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."

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

Cross-posted at Creekside

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