Saturday, July 14, 2007

Apparently Someone Does Listen to Gordon O'Connor

How often has it been said that we, Canada, are a bit player? That nations around the world do not really listen to what we have to say? Of course in recent days, Harper has become fond of inserting the phrase, "Canada is back on the world's stage". Perhaps he has a point, though I doubt that this is what he had in mind.

"Hands up those readers who know that Canada's Defence Minister, Gordon O'Connor, actually sent a letter to Rumsfeld two days before his departure in disgrace from the Pentagon, praising this disreputable man's "leadership". Yes, O'Connor wanted "to take this opportunity to congratulate you on your many achievements (sic) as Secretary of Defence, and to recognise the significant contribution you have made in the fight against terrorism". The world, gushed the ridiculous O'Connor, had benefited from Rumsfeld's "leadership in addressing the complex issues in play".

or this:

O'Connor, it seems, is just another of the world's illusionists who believe they can ignore the facts - and laud fools - by stating the opposite of the truth.

These comments from an article by R. Fisk in the Independent. Fisk seems to be either loved, or loathed, so his opinion will either be shared or derided, but that is not really the point. I was surprised frankly to see O'Connor referred to, period. Of all the ministers in this government to gain notoriety abroad, who among us would choose him?

O'Connor wasn't the main point of Fisk's article though. Some of T. E. Lawrence's writing was. Interesting read.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi:

Good news everyone
your not going to see this on any of the lib blogs:

Canadian forces find weapons cache after fire fight

Updated Sat. Jul. 14 2007 12:30 PM ET

Canadian Press

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- A bloody trail led Canadian troops to a cache of weapons hidden in a village in southern Afghanistan Saturday morning, after an intense firefight left 15 to 20 Taliban fighters dead.

The find came after Canadian and Afghan soldiers battled the Taliban for more than a hour as day broke in the Zhari region, about 40 kilometres west of Kandahar City.

Operation Pluto was the latest manoeuvre by coalition troops to push the Taliban from the area around Highway 1, a major thoroughfare running across Kandahar province.

On Saturday, soldiers were engaged by Taliban fire in Haji Ebrahim village starting at 5 a.m. Firefights continued on and off, with insurgents using rocket- propelled grenades and mortars.

Air strikes were called in around 5:30 a.m. and eight 227-kilogram bombs were dropped on the insurgents, Maj. Dave Quick, the officer leading the operation, was quoted as saying.

But even after the air strikes, fighting continued, with insurgents firing on Canadians and Afghans from grape huts and behind walled compounds.

A Canadian military spokesman in Kandahar said neither the Canadian nor Afghan troops suffered any injuries and there were no civilian casualties.

Afghan officials have bemoaned the increased reliance by coalition troops on air strikes, saying they are responsible for a growing number of civilian casualties in the fighting this year.

The last three joint Canadian-Afghan operations have all brought in air support to attack insurgents from the sky, but there have been no civilian casualties reported.

Soldiers seized a recoilless rifle, grenades and rounds of ammunition when they followed a bloody trail through the village to the weapons, a military spokesman reported.

India Company, the Canadian battle group leading Saturday's assault, have been involved in more than a dozen operations in the Zhari area in the last month, coming into contact with insurgents almost every time they've gone on patrol.

The district was the scene of fierce fighting by Canadian troops last summer and pockets of the insurgency remain in place, attacking troops via improvised explosive devices and ramping up their assault against the weak Afghan National Police.

On June 21, Canadian and Afghan troops battled the Taliban in the same area for more than four hours during Operation Season, also designed to safeguard the checkpoints on the highway.

Two Canadian and three Afghan soldiers were injured, and an estimated 15 Taliban were killed.

Saturday's operation came as the current rotation of Canadian troops in Afghanistan prepare to welcome more than 2,500 soldiers from Valcartier, Que., known as the Van Doos, to the country later this month.

The first batch of soldiers making up the next rotation are expected to be leaving Quebec on Sunday. They'll be taking over Canada's mission in Afghanistan in August.

Fighting has intensified in southern Afghanistan in recent weeks.

In neighbouring Uruzgan province, Afghan and coalition forces came under attack by rocket- propelled grenades and gunfire. The ensuing battle, which included air strikes, killed 15 militants, the Ministry of Defence said.

In Helmand province, Taliban fighters attempted to ambush Afghan auxiliary police and advisers from the U.S.-led coalition on Friday, leading to a battle that killed "several'' militants, the coalition said.

More than 3,200 people have died in insurgency-related violence this year, according to an Associated Press count based on figures from Afghan and western officials. This i found it on the ctv.ca website.

I'm sure that the only comments on this article if any will be on the negative not the positive
i'd be surprised if it's
not on the negative just watch =).

Steve V said...

"Good news everyone
your not going to see this on any of the lib blogs"

Didn't we see the exact same mission in Dec 06 to clear that area of insurgents? Expect more "good news" in the fall, when whack a mole continues.

Anonymous said...

See Steve i was right you and your libs friends are not able to give credit to the good work that was done by our forces. I mentioned in my comment that if anyone would comment that it would only be negative because you libs are so predictable just typical
=)!!

John

knb said...

John, it's always good to see our soldiers carry out a successful mission. No one will deny that.

Steve's point is one I agree with. It's a good news, but it's a temporary pause in that particular limited area, until the next group arrives.

For every group we get, in comes another. That is what they do, what they have always done and what they will continue to do.

you libs are so predictable just typical Unlike you broad minded, able to reason on all sides and take criticism, conservatives. Pullleeeze.

Anonymous said...

