Friday, July 15, 2005

We Have Ourselves A Real General

Be still my beating heart.

Active role for troops pushed
OTTAWA BUREAU - Toronto Star

Canada must take its fight against "detestable murderers and scumbags" to the failed states abroad where they are allowed to "spread their venom," the country's top general said yesterday.

Comparing the situation to that of the fight against Nazi Germany, a tough-talking Gen. Rick Hillier says the attacks against the London transit system just over a week ago underscore the need for Canada's military to take an active role in places like Afghanistan. "I think the London attack just tells us once more we can't let up," Hillier said during a luncheon with reporters.

He said Canada must be ready to battle "those who would help terrorists and murderers and killers like Al Qaeda ... and the Taliban who would help them regain power." Without taking action, Canada risks having that instability "come home to roost" here, said Hillier, the chief of defence staff.

Hillier made his comments just as the military gets set to take on a more dangerous role in Afghanistan. In just over a week, some 250 Edmonton-based troops will depart for Kandahar as part of a reconstruction team meant to help stabilize the southern part of the country. By February, there will be 1,500 Canadian soldiers in Kandahar. One of their duties will be the dangerous mission of chasing down Taliban extremists.

"We're actually going there to take down the folks who are trying to still blow up men and women in Afghanistan and still provide a base for an organization like Al Qaeda to grow its venom," Hillier said.

But the general warned yesterday that people should brace for injuries, perhaps even fatalities, among Canada's military and suggested that the public might be in the dark about the looming dangers of this new role. "The possibilities of taking casualties are always there ... I do think there needs to be an awareness across Canada that we're in a dangerous business," Hillier said.

And he added a plug for his troops, saying citizens need to voice their support for men and women in uniform.

Confronted with the question of whether Canada's greater visibility in Afghanistan could prompt terror attacks here, Hillier likened the atmosphere today to the mood in 1939 when Canadians were called on to fight Nazi Germany.

"Did they say `No, because we might be attacked over here if we actually go and stand up against those despicable murderous bastards'?" Hillier said." They went and did it because it was right. I think it's exactly the same thing now. We need to take a stand," he said.

He said that Canada - a member of the G-8, a flourishing Western nation - is already on the terror hit list and terrorists are out to "break our society." "It doesn't matter whether we are in Afghanistan or any place in the world. We are going to be a target in their sights," he said.

"They detest our freedoms, they detest our society, they detest our liberties," he said. "We're not going to let those radical murderers and killers rob from others and we're certainly not going to let them rob from Canada," said Hillier, who spared few adjectives in describing the terrorists.
And this quote by Gen. Hillier from the Globe & Mail is something which needed to be said. I am amazed a serving Canadian general, and CDS to boot, actually had the cojones to say it.

He stressed the new face of the Canadian Forces, which he said are now focused on the first job at hand; protecting Canadian interests at home and abroad.

"We are not the public service of Canada, we are not just another department[of government]. We are the Canadian Forces, and our job is to be able to kill people.
All over this diminished Dominion, progressives and limousine socialists are spluttering into their morning lattes and reaching for their Tums. General Hillier, has spoken the truth, as good Newfoundlanders tend to do. I will be greatly interested to see the fallout from this one.

I can guarantee you this. The men and women of the Canadian Forces, who will be the people putting their lives at risk in this new deployment, will do so now in the secure knowledge that their commander is not a civil servant at heart, but a real soldier who defines, understands and supports their mission. They already knew that, but the message from their commander is a good one, delivered at the right moment.

He is also preparing the people of Canada for the likely casualties which will arise from this mission. It is much more dangerous than current mission centred on Kabul.

As for the Liberal government and the party strategists? They just appointed a real soldier to the top job and will find it difficult to cut him loose, at least right now. We all know their milk is curdling and their lips are pursed, but they are sly enough to know that the public perceives the Liberals to be weak on defence issues (a just conclusion, if there ever was one).

General Hillier offers them political cover. They can't talk tough on terrorism without the whole country breaking into sniggers. They pray (to Saint Pollster of Spin City) that they will be political beneficiaries of General Hillier's fighting spirit.

I'll do my praying, to the real Lord of All, that our troops will get through their mission safely.

Carry the battle to the "murderers and scumbags," general. This Canadian is walking proud today. It's a nice feeling, for a change.


At 2:11 pm, July 15, 2005 , Blogger Babbling Brooks said...

Well said, JTM. Per Ardua.

At 8:25 pm, July 15, 2005 , Blogger Linda said...

Kinda reminded me of Rush Limbaugh who used to always say that in a war the military's job was to 'break things and kill people' (or something to that effect). You go, Gen. Hillier!!!

At 10:33 pm, July 15, 2005 , Blogger Kermit said...


Which is 'Airbornesque' for "Damn Right"!


At 5:20 am, July 17, 2005 , Blogger Len Kutchma said...

I too was pleasantly surprised by this. It's refreshing to not only see someone in authority stay away from the politically correct claptrap but also to see him refer to terrorists as exactly what they are - no sugar coating here!

At 2:59 pm, July 21, 2005 , Blogger RobfromAlberta said...

Carry the battle to the "murderers and scumbags," general. This Canadian is walking proud today. It's a nice feeling, for a change.

Amen to that.


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