Saturday, April 21, 2007

Sabotage

I'm so upset, I barely know where to begin.

This isn't news, it's sabotage:

Canadian diplomats and senior military commanders held high-level talks with the United Arab Emirates in January about joining the fight against the Taliban.

The Arab nation was apparently interested in contributing a small number of special operations troops who would have come with battle tanks and self-propelled artillery.

***

The Emirates was also apparently interested in contributing to reconstruction through the Canadian-led provincial reconstruction base.


The article says the information was obtained under Access to Information by the federal NDP, and presumably leaked to the press from there. Let's see what the law says about that:

13. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the head of a government institution shall refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act that contains information that was obtained in confidence from

(a) the government of a foreign state or an institution thereof;

(b) an international organization of states or an institution thereof;

(c) the government of a province or an institution thereof;

(d) a municipal or regional government established by or pursuant to an Act of the legislature of a province or an institution of such a government; or

(e) an aboriginal government.


What does that mean? It means this document should never have been released containing those details, as it contained information obtained in confidence from the government of a foreign state. Somebody who processed this request for the NDP screwed up.

So did the journalists who published it. Of course, you can only blame a vulture so much for sticking its head into a rotting carcass - it follows its nature, and so does a Canadian journalist, it seems. The journalist's right to publish or broadcast whatever the hell he thinks fit reigns paramount, apparently. My expectations of "professional" journalists are so low these days that it pains me to even descend there to describe them to you.

I am, however, about as disgusted and incensed with the NDP as I've ever been. You think they don't know the ATI law? You think they don't know they received information they had no business seeing?

No, elected New Democratic representatives of the Canadian people decided that they were going to undermine in a calculated and premeditated way the confidential foreign policy of the government of Canada.

New Democrat MP Libby Davies accused the Conservatives of trying to create a "Bush-style troop surge" in Afghanistan, referring to U.S. President George W. Bush's plan to increase American troop strength in Iraq.

The fact Canada was in discussion with a country outside of NATO to commit militarily to the war in Afghanistan was both unusual and troubling, she said.

"This is a very key issue for Canadians," she said following question period.

"The government has to provide clarity and information and they have to give assurances as to what the heck they are doing.


I've re-read that quote a few times now, and my gut tightens each time. The government most certainly does not have to provide information on confidential negotiations with foreign governments, any more than the NDP have to podcast their own caucus meetings. Diplomatic relations are the sole purview of the government, and there are good reasons for keeping certain pieces of information confidential, not the least of which is that the other government trusted us to.

The international community has a vested interest in the future of Afghanistan, as outlined by a multitude of UN resolutions and other agreements and declarations. If a sovereign foreign nation wishes to contribute more directly to that effort, who the hell are the NDP to usurp that right, let alone undermine those of the Canadian government?

This isn't evidence of a "Bush-style troop surge" - we're not increasing our forces in the country. And inviting other supporters of the Afghanistan Compact to participate in the rebuilding effort to a greater degree is neither unusual nor troubling. As Gordon O'Connor stated: "There are 11 countries beyond NATO in Afghanistan, all contributing to better security and a better life for the Afghan people."

Furthermore, as indicated in the confidential briefing documents, the involvement of a Muslim nation on the ground in Afghanistan would eliminate a key plank of the Taliban:

"This development could have a very significant positive effects on the situation in Kandahar Province, especially if it leads to greater involvement of the UAE," said the situation report, penned by Brig.-Gen Tim Grant, commander of Canadian troops in Afghanistan.

"The UAE is capable of bringing considerable financial support to development projects, and would provide a Muslim face to International Security Assistance Force operations, providing a counterpoint to insurgent rhetoric."


The NDP, with the willing collaboration of the press, has engaged in an astonishing act of sabotage. Because they disagree with the government's policy, and because they were presented with the opportunity by a careless government employee, they decided to pull the rug out from under this negotiation and undercut whatever chances it had of succeeding.

