Skip to main content

Today's topic: "Help me, Canada."

"Help me," said the forgotten man.

Six days ago Mohammed Niaz was helping Canadian troops in Afghanistan. He was an interpreter travelling with Charlie Company west of Kandahar when they came under attack by Taliban insurgents who had been surprised in the act of setting up an ambush.

Today he's pleading with Canada to help him. He lost both his legs in the battle and he's asking us to help him recover from his wounds.

Niaz worked as an interpreter for Canadians for a year and a half. As Canadian troops went on patrol in Panjwai district, he went along -- and found himself in his first battle.

The initial reports from Afghanistan said five Canadian soldiers had been wounded when their G-wagon was hit by a roadside bomb. Four of them had only minor injuries. The fifth was being flown to a military hospital in Germany, but his injuries were not life-threatening. There was no mention of Mohammed Niaz.

The second day's stories said "an interpreter" had also been injured. Some of the stories said his wounds were "serious." That was the last time he was recognized by the Canadian press.

The real story came out a day after that. It wasn't an IED. A rocket propelled grenade had passed through the LAV-III the men were in during a running firefight.

The commander and the second-in-command of Charlie Company were among the wounded. One soldier lost three fingers of his left hand. Sgt. Vaughan Ingram was sprayed with shrapnel. Three of the injured were from the Princess Patricia's. One was artillery. One was a medic.

There was no mention of the interpreter who had suffered the most devastating injuries of any of them.

We discovered what happened to him when we came across his story on National Public Radio.

Niaz is 21 years old, married and the father of a young girl. He's in the hospital at the coalition hospital at Kandahar Air Field. One leg was shot off in the G-Wagon and the other was amputated by doctors. His father is a police officer and a regular visitor.

Niaz says he spends his days crying. And wishing the Canadian government remembers him.

"Actually I want help. Whenever their [soldiers get] hit, they are sending them to Germany or Canada right away. I've been laying here for one week now. Come on! Help me."


Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan have brought some unique tactics to the job.

Like the Americans, our troops use UAV's (Unmanned aerial vehicles) to watch for insurgents at a distance. U.S. troops went for stealth, using quiet micro-UAVs (small, battery powered, low flying) or larger ones like Predator that fly too high to be heard.

Canadians like 'em noisy.

The Sperwer UAV used by Canadian forces sounds like a flying lawnmower. It turns out that Taliban fighters, thinking they hear a fighter plane, fall flat on the ground until, they hope, it passes. They may have blended in to the terrain to an airplane, but to the low-flying eye-in-the-sky, which also carry heat sensors, they stick out nice and sharp.

So while they lie down on the job, the UAV's lead Canadian troops right to them. The thing to do would be to shoot the UAV's down, but, of course, if Canadian troops are close enough, they hear the shots know the rest.

Rachel Morarjee, the Financial Times' Kabul correspondent, has returned from a one-week trip to Kandahar and has written an online journal of her experience. She wrote about one of the many unusual situations that confront Canadian troops there.

I was taken to the Kandahar jail where I spent an afternoon with 20 children who were serving sentences along with their mothers. Many of the women were jailed for so-called moral crimes, often when they tried to escape abusive marriages.

The jail is a sorry place to grow up and the children have no access to education, but repeated appeals to the Canadian troops for help have met with no response. One soldier told me the troops were reluctant to be seen helping those considered to be criminals. But Malalai and others have been pressing on regardless, trying to find ways to raise money for the children growing up within the prison walls.

And finally, we came across a little-reported poll conducted May 16 to May 18 by Ipsos-Reid regarding Canada's involvement in Afghanistan.

The question:
Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose the use of Canada's troops for security and combat efforts against the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan?

The answer:
58 percent of respondents said they strongly or somewhat supported the mission. But if you added those who "somewhat" opposed, you discover that almost 3 out of 4 Canadians favour, or barely object to some element of Canada's military commitment to Afghanistan.

Peacekeeping or peacemaking, it doesn't make a difference to Canadians.

