The Leader-Post from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada on October 30, 2006 · 14
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The Leader-Post from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada · 14

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Location:
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Issue Date:
Monday, October 30, 2006
Page:
14
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B4 Leader-Post News Monday, October 30, 2006 NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION HOSPITALS OF REGINA FOUNDATION Canadas mission different than expected By NEIL SCOn Leader-Post Canada should pull its troops out of Afghanistan, according to a featured speaker who was in Regina Saturday as part of national day of action," against the Afghanistan war. Richard Sanders, a peace activist and journalist who has been co-ordinator of the Ottawa based Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade group for many years, said Canada has become involved in something very different from what was initially contemplated when Canadian troops were sent to Afghanistan. "The mission isnt what Canada thought it was," Sanders said in an interview Saturday. While Canadians initially thought they were getting involved in , eacekeepmg, they have actually got involved in a war, he said. Canadians might also think that war is about standing up for democracy and against terrorism, he said. But that is hardly the case, Sanders said, adding that much of the existing government in Afghanistan has been tainted by acts of terrorism against their own people, by religious fiindamentalism and by involvement in the drug trade. Sanders also questioned the legitimacy of the supposed democratic process that led to the installation of the existing government in Afghanistan. That government was, he said, in many behind the scenes ways put in power by the U.S. government and its allies. Canada should withdraw from partici pation in the Afghanistan war for now, while retaining the option to return there sometime in the ftiture as part of a true peacekeeping mission, Sanders said. Sanders was a busy man Saturday as he participated in two events including the Making Peace with Earth Conference, which was presented by the Saskatchewan Council for International Co-operation and held at Knox Metropolitan United Church. He was also the featured speaker at an event Saturday night at the Unitarian Fellowship Centre. That local event, which was sponsored by the Unitarian fellowship in co-operation with the Regina Peace Council, was one of a series of events held across Canada as part of the "day of action" against the Afghanistan war. Increasing numbers of Canadians are becoming opponents of their countrys participation in the war in Afghanistan, Sanders said. "The more they learn about it, the less they like it While many Canadians assume their country is not involved in Iraq, Sanders said he can list 20 ways that Canada has assisted the U.S. in that war. One of those ways has been in sending Canadian troops to Afghanistan, which frees up more U.S. troops to go to Iraq, he said. Sanders also claims that depleted uranium, mined in Saskatchewan and used in nuclear power plants in the U.S., is being recycled for use by weapons used by the U.S. military. That depleted uranium can be used in armour, in weapon casings and for other purposes, he said. TROY FLEECELeader-Post Members of the Breast of Friends, Cecils Halyk (left to right), Patti Hack and Judy Davis, raised money through the sale of their cookbooks and donated $10,000 to the Hospitals of Regina Foundation on Saturday. To date the books have raised over $376,000 in donations. FLORIDA Teen accused of stealing bus, charging fares FERN PARK, Fla. CAP) - A 15-year-old boy stole a bus, drove it along a public transit route, picked up passengers end collected fares, authorities said Sunday. Ritchie Calvin Davis took the bus Saturday from the Central Florida Fairgrounds in Orlando, where it was parked awaiting sale at an auction, a Seminole County sneritls report said. The bus belongs to the Central Florida Transportation Agency, which runs LYNX public transit services in the Orlando area. I drove that bus better than most of the LYNX drivers could, the teen, who is too young to drive legally, told a deputy after he was stopped and arrested. There isnt a scratch on it I know how to start iL drive it, lower it, raise it Davis was charged with grand theft auto and driving without a license. AFGHANISTAN Soldiers face renewed By LEE GREENBERG CanWest News Service KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -Afghanistans volatile south erupted in violence over the weekend, one that claimed the life of one NATO soldier and an estimated 70 Taliban insurgents amid gathering signs Canadian soldiers will face renewed clashes over the winter. Allied troops patrolling in Uruzgan province, just north of Kandahar, where 2,300 Canadian soldiers are stationed, came under attack Saturday from an estimated 125 insurgents, according to NATO spokesman Maj. Dominic Whyte. The troops called in air support and a prolonged firefight resulted in about 70 insurgent casualties. "Its always going to be difficult to get a precise number because the effects of close air support are catastrophic," said Whyte, spokesman for the NATO-led International Security and Assistance Force. But 70 is a good number. For us, thats a good result. If they choose to come out and form groups, theyre going to meet ISAF patrols. An American soldier was killed soon after when a roadside bomb hit his convoy, officials said. The soldiers name has not been released. Nine soldiers and two civilians were also reportedly wounded in the clashes, which follow close on the heels of an aerial bombardment in Kandahar that killed as many as 60 civilians and an estimated 45 insurgents. The renewed fighting comes amid reports of large-scale Taliban migration into the southern region of Afghanistan, which typically sees a lull in fighting during winter months. One recent intelligence report by the Afghanistan NGO Security Office (AN-SO) stated that a massive number of insurgents have been deployed to Panjwaii district, the heart of Canadian operations and the former cradle of Taliban activity. A source with Taliban connections told CanWest News Service that many high-ranking Taliban commanders who normally cross the border into Pakistan during the winter have decided instead to remain in Afghanistan. The source said thousands of the insurgents are bracing for a fight. NATO officials appeared to concur. Winter offensive is the wrong term, Whyte said in an interview. We are preparing for sustained winter operations. But Maj. Mike Wright, a Canadian infantry officer who led a key contingent into the heart of Panjwaii-Pashmul in Septembers Operation Medusa, downplayed talk of bolstered insurgent forces. Id call that Afghan math," he said, referring to the estimated thousands of fighters entering the country. 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