Hell, if the NDP really want to get our troops home faster, if any means is justified in achieving that end, then they could just leak operational details to the Taliban and get enough of our guys killed and maimed to completely eliminate public support for the mission at home. I dearly hope they wouldn't sink that low, but after today, I have no idea at all where they would draw the line.

By God, if you disagree with the mission, then fight to change it, by all means. But while our troops are in harm's way, don't subvert their own efforts to improve their chances of success!

Even the most cynical and pessimistic of my friends will say that while he doesn't believe this mission will succeed, he hopes to the bottom of his heart that he's wrong. The NDP seem to want to stack the deck to prove themselves right, at the expense of both the Canadian and Afghan people.

For shame. FOR SHAME!

Update: Kate at SDA points us towards Charles Adler's interview with Dawn Black of the NDP. Ms. Black makes all of her predictable points, and Mr. Adler volleys them back at her quite well. She and her party are caught between wanting the mission to change, and wanting to be seen to support the troops. Unfortunately, while the troops have the current mission, opposing bolstering that mission with additional and uniquely valuable foreign soldiers and equipment undercuts CF troops, and there's no real way around that.

You make your bed and lie in it.

One point that needs to be made: although the information was released under ATI, it was released by mistake. The discussions with the UAE were confidential, and should have remained so. While the machinery of government deserves a good portion of the blame for this fiasco, the NDP shouldn't have taken the opportunity to diplomatically embarrass the UAE and undermine Canada's international reputation by giving information to the press that the NDP knew shouldn't have been released.

40 Comments:

Blogger Dave in Pa. said...

"Bush-style troop surge" Hmmm ...
"Bush-style ______" and "American-like______" - the ultimate perjoratives.

The NDP seem to be adding "'NDP-like'" giving of aid and comfort to the enemy" to the public lexicon. It seems the Dippers and certain MSM have taken their lesson from the Democrats, the NY Times and others. The hard left of the Anglophone nations have invented a remarkable new definition of patriotism, wherein the sabotage their own country's foreign policies and national interests.

8:01 a.m., April 21, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sanctimonious, holier than thou, heads stuck up their arses . . . today's champagne socialists that populate the NDP are beyond pathetic.

Make me wanna puke . . .

10:08 a.m., April 21, 2007  
Blogger IHateMikeDuffy said...

These were documents released by DND right? presumably an analyst or a lawyer would have flagged this document and brought it up at the weekly ATI meeting between the Minister's office, the CDS and the DM. It isn't just ATI staff that review these things, in every Department someone from the Minister's office reviews each page before approving their release.

It should also be noted that every document released by DND is available to ANYONE (Canadian or foreign) at the DND reading room in Ottawa. check here for a list of recently completed requests: http://www.admfincs.forces.gc.ca/daip/new_e.asp?sel=atip

12:41 p.m., April 21, 2007  
Blogger Lemon said...

Its becoming clear that the NDP is acting against the interests of Canada and the west and in favour of any organization that threatens our way of life.
Their efforts to be different than the Government means that they are being enemies of Canadians.
And once again, a terrorist organization benefits from actions of effed up do-gooders.
I wonder who in the UAE will lose their head because of the childish actions of the NDP?

1:03 p.m., April 21, 2007  
Blogger Sam said...

Criticize the politics, but the accusations of law-breaking and treason are over the top and ignorant.

The talks were clearly not confidential if the government chose to release the documents. Moreover, the negotiations took place in JANUARY (read the article) so I don't think the NDP leak scuttled them.

1:25 p.m., April 21, 2007  
Blogger Babbling Brooks said...

The NDP didn't break the law - the government employee who released this information to them contravened the Act.

But a loyal opposition party wouldn't have used that mistake for partisan purposes, to the detriment of Canada's international reputation and to the detriment of our troops in theatre.

"Treason" has a legal definition, and so I did not use it in this post. But when a party actively undermines the mission instead of simply expressing their opposition to it, I would not call that party loyal.

3:13 p.m., April 21, 2007  
Blogger Stephen said...

Jim is correct.

I have received hundreds of pages in ATI requests from DND on missile defence: blanked out sections are accompanied by a stamp informing one under which section of the act the sensitive information has been withheld.

