Official Report on the death of a Canadian Soldier in Lebanon 2006

Something about this just isn’t Right

What follows is a horror story, released on Friday, February 1st, by Stephen Harper’s government.

When the Israeli Armed Forces killed a Canadian U.N. soldier and three others, during Israel’s failed invasion of Lebanon, they explained that the killings were a mistake.

I don’t know why the Israelis killed the Canadian – Major Paeta Hess-Von Kruedener, a member of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry,  and three of his colleagues in a clearly-marked United Nations Observation Post.  But they did.

I don’t know for sure if the post was deliberately targeted – but I think it was.

The results of a Canadian Board Of Inquiry have finally come out. Today the Globe and Mail published a tiny story…not even 200 words long…explaining what we all knew a long time ago. That an unarmed Canadian Major was killed by an Israeli bomb.

The New York Times published a few words too (279). The Times explained that the U.N. wanted Israel to stop attacking its post.

So did the Winnipeg Free Press – also quite short.

This story…just like our reputation for peacekeeping…is off the government radar and hence, off the mainstream media radar as well.

In a rather bizarre addendum to a press release on this subject, the Canadian government said:

“Appropriate portions of the final report have been severed out (read censored), in accordance with Access to Information regulations to protect the operational security of the IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) and the UN. (Read Cover their Asses). However the essence of the report remains and tells a little of the story of what happened that night”.

They begged, they pleaded and they yelled out.

A half hour before the fatal bomb was dropped, a United Nations Commander yelled over a radio hookup at an Israeli official: “You are killing my people”.

After that there was a brief period of silence and the Canadian soldier and his fellow soldiers thought it was all over. They thought, ah, Israel has heard us and listened.

They then prepared to evacuate the Observation Post – just in case.

But before they could pack their bags, that big Israeli bomb…a 1,100 pound GPS-guided bomb…went whistling down right on the spot. Continue reading

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Tariq Ali: Hezbollah and Canada

    Produced for Radio Tadamon! by Stefan Christoff.

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Terrorism is a contested terrain, a political landscape on which the highest levels of international military power engage in a deadly war. In 2007 terrorism remains an ominous threat, a political ghost invoked in the foreign policy rhetoric of Canada’s Conservative government surrounding the ‘War on Terror’.

In 2002 Canada unveiled an official list of ‘terrorist’ organizations, strikingly similar to the US governmental list of an equivalent nature. Today the Lebanese political movement Hezbollah, both the military and political wings, is officially considered a ‘terrorist’ organization by the government of Canada, a policy only endorsed by two additional countries internationally, the US and Israel.

In the Middle East, from Lebanon, to Palestine, Hezbollah is commonly viewed as a national liberation movement, which in 2006 successfully halted Israel’s major military assault, to the shock of the world. As a political and social force in Lebanon, Hezbollah remains a major player at the highest levels of government and in the most impoverished sectors of society.

In Canada a public debate on the listing of Hezbollah as a ‘terrorist’ organization was ignited in 2006 as Israeli military forces attacked Lebanon killing over 1100 civilians. Debate on Hezbollah’s categorization as a ‘terrorist’ organization draws attention to Canada’s post 9/11 ‘national security’ laws and regulations which included the formalization of a Canadian list of ‘terrorist’ organizations in 2002.

In the context of the debate on Canada’s categorization of Hezbollah as ‘terrorist’ I had an opportunity to interview novelist, historian, political campaigner Tariq Ali on Hezbollah. This interview was conducted in Montreal, touching on the history of Hezbollah as a political force in Lebanon & the Middle East, while also addressing Canada’s designation of the movement as ‘terrorist’ in the post 9/11 political environment.

* Radio Tadamon! is produced by the Tadamon! collective, a group of social justice activists working to build ties of solidarity between movements for social / economic justice in the Middle East / Montreal, while organizing within the Diaspora community of Montreal.

* Tadamon! Montreal is current organizing a political campaign to challenge Canada’s listing of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.