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Thomas Walkom: Enemy Dupe

On the same day The Ruxted Group commented on the combination of ignorance and dishonesty which characterizes so much of the anti-military, anti-leadership role for Canada attitude the Toronto Star published a prime example in the form of a column by Thomas Walcom .
First, Walkom says: “The United States, Canada and other allies invaded Afghanistan in retaliation for the terror attacks of 9/11.” That is not true. Canada, like other ISAF members, was invited to Afghanistan by that country's lawfully elected government to join in a UN mandated mission. If Walkom doesn't know it is not true then The Star ought to fire him for being ill-informed. If, as Ruxted suspects, he knows it is untrue but says it anyway, then we should call him what he is: a dishonest propagandist and an unethical journalist who is siding with the terrorists who are killing Canadian soldiers.

Next, Walkom says: “Perversely, the war on terror abroad made us less safe at home.” That, too, is untrue. The attacks in Bali and Madrid showed that al Qaeda and its fellow travellers still thought they had a firm base (which is what 'al qaeda' means) from which to mount attacks. They now understand that they cannot have firm bases in failed or failing states – not unless they want to face the West's skilled, brave, professional soldiers. Walkom spreads an al Qaeda lie – we are still in their sights; they still want to attack us; they have to be more carteful because they know they may have to face us in battle and they know they will lose. So they use our resident 'useful idiots' and 'fifth columnists' (intentional and unwitting) to spread disinformation.

Finally, Walkom says: “They [the Afghan people] may not like the Taliban, but they don't like us either.” That is also untrue. Most polling shows that most Afghans welcome us, the Western troops – especially the Canadians. Walkom is, yet again, propagandizing in a way which gives aid and comfort to the enemy.

Thomas Walkom is wrong.

Thomas Walkom is spreading enemy propaganda; knowingly or not and like too many Canadian journalists, he is a de facto al Qaeda agent.


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Peter Dawson on :

Thomas Walkom may well be wrong. However, so are you.

The initial Canadian engagement in Afghanistan was as a part of Op ENDURING FREEDOM, the US-led NATO response (under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty) to the 9/11 attacks. It did not have a UN mandate as such - as the UN Charter specifically acknowledges the right of self-defence, which the US was exercising. The Charter also acknowledges the rights of collective defence, i.e. of alliance members to come to the aid of their allies. This engagement pre-dated the UN-sanctioned ISAF mission, but (significantly) was not opposed by the Security Council, who recognized the US right to self-defence in the aftermath of 9/11. The invite from the Afghan government came later – after the ouster of the Taliban government (who were about as legitimate as any previous Afghan government for quite some time, notwithstanding dismal human rights records et al).

And for you to adopt the George Bush line of "if you aren't for us, you're against us", by suggesting that he is an Al Qaida agent, whether "de facto" (check your Latin) or otherwise, is cheap polemic of the sort that got the US involved in Iraq, to the ultimate detriment of the Global War On Terror.

And although I am supportive of our continued engagement in Afghanistan, I think it would be foolish to suggest that we do not increase our vulnerability to (or perhaps, more accurately, probability of) attack, by being part of it, as Mr Walkom suggests. It would be naive indeed to presume that one could attack anyone without inviting counterattack. This is a factor which any commander, at any level, must consider, and counter. Where Mr Walkom may err is in arguing that that alone is reason for backing off.

What we absolutely need is a far better-informed level of debate regarding our options in Afhanistan and our strategies against international terrorism. Based on a quick read, I am not sure that the Ruxted Group is meeting that need at this stage.

Shawn Carroll on :

Thomas Walkom may well be wrong. The Ruxted Group may well be wrong. I may be wrong. However, so is Peter Dawson.

The initial NATO mission may not have had the UN mandate to enter Afghanistan, but it did have UN support and backing for it.

(From DND)
The sequence of events that led to the full manifestation of Operation APOLLO started on September 12, 2001, when the United Nations Security Council issued Resolution 1368. The resolution had condemned the attacks of 9/11 and reaffirmed via the UN Charter's Article 51 that allied nations had the obligation to eradicate global terrorism.


September 12, 2001: The UN Security Council issued Resolution 1368, condemning the attacks of September 11, and stated that the UN was prepared to combat all forms of terrorism.

September 20, 2001: Minister of National Defence Art Eggleton authorized more than 100 CF members serving on military exchange programs in the U.S. and other allied nations to participate in operations conducted by their host units in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks.

September 28, 2001: The UN Security Council issued Resolution 1373, setting out the methods by which member states were to root out terrorists and terrorist organizations, and deprive terrorists of the funds and materials necessary to conduct their operations.

October 4, 2001: NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson announced that, in response to the terrorist attacks in the U.S., the North Atlantic Council (NATO's senior advisory body) was invoking Article 5 of the Treaty of Washington, which states that any attack on a NATO nation launched from outside that nation shall be interpreted as an attack on all the NATO nations.

October 7, 2001: Op APOLLO was established in support of the U.S. initiative code-named Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

October 8, 2001: Minister Eggleton announced the first CF commitments under Op APOLLO, which involved about 2,000 CF members. Navy ships were the first CF units to participate in the campaign against terrorism, and they began deploying immediately.

Oct. 17, 2001: The HMCS Charlottetown, HMCS Iroquois and supply ship Preserver leave Halifax for the Arabian Sea where they are to join U.S. and British forces already there. The deployment is Canada's contribution to Operation Apollo.

Deployment of the 3 PPCLI Battle Group: In mid-November 2001, the U.S. asked its coalition partners (including Canada) to provide ground troops for a stabilization force to be deployed in areas secured by the Northern Alliance to facilitate distribution of humanitarian relief and supplies to the people of Afghanistan. Canada immediately placed 1,000 members of the Immediate Reaction Force (Land) (IRF(L)) on 48 hours' notice to deploy.

The deployment of the 3 PPCLI Battle Group significantly increased the number of CF personnel directly involved in Op APOLLO.

And it seems Mr. Dawson gives credibility where none is due. The Taliban regime was not a government, as it gained diplomatic recognition from only three states: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. They are hardly an endorsement of a legitimate "government".

The Ruxted groups is correct to suggest Mr Walkom is an Al Qaida agent, whether "de facto" or otherwise. And yes, I did check the dictionary.

The problem with Mr. Dawson's argument is that he's confusing Iraq with Afghanistan.

Other than that, Mr. Dawson gives a well-reasoned reply to the Ruxted Group.

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