William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD

WHAT’S IN THE DAILY NEWS?

Violence once again against UN men
Somali terrorist shiftas steal food from the poor
So our Ban Ki Moon, took action soon
And he’s closed the Somali food door
Where have we heard news like this once before?

Our Defence Minister escapes a rocket attack
Would the same bombs fill the air for our own Taliban Jack?
General Hillier is now nicknamed the Newfie big cod
In the present rank structured he comes just under God
When Cod speaks, the front line troops, they all applaud!

Canadian sailors are all doing their shipboard battle P.T.
Doing pack-drill and road runs whilst out on the sea?
The Aussie Navy will parade in Victoria on Remembrance Day
They will go to our cenotaph and with us they’ll pray
It has been twenty long years since they came this way!

Old glowing veteran soldiers are now doing their best
To sue the Canadian Government over the atomic bomb tests
The bureaucrats have offered the survivors each 24K
To sign off on the deal, and then just go away
If they wait long enough, there’ll be no one to pay!

1, 000 metres from ground zero they stood in a trench
To many of them, at that moment, their youth and health was all spent
In Radioactivity Protective Suits it was difficult to walk
Most soldiers have said nothing, and they still refuse to talk
As those Geiger counter machines they all ticked like a clock!

Jim Huntley and his survivor comrades have asked for 150K
To help fight cancer and disease. It seems so little to pay?
The wheels of our government move slowly each day
As many old soldier survivors continue to silently pass away
Whilst the DND and VAC and SISIP bureaucrats have their say!
Think of these nuclear war test survivors, on this Remembrance Day!

Author’s Note Inspired by the reproduced cartoons and articles from the Times Colonist during Remembrance Week 2007

Raeside Cartoon

Hagar

Aussie sailors to take part in Remembrance Day parade

Thirty sailors from Australia will participate in the Victoria Remembrance Day parade on Sunday.

Ten of those from Down Under are musicians who will augment the Naden band at the head of the parade.

The Australian navy vessel Sydney arrives here Saturday on a visit to test new weapons and sensor systems. The vessel with a complement of 207 sailors is the first Australian navy surface ship to visit in nearly 20 years.

—TC staff

Veterans sue Ottawa over atomic tests

Can West News Service

OTTAWA — Canadian veterans exposed to radiation during atomic weapons tests 50 years ago in Nevada will launch a class-action lawsuit against the federal government after receiving word that they will be offered a “pathetic” $24, 000 each in compensation.

Jim Huntley, one of the surviving soldiers from the tests, told a news conference on Parliament Hill yesterday that the government’s compensation package should be in the range of $150, 000 per person.

Deployed in trenches about 1, 000 metres from one explosion, Huntley said that, after one explosion, men wearing protective suits measured the radioactivity around the soldiers with Geiger counters and the machines were “ticking like clocks.”

Somali intelligence forces seize UN food-aid official

MOGADISHU, Somalia (Reuters) — Up to 60 Somali intelligence officers stormed a UN compound in Mogadishu yesterday and seized the World Food Program’s local chief of operations at gunpoint, prompting WFP to stop aid distribution.

Riding in two “technicals” — pickup trucks mounted with heavy guns — armed security officers forced their way into UN offices before taking the Somali head of WFP operations to a cell at intelligence headquarters.

A police spokesman confirmed Idris Osman’s detention but declined to say why he had been taken. Another government officer who spoke on condition of anonymity said the order to arrest him came from the head of the national security service.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned the arrest as a flagrant violation of UN immunity and called for Osman’s immediate and unconditional release.

“The Secretary-General reminds the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia of its obligation to protect all United Nations staff members and property,” a statement said. WFP said it had received no explanation why Osman had been taken away.

In a statement, the food agency said Somalia’s national security services had violated international law by storming the compound, close to Mogadishu’s airport.

“In the light of Mr. Osman’s detention and in view of WFP’s duty to safeguard its staff, WFP is forced immediately to suspend these distributions,” it said.

That halts the agency’s first distribution of food since June in Mogadishu, which aimed to help 75, 000 people.

A relative of Osman, who demanded anonymity for fear of reprisal, said a quarrel with government officers sparked his arrest.

Violence has forced many aid agencies to quit the Horn of Africa country.

Defence minister escapes rocket attack

By KELLY CRYDERMAN
Can West News Service

Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay
Peter MacKay
Trip will continue
FORWARD OPERATING BASE WILSON, Afghanistan — A rocket exploded at a Canadian military base yesterday as Defence Minister Peter MacKay toured the camp and spoke with troops.

Two rockets, just 15 minutes apart, whizzed overhead at Forward Operating Base Wilson in Zhari district. The second of the two rockets hit inside the base walls, landing with a loud boom and lightly injuring four Canadian soldiers.

Soldiers along with three visiting reporters dived for cover as the rocket hit 50 metres from where they stood conducting interviews.

MacKay, who was not injured in the attack, was quickly sequestered in an armoured vehicle. His tour of Canadian installations west of Kandahar city was halted and he was evacuated to Kandahar Airbase by helicopter within the hour.

“It means the enemy still has some freedom of movement,” said Col. Stephane Lat’aut, commander of Canada’s operational mentor liaison teams, minutes after he and other soldiers took cover.

“We’re always nervous, every day, every time it happens because it’s dangerous for our own troops. For sure, yeah, now that the minister is here, we are more concerned.”

It is not known whether the minister’s presence on the base precipitated the attack, but officials say they have no evidence to suggest it.

“No, I do not believe he was targeted,” Canada’s chief of defence staff, Gen. Rick Hillier, said about MacKay’s close call.

“The minister was not subjected to an attack, what was subjected to an attack was one of our forward operating bases and that has been consistent because the Taliban have been driven back so that they have to resort to long distance attacks in most cases,” Hillier told reporters in Ottawa.

Hillier said it’s safer now than it was 18 months ago for Canadian officials to travel around the region.

“I did it a week and a half ago, moved throughout that region by vehicle including the city of Kandahar. I would not do that if I thought it was going to endanger my soldiers by doing that, and they were very comfortable doing it” he said.

Hillier said there is still a “very real risk” for soldiers in Afghanistan; but that the region is definitely more stable now than it was a year ago.

MacKay said he his trip will continue as planned.

“The visit will continue. We’re going to continue on with our schedule,” MacKay said. “We’re going to see the things that we came here to see.”