Afghanistan: A long-term project; Author Peter Pigott explains why Canadian soldiers have been sent to Afghanistan, and provides a multi-faceted account of what they are doing there

Montreal Gazette Saturday, March 31, 2007 LEVON SEVUNTS CANADA IN AFGHANISTAN: THE WAR SO FAR By Peter Pigott Dundurn Press, 240 pages, $35 It’s a rare newscast or newspaper edition in Canada that doesn’t have a story from Afghanistan these days. Yet almost five years after Canada sent its soldiers there, many Canadians remain surprisingly ignorant about the history of that country and the reasons for Canada’s involvement. That ignorance also permeates the upper echelons of Canadian politics, academia, media and government agencies. Peter Pigott’s…

Whose War Is It?

Stand on guard, historian tells Canada: Military scholar J.L Granatstein makes a passionate plea for a more muscular Canada, one that can protect itself at home and once again punch above its weight on the international scene. Furthermore, the U.S. war on terror, he says, is our war too Montreal Gazette Saturday, February 24, 2007 LEVON SEVUNTS J.L. Granatstein starts his latest book, Whose War Is It?, with a horrifying scenario: The “big one,” an 8.9 quake, has hit Vancouver at 8:08 a.m. on Tuesday,…

Fleeing a hellish war: Deserter served in Iraq with U.S. army

Montreal Gazette Saturday, February 3, 2007 LEVON SEVUNTS The Deserter’s Tale: The Story of an Ordinary Soldier Who Walked Away from the War in Iraq By Joshua Key as told to Lawrence Hill House of Anansi Press, 237 pages, $29.95 First, I want to lay my cards on the table. I don’t like deserters. It’s a dislike that I’ve developed over the years hanging around soldiers: first growing up in the family of a soldier, doing my own military service, then covering wars on three…

Two views of the war on terror: Burke fights stereotypes, Musharraf seeks moderation

Montreal Gazette Saturday, November 25, 2006 LEVON SEVUNTS ON THE ROAD TO KANDAHAR: TRAVELS THROUGH CONFLICT IN THE ISLAMIC WORLD By Jason Burke Bond Street Books/Doubleday Canada, 228 pages, $32.95 IN THE LINE OF FIRE: A MEMOIR By Pervez Musharraf Free Press, 354 pages, $38.50 Jason Burke had an unusual start to his journalistic career. He began as a peshmerga, a Kurdish guerrilla fighter, in northern Iraq, in 1991. Luckily for him and for us, Burke survived unscathed this rather extreme version of the end-of-college…

A Genuine sense of suffering: Anderson Cooper's reports are heartfelt

Montreal Gazette Saturday, July 15, 2006 LEVON SEVUNTS Dispatches from the Edge: A Memoir of War, Disasters, and Survival Anderson Cooper Harper Collins, 212 pages, $32.50 I don’t remember the exact date I stopped watching CNN, but it must have been around the time the United States was gearing up for the last war in Iraq. The last straw for me was when my friend Kevin Sites parted ways with CNN because the network couldn’t stomach his hard-hitting personal blog (so much the better for…

Canadian businesses welcome Mexicans

WORLD BRIEFINGS By Levon Sevunts THE WASHINGTON TIMES November 22, 2005 MONTREAL – As the United States fortifies its southern border, Canada has extended the welcome mat to Mexican immigrants frustrated by U.S. restrictions and dreaming of a better life north of the 49th parallel. About 50,000 Mexican natives are living in Canada permanently. Another 10,000 visit Canada each year to study, and about 200,000 arrive as tourists. Mexicans can enter Canada legally just by showing a passport, rather than enduring the long, expensive process…

‘Banning things will not change anything’

Charged with insulting Turkish identity and army, controversial author faces jail time By Levon Sevunts THE GLOBE AND MAIL Tuesday, October 4, 2005 When Dora Sakayan first published her grandfather’s diary in Montreal, she had no inkling that 10 years later it could land someone a half a world away in court, facing as much as two years in jail. But then, she never dreamed that her grandfather’s diary, an eyewitness account of the events in which several members of his family perished, along with…

Reconstruction team increases danger for aid workers, humanitarian groups say: Canada and U.S. say military projects are indispensable in fighting insurgency

Montreal Gazette Wednesday, July 27, 2005 Page: A20 Section: News Byline: LEVON SEVUNTS Source: Freelance Canada’s decision to set up a provincial reconstruction team in Kandahar has been praised by its NATO allies and particularly the United States, but some humanitarian agencies are worried they will suffer the collateral damage caused by this latest tool in the war on terrorism. About 250 Canadian soldiers and five civilians – two Foreign Affairs officials, two RCMP officers and a Canadian International Development Agency official – left today…

Bringing light to the country

New aid programs encourage Afghans to choose local development plans that suit rural areas where most live Jul. 24, 2005. 01:00 AM LEVON SEVUNTS SPECIAL TO THE STAR For centuries, people in the village of Sabzikhail went to bed with the setting of the sun. There wasn’t much else to do after darkness fell in the lush green valley a two-hour drive north of Kabul. Only wealthy families could literally afford to burn the midnight oil. But tonight, village council member Nadjibullah Bohaduri says he’ll…

Coalition forces fear rise in Afghan suicide attacks

By Levon Sevunts THE WASHINGTON TIMES June 23, 2005 KABUL, Afghanistan — Coalition intelligence sources report a worrying shift in insurgency tactics as the remnants of the Taliban and the al Qaeda network in Afghanistan increasingly turn to Iraq-style suicide attacks. Coalition forces say they are bracing for more attacks as terrorists try to destabilize Afghanistan ahead of Sept. 18 parliamentary elections. Meanwhile, American aircraft bombarded a rebel hide-out with missiles and bombs, killing up to 76 insurgents in one of the deadliest battles since…

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