All the other information, as I have been informed by DND myself, is in the public domain and those who receive it are free to do with it as they wish.

On the evidence provided here, there is no question of wrongdoing, leaking, or anything else out of order.

3:56 p.m., April 21, 2007  
Blogger JG said...

To say that this post is over-the-top is an understatement. What sort of paranoid delusions do you have that makes this "sabotage" much less tantamount to treason (though, of course, not in the legal sense)?

So there were negotiations with the UAE about joining the Afghanistan campaign.

And? I'm certainly interested to know about this sort of thing. But sabotage? Of what? A blurb about negotiations hardly constitutes "operational details".

Note that the ATI act states that information that was obtained in confidence from a foreign state must not be disclosed. Was that the case here? (I'd say, obviously not!)

As for this BS about the "confidentiality" of government foreign policy, would you care to point to those statutes authorizing Her Majesty's Government willfully to conceal information from Parliament? By extension, if negotiations were going on to, say, annex Canada to the US, we wouldn't have a right to know about it, since it could be judged "confidential".

A laughable scenario, yes, but no more ridiculous than your authoritarian conceit that Parliament and the general public have no right to know about this government's foreign policies.

9:49 p.m., April 21, 2007  
Blogger Mark, Ottawa said...

Josh: "As for this BS about the "confidentiality" of government foreign policy, would you care to point to those statutes authorizing Her Majesty's Government willfully to conceal information from Parliament?"

Under the Westminster parliamentary system foreign policy--and deployment of the armed forces--remain, with no requirement for statutory authorization, part of the royal prerogative, i.e. now decisions made by the executive.

As to concealing information from Parliament, I suggest you read what is at the link below. In 1914 not only did the UK Parliament not know of their government's engagements with France, most of the cabinet did not know them either.
http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/peer.htm

Mark
Ottawa

10:09 p.m., April 21, 2007  
Blogger OMMAG said...

Typical stupid self centered and self righteous Lefty jackasses!
If there is any way of slapping these idiots with a legal sanction I expect it to be done!

11:49 p.m., April 21, 2007  
Blogger leftdog said...

Guess who gave the NDP the info about the talks with the United Arab Emirates? .... the Harper Government!

"Documents obtained by the opposition New Democrats, UNDER ACCESS TO INFORMATION LAWS, indicate that Col. Fred Lewis, deputy commander of Task Force Afghanistan, met Emirates military staff over a five-day period in January to discuss "the feasibility of a bilateral agreement."
-International Herald Tribune-

-----------------

Okay, the NDP had information on the discussions between Canada and United Arab Emirates - and they got the documents from ... the GOVERNMENT OF CANADA!!

Yup .. they paid their $10 and filled out an FOI (freedom of information) form and took the papers to the House and asked a question.

And you want to put blindfolds on people - stand them up against a wall - and kill them??

Nutso city over here folks!!

12:03 a.m., April 22, 2007  
Blogger kinch said...

Wow, wow, wow! To think these nuts actually are the forces behind our current government...

1:02 a.m., April 22, 2007  
Blogger leftdog said...

THIS IS NOT SABATOGE AND ANYONE WHO SAYS IT IS - NEEDS TRANQUILIZERS!

For gawds sakes .... what is with you people - you WANT to be angry ... it is time to get a grip and get over all of this need for everthing to be a bloody war.

1:27 a.m., April 22, 2007  
Blogger Louise said...

Did any of you leftist lunatics here actually read the article? As usual, the NDP and their supporters, who have never had to deal with international affairs in a responsible international position, have earned a big "F" on their report card.

Libby Davies, especially, seems totally oblivious to the political climate in the Middle Eastern and Muslim world. This development could be extremely significant in forging a new relationship between that part of the world and the West, but all the loons on the left can dredge up is the usual anti-Harper, anti-Bush derangement speaking points.

