It's all their fault - Macleans.ca
 

It’s all their fault

Stephen Harper pins the blame for torture in Afghanistan on Afghans


 

If Afghans are being tortured by local authorities, that’s Afghanistan’s problem—not Canada’s. So goes Ottawa’s latest attempt to deflect attention from the simmering controversy over the treatment of prisoners handed over to Afghanistan by Canadian troops. During an interview with French-language network TVA, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the torture issue is “a problem among Afghans,” adding that Canada is “trying to do what’s possible to improve that situation, but it’s not in our control.” The federal government has spent the past few weeks lashing out against critics, most notably Canadian diplomat Richard Colvin, who claim it was aware detainees captured by Canadians were being mistreated by their Afghan handlers.

AFP


 
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It’s all their fault

  1. Too bad, Harper! Nice try to once again deflect YOUR responsibility! The buck starts and stops with you on this issue and you have – again – failed our country – miserably!

    The majority of Canadians don't believe a word that Harper says about this issue – and it is clear he has a lot to hide – given his insistence on deflecting and avoiding the matter. Harper is no leader – – a true leader stands up and faces the opposition and admits mistakes. Harper's attempted to point fingers at everyone else!

    Harper, it's time you started looking at yourself in the mirror. You are the one to blame! No one else!

    • They might not "believe a word that Harper says about this issue", but they certainly don't give a damn about it. Canadians care about OUR people, OUR soldiers, OUR money, OUR security. They don't give a rat's behind about some Taliban thousands of miles away getting he (arguably) deserves.

  2. Harper is a disgrace . Between his climate change denying and his inane comments we are truly without leadership. Layton is the only one that makes sense but I cannot vote NDP because it translates into a CONsevative victory. The system is broken.

    • Yeah, as if your vote for Iggy is going to be the one that denies Harper his majority.
      If you believe in man-made climate change, faeries, dragons and other myths, than go ahead and vote for Layton. It's not going to change the outcome of the next election. Canadians will still go to the polls and knock the spoons out of the leftist hands that have been shoving unpalatable crap down their throats for far too long now in this country.

  3. Gary, Ontario, jmynik, spoken like true red liberals. Heaven forbid we actually blame the perpetrators, we don't do that here why would we do it anywhere else. Some one other than the Afghans must be to blame for whatever may or may not have happened in Afghan prisons. Never thought I would be defending Conservatives but you guys and your ilk never could/would be satisfied with anything. You all deserve Iffy and Layton who can say anything when they are responsible for nothing.

    • By all means blame the perpetrators…but don't try to weasel out of our duty to do what we can to uphold higher standards.

    • This goes beyond torture and we all know this! This has more to do with our government not stepping up to the plate and following international law with respect to prisoners war.I think the generals still have some explaining to do and lets hope it's not a the Hague.

  4. I suppose Harper is going to "PROGUE" The Parliment again,to avoid answring all the Crap & Chaos ,he has created,just watch him & listen to his favorite last words,Well… If It was,t for the Liberals. So full of Balony. It doesn,t make a Leader Popular Attacking Innocent People,what a Childish ride we have seen in this Gov: @ least the Other party's stuck together last year ,while he "PROGUE"D " us all,but People can be fooled again ,it takes 3 bad strikes,before you can be impeached. maybe canucks should snow Ball the Harper Gov:& His regime. We will not forget.

  5. Typical Harper – blame everyone else. What a wimp

  6. This PM is a total disgrace to anything Canadian; despicable, conniving, cunning and morally bankrupted.

    The greatest photo op for me would be to have him and his gutless party egged the next time he stands up to blame the world for what's wrong with his government.

    Go back under the rock you crawled from.

    • I'm a Canadian (got the birth certificate and the mailing address to prove it). Yet I am not disgraced by our PM. On the contrary, I am proud of him.
      Funny how these free societies work, eh? People hold different opinions and values and yet they still remain a member of the nation at large! Except, of course, in the minds of leftist like you, who believe Canadiana is only the warped Utopia that you perceive it to be.
      But that's OK. You 'true Canadians' are quickly becoming marginalized. Harper's majority in the next election should pretty much prove that assertion. And while you're busy chewing your carpets in impotent rage that all of Canada has become "despicable, conniving, cunning and morally bankrupted," we'll get on with the business of building a better country.

