Thursday, January 31, 2008

As Lost Returns...

Lost: The freedom this Afghanistan mission was supposed to bring. This is really quite shocking (hat tip JBG):

A young man, a student of journalism, is sentenced to death by an Islamic court for downloading a report from the internet. The sentence is then upheld by the country's rulers. This is Afghanistan – not in Taliban times but six years after "liberation" and under the democratic rule of the West's ally Hamid Karzai.

The fate of Sayed Pervez Kambaksh has led to domestic and international protests, and deepening concern about erosion of civil liberties in Afghanistan. He was accused of blasphemy after he downloaded a report from a Farsi website which stated that Muslim fundamentalists who claimed the Koran justified the oppression of women had misrepresented the views of the prophet Mohamed.

Lost: Rudy Giuliani. Both Edwards and Giuliani are out of the race. For Giuliani, this Presidential race will go down as a complete failure to launch. As John Stewart said last night "Giuliani was the frontrunner...until people started voting". Then he became nothing more than a 5th place candidate.

Lost: Mike Huckabee's tough guy edge. Hulk Hogan endorses Obama and Ah-nold is ready to endorse McCain. Hasta La Vista Romney!

Lost: Stephen Harper's composure. Every now and then Harper just seems to slip up and go too far, be it the Navdeep Bains incident last year, or his latest Big Fat Greek Gaffe:

Michel Guimond had just asked if the aforementioned fundraiser had ever paid a visit to 24 Sussex. And this was the Prime Minister's response.

"Mr. Speaker, the Bloc MP has mentioned the names of two people of Greek origin, one who's an employee who works here in Ottawa, and another who's a supporter of the Conservative Party in Montreal. The fact there are two Montrealers of Greek origin doesn't mean there's a conspiracy."

Uh-huh. So, to recap, questions have been raised about Dimitri Soudas using undue PMO influence. It's a completely mini-scandal (all together now: "it's all Greek to me!") but, the point of the matter is, no one had even so much as alluded to race before Harper brought it up. A BCer in Toronto has a good run down on this, include Peter Van Loan, taking it to a whole new level.

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  • I've supported the Afghan mission from Day One, but if that kid is executed, bring the troops home the day after. I won't support expending one more drop of blood or piece of treasure over a regime that would carry out such a sentence.

    By Blogger IslandLiberal, at 8:44 PM  

  • I pretty much have to echo what islandliberal just said. I have also supported the Afgan mission. In fact, I have often said this was the only issue the Conservative government was right about. After reading this article I am going to have to seriously have to reconsider.

    By Anonymous Mike, at 10:52 PM  

  • I am as outraged as anyone over this death sentence. I believe there is more to this than one case and the freedom to express yourself. This is also about institutionalized unfairness for the accused. I recall when our government announced a funding initiative to train police and prosecutors, there was no mention of training defence lawyers.

    For a justice system to be just, the accused must be represented by competent counsel. This journalist was not permitted a lawyer.

    I do not know how our government can extoll the virtues of a fair justice system and then only train half the participants.

    By Blogger Gayle, at 10:57 PM  

  • It seems to me that the Canadian government should be putting some pressure on Karzai to make sure that kid doesn't get executed - that's horrific.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:53 AM  

  • With Arnold and Sly, I think McCain has the tough guy edge over Huckabee with Norris and Flair. Perhaps Hogan could arrange a special Presidential-endorsement version of American Gladiators to decide once and for all.

    Personally, I'd be waiting to see who gets the crucial Seagal endorsement before deciding. Much like Ohio, it's simply too close to call.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:54 AM  

  • Being Greek is a RACE issue?

    umm, NOT

    By Blogger art, at 12:01 PM  

  • "erosion of civil liberties in Afghanistan."

    Excuse me?

    An erosion would imply that there was something to erode.

    Since the article goes out of its way to distinguish today's Afghanistan to the A'stan. of 6 years ago, is the author implying this was an erosion that took place during the last 6 years?

    Wasn't Afghanistan under Taliban rule at rock bottom in terms of civil liberties? Or were people allowed to download such documents under the Taliban rule?

    How does this kind of stuff fly under your radar, CG? Do you actually believe that civil liberties have eroded since the Taliban ruled Afghanistan? Is this the message you're trying to propagate by quoting this stuff?

    By Anonymous mike514, at 5:07 PM  

  • I don't think Afghanistan was ever billed primarily as a matter of national liberation (although that is an indirect side-effect). Rather, nation-building in Afghanistan was aimed at building a country that would no longer be a haven/state sponsor for terrorists.

    Afghanistan the pseudo-democratic state is better than Afghanistan the failed state.

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 6:39 PM  

  • The reasons for us leaving include that kid they plan to execute; but also that the Governor of Kandahar tortures prisoners and Harper knew this:

    "... a report by Canadian officials that the Governor of Kandahar not only permitted torture but actually engaged in it himself - in his own private prisons..."

    By Anonymous Holly Stick, at 6:57 PM  

  • Taliban slipping into low level service jobs in Pakistani nuclear facilities.

    3200 marines heading to Af*stan, not Iraq. No military heading home anytime soon.

    What*s this about Liberals being endorsed by White Supremacists?

    The low tactic of "Guilt by Association" employed by Kinsella in his feeble attempt to link MP Keith Martin author of M-446 and his supporters to Neo-Nazi Boobs is indicative of someone who knows they have lost the war. The attempt, (if genuine), to intimidate me into silence by the threat of legal action does nothing to alter my opinion of Warren K & his dimwitted brethren.

    Unlike others I believe in fairness, as I stated the e-mail may be a hoax by someone other than Warren K. I am willing to give Warren the benefit of the doubt, [. . . ]

    If indeed you are the author of the above e-mail Mr. Kinsella I am instructed by counsel that should you decide to pursue a complaint you are to contact my solicitor directly - Mr. Ezra Levant.
    Victoria MP Keith Martin was praised Friday on, a website that proudly displays the logo *White pride world wide* and links to radio addresses by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.**

    Bones of contention you may find interesting. = TG

    By Anonymous TG, at 12:54 AM  

  • Don’t have any illusions about Afghanistan.

    By Jared Ferrie
    Published: February 4, 2008
    As an Afghan reporter sits in prison hoping for his death sentence to be overturned, the young man's brother -- also a journalist -- warns that fundamentalists are taking over the country.
    Last week, Afghanistan's Senate released a statement backing a primary court's ruling that 23-year-old Sayed Perwiz Kaambashk should be put to death under charges of insulting Islam.

    The Senate retracted the statement after an international outcry and a demonstration in support of Kaambashk by about 200 people in Kabul.
    But Sayed Yakub Ibrahimi says his brother's sentence -- and the Senate's endorsement -- show the increasing power of fundamentalist warlords ushered into government by the parliamentary elections in late 2005.
    If the international community and Afghan President Hamid Karzai's administration do not act quickly, they will lose the country to extremists, he warned.
    "Afghanistan will become a country like Iran -- a country in the hands of fundamentalists," said Ibrahimi, who is a well-known journalist with the Institute for War and Peace Reporting.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 2:27 PM  

  • By Blogger mmjiaxin, at 8:00 PM  

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