’s to “win or lose.”  Let there be no doubt, the future of Afghanistan will be determined by Afghans.  It may be fashionable for uninformed commentators to scoff at the elected President and Parliament but I visited polling stations on the 18th of September 2005 and witnessed Afghans – men and women, Pasthun, Tajik and Hezara, urban and rural, Sunni and Shia – defy the insurgents to exercise their right to determine the future of their country.

NATO’s task is to assist the Afghan security forces stabilize the situation enough so that substantive development can progress and the mechanisms of good governance can be put in place.  It is the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, supported by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and the sixty plus donor nations who are actually doing the development work and supporting the governance effort.  Although Canadians wouldn’t know it from reading their daily newspapers, significant progress in these areas has been made in about 75% of the country where the security situation is stable.

For a year I led a team of Canadians that worked very closely with Afghan leaders, working level civil servants, members of civil society groups and entrepreneurs.  Some of these Afghans had returned from Canada, the US and Europe.  Others had remained in the region and worked with NGOs during Afghanistan’s darkest days.  Still others had fought the Soviets, the Taliban and each other.  Despite their differences, all of these men and women have two things in common – they share a national identity and love of Afghanistan and they care enough about the future of their country and its people to take the kinds of risks necessary to rebuild a shattered society.

The unspoken but crucial assumption that guides commentary like Riley’s is that Afghans are somehow incapable of meeting the challenge of rebuilding their state and their society.  Snide remarks about “human rights workshops” and “gourmet cooking classes for Afghan women” are indicative of the level of ignorance that exists concerning this ancient, proud and complex society.

The reality is that Afghans are seizing control of their future.  Yes, progress is slow and there have been setbacks.  However, I’m not sure why Canadians would expect anything else.  Afghanistan was shattered by three decades of coups, invasions and civil war.  Its people are at or near the bottom of every single UN Human Development Indicator.  Repairing infrastructure, building roads and opening airports destroyed by war is difficult.  Rehabilitating irrigation systems, digging wells and even acquiring spark plugs can seem challenging.  Despite the difficulties, all of these things are being done on a day-to-day basis throughout the country.

These physical tasks are simple in comparison to the challenge of repairing the social fabric of a devastated nation.  Establishing the rule of law, building an understanding and respect for human rights and eliminating corruption in a society that has been regulated by the AK 47 for over three decades will take time and patience.

Only people who are totally disconnected from the Afghan reality would expect that Afghans will succeed in meeting these challenges without robust military support to stabilize the security situation and without the long-term commitment of the international community, both to development and the establishment of good governance.

This is what Canada is doing in Afghanistan.  The real tragedy is the politicization of the mission for partisan advantage.  The real farce is the way that supposedly well-informed commentators have concluded that the people of Afghanistan no longer deserve Canada’s support.

Mike Capstick retired from the Canadian Armed Forces (Regular) in late 2006 after 32 years of service.  His final appointment was as Commander of the first deployment of the CF Strategic Advisory Team – Afghanistan from August 2005 until August 2006.  This unique unit, a mixed military – civilian team, provided strategic planning advice and capacity building to development related ministries and agencies of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. In 2007 he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his leadership of that team.  Currently he is an Associate of the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary.

Very well-spoken article.  It's a real shame that people who have no idea of the actual situation over there are writing articles designed to sway public opinion against our cause.  I really hope the paper wll print this response.
 
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