  7. I suppose Harper is going to "PROGUE" The Parliment again,to avoid answring all the Crap & Chaos ,he has created,just watch him & listen to his favorite last words,Well… If It was,t for the Liberals. So full of Balony. It doesn,t make a Leader Popular Attacking Innocent People,what a Childish ride we have seen in this Gov: @ least the Other party's stuck together last year ,while he "PROGUE"D " us all,but People can be fooled again ,it takes 3 bad strikes,before you can be impeached. maybe canucks should snow Ball the Harper Gov:& His regime. We will not forget.

  8. ," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the torture issue is “a problem among Afghans,” adding that Canada is “trying to do what's possible to improve that situation, but it's not in our control.”

    More obfuscation and clouding of the issues from Harper – this guy's a real piece of work. Torture is our problem as well as their from the moment we decided to stay there. They're certainly to blame for the torture but we're enabling it by handing prisoners over to the NDS…granted none of the choices are easy there…but we come back to Harper's assertion: "we're trying to do what's possible." Really? Isn't that the heart of Colvin's testimony…he happens to disagree with you…and there's at least circumstantial evidence to back his claim,rather than yours…so, when are we to see the evidence Mr H? The ball's in your court…no one but a loyal supporter would take your word without supporting evidence that we did everything we possibly could to prevent abuse of detainees…the trust isn't there.

  9. Just to put Harper's view another way: If you throw someone in front of a moving bus and they get hurt, it's the bus's fault, not yours.

    • This is a badly mixed metaphor. The "throwing someone in front of a bus" metaphor would be valid if we put a bullet in them. But by handing them over to others, we're actually throwing them "inside the bus."
      How the bus driver proceeds to drive them to their destination from there is pretty much the bus driver's responsibility. But at least we saw them safely to the vehicle.

      • OK fine, we are putting them in the bus, knowing full well that the bus travels at 100 mph, has no brakes, and its destination is a 1000 foot cliff with hot lava at the bottom. As the bus doors close, we see them getting beaten with shoes. And of course, the bus line's motto is "we beat and torture every single rider."

        The point stands. I just thought my shorter version demonstrated it a bit quicker.

        • That's the only bus that's over there, Al.

          Or do you propose we bring them all to Canada to ensure their safety? That would leave Canada in the awkward position of rewarding and sheltering people who are responsible for killing and maiming Canadians. I suspect you'd also see an increased spate of attacks on Canadians if word ever got around the Taliban that attacking Canucks is a one-way ticket to the West.

          Brakes or no brakes, a loafer-going-over or not, Canadians in Afghanistan are doing the right thing by 'bussing' those they capture in the theatre of war to authorities in their own country. What is your alternative?

          If Western concepts of justice aren't they same as those in this medieval dustbowl then, well, let's put that down to our famed concept of "multiculturalism" and just tolerate it. Isn't that what good, tolerate, leftist-weaned Canadians are supposed to do?

  10. Ok, let me get this straight, the Canadian forces capture, instead of killing, a bunch of Taliban terrorists. They hand them over to the Afghanistan authorities, according to the rules of war. It's hardly our fault the Afghan government has internal problems. What about our guys getting killed by Taliban roadside bombs? I'm with the Prime Minister on this issue, war is hell, get used to it.

    • If you hand prisoners over to a regime where you know there's torture going on and don't adequately do what you can to stop that torture happening, you have a problem under international law. If your response is we did all we could [ Harper's] then why all the fuss? Why the attempt to shut down parliamentary inquiry? This is now becoming the story; Harper's either incredibly clumsy, cynical and ham fisted, or…he's got something to hide…take your pick? Personally i wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't all that much to hide – in terms of torture; it's the incompetence he's trying to hide.The man just loves confrontation…he's no democrat and is unworthy of his office.

      • Harper's either incredibly clumsy, cynical and ham fisted, or…he's got something to hide…

        Can't it be all of the above?

