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ex coelis Proud to be Canadian

February 11, 2003

Fall Out

I just finished watching Fall Out! on CBC Newsworld and wanted to thank Mike Smith for what he has done. I have tried several times to tell our story by working with the media but have never been really happy with the spin that they have given it. Hours of interviews can be combed through to present any sensationalist viewpoint as we have so often come to expect of the media. It is no wonder we are so distrustful.

In my opinion though, Mike has done the best job yet and I commend him on it. It was hard to watch as it brought back all of the feelings of sacrifice and betrayal, but it was worth seeing. If you did not see the show tonight make sure you see it when it airs again on Sat, Feb 15 at 10pm ET (7pm PT). I would appreciate hearing your opinions, just click on the Comments link below and send in your comments, or if you prefer to keep it anonymous, click on the Contact link on the left and email me.

Airborne...

Posted by Rob at February 11, 2003 11:09 PM
Comments

Well done. The Fall Out episode was a wake up call.

Posted by: J Harder on February 12, 2003 02:00 AM

Well done Mike!

Posted by: Wayne Jure on March 30, 2003 12:48 PM

Hello,

I saw the program repeat on CBC last evening of the Canadian Airborne Regiment being disbanded due to the atrocities in Somalia. My heart went out to Mike Smith as someone who wanted and needed to know the truth about what happened, and his genuine grief affected me in many ways.

Mike Smith's questions were more than valid, for instance, why was a whole regiment sacrificed instead of the problem located and dealt with from the inside, as any organization does in modern life, you don't throw the baby out with the bathwater, you care for the baby and throw out the dirty bathwater. Not in this case. Was the entire regiment responsible for what happened in the murder of the 16 year old Shidane Arone.

Was the entire regiment present for the horrific events? I cannot see any rationale for assuming that they were all responsible in any way.

Who was responsible were those men who were present and did not stop it. There is no way a man can claim he cared or tried to help the young man who was tortured, while justifying his "stand back" position of recording the incident. Wouldn't the men present who were against what was happening, overtake the offender before he could have a chance to continue with the crime once it was established in their minds that it was occurring.

You don't stand back and watch, film, or take pictures of an old lady being beaten to death by a gang of punks. You do something about it, don't allow for it to happen.

While the gentleman who recorded the events and revealed the pictures was right in turning the evidence in, he was wrong for not defending anothers life even with his own, as he is so trained and skilled to do. He did not. He did claim in the CBC interview with Mike Smith that he at one point had taken the steal rod away from the offending soldier. Perhaps he acted too late.

Why?

He bantered back and forth with Mr. Smith, stating his fears of being blamed, and upon whos whos shoulders the responsibility fell. He then said, at the end of the interview, "Do I feel responsible for what happened? Hell no."

But he is. And those men present that allowed this to happen and did not absolutely see to it that it did not. His reasoning behind the potographing of the horror was flawed. His first responsibility as a soldier is humanity and fighting for that cause. That he took the steal bar away from the terrorist belies the truth in that the damage to the youth had already taken place, so the decision to record the events (for posterity?) was irresponsible, criminal, and beyond all manner of ethical decency.

That the entire regiment fell due to these men, is a wrong that needs to be righted.

We have to consider the Liberal Governments idea of "saving face" in the heat of a scandal such as this, which could ignite actual war between two countries, and contribute to much future conflict between Canada and Africa. The disbanding of the entire regiment bespeaks a military that had to make a drastic decision. One that would say to the world that there is below zero tolerance and they had to find a way to convince Somalians that Canada had been so beyond outrage - and there can be no question about action being taken, so they did the ultimate and disbanded the entire regiment.

The message to the world is what was delivered there. Perhaps, it was a political move and one done with intelligence dictating. Who can say? But, the truth is always the light, and no matter what, the truth still needs to be uprooted and those who were responsible be made to take responsibility, and those men who were not responsible should be vindicated. That is even more critical than any other aspect of this issue. The regiment needs to be given back their dignity, as they had taken the fall for a few bad men.

I could find no contact information for Mr. Smith. If there is any way that this message can be passed along to him, I would greatly appreciate it. I admire his humanity, and his heart, and what he's been trying to do.

Naomi L.

Canada

Posted by: Naomi L on July 13, 2003 10:48 AM
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