At the very least, UAEs involvment in bolstering the forces available in Afghanistan would be a welcome development from NATOs point of view, yet Davies cannot escape from her Bush Deranged Syndrom response:

"New Democrat MP Libby Davies accused the Conservatives of trying to create a "Bush-style troop surge" in Afghanistan, referring to U.S. President George W. Bush's plan to increase American troop strength in Iraq.

The fact Canada was in discussion with a country outside of NATO to commit militarily to the war in Afghanistan was both unusual and troubling, she said."

Yet again the left works against the oppressed in the Arab and Muslim world. This mindset has become so commonplace, it's mindboggling.

The UAE is one of the more enlightened countries in the Middle East. They have taken many steps toward greater a degree of most of the hallmarks we in the West consider to be pillars of democracy. They are lightyears apart from the Taliban. Davies, a woman and a lesbian, of all people, should support the emergence of democracy and human rights in Afghanistan, but alas, Bush Deranged Syndrome has produced rot in her brain, too.

It's a cumfy place, I guess. The NDP and the left will never be in government at the federal level and will never have to deal with the realpolitik of international diplomacy. Meanwhile, they grasp at the silliest of straws to try and orchestrate some psuedo-scandal to confirm their faux-compassion. I can only hope that the UAE does not take these shenanigans as a signal to back off from of their expressed intentions.

Whatever happened to the old left who championed these sorts of causes, like these ones do? I miss them.

1:18 p.m., April 22, 2007  
Blogger Louise said...

Oh, and this. The very last paragraph of the article, referring to the so called insurgents in Afghanistan:

"In an effort to persuade them (the insurgents) to fight for their cause, the Taliban often whip ordinary Afghans into a religious froth by portraying NATO forces as infidels contaminating Muslim land."

hehehehe. See who you're bed with, Jack and Libby? Recognise your froth? It goes like this: Bush, Bush, Bush, Bush, Bush, Bush, Bush, Bush, Bush, Bush, Bush, Bush, Bush, Bush, Bush, Bush, Bush, Bush, Bush, Bush, Bush, etc., etc., etc., ad nauseam, ad nauseam, ad nauseam.

1:37 p.m., April 22, 2007  
Blogger Dwayne said...

I know this could be a stretch but I wonder if the CPC will ask to see the ATI that generated the story. And then, I wonder if they will talk to the people involved with the release. You see, it is possible that the person who released the information may have done so knowing that it could be used to embarrass the government. You don't really think that every public servant actually supports the CPC do you? And before you pop up and tell me how professional all these people are, I work with some of them here in Winnipeg, and they are as human as the rest of us.

Last point, perhaps the info was leaked to the NDP and they covered it with the ATI request.

1:57 p.m., April 22, 2007  
Blogger Louise said...

Dwayne, with all due respect, how exactly could that information embarrass the government? It seems to me the risk of making this information public is in the realm of international displomacy with an Arab government. The UAE is the government which stands to be exposed here. Some hands from the Arab would had reached out and clasped those of a Western government and they agreed to help each other defeat Islamofascism. That is a risky thing to do in the Middle East right now, especially where kingdoms are concerned. Islamofacists do not take kindly to Arab governments who cooperate with the West, especially when the cooperation is designed to defeat fellow extremists like the Taleban. That is the big story here. It's got nothing to do with the Conservative Party or Bush. The dolts on the left don't get thaT, but why should that be a surprise.

3:44 p.m., April 22, 2007  
Blogger leftdog said...

The NDP got the information from the Federal Government by filling our a Freedom of Information form and paperclipping $10 to it.

Some 'sabatoge' that is .... what is wrong with right wingers - still fighting the cold war - fearing terrorists under your bed .... unbelievable!!!!!!

7:04 p.m., April 22, 2007  
Blogger Louise said...

leftdog, are you really so obtuse?

Disclosure of this information could place the special forces from the UAE operating in Afghanistan at risk. I can understand, being a Canadian leftie, that you see no problem in placing Canadian troops a risk, since it helps you to spread the anti-Harper/anti-Bush mantra, but why would you want to thwart the success of the UAE efforts in a land where fellow Muslims are threatened by one of the most heinous ideologies since Hitler's fascist regime?

