Richard Colvin speaks (II) - Macleans.ca
 

Richard Colvin speaks (II)


 

Canadian Press has an excerpt from Mr. Colvin’s opening statement.

Counter-insurgency is an argument to win the support of the locals. Every action, reaction or failure to act become part of the debate. In Kandahar, Canada needs to convince local people that we are better than the Taliban, that our values were superior, that we would look after their interests and protect them. In my judgment, some of our actions in Kandahar, including complicity in torture, turned local people against us. Instead of winning hearts and minds, we caused Kandaharis to fear the foreigners. Canada’s detainee practices alienated us from the population and strengthened the insurgency.


 

Richard Colvin speaks (II)

  1. Let us suspend partisan feelings long enough to respect the fact that Mr. Richard Colvin is a senior career officer in Canada's foreign service, with years in Afghanistan and now in Washington. Let us respect that his disclosures are made with reasonable awareness of the likelihood that his career will suffer from having made public statements that embarrass our Government. Instead of trying to discredit him or lionize him, let us follow up on his statements and find out what happened. The concern is not new, but his statements carry the weight of a man of many years' responsible service in our government, with years at the site of the events. Consider the possibility of his absolute, forthright honesty.

  2. I have a feeling that he has an axe to grind. It seems that the Liberal Party can do no wrong and they are angels dropped stright from heaven. Had this happened under their watch would they not have done the same thing?

    • Possibly, but they've been known to create public inquiries to deal with the wrongs … even if the inquiry ends up blowing up in their face

    • No angels that I can see. It was PM Martin who approved Hillier's move to Afghanistan, Hillier was a general, not an M.P., and there are also failed responsibilities within DFAIT and DND. Is it going to be possible to get beyond the easy contempt for political parties and focus on what happened and who failed in their responsibilities?

  3. Forget this washed up peice of trash. He has no understanding of the true complications that arise when bringing freedom and democracy to a country under oppression. he's trying to get some fame and probably write a book about this in a year or two. The canadian government has only had a positive impact in the nation of afghanistan. This man supports the wrong side. Lets put him in the action and see if he has such a big problem with the terrorists treatment when he is at the side of a road trying to clear it of IED's

    • Nice, Canadian friend. Colvin's posting to Afghanistan was to replace Glynn Berry, blown up by a Taliban IED. In other words, he put himself directly in harm's way. Probably the most harm you've ever exposed yourself to is spraining your little finger on a keyboard.

    • Where to begin…how about with the fact that an 18 month assignment to a senior position in Afghanistan makes him one of Canada's leading experts on that country? Or perhaps the fact that he clearly gets what this war is about: counter-insurgency. Or how about the fact that the Conservative government did change the prisoner transfer protocol–why would they do that if it would put them in sync with someone who supposedly hates the troops and wants the Taliban to win?

      Obviously you are not a Canadian Friend at all, but rather someone who puts cheap partisan politics ahead of the safety of Canadian soldiers and the chances of achieving victory. Shame on you.

    • Thanks ……but I don't want you as my friend…..with friends like you we wouldn't need enemies…

  4. Buying heart and mind means providing them with food and medical services during the day so that they can rest and plant IED at night to blow up the infidels that gave them food. The solution for the problem of torture was mentioned by the liberals is to bring them to Canada and give them refuge status.

    • I know that Colvin's testimony is probably pretty boring for you, Balabu, given that it is not full of bile and hatred toward the political party that you want to blame for all evil in the universe, but you might do yourself the favour of trying to read it. If you do, you'll learn that Colvin is not taking a partisan position. Given your evident biases, you might even like the fact that he is mainly criticizing civil servants (sorry, let me translate that into your language for you: "Liberal stooges who bake cookies for the Taliban"). He also makes two interrelated points: that many of the people arrested were (according to Western intelligence agencies) not terrorists but simply people caught in the wrong place at the wrong time; and that as someone who believed in achieving victory in Afghanistan he was concerned that Canada was ignoring the maxim of US General Petraeus that if you lose the civilian population, you can't win the war. Stubbornly insisting that policies that the Conservatives themselves saw the need to change over two years ago were somehow brilliant strategy makes you look like you are a fool who actually wants to see Canadians get killed in an apocalyptic clash of civilizations.

  5. It's the oldest defense of those without a rational argument for their behavior–abuse the witness, ad hominem rather than meeting the argument or assertion with solid evidence. Let's hear real evidence from the Conservatives, not snide allegations against the person bringing the charge. The temptation to shoot the messenger bringing bad news needs to be resisted. Just stick with the facts. "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free."

    • Why not ask the accuser, Mr. Colvin to provide evidence? Allegations don't hold up without it.

  6. In this the decade of the Big Lie , finding one man willing to stand up and tell the truth no matter how painful the consequences is both uplifting and inspiring we need to form up behind him now and show Harper he is not a wise target to attack.

    Thank you Sir for showing us not all in government service are corrupt or willing to sell their morals to the highest bidder.

    Now all we need is a leader with the same values ……….Not the man who would be King we currently have.

  7. A little corroboration wouldn't hurt, and a look at what the adjustments have been. Perhaps this is old news?

  8. Its ok to kill them but not to torture. Makes sense …. what a load of crap. Some douche is trying to get points by making our military look bad. I'll never vote for him or his party ever. I hope they torture more of the bastards including this douchebag.

  9. I am from vancouver and i wanted to say that these three generals who spoke in support of the gov. are not going to tell the truth about what is going on in Afghanistan.Most people in canada knows that.It is a well known fact that the canadian gov.allows torture to happen.There were several canadians abroad who were tortured recently and the canadian gov.ignored it and in some cases were complicit in it.The canadian gov.will be condemned by the rest of the world for complicit in torture and trying to cover it up.When a civilian was tortured and killed by canadian troops some years ago in somilia is enough to convince me that the canadian gov.don't mind torturing people.This sort of thing will continue if the canadian gov.can get away with it.

  10. I would like to get in touch with Richard Colvin to express my support and pride at the courage and grace he has shown in this entire saga. I knew Richard at University and although we lost touch some years ago, he was always one of the most decent, fairest and compassionate individuals I have had the privilege of knowing. I am shocked at the outrageous motives that have been applied to his character. Anyone that had known Richard, for even a few days, would know, without a shadow of a doubt, that he would only have raised this internally because of serious concerns and because of his professionalism and his unerring commitment to strong ethical and human rights values. We need to be proud of him and be grateful that we have professionals such as Richard in our government. I hope that he knows that the many people that know him are incredibly proud of what he is doing. I myself wish to offer him my support in any way he needs it. Thank you, Richard.

  11. Today (December 9th) the paper reports that 23 former ambassadors signed a letter responding to the attacks on Richard Colvin's credibility. I hope that we can take this seriously. This is my country, and this is my government, and I am ashamed and angered deeply at the aggressive response, lining up 3 generals, Ambassador Mulroney, and Minister Mackay to discredit not simply the report, but the person making the report. This is the politics of character attack that we see in attack ads on TV – a strategy borrowed from U.S. campaign ads. They are the way that my government responds to Mr. Colvin's statements to a parliamentary committee that he is required to be responsible to, expressing concerns that the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Afghan Human Rights Commission conveyed to him

  12. Richard Colvin is a Canadian hero.