    • "Ok, let me get this straight, the Canadian forces capture, instead of killing, a bunch of Taliban terrorists"

      Nope – you didn't actually get it straight. Canadian forces round up Afghan nationals on some kind of suspicion of being involved with the Taliban – chances are good that some of the detainees are innocent.

      "They hand them over to the Afghanistan authorities, according to the rules of war."
      Again, no. According to International laws that we are supposed to play by, if we know they are likely to be tortured it is against the rules to hand them over.

      "What about our guys getting killed by Taliban roadside bombs?"
      If they are seen as a foreign, invasive force which is complicit in torture, then they are in more danger, not less. What was your point anyway? Torture is fair play as long as there are IEDs? You can't toss that "war is hell" crap around now after all these years of "we're making a difference".

      In any case, it is about much more than the handling of detainees in a foreign country – it is about basic accountability and democracy in Canada. You may be with the PM on this, but the number who are with you is shrinking every day.

  11. War is controlled by the Oppressor's around the World it is just a regime of greed ,not matter how you,look at it ,on both sides, It is just a Circle Bad & Evil, who ever the enemy is their is a good side of a human's .$$$$ takes the best out of People,today it,s all about $ Selfish & Greedy ,keeping the Poor @Bay. ask yourself? Who are the real Terrorist, who are the Leader's that want to control the Earth's Resources. maybe the answer is to take advice from human,s & Rewind Time. Peace on Earth.

    • Holly. I'm poor. Please liquidate all of your hard-earned assets and send me the proceeds in the form of a cashier's cheque. Or, barring that, at least don't "keep the poor at bay" by calling the police when I climb into your window and rob you blind of your possessions.
      Please don't greedily hold on to all of the resources you have when I want them too, even if it was you who have them and who earned them. I don't want your money taking "the best out of" yourself, so please send it all to me, OK?
      Because doing otherwise would just make you "Selfish & Greedy" and a "real terrorist," right? And you made pretty clear how you feel about that.

  12. Perhaps macleans and gang could take one day off from their over zealous concern about afghans beating afghan detainees in afghan prisons,
    to morn the loss of Lt. Andrew Nuttall.

    His death came on a violent day in the region, when Afghan police announced eight people were killed in a suicide bombing near a guest house in Kandahar.

    Nuttall belonged to the 1st Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, based in Edmonton. He is survived by his mother Jane and father Richard, who said they were proud of their son's decision to join the military.

    "We have lost a bright light in our lives," said the family in a statement.

    • Perhaps we can be concerned about both the detainee issue and Lt. Nuttall's family.

      • Typical, leftist, fence-sitting, Kumbaya response.
        You are sympathizing with the people killing, maiming and blowing up our troops at roadside at the same time that you're trying to assert that you lament the loss of said troops' lives in the theatre. That is not a tenable position.
        Do you support our troops or do you not? A 'yes' or 'no' only answer to that question is all that is required. You're entitled to your opinions in this society that our troops are working to keep free for you, so pick an opinion and stick with it!

        • Kumbayaaaaaaaaa my lord, kumbayaaaaaaaaaaa…. LOL we're either with ya or against ya, eh Ceeger?

          I support our troops fully– which is why I want to see their commanders and political masters held to account when they risk their lives upholding Canadian values. Are you sure you're not a lefty troll here, trying to make it only look like right wingers have no ability to see beyond black and white?

    • Stifling criticism of the government's detainee policy would not be the proper way to honour the memory of Lt. Nuttall. Presumably some of of the values he died protecting were democracy, transparency and accountability.

      • Who asked for criticism of government to be stifled? In fact, I suggested he had the right to his opinions in the Canadian society that our soldiers overseas are sacrificing their lives for to keep free.

        You have to squint down pretty hard to read your assumption into my post.

        What I did ask was for this particular poster to state his unambiguous stance on his support for Canadian soldiers. Does he value the safety of Afghan detainees caught in the theatre of war over the safety of Canadian soldiers?

        In erecting a straw man to lead off your response, are you in turn attempting to stifle support for the government's detainee policy?

        The sword can cut both ways.

