Tuesday, February 05, 2008

SPP and Operation Enduring Freedom

Author Linda McQuaig thumps John Manley for his attempts to wrap Operation Enduring Freedom, better known here in Canada as our mission in Afghanistan, in Lester Pearson's mantle of peacekeeping.

She reminds us that "the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan were both illegal under international law, in that neither received [UN] Security Council approval."

"The Manley report implies that the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan was endorsed by the Security Council, but Boyle notes that the Security Council resolution cited by Manley in no way authorized military action. Rather, it called for the perpetrators of 9/11 to be brought to justice – suggesting they be dealt with as criminals through extradition and the judicial system, not war.
After invading Afghanistan and toppling the government, Washington won UN authorization for the new government it installed, and for its ongoing intervention through NATO. As a result, the U.S. presence in Afghanistan – like the one in Iraq – now has "a veneer of UN authority," notes Osgoode Hall law professor Michael Mandel.
Manley has long been a proponent of closer relations with the U.S., and he and his panellists met with top U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Yet the Manley report avoids any suggestion that Ottawa's involvement in Afghanistan is about pleasing the Bush administration, which is widely disliked in Canada.
Indeed, the Manley report makes Washington all but disappear, emphasizing the UN and NATO, and Canada's role within NATO.
But NATO is just a military alliance ultimately run by Washington. Indeed, since it came into being in 1950, NATO has always been headed by a U.S. general (currently John Craddock).
In addition to NATO forces in Afghanistan, there are another 13,000 U.S. troops under direct U.S. command. This means that all troops serving in Afghanistan are ultimately under commander-in-chief George W. Bush, whose shadow looms large over the country."

Here at Creekside, we are still waiting for a debate on Manley's previous report, "Building a North American Community", co-authored with William Weld, Mitt Romney's campaign co-chair in New York State, and Pedro Aspé, co-chair of the now infamous North American Forum held in Banff in Sept 2006, at which Manley was a moderator.

UPDATE : Now that we have killed more civilians in Afghanistan than the Taliban in an invasion that has lasted longer than WWII, Liberal Catnip writes in Afghanistan what's wrong with this picture? that when the Cons table a motion on extending the Afghan mission on Thursday, they will probably use Condi's guilt-tripping argument that this is all a really important test of NATO's credibility. Yeah, that's certainly what's important here, isn't it? It's really all about our image, and not really about the people of Afghanistan or securing US markets at all.

1 comment:

900ft Jesus said...

this is great. Thanks. This post, the ones at TGB and POGGE today really helped strip away the confusion cast by irrelevant arguments. I always felt that even if military action may do dome good in the end, we shouldn't buy into a mission based on lies. Eventually, those behind the real reason for invasion surface and take things in a direction we never intended, would never have supported. Loss of life, I think, tends to be greater as well when a mission's true goals aren't clear.

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