Citizens' Broadcasting Cooperative
Below is a shocking story taken from a US venue about alleged sexual assault
of children on Canadian military bases in Afghanistan. The revelations apparently
emanate from whistle blowers within Canadian Armed Forces.
These serious accusations need to be considered in the context of the necessary return to the halted
parliamentary investigations into revelations on the role of Canadian soldiers
and the chain of command in the torture of Afghani detainees. Moreover, it is
impossible not to wonder about the possible connections between these lurid
matters and the recent charges of murder and sexual assault pressed by police
against Colonel Russell Williams, a commanding officer and pilot at the Trenton
base, one of the transport hubs for the Canadian Armed Forces mission in
I heard this morning on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio show, The
Current, the Calgary-based host conducting a broad discussion about the Harper
government's proposal to change the words of the Canadian national anthem. This
proposal, treated as the top item on the public broadcaster's daily public
affairs show, seems to me like a classic diversionary tactic to change the
national discourse from what it was at the time when the Harper government
prorogued Parliament on the way to the Olympic spectacle. Such efforts of
diversion have a long history. I remember very clearly, for instance, when the
Chretien government shut down the investigation into the torture of Somali
citizens by a few Canadian soldiers. Where did that leave us? What was the real
message conveyed then and now by the cover-ups?
Wouldn't real support for our troops, together with true patriot love for our
country, require Canadians to insist on probing public investigations into the
problems in our armed forces and the chain of command. Will we be diverted by
yet another whitewash of the scandals?
Real healing can't begin until we understand the
nature of the sickness so we can properly identify and treat the infected
By Dave Lindorff (about the author)
For OpEdNews: Dave Lindorff - Writer
By Dave Lindorff
What Are We Fighting For?
The stated goal of the US-led War in Afghanistan, according to the Obama Administration,
is to defeat the Taliban and establish a stable democratic government
over the entire country. Critical to that goal is establishing a
professional Afghan army and police force that is not corrupt, and that
has the respect of the Afghan people.
But reports out of Canada suggest that far from creating such a military and police force,
the so-called International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) is
turning a blind eye to the thuggish criminality of those organizations,
both to avoid growing opposition in ISAF member countries, and to avoid
offending those organizations in Afghanistan.
The issue in question is routine rape and sodomy of children by Afghan soldiers and
police operating on Canadian-run bases in the Kandahar region.
As reported last fall in the Ottawa Citizen newspaper, Canadian military chaplins and some soldiers have been
complaining as far back as 2006 that Afghan security forces have been
sodomizing young boys on their base. These military whistle-blowers
charge that the military brass has been ignoring or burying their
complaints, fearing the bad publicity they could generate.
The paper reports that Canadian military police have also complained, as reported by
Brig.-Gen. J.C. Collin, commander of Land Force Central Area, that they
were being told "not to interfere in incidents in which Afghan forces
were having sex with children."
According to the paper, the Canadian military command has argued that, even though sex
with children is against the law in Afghanistan, the practice is
culturally accepted and that the Canadian forces "should not get
involved in what should be seen as a "cultural' issue."
Makes you wonder what other "cultural" issues involving Afghan security forces that the
Western occupiers might not want to get involved in. Perhaps the
oppression of women? That's certainly part of the culture. How about
bribery and extortion? Based on the evidence--that the police in
Afghanistan are a wholly corrupt entity, and that the army is not much
better--arguing that corruption is "culturally acceptable" would be
easy to do. How about drug dealing? Again, that appears to be quite the
culture in Afghanistan.
Kudos to the Canadian grunts, MPs and chaplins who found the sexual abuse of
children more than they could stomach, and who brought their concerns
to public attention at home in Canada when their own commanders sought
to cover it up.
It makes me wonder, though, why here in the hyper-moralizing US, we haven't heard a peep
from our troops about similar behavior by Afghan forces on US-run bases.
It's hard to believe that a practice so common on a Canadian base that it provoked
such outrage among Canadian soldiers is not also occurring elsewhere.
This leaves us with two possiblities:
US soldiers and marines are just not as willing to go outside the chain of command and go public with their complaints, or
The US media are not interested in investigating this kind of story. It involves only
Afghans, and who cares about Afghans? What American journalism covers
is Americans. (Remember the big spate of stories about the sex
escapades of guards at the US embassy in Kabul?)
I'd say it's probably a combination of the two.