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March 24, 2008 Foreign Policy

Mission Extended

Pro-US panel was key in extending Afghan mission

January 30, 2008 Weblog:

Rambo!

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An interesting treatment in Reason traces the political ins and outs of Sylvester Stallone's Rambo franchise. In light of the fact that Rambo fights alongside US-funded Mujahideen in Rambo III, this excerpt is mildly amusing.

the word "Iraq" appears nowhere in the movie, and neither do "Al Qaeda," "Islam," "9/11," or "bin Laden." The writer/director/actor told Ain't It Cool News that he did this because "the idea of Rambo dealing with Al-Qaeda, etc. would be an insult to our American forces that are actually dying trying to rid the world of this cancer. To have at the end of a 90 minute movie the character of Rambo seizing Osama bin Laden in a choke hold then dragging him into the Oval Office then tossing him in the President's lap declaring 'The world is now safe, Chief' would be a bit insulting." I don't doubt Stallone's sincerity, though World War II-era GIs didn't seem to mind the fact that Superman, Captain America, and the rest were fighting alongside them in the comic books. Personally, I wouldn't have minded seeing some of the Afghan heroes of Rambo III return as villains in Rambo IV, but that might push the franchise into areas that Stallone would rather leave alone.

January 7, 2008 Features

Impacting Unimpaired

New agreements like the SPP and TILMA are aimed directly at unimpeded extraction in the tar sands

November 8, 2007 Foreign Policy

Is Canadian Military Aid Funding Assassinations in the Philippines?

The final article in the "battle of the ballot box" series

October 23, 2007 Weblog:

About that Poll

The Canadian Peace Alliance has a few things to say about the recent poll (trumpeted by the Globe and La Presse) that ostensively shows Afghans supporting the occupation.

September 20, 2007 Weblog:

Demonstrators Disrupt Bernier's First Speech in Quebec as Foreign Minister

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One by one, protesters stood up to interrupt recently appointed foreign minister Maxime Bernier during a speech urging support for the occupation of Afghanistan.

Press accounts in both French and English called it a "baptism of fire" for Bernier.

Radio-Canada has video.

Toronto Star correspondent Allan Woods couldn't make the drive from Ottawa, and ended up publishing quotes from the transcript that was sent to him. He probably got home early enough to watch it on TV.

June 15, 2007 Weblog:

Notes from the Tar Pits: Flying Above an Open Pit Graveyard

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Notes from the Tar Pits:
Flying Above an Open Pit Graveyard
Macdonald Stainsby // June 15, 2007

The plane cleared the tarmac and into the air we went, with a warning that the flight was going to have to go a little bit to the east of the usual, as the forest fires were too heavy. But the plume of white obfuscation that rose more than all the others was Suncor’s, with 2nd through 6th place going to Syncrude, CNRL, Albian/Shell, Total and (off in the distance) Petro Canada. It was completely impossible to spot any difference between the forest fires and the plumes of death-toxins breaking up into the atmosphere.

The giant tailings lakes are a sight to behold. The one near Syncrude, as I discovered from our pilot, is among the largest human made dams in the entire world. Though, I’m getting “biggest” fatigue; Every time I learn a new angle on how this is operating, it’s about the “biggest”. As a gentleman who drove us out of Fort MacKay said the other day: “If it’s the biggest in the world, it’s here,” and he was making zero reference to anything in particular.

Along with the largest craters in the world, deep pits of black sided land, being munched away, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and through every holiday are the highways being constructed. While people living downstream in Fort Chipewyan have unsafe running water in their homes and are a seasonal fly-in community, the roads to “projects” are as relentlessly constructed as the tar is pulled out of the earth. There are full private highways, and when it’s time to pull the tar from under the highway, they simply move it and build another one. Oil is still oil, after all (even when it is tar and synthetic/mock).

» continue reading "Notes from the Tar Pits: Flying Above an Open Pit Graveyard"

June 14, 2007 Weblog:

Notes from the Tar Pits: From McMurray to MacKay

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Notes from the Tar Pits: From McMurray to MacKay
Macdonald Stainsby
June 14, 2007

» continue reading "Notes from the Tar Pits: From McMurray to MacKay"

April 27, 2007 Weblog:

The Next Scandal

So. It's been determined that Canada was sending Afghani POWs to be tortured. If true, it means that Canadian officers are guilty of war crimes.

