Saturday, February 02, 2008

Earth to Hillier: Torture is Everyone's Business

Whooee! Well friends an' foes, I'm chewin' nails and fartin' tacks. I seen Field Marshall Hillier on the TV last night sayin' it's none of Canada's business if the Governor of Kandahar is accused of torturing detainees.

Might I remind General Hillier that Canada is a signatory to the Geneva Conventions? Should anyone have to remind Canada's top soldier that we are treaty-bound to pay attention to allegations of abuse?

Canada is in Afghanistan to help create a democratic state that operates under the rule of law. That's the mission. That's why we're there.

We are not there to act as apologists for torturers. We are not there to participate in an illegal and immoral system. We are not there to gloss over evidence of torture. We are not there to perpetuate an inhumane, cruel, despicable regime. We are not there to protect opium dealers like President Karzai's brother Ahmed. We are not there to prop up warlord governors who were personally appointed by Karzai and who personally engage in illegal acts of barbarism. We are not there to uphold Sharia Law. We are not there to support the death penalty for journalists who dare to read about womens' rights. We are not there to trample Canadian values and to kowtow to warlords and war criminals.

If we are there and dying for this regime, we need to be sure the regime is worth dying for. It isn't. With every new revelation of secrets and lies by the Harper government, Canadians are realizing just how wrong our involvement is and how much we've been complicit in criminality. It is our business. It is the business of every human being.

Today's headline says the Governor Khalid is denying allegations of torture. Big surprise. Nearly every convicted criminal in every prison in the world is denying their guilt. Why would a torturing governor admit that they were a war criminal? Did anyone expect Khalid to simply 'fess up?

Big questions of the day:
  • Canadian diplomats informed the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) of the allegations against Khalid back in Apil. An investigation was to ensue. Was there an investigation?

  • If there was an investigation, what were the findings?

  • Why was Canada not informed of the findings of the ICRC investigation?

  • Why, with no results of a promised investigation, does Canada continue to work closely with Khalid?

  • Why did Peter MacKay keep these allegations secret from the Canadian people?

  • Who sets policy in Afghanistan, Parliament or General Hillier?

  • When do Canadians say, "Enough is enough. Not in my name!!"
Change the climate in Parliament.



ladybroadoak said...

I blog away and blog away on this PARTICULAR issue .. no one posts links to them. I write about this write about this and write about this on OpEd News, too!
and nobody comments.

Tell me, is EVERYBODY drinking the koolaid - or do they think that by ignoring this issue it does NOT exist?


Taliba al-Quran said...

Hey that was a good read. Nice to see someone actually writing that. I started a blog for what I used to email around. it's strictly for detainee profiles & actions.

Good read, good blog to find!