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Unarmed in Africa

Paul Martin's naked desperation is again on display. Despite having assured us that this military excusion to Sudan has been in the works for more than 6 months, it has now been revealed just what a shallow show it really is:

The Sudanese ambassador says her country will not allow Canadian troops into Darfur despite an assistance package from the minority Liberal government that includes up to 100 military advisers to help the African Union maintain peace in that war-ravaged region of western Sudan.

Ambassador Faiza Hassan Taha said Prime Minister Paul Martin rushed to make the announcement Thursday before anyone from the Canadian government asked the Sudanese whether they agreed.

Rather than meaningful consultation, she said in an interview, Canada presented Sudan with a fait accompli.

Mr. Martin telephoned Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir about 24 hours in advance to "advise" him of the announcement, PMO spokeswoman Melanie Gruer said.

When asked whether this was a "consultation," Ms. Gruer declined to use that word to characterize the conversation, repeating instead that "the Sudanese were advised." She said she did not know where precisely the troops would be deployed.

But wait, it's even worse. The National Post has a front page story on the plan (not available online) that says the soldiers sent will be unarmed:
Despite the comments from the Sudanese government, some of the troops awaiting deployment, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Post yesterday they will travel to the Sudan unarmed and not even allowed sidearms for personal protection.

Canadian Forces officials would neither confirm nor deny whether or not the troops would be armed. "That is in the world of force protection measures and operational security and we won't discuss it," Major Mike Audette said.

However, Marie Okabe, a spokeswoman for the United Nations in New York, said the Canadians attached to the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) will not be carrying weapons.

This whole thing is so sordid and pathetic that I barely know where to start. In order to win the support of an independent MP to prop up his failing government, Martin cooked up a 'package' to try to win the guy's loyalty. But he didn't even talk to the country that would be accepting the troops beforehand -- perhaps bizarrely thinking that the ruthless regime that's sponsoring the genocide would welcome foreign soldiers looking over their shoulders. And he didn't check out what kind of role the Canadian troops would be able to play before committing, so now he's sending unarmed soldiers to a war zone.

Kilgour seems unlikely to support Martin now. To do so would be to endorse this kind of shallow posturing and I don't think Kilgour is that kind of man.

The contempt Martin has shown for all involved is breathtaking. He expected Kilgour to be easily swayed by an empty gesture. He saw our armed forces only as resources to be drawn upon to save his political skin. He's putting their lives in danger for a mission that was a failure before it even began.

Words cannot express my disgust for this man. He's a disgrace to this country and he has to go. Now.

UPDATE: I find it very, very odd that I can find no source online that confirms that the Canadian Darfur mission will be unarmed. All I have is what I read in the paper this morning. The National Post's summary of today's news does not have the print story I quoted listed, and there's nothing about it in the corrections.


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Sending unarmed peacekeepers into Darfur would suit the Martinites fine. They don't have to haul arms and ammo, keeps the cost down you know. Kilgour's vote is worth $170 million. It's must be obvious that only the scum rise to the top of the Liberal Party, or is the Canadian education so bad that the citizen's are not able to distinquish the difference.

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