Are you lefties really that cold and indifferent or are you, as I suspect, ideological zealots yourselves, philosophical kindred with the likes of the Taliban and Iraq's Ba'athists or al Qaeda?

Innocent Afghans, especially women and girls are irrelevant to you, aren't they? Could it be that you just can't let the possibility be known that Muslims may hate these oppressors as much as anyone else would?

Or is it that a Muslim's death is worth something to you only if it can be blamed on Bush or Harper? Muslims killed and maimed by fellow Muslims are just necessary collateral damage in the fight to unseat the Great Satan, aren't they?

7:58 p.m., April 22, 2007  
Blogger Louise said...

Excellent discussion about Iran on talk radio's Bill Bennett show. Click on Wednesday, February 21, 2007 (#7)

8:44 p.m., April 22, 2007  
Blogger Louise said...

Oops. Forgot the link.

8:46 p.m., April 22, 2007  
Blogger Cameron Campbell said...

Working through this thread has made me think that most of you know exactly nothing about democracy.

Not one thing.

First, to the actual post: I think that "treason" or even "giving aid to the enemy" is over the top. Given that it would appear that no laws were broken any claims to the contrary represent the only illegal activity in this context.

That it was fairly moronic to disclose the involvement of the UAE like this is also a touch moronic. Full on idiocy can be found on the part of whom ever said "bush-style surge". It plays well to the moron fringe, but isn't factually correct.

Moving on: dave is on cue (which is to say, he's spewing more dittohead idiocy), fred seems nearly reasonable (mb he's gotten my point that when someone from one part of the political spectrum does something they are representing everyone from that part of the spectrum–that would be nice, my face hurts from that particular wall).

jim's original comment is interesting, but misses the point. If I'm given something by mistake, like a privileged email, or a contract or what not, and I, as a person able to read, realizes that it's not really something that I'm meant to have or that there are larger ramifications to my having it than my mere amusement, then I ought to get rid of it and shut the hell up about it. I hate to have to give this particular lecture, again, but everyone in the house is a member of the government. They are all meant to be serving the interests of all Canadians. Not just the ones that voted for them.

Brian is new, but with his "Its becoming clear that the NDP is acting against the interests of Canada and the west and in favour of any organization that threatens our way of life." he seems ready to join the dave/fred firmament nicely. That's right Brian, everyone in the NDP is actually a Taliban fifth columnist. Did your decoder ring tell you that?

bb seems to me to have nearly the right timbre in this, but I'm still not sure that he's made a case. Sure the info probably shouldn't have been made public, but there is a lack of causality and correlation.

klinch comes in, from left field one would imagine (get it "left"–ok it sucks, but I"m tired) wtih "Wow, wow, wow! To think these nuts actually are the forces behind our current government..." Who's the nut? How do you know everyone who contributes to this blog is a CPC supporter? Have you been reading, because in the rest of this blog, out side of this posting, there have been some pretty fucking harsh comments about Harper and his conservatives. I know that might not fit your imagined narrative, but hey, the truth sucks sometimes. And "nuts"? Everyone who disagrees with you and the NDP is a nut? Back to remedial democracy class for you as well.

"Did any of you leftist lunatics here actually read the article? " YAY LOUISE! GO GO GO!

(an aside, I signed that Louise, proudly–sadly I'm guessing you didn't, or at least didn't read it, ironic...)

Back to Louise " who you're bed with, Jack and Libby? " umm... that's about the stupidest thing in this thread (well until your last comment). Asking questions about international diplomacy and military deals is getting in bed with terrorists and the Taliban? uh huh... ok... (please imagine me backing away making soothing hand gestures).

dwayne, bless you, actually tries to have a debate about how this information got out. Poor thing. This thread has moved passed the reasoned phase.

leftdog (don't worry I heard you yapping), for a certain segment of the left (which you clearly are part of) bringing up the cold war is the equivalent of the right wing "appeaser" card. Both are stupid.

Ahh... Louise's last comment. So much venom, so much bile, so much utter horse poop.