        • Ummm, I was replying to Wilson not you. Your post was too contemptible to respond to.

        • Please explain Ceeger why handing over detainess with a guarantee they wouldn't be tortured would endanger our troops?

  13. Harper is exactly right. And Rick, he will get a majority government in the next election. And you know it.

    • No way. He may remain PM for several years/several elections, but he will never gain a majority.

      • Yes, he will!

        • No he won't.

  14. While I agree that Harper is probably actually correct, Afghans are responsible for torturing their own people he could be using his station and influence to argue for an international prisoner of war facility to be maintained by the UN, instead of handing insurgents over to be tortured. The man seems to lack basic intelligence and imagination. I would have thought we would be all becoming more civilised and not less, by now.

    • You say Harper is "actually correct."

      You admit Afghans are the ones doing the torturing.

      KatherineAE, you're so very close to stepping over the border into the Realm of Common Sense!

      All you need to do now to get your passport stamped is to realize that this is a UN-sponsored mission in Afghanistan and to stop blaming Harper for what the UN does or does not do.

      If that August body of world community leaders that we call the UN had wanted an "international prisoner of war facility," as you propose as the solution, don't you think there would be one there by now, after nearly nine years into this thing?

      You misplace your wrath – you blame the Canadian Prime Minister for the failings of the UN!. And that, I'm afraid, will lead to a full-body cavity search at the border to common sense, and may ultimately disqualify you from citizenship, based on the contraband of nonsense they may find tucked up in there.

  15. Of course, Harper isn't expressing the views of the far left commenters who inhabit this site, which enrages them.

    He's expressing the common sense views of the vast majority of Canadians.

    And after a wonderful Olympics, the leftists media's stomping of their feet demanding that the rest of the country believe what they believe, will be shown once again to be a failure,

    after Harper takes a majority.

  16. Rightly so. What Afghans do to each other shouldn't be our problems. Let them deal with each other and depopulate themselves. Ha!

    • People dying is so amusing isn't it Werner? Ha! We should just drop an atomic bomb on Afghanistan. Hee!

      • I'm not aware of anyone (but Canadian soldiers) dying. There are only allegations of "torture" (wink, wink). But I like your suggestion. It would, indeed, solve a lot of problems in the world.

      • I'm not aware of anyone (but Canadian soldiers) dying. There are only allegations of "torture" (wink, wink). But I like your suggestion. It would, indeed, solve a lot of problems in the world.

        • Outrage only belongs to the left, Werner. So obviously 'Anon Liberal' has the moral high ground with the majority of posters here when he/she utterly dismisses the deaths of his/her fellow Canadians by the Taliban in Afghanistan, yet is so concerned about the "torture" of said Taliban by Afghanistan authorities.

          It would be funny if it weren't so damned tragic.

          But don't be so hard on 'Anon Liberal' for this; he/she literally can not help him/herself: http://bit.ly/L85Ff

  17. Transferring prisoners to someone who you know is likely to torture them is a war crime. I can excuse posters here for being ignorant of that fact but not the government or the senior military officers. Certainly Richard Colvin knew it was a war crime which is why he said the things he did.

    The Harper Conservatives show themselves to be hypocrites when they get all worked up over 'hot button' crime issues but refuse to follow or even acknowledge international law.

  18. get the majority, you'll see! And I am not being rude about it is just that canadians a majority will go his way.

  19. Of course it's all their fault. That includes Harper knowingly lying about the torture…that's their fault, too.

  20. The only place this is a "simmering controversy," as the story editorializes fairly early on, is in the minds of leftists and their compliant media.
    There is nothing in Harper's response that is untrue; it is simply not what the far left in this country wants to hear.
    I know most Liberals and Dippers would believe that we should bring them all here to become Canadian citizens if one of our troops catches them planting bombs in the war theatre, but I think the majority of Canadians care previous little for what happens to these people once their fellow Islamists get their hands on them.
    What are the leftists really proposing here? That, in order to ensure no torture by the Afghans against their own people, that we impose Western values on Islamic countries? Why, that would require military coercion … you leftist warmongers you!