Monday, December 17, 2007

Canadian Forces Video Montage

During 2006 Scott Kesterton emebed with Canadian troops in Afhganistan. Kesterton ended up spending a whole year embedded with mostly American troops and is soon to release a documentary called AtWar. Some of this footage of the Canadian Soldiers fighting the Taliban is included in the documentary.

During an interview in August 2006 Kesteron, a former American Soldier from Oregon, had this to say about his experience embedded with Canadian Soldiers:

"What has resulted is a bonding of U.S. and Canadian forces never before seen. They are not just our neighbour to the north; they have proven themselves to be fighters and soldiers worthy of the highest honours that the U.S. Army offers its own...

"On our first morning of being attacked, I found myself holding back tears as I filmed Canadians fighting a fight that began on American soil on Sept. 11, 2001. In interviews that followed, I discovered the depth of commitment that these soldiers held in their hearts, as they expressed their belief in purpose and shared their emotions, at times with tears. Two countries, each proud of their roots and history, unified across the border that distinguishes each of us ...

"From patrols to attacks, and an operational tempo that pushed us all to the point of exhaustion, and even the loss of one of my cameras following a fire fight, the Canadian soldiers and I became close friends, bridging into that place that only soldiers know... a band of brothers."

Kesterton continues: "In the last engagement working with the Canadian soldiers, we were ambushed in a small village. As three of us were making our way toward the enemy, a Canadian squad leader appeared at our right flank, killing a Taliban soldier who was poised to shoot us. The Canadian saved not only the lives of two of his fellow soldiers, but the life of this American photojournalist."

A few days later Kesterton asked Canadian soldiers how they felt about this war. The answers were virtually unanimous:

"It's time that someone else steps up. The United States shouldn't have to carry the fight alone. We may be Canadians, but the attack was an attack on our common values and beliefs -- 9/11 was an attack on all of us."

Apprently the above footage was the first combat footage Kesterton shot using actual military clips. He writes:

"My first military video using actual military clips, so go easy on the judgement ;). I purposely left the sound affects (gun shots, etc) in because I personally thought the sounds version was better than just music. Also on YouTube the audo and video aren't in sync as well as they are in the original file. All video footage is by photojournalist Scott Kesterson of: Alpha Company, 2nd Platoon "Red Devils" of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in Afghanistan"

You can watch all three trailers for AtWar at:

Friday, December 07, 2007

Staying the course in Afghanistan

I recently met a Canadian Soldier while we were both getting our hair cut at our local barber shop. He had just returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan. He is an infantry Soldier with the Queen's Own Rifles. He described the situation of the average Afghani citizen as desperate.

Thes people have virtually nothing and all that they want is to live their lives in peace, something the Taliban is determined ruin.

The chances of a NATO country stepping up to the plate to take Canada's combat role when our mandate runs out in February 2009 is slim to none. Those countries currently involved in fighting the Taliban, besides the Americans, are Britain, The Netherlands (which just recently extended their mission) and Denmark. The French and the Germans have decided to chicken out and hide on there bases in the secure north of the country.

The south is where the fighting is. The Canadian people need to be reminded what murderous scum the Taliban really are. Afghani citizens speaking in private with Canadian S0ldiers readily say that the Taliban are not Muslims. The Taliban do drugs and drink. They rape women and small boys. But the worst thing they do is torture and kill for offences that are as trivial as not having a long enough beard.

Our Canadian Soldiers are good at what they do. They volunteered for this mission. Canadian's need to know that there are Warriors among us who are ready and willing to fight, not only for the people of Afghanistan but for their country. For if the Taliban are allowed to return to power in Afghanistan then the entire Middle East dynamic will change for the worse.

Al-Qaeda will move back in with a vengeance and start training to fight a war with the west. We can not allow this to happen.