" I can understand, being a Canadian leftie, that you see no problem in placing Canadian troops a risk". Laughable if it weren't for the fact that you accused the whole Canadian left of wanting Canadian troops to die. A sweeping statement bereft of anything but the most asinine dogmatic spittle. I'm part of the Canadian left. So's my wife, a goodly number of my friends, not one of them wishes for Canadian troops to die. Or be at any elevated level of threat.

"but why would you want to thwart the success of the UAE efforts " a smidgen of something called proof would be nice when making that kind of statement would, you know, be lovely. You can't both claim that the NDP are irrelevant and then have us believe that they can influence foreign affairs in the UAE. It lacks internal logic. Well any logic at all really.

"Are you lefties really that cold and indifferent or are you, as I suspect, ideological zealots yourselves, philosophical kindred with the likes of the Taliban and Iraq's Ba'athists or al Qaeda?" Again with the lack of internal logic, either we're all campfire song singers and tree huggers, or we're killers of Canadian troops, which is it?

And then, in a moment of wonder, you finally get to you're "point": EVERYONE ON THE LEFT ARE TERRORISTS! Yay! Took you long enough (I have to say that it was foreshadowed rather clumsily–perhaps a writing class?)

"Innocent Afghans, especially women and girls are irrelevant to you, aren't they?" [sarcasm]Yep, everyone on the left is all about hating the brown people. Especially the women and girls. God that's what we're known for. Hating the brown people and the women. Yep that's us.

"Could it be that you just can't let the possibility be known that Muslims may hate these oppressors as much as anyone else would? " Go on. That's impossible (oh, I forgot to close that tag [/sarcasm]).

"Or is it that a Muslim's death is worth something to you only if it can be blamed on Bush or Harper? Muslims killed and maimed by fellow Muslims are just necessary collateral damage in the fight to unseat the Great Satan, aren't they?" hahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahah... Free Dominion much? This is satire right? It has to be.

Anyway, I'd like to thank you all very much. Seriously, I had some lingering doubts left that our country was becoming as politically polarized as the US. They're gone now. Clarity rules all.

9:01 p.m., April 22, 2007  
Blogger Cameron Campbell said...

OOPS

When I say "Moving on: dave is on cue (which is to say, he's spewing more dittohead idiocy), fred seems nearly reasonable (mb he's gotten my point that when someone from one part of the political spectrum does something they are representing everyone from that part of the spectrum–that would be nice, my face hurts from that particular wall)."

I meant "he's gotten my point that when someone from one part of the political spectrum does something they are NOT representing everyone from that part of the spectrum

9:03 p.m., April 22, 2007  
Blogger Cameron Campbell said...

And Louise? Townhall? Bill Bennett?

hahahhahah

9:59 p.m., April 22, 2007  
Blogger Louise said...

Troll alert!! Ignore the troll.

What is an internet troll?

An "Internet troll" or "Forum Troll" is a person who posts outrageous message to bait people to answer. Forum Troll delights in sowing discord on the forums. A troll is someone who inspires flaming rhetoric, someone who is purposely provoking and pulling people into flaming discussion. Flaming discussions usually end with name calling and a flame.

11:07 p.m., April 22, 2007  
Blogger Louise said...

And Nobody Cares... [Michael Ledeen]

...about chemical weapons, do they? For the ninth time in recent weeks WMDs are used by the terrorists in Iraq:

BAGHDAD - A suspected al-Qaida in Iraq suicide bomber smashed a truck loaded with TNT and toxic chlorine gas into a police checkpoint in Ramadi on Friday, killing at least 27 people — the ninth such attack since the group's first known use of a chemical weapon in January.

But, just like women stoned to death in Iran, or the mass starvation of the people of Zimbabwe, these horrors are greeted with the silence that racists reserve for the less-than-humans who behave in an uncivilized way. Their unspoken attitude is, well, what can you expect of these untermenschen?

And anyway, it's all Bush's fault.

12:54 a.m., April 23, 2007  
Blogger Cameron Campbell said...

