Thursday, September 15, 2005

What's that Smell and Why am Not Surprised?

(Photo to the left is of a man whose words far outstrip his deeds. He is a Liberal Cabinet Minister who is not welcome at my table.)

From David Pugliese of the Ottawa Citizen via Neale News we learn of this scurrilous decision.

Under pressure from the federal government to save money, the Canadian military is poised to send troops now in Afghanistan home early, potentially hurting morale and causing other problems in the ranks.

The move has angered some reservists who have already told employers in Canada they were leaving their jobs for a full six-month tour of the war-torn country. Some soldiers expect to be sent home after only four months in Afghanistan.

The early pullout comes even as the Canadian military prepares to send an entirely new force to the Kandahar area next February. In a Sept. 10 e-mail sent to his soldiers, obtained by the Citizen, Col. Steve Noonan, commander of the current mission in Afghanistan, says some soldiers will be sent home well before their tour is scheduled to end. Canadian troops are in Kabul and Kandahar.

It is unclear how many of the soldiers will be sent home early and from where. But Col. Noonan noted that the troops will be divided into groups of "six-monthers" and "four-monthers."

"There are significant pressures on DND to reduce the size of the commitment in theatre from 1 Dec to 1 Feb," Col. Noonan told his soldiers.

"This issue obviously has the potential to create some significant cohesion and morale issues that will have to be managed on both an individual and group basis," he added.

Go read the rest of the article at the link above. After that, if you are flying a Canadian flag outside your home or cottage, now is the time to invert it and place it at half staff. Better yet, lower it and hide it under your bed until a time comes when you, as a Canadian, can stand proud once more. Now is a time for bitterness and shame.

The Liberal government of Paul Martin talks a good game when it comes to the Canadian Forces, and the obligation to pursue the war on Islamic terrorists, but that is all it is .... a fetid, stinking, steaming, cow paddy of verbal political BS.

Consider these rousing comments by the Minister of National Defence, Bill Graham, in Waterloo Ontario on May 13, 2005 .... a mere four months ago.

I would like to conclude, ladies and gentlemen, by saying that I am very proud of the instrumental role that Canada is, and will be, playing in the reconstruction and stabilization of Afghanistan. Along with our international allies and partners, we are having a real and very positive impact on the lives of the Afghan people.

It is also central to the international campaign against terrorism and to the security of Canada and Canadians. I agree with the NATO Secretary General's assessment that "if we want to win the war on terrorism, we must win the peace in Afghanistan."

The Canadian Forces are prepared - and, in fact, quite anxious - for this increased commitment in Afghanistan. They are familiar with that country and the people. The Canadian Forces have some of the best leaders and non-commission members in the world who have just completed a period of much-needed rest and regeneration.
And they have the resources and equipment they need to do their job.

The Afghanistan mission is also the exact type of mission that we are preparing and transforming our military to undertake - and excel at - in our new defence policy statement. Afghanistan is an example of a failed and failing state where we can make a real difference. And we are committed to doing just that. [bolding is mine]

A month before that he was bragging to the Empire Club in Toronto about the Martin government's commitment to provide an additional $13 billion in new money for the cash strapped Canadian Forces, including the much ignored and neglected reserve force. He also said:
Everything is now in place for real and lasting change for our military. With the recent federal budget, we've got the resources we need to strengthen our presence and our capacity to defend Canada and Canadians as well as to play a more significant role in the world.
And this.

I know that many of our stellar citizens believe that there is no real threat to our security in Canada and do not see the need to invest extensively in Defence. I have to share with you that this is not what credible sources tell us and it is not being alarmist to prepare for quite realistic threats that we must take seriously and evaluate.

So in order to better protect the safety and security of Canadians, we will expand the presence of our regular, reserve and ranger forces throughout the country to respond more effectively to events across Canada including in our Arctic.

Our maritime and air forces will place greater emphasis on protecting our coasts, our territorial waters and our airspace. We will enhance our national counter-terrorism response force, JTF-2, to deal with emergencies in different parts of the country and we will increase the reserve forces' role in protecting Canada and Canadians by expanding their numbers and focusing their expertise on, among other things, chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear responses to domestic emergencies that we could well have in our cities.

Well, that was then and this was now. Since then federal revenues have taken a precipitous plunge and the Government of Canada is teetering on the verge on bankruptcy.

What's that? You say the federal treasury remains bloated with unforcasted, obscenely huge surpluses, even after an unprecedented spending binge to buy the electorate with its own tax dollars and even after the NDP subsequently rewrote the budget to include billions of dollars in unforcasted pet socialist priorities as their price for keeping the Grits in power? Even now we have grotesque surpluses? Really?

Why then, given the promised new $13 billion for defence and the unexpected deluge of tax dollars on Ottawa, is the military reducing it's combat capable field strength on a very dangerous deployment, thereby destroying unit cohesion, breaking significant commitments to its reservists, placing the remaining troops under greater stress and increasing their vulnerability to hostile forces?

Because they've been told to cut back, that's why. And why, dear reader have they been told that, given all the political promises to rebuild our depleted, exhausted, rusted-out military?

David Pugliese of the Ottawa citizen does not say. He does note that:

The focus, noted Col. Noonan, is now on the deployment of a new group of Canadian troops to Kandahar starting Feb. 6.

Defence Minister Bill Graham said in a telephone conference call with journalists yesterday those troops will be involved in an operation closer to "a combat mission in nature."

He did not mention the early pullout of the soldiers already in Afghanistan.

Indeed Mr. Graham did not. I believe he did not because Bill Graham sits on the side of the House of Commons where noses are long and growing. Comparing words to deeds one has to conclude he is a hypocrite of the first order and a sly political hack who does not deserve his Privy Council appellation of "Honourable."

If I were in the reserve army (militia regiment) today, I'd not volunteer to serve with the Canadian Forces oversees unless, and until, there was a government in power in Ottawa prepared to deal honestly with the military. If I were in the regular force, I'd have to think long and hard about re-enlisting under a government led by poltroons. "Unit cohesion" starts at the very top of the decision pyramid in a place called the Cabinet.

Bah! This disgusts me. I can only imagine how the betrayed troops in Afghanistan must feel. I hope the members of the Canadian Forces militia who are sent home early from Afghanistan in order to save the bloated federal treasury some money sue the crap out of DND to obtain their full six months pay. They committed to put their lives on the line to serve Canada and deserve better than this treatment under Bill Graham and the Liberal government.

Of course, the Martin Liberals will declaim to anyone foolish enough to listen that they are serious about fighting the war on Islamist terrorists. And they are, as long as they can do it on the cheap.


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