Harper’S Ottawa: The High Price Of Collusion In America’S Imperialist Wars.

Posted on Thursday, July 29 at 09:16 by robertjb

 

When Canadian diplomat Richard Colvin returned from Afghanistan to appear before a Parliamentary committee in late 2009 and gave testimony that Canadian Forces were implicated in the mistreatment of prisoners and torture the Harper government responded with vehement denials, character assassination, and ultimately shut down Parliament to silence the furor over Colvin’s testimony.
 
Defense Minister Peter MacKay led the charge to discredit Colvin accusing him of being a Taliban dupe. Mackay went on to make the outrageous claim: There has not been a single solitary proven allegation of abuse involving a transferred Taliban prisoner by Canadian Forces.” Mackay though, in attempting to discredit Colvin only discredited himself. Torture, since the scandal at Abu Ghraib in Iraq in 2004 had the become norm for American forces. As a NATO ally and highly integrated partner in warfare it is impossible to believe that Canadian forces could escape being implicated in the practice of torture.
 
Colvin only affirmed what many already knew. His testimony served to move the issue front and center where the government was forced to act and this they did with vicious denials and character assassination. This denialism is a pattern of behavior for any government involved in collusion. Collusion can only be sustained if it remains submerged , out of sight of public scrutiny and with the complicity of an indifferent  press.
 
Similarly, there is the case of Omar Khadr. His case does not illicit much sympathy with many Canadians, but this lack of sympathy has more to do with bigotry than the facts of his case. Khadr at the age of fifteen was accused of “murdering” an American medic in Afghanistan. Conclusive proof that he was the one who, in the confusion of battle, actually killed the medic remains vague. Khadr was then interned in the infamous Guantanamo where he was designated an “enemy combatant.” This term was coined to get around any rights he might have as a prisoner of war under the Geneva Conventions. Guantanamo itself was established so that prisoners taken there could be dealt with without any reference to US laws, and they were to be tried by military tribunals.
 
After seven years of incarceration Khadr now faces trial by the military tribunal. Khadr’s case is marked by many profound ironies:
 
-Why is the US military so determined to prosecute him? Many believe he has simply been tarred by his father’s active role in  Al Qaeda.
 
-How can the tribunals ignore the fact that he was only 15 years of age at the time of his alleged crime?
 
- How can his alleged crime be considered murder when the Americans were an invading army, and furthermore, have killed/murdered thousands of innocent civilians in both Iraq and Afghanistan?  
 
-Why does he remain the only Western foreign national not repatriated by his home government?
 
-Why does his home government steadfastly refuse, in defiance of our own courts, deny him his rights?
 
 
All point to collusion and  implicates the Canadian government as it has actively suppressed the repatriation of Khadr, defied our courts and passively condoned the torture he underwent at Guantanamo.  The Harper government’s obstinate refusal to handle the Khadr case with any sense of decency only points to its utter subservience to Washington’s imperial agenda. Colvin’s testimony, like the Khadr case, are revelations of the collusion and the government ineffectively counters them with pig-headed denialism, turning leaders into parodies of their former selves.
 
Now with the 90,000 plus war files leaked to WikiLeaks  available to all, the behavior of the Canadian government becomes totally bizarre. When our Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lawrence Cannon, makes the utterly fatuous claim that the leaked documents “have nothing to do us” he seems to have forgotten that Canadian lives are being lost in this war.  We are a NATO member, and our forces are deeply integrated and often under the direct command of US forces. Cannon’s denial smells of panic on the ship of state that has developed a critical list and is taking on water. These massive files have a political lethality not so easily brushed aside as the testimony one Richard Colvin or the plight of Omar Khadr.
 
 Collusion suddenly becomes synonymous with corruption, incompetence, and war crimes. 
 
War comes in many shapes and sizes. No two wars are the same. The so called War on Terror has to a very large extent been a phony war, where the capability of the enemy has been exaggerated and propagandized to accommodate an imperial agenda. It has fundamentally been a ruse in service to the implementation of this agenda. NATO and others have been all too willing to enter into this collusion. It is a war that has backfired horribly and spiraled out of control to where it has done momentous damage to its instigators and allowed the enemy a huge victory; however inadvertently.
 
War is highly corrosive to democratic values hollowing a nation’s wealth, its institutions, and its legislatures. Leaders who are supposed to lead are diminished to pathetic sycophants, pandering to the grand subterfuge. Where the instigators of this war, most prominently the USA, measure losses in terms of lives lost and money spent we are far from recognizing the damage done on the home front, not physical damage to cities and populations but the damage done to our democratic institutions, to the trust and the credibility of government, to the social contract with citizens. This despicable war has proven us to be our own worst enemy inflicting far greater damage on ourselves than any coterie of terrorists could do in ten life times.
 
Harper’s Ottawa is a blighted political landscape where not so honorable members loiter in the halls of power lacking courage and conviction, oblivious to their misdeeds.
 

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