Louise, the irony of you cutting and pasting that is rich, given that each point on it matches your behavior to a T. Could you point to my post and show where I wrote something that even begins to rise to the level of your accusing the left of hoping for the death of Canadian troops or of innocent Afghans to serve a political ends? Because, beyond being disgusting and a perfect example of polarizing language, it also fits your little definition quite nicely.

And now the NRO on top of TownHall...

So I think I have a handle on it, it's not that you're against what you perceive as slanted, biased, one sided writing, it's that you're against what you perceive as slanted, biased, one sided writing that disagrees with your world view.

Another way to tell a troll is when they start disliking the actual topic on hand they try and steer it to something more to their likeing, and usually tangentially related. So, to follow your turns: Afghanistan/UAE/Canadian deal with UAE about Afghanistan to Iran to Iraq and "WMD" usage.

This redefining of both the debate and language to suit your political ends is really really nice.

For a weapon to be a WMD it has to, you know, do some M.

6:38 a.m., April 23, 2007  
Blogger Babbling Brooks said...

Cam's not a troll, he's a regular. We try - without much success, I must admit - to keep 'left' and 'right' out of discussions around here, and keep our divisions to 'support the CF' and 'don't support the CF.'

9:54 a.m., April 23, 2007  
Blogger Cameron Campbell said...

Thank you BB.

And you do a good job of it (Taliban Jack digs notwithstanding).

(I think that's enough knob shining for one day, yes?)

10:07 a.m., April 23, 2007  
Blogger HR said...

ummm, Torch...
you forgot to add this from
"The Law" directly under the clause you cited.

(2) The head of a government institution may disclose any record requested under this Act that contains information described in subsection (1) if the government, organization or institution from which the information was obtained

(a) consents to the disclosure; or

(b) makes the information public.

Did you check to see first if the information is actually classified information from the U.A.E? It certainly doesn't sound like it according the The Star report I read.

What makes you think the U.A.E participating in ISAF is classified?

The U.A.E was a participating country in the London Conference on Afghanistan and part of the Afghanistan Pact that was agreed to in February 2006.

Here's the link http://www.fco.gov.uk/
servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/
Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=
1134650705195
go to Annex IV

and this blogger at http://oruzgan.web-log.nl/
uruzgan_weblog/2007/04/
putting_muslim_.html
says this:

* (There are already some 150 UAE soldiers based at US FOB Ripley in Tarin Kowt/Tirin Kot, capital of Uruzgan/Oruzgan Province. They reportedly include Special Forces, but are also said to be involved in reconstruction work. With the recent changes in the chain of command, it's not clear to this webmaster whether the UAE military still are part of Operation Enduring Freedom, or now part of ISAF's Regional Command South).

So I'm not sure what the problem is for talks between our two countries who are involved in the same pact and U.N. mission. According to that Dutch blogger, the U.A.E. being involved with Afghanistan is nothing new and isn't a secret as his information appears to be very open and probably something he was able to pull off from the Dutch ISAF website.

According to Wikipedia it says that on September 22, 2001 the U.A.E and Saudi Arabia officially withdrew their recognition of the Taliban as the legal government of Afghanistan , thus making it politically easier for those countries to provide support to ISAF or OEF.

You really have to take what the NDP say about Afghanistan with a grain of salt because their rationale doesn't always make sense other than just rhetorical expediency

9:54 p.m., April 23, 2007  
Blogger Dave in Pa. said...

"...the most asinine dogmatic spittle. I'm part of the Canadian left."

Cameron, we'd never have guessed! /sarc

10:14 p.m., April 23, 2007  
Blogger Mark, Ottawa said...

Dave: Come on. Cameron is interested (how many of the left are?) and, to put it clearly (hope I'm right Cam), wants to learn from those of us who may have something to contribute about defence realities.

Rampant opposition to the use of military force by the West is a feature of the left, largely as a result of Vietnam.

