Monday, November 02, 2009

Monday blahs

Some days are hardly worth greeting.

  • I was never an unqualified Obamaniac, as past posts of mine indicate. Indeed, I've remained sceptical from the beginning. But the President's sudden collapse on the Middle East, now giving unqualified US support to Binyamin Netanyahu's aggressive program of annexation settlement of Palestinian land, while demanding that the Palestinians return to the peace table like so many whipped dogs, marks a new low.

    What a disappointment. Obama is proving to be a President who just blows with the winds, here, there, everywhere. And obviously AIPAC is a particularly strong and gusty one.

  • The Krazy Krowd of Kooks at Free Dominion is pooh-poohing the Maclean's retraction of its earlier wild claims that staff of the Canadian Human Rights Commission hacked into a private citizen's Internet account. No direct link will be given to that nest of snakes, but here's an intermediary for those interested.

  • Former General Rick Hillier, always too cocky and political for my taste, is back in the news defending a sweet promotion/pension deal for one Serge Labbé, whose conduct in Somalia during our involvement there was found to be wanting, to put it mildly. (I posted about this at the time the deal was made.)

    The Somalia Commission of Inquiry, established after public outcry about the torture-death of a teenaged Somalian national by members of the now-disbanded Canadian Airborne Regiment, was not kind to
    Labbé, and some of what it said bears repeating:

    Col Labbé's cavalier approach to ROE [Rules of Engagement--DD] training amounts to little more than lip service and, in effect, denies the sanctity of human life. It is irresponsible and an affront to the concept of modem military training that a commander of Canadian overseas forces would suggest that such a training method was acceptable.

    Although his lack of knowledge of the state of training at the time of deployment and his view of the nature of ROE training are profound shortcomings in a commander, even more lamentable and inexcusable is Col Labbé's failure to take action to determine whether his troops in fact trained adequately on the ROB [sic] developed by the Chief of the Defence Staff and understood them properly. He erroneously placed his trust in the sufficiency of a readiness declaration issued before the ROE were prepared and relied unduly on casual or incomplete comments regarding readiness from his subordinate, LCol Mathieu. Col Labbé performed no independent inquiry to determine whether any deficiencies in training existed and required correction. He failed to ensure that the members of Canadian Joint Force Somalia were trained in the ROE and understood them properly.

    It's always good to have friends in high places, and
    Labbé certainly appears to have had more than his share of those.

  • The Virgin Mary had better ways to spend the weekend than show up to please a credulous crowd of 10,000 pilgrims at Ireland's famous Knock shrine. But some insist that she did manifest her presence when the sun broke through the clouds. (Would that it had done so metaphorically as well.)

    Not all the pilgrims, however, were bereft of a bit of scepticism and even humour, if likely unintentional: "I saw the sun spinning," one said. Then: "Who is to know that it isn't climate change or something like that causing that?"

  • Two-tier health care in Canada is even more of a reality now: private clinics have proven to be a means of jumping the queue for the H1N1 flu shot.
Tomorrow is another day. May it come soon.

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