Popular posts from this blog

The unreported bombshell conspiracy evidence in the Trudeau/SNC-Lavelin scandal

Wow. No, double-wow. A game-changing bombshell lies buried in the supplementary evidence provided to the House of Commons Judiciary Committee by former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould. It has gone virtually unreported since she submitted the material almost a week ago. As far as we can find, only one journalist-- Andrew Coyne, columnist for the National Post--- has even mentioned it and even then he badly missed what it meant, burying it in paragraph 10 of a 14 paragraph story. The gist of the greatest political scandal in modern Canadian history is well-known by now. It's bigger than Adscam, the revelation 15 years ago that prominent members of the Liberal Party of Canada and the party itself funneled tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks into their own pockets from federal spending in Quebec sponsoring ads promoting Canadian unity. That was just venal politicians and a crooked political party helping themselves to public money. The Trudeau-Snc-Lavalin scandal is

Crips and Bloodz true cultural anchors of Winnipeg's aboriginal gangs

(Bebo tribute page to Aaron Nabess on the right, his handgun-toting friend on the left) At least six murder victims in Winnipeg in the past year are linked to a network of thuglife, gangster rap-styled, mainly aboriginal street gangs calling themselves Crips and Bloods after the major black gangs of L.A. The Black Rod has been monitoring these gangs for several months ever since discovering memorial tributes to victim Josh Prince on numerous pages on, a social networking website like Myspace and Facebook. Josh Prince , a student of Kildonan East Collegiate, was stabbed to death the night of May 26 allegedly while breaking up a fight. His family said at the time he had once been associated with an unidentified gang, but had since broken away. But the devotion to Prince on sites like Watt Street Bloodz and Kingk Notorious Bloodz (King-K-BLOODZ4Life) shows that at the time of his death he was still accepted as one of their own. Our searches of Bebo have turned up another five ga

Manitoba Hydro is on its deathbed. There, we said it.

Manitoba Hydro is on its deathbed. Oh, you won't find anyone official to say it. Yet . Like relatives trying to appear cheery and optimistic around a loved one that's been diagnosed with terminal cancer, the people in power are in the first stage of grief -- denial. The prognosis for Hydro was delivered three weeks ago at hearings before the Public Utilities Board where the utility was seeking punishingly higher rates for customers in Manitoba. It took us this long to read through the hundred-plus pages of transcript, to decipher the coded language of the witnesses, to interpret what they were getting at, and, finally, to understand the terrible conclusion.  We couldn't believe it, just as, we're sure, you can't--- so we did it all again, to get a second opinion, so to speak.  Hydro conceded to the PUB that it undertook a massive expansion program--- involving three (it was once four) new dams and two new major powerlines (one in the United States)---whi

Nahanni Fontaine, the NDP's Christian-bashing, cop-smearing, other star candidate

As the vultures of the press circle over the wounded Liberal Party of Manitoba, one NDP star candidate must be laughing up her sleeve at how her extremist past has escaped the scrutiny of reporters and pundits. Parachuted into a safe NDP seat in Winnipeg's North End, she nonetheless feared a bruising campaign against a well-heeled Liberal opponent.  Ha ha.  Instead, the sleepy newspeeps have turned a blind eye to her years of vitriolic attacks on Christianity, white people, and police. * She's spent years  bashing Christianity  as the root cause of all the problems of native people in Canada. * She's called for  a boycott of white businesses . * And with her  Marxist research partner, she's  smeared city police as intransigent racists . Step up Nahanni Fontaine, running for election in St. John's riding as successor to the retiring Gord Macintosh. While her male counterpart in the NDP's galaxy of stars, Wab Kinew, has responded to the controversy over

Exposing the CBC/WFP double-team smear of a hero cop

Published since 2006 on territory ceded, released, surrendered and yielded up in 1871 to Her Majesty the Queen and successors forever. Exposing the CBC/FP double-team smear of a hero cop Some of the shoddiest journalism in recent times appeared this long August weekend when the CBC and Winnipeg Free Press doubled teamed on a blatant smear of a veteran city police officer. In the latest example of narrative journalism these media outlets spun stories with total disregard for facts that contradicted the central message of the reports which, simplified, is: police are bad and the system is covering up. Let's start with the story on the taxpayer funded CBC by Sarah Petz that can be summed up in the lead. "A February incident where an off-duty Winnipeg officer allegedly knocked a suspect unconscious wasn't reported to the province's police watchdog, and one criminologist says it shows how flawed oversight of law enforcement can be." There you have it. A policeman, not

Winnipeg needs a new police chief - ASAP

When did the magic die? A week ago the Winnipeg police department delivered the bad news---crime in the city is out of control. The picture painted by the numbers (for 2018) was appalling. Robberies up ten percent in  a single year.  (And that was the good news.) Property crimes were up almost 20 percent.  Total crime was 33 percent higher than the five year average. The measure of violent crime in Winnipeg had soared to a rating of 161.  Only four years earlier it stood at 116. That's a 38 percent deterioration in safety. How did it happen? How, when in 2015 the police and Winnipeg's police board announced they had discovered the magic solution to crime? "Smart Policing" they called it.    A team of crime analysts would pore through data to spot crime hot-spots and as soon as they identified a trend (car thefts, muggings, liquor store robberies) they could call in police resources to descend on the problem and nip it. The police