But its also the case that Canadian soldiers are directly engaged in combat operations, undoubtedly resulting in civilian deaths. Which there is no doubt information about, but it's not available. The press seems content to repeat claims that "40 Taliban were killed" in fighting, and so on.

» continue reading "The Next Scandal"

April 14, 2007 Weblog:

Ex Gratia?

A Freedom of Information Act request filed by the ACLU has resulted in a grim look at the killing done by US soldiers in Afghanistan, something which is rarely discussed.

Natually, Canadians are doing the same stuff, but that doesn't mean it will be discussed.

But someone could file an Access to Information Act request about Canada's "ex gratia" payments of no more than $2000 to the families of the people they kill.

April 9, 2007 Weblog:

Vimy, a Break

Rick Salutin has a somewhat sane counterpoint to the Vimy fever that's going around these days.

April 6, 2007 Weblog:

Prisoners

I haven't weighed in about the Iranian hostage crisis, but it's about time that I did. I'm shocked, shocked, to say the least, that a country would dare to unilaterally detain citizens of another sovereign country without trial, and subject them to questioning. Why, I'm sure it's only the massive media attention that kept them from dressing them up in orange jumpsuits, keeping them in humiliating conditions, and torturing them.

Iran has released them, but we cannot soon forgive this unpardonable violation of sovereignty and rights. Especially given that the British may have been in Iraqi waters. No foreign country has any right to enter those waters without Iraq's permission.

» continue reading "Prisoners"

April 4, 2007 Weblog:

Bosnian Serb Jailed

Dragan Zelenovic, a Bosnian Serb, pleaded guilty to charges of war crimes gruesome war crimes committed during the civil war in the former Yugoslavia. That's well and good, insofar as the claims are true.

But the fact that Serbian war criminals are singled out, while the hundreds, possibly thousands of war criminals that have been backed in various ways or in the employ of the US government are free to do as they please makes the "justice" of such a decision meaningless, and discredits the court.

March 28, 2007 Accounts

Growing Insurgencies, Irregular Warfare, part II

Development Aid as Counterinsurgency Tool

March 27, 2007 Canadian News

Growing Insurgencies, Irregular Warfare

Counterinsurgency Manual Shows Military's New Face

February 13, 2007 Accounts

Waiting For War?

Azerbaijan's refugees see little hope

February 7, 2007 Weblog:

"Wiped off the Map"

It has been repeated ad nauseum that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that Israel should be "wiped off the map". It has been said before that the quote is not accurate, but now there's a word by word translation of what Ahmadinejad actually did say.

The author runs a web site about Mohammad Mossadegh, the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran that was overthrown in a CIA-backed coup in 1953. This event, which led to the brutal militar

» continue reading ""Wiped off the Map""

February 4, 2007 Weblog:

The ultimate thermodynamic fate of all closed systems

Counterpunch has good pieces about similar dynamics in two different US political movements, environmentalism and anti-war.

Jeffrey St. Clair on the green movement's disconnection from the grassroots, and the unfortunate accuracy of right wing claims that environmentalists are Washington elitists:

To quote Jospeh Heller: Something happened. Somewhere along the line, the environmental movement disconnected with the people, rejected its political roots, pulled the plug on its vibrant and militant tradition. It packed its bags, starched its shirts and jetted to DC, where it became what it once despised: a risk-aversive, depersonalized, hyper-analytical, humorless, access-driven, intolerant, centralized, technocratic, dealmaking, passionless, direct-mailing, lawyer-laden monolith to mediocrity. A monolith with feet of clay.

» continue reading "The ultimate thermodynamic fate of all closed systems"

January 30, 2007 Weblog:

JTF2: Antisocial Operations

Today's Ottawa Citizen cover story about JTF2 contains a few nuggets of information:

The government wants the country's special forces units to be able to work more closely with similar units in the United States when reacting to incidents that potentially threaten North America. Canada's special forces will also play more of a role in training foreign militaries.

Emphasis added. JTF2's operations are completely secret, however, so there's no way of knowing who they're training, unless the government deigns to reveal it.

» continue reading "JTF2: Antisocial Operations"

January 21, 2007 Canadian News

Protesters Denounce Illegal Occupation of Somalia

Coalition of Concerned Somali-Canadians calls for immediate withdrawal of Ethiopian troops

December 29, 2006

Qurban Hussain

by Chris Sands

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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