But let us not forget Maj. Attlee who went through WW I.
http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/TUattlee.htm

And who also played, as prime minister, a role in the UK's decision to develop nuclear weapons.
http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Uk/UKOrigin.html

"On 8 January 1947 the secret GEN.163 Cabinet committee of six Ministers (headed by PM Attlee) decided to proceed with development and acquisition of atomic weapons."

I think it very important not to fall into mindless pacifism. At the same time it is important carefully to consider when military force should be used by a country. I still think the Canadian mission in Afstan is a good one.

Mark
Ottawa

10:38 p.m., April 23, 2007  
Blogger Cameron Campbell said...

I'm with Mark, the problem with some people is that they think in terms of "I've a hammer, look at all those nails."

10:59 p.m., April 23, 2007  
Blogger Cameron Campbell said...

That was incomplete. I think conflicts, like all complex problems need to be solved with a tool kit approach. Negotiations and talking is one of the tools in there, threat of force/use of same is as well.

Assuming that one is automatically always better than the other, or that anyone who espouses the use of one over the other is automatically wrong is stupid.

And there's quite enough stupid in the world.

9:20 a.m., April 24, 2007  
Blogger Dwayne said...

Well Cameron, debate isn't what it used to be I guess. I listened to Adler yesterday (Monday) when he interviewed Dawn Black about this. Her take is that we should not be involved in counter insurgency missions. I can't see how we can make an area safe if there are enemies lurking nearby waiting to kill folks. Now, it really should be up to the Afghan nation to provide the security but they are not up to the task yet, so we, and other countries, provide the combat support necessary to driving back these enemies. Once the Afghan nation is on its feet, we can leave. Can you imagine if we set a date of say, 1942, as the pull out date from England during WWII?

If we leave to early then we leave a vacuum that will be filled by the strongest group in the area. If that strongest group happens to be the Taliban or other like minded radicals what was all the fighting for then? We need to help nurture and support democracy and rule of law in Afghanistan until the country can stand on its own.

5:11 p.m., April 24, 2007  
Blogger Cameron Campbell said...

dwayne, my name is Cameron, not Dawn.

I won't ask you to explain the actions of everyone on your side of the aisle if you extend to me the same courtesy .

7:40 p.m., April 24, 2007  
Blogger Dwayne said...

Ouch... since your name isn't Dawn I won't expect you to debate her talking points then.

My main point, which you so adroitly sidestepped, unless you agree with it, is that we cannot cut and run without ensuring that the country is left whole and relatively able to care for itself.

9:06 p.m., April 24, 2007  
Blogger Mark, Ottawa said...

dwayne: Of course we can "cut and run" since most of the country (west, north, centre, Kabul, parts of the east--Jallalabad) are essentially peaceful. There are also the Americans, Brits, Dutch (for how long?), Poles,
Aussies, Romanians, Danes and Estonians fighting.

But simply to say now "we quit" in February 2009, regardless of future developments, would be craven--and destroy us as a "serious country" in the real world with our closest allies.

Mark
Ottawa

9:56 p.m., April 24, 2007  
Blogger Cameron Campbell said...

How can I sidestep something that I've neither supported nor disagreed with? If you have some kind of need to have a fight with someone you identify as a "lefty", you really ought to find one who's in the mood for that. I'm not.

We're there till it's done. But we need a metric by which to measure "doneness" . That isn't in place.
What is it? The Afghan security forces can stand up on their own? A certain violent death rate per 100K citizens? No Taliban (hahahah)? A certain number of homes with water? A certain number of girls in school? Free elections with a certain percentage of participation? Lower poppy cultivation?

I don't know.

Neither, I suspect, do you.

So basically Canadians, and the CF personal and families who will do they dying and fighting and killing and grieving, are being asked to accept an open ended mission with no clear sense of when it will ever be over.

This, beyond the strategy point of view that I'm not qualified to speak to, is really shitty expectation management.

10:09 p.m., April 24, 2007  
Blogger Cameron Campbell said...

Oh, and it should be noted that neither the NDP nor the Liberals nor the Bloc have proposed a metric either.

10:07 a.m., April 25, 2007  

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