KNB do you really think
with nato troops out of the country that the people would be better off ? The construction that's being going on in the north it's because what were doing in the south wouldn't you agree to this at least? What is your solution to this problem? I'll give my opion presure the nato countries that don't have troops in the south to send them there.The power
that would be send there would crush the terrorist like bugs that they are. I'm not saying that Canada should send more troops we have send enough it's the other countries that don't have them there should do it a long side of our troops. I don't see any of this on the lib blogs all i see is get out get out.

Now about libs are so predictable just typical it's a fact because anything good that happens in Afghanistan or that this goverment has done is never mentioned on the lib blog,and when it's mentioned on the lib blogs they always have to put a negative spin on it . This is what i meen when i say "the libs are so predictable just typical."

John

ottlib said...

I am always amazed at Conservatives like John who demand constant assertions of support for the troops and if they are not forthcoming then they automatically assume the lack of those assertions as a lack of support.

John, the Canadian Armed Forces is one of the most professional and capable armed forces in the world. They always do a good job on any mission they are assigned and I do not need to see a news report about a captured arms cache to prove that to me.

The failure in this war belongs to the CF's political masters and its senior command.

They have failed by pursuing a strategy that was already not working when they inherited it from the Americans.

They have failed to adequately explain the purpose and objectives of this mission, instead falling back on to jingoisms and false accusations.

That failure has been so comprehensive that Canadians have now turned on the mission and caused its greatest cheerleader to backtrack less than two months after he donned a helmet and flak jacket, went to a forward base in Afganistan and stated Canada was it it for the long haul.

Incidentally John, you blame the Liberals for not talking about the successes of the mission but the same could be said of the Conservative with regard to Mr. Harper's change of heart. It is damned difficult to find any BT who even mentions this on their blog. So tell me why are they not commenting on this John? Judging by their comments to is original position I can only assume that many are not happy with the change. Yet, they have no comment? Curious is it not?

Anonymous said...

OUTTLIB get something straight ok i've never mentioned or asserted that anyone against the mission are somehow against the troops,but some people are i'll give an example here in Quebec a couple of weeks ago some people send 3 thousand letters to the troops to refuse the order to go to Afghanistan knowing full well that it would be illegal to do so you can't tell me that is supporting the troops ok is it clear enough for you outtlib ? Now about
Stephen Harper changing is mind on this is simple,because it's a minority goverment and he has promissed to go before parliment with this he is trying to find
a way for the liberal party to agree on a future mission even tough
he doesn't have to do it.
He doesn't want to go into an election and bare the burden on his shoulder alone that's why!! Now can you please
answer my question just scroll up and you will see it thank you.

John

knb said...

KNB do you really think
with nato troops out of the country that the people would be better off ?


Yes and no.

No one wants to see the Taliban come back to rule, though we seemed un-phased by them until they wouldn't give the Americans Osama.

By the same token, by being there, we are Osama's dream. We give him reason to recruit. As was his dream to have Bush invade Iraq. He knew he could summon support to wage guerrilla warfare and so he has. Furthermore, he has many speaking in his name doing the same thing.

I know you want it to be true, that we can up NATO forces and eliminate them, but that's just not going to happen. They are recruiting from the entire region and will do so for as long as is necessary. That's more time and more troops than NATO has.

Pressure has been placed on other NATO countries for some time now. No one is willing, because as ottlib correctly noted, the failure of the mission, NOT the troops, is obvious.

NATO inherited and followed a plan, that was never designed to support the country. It was meant to topple the government of the day and they did that, but there was no strategy for what was to follow. As was the case with Iraq. Rumsfeld, supported by Bush and co., screwed this up and O'Connor thinks Rumsfeld is a swell guy. If that doesn't give you pause, I'm not sure what will.

What should be done? Well I'm not qualified to say obviously. Some days I just think someone should carve off the entire Pashtun region and give it to them. That would be a bad solution obviously, but that is the depth of my frustration.

What ottlib said is true. Very few con's are speaking to Harper's flip on this issue. He's used our money to have a report written, on how he should change his language, based on the polls. This is the same guy who said he'd NEVER govern by polls. He also used our money to produce a report any number of us could have e-mailed to him.

Your answer to ottlib confirms that you believe he is governing by polls. He's a craven politician, no more, no less, well, maybe a little less. Did you have the same sympathy for Martin in a minority situation?

For the record, I liked Martin, specifically as Finance Minister. I don't think he did well as PM, because he followed polls too much. You're guy is doing the same thing.

knb said...

Ottlib...really good to see you.

I've noticed a couple of BT's begin to slowly comment. Not on this issue specifically, but one wrote a letter in response to a fundraising e-mail he received. His answer was no. "You've reneged on all of these points and until you come back to a conservative agenda, I won't contribute.", paraphrased.

Given that the BT's seem to be quite the rabid bunch, I was surprised to see it. There were a couple of softer lob's, but overall, they love their man.

Anonymous said...

KNB all politicians go by the polls that's why the liberals the ndp the bloc and the conservitives they all have internal polls if
they don't follow polls why would they have them? Layton is going around the country demanding the troops come home now why because the polls say so . Dion and Harper are both saying feb. 2009 because they both committed to it. Now you ask me if i had the same sympathy for Martin in a minority situation? The answer no the reason is yes he did balance the budget that's good but look what he did also.
1) He cut funding to the
provinces in the billions of dollars. That caused big headaches for the hospitals that were still paying for it.
2) Huge budget cuts to our arm forces they were to the point of the boyscouts.
3) The adscam as Finance Minister who controlled
how much cash each dept. got he had no idea where
the money whent yea right
you believe that i have some swamp land to sell you in Florida hear no evil see no evil you know the saying. I can go on but it would be too long.

John

Anonymous said...

KNB just one more thing
i love reading your blog i really do.

John

knb said...

Thanks John, but can I ask why?

Red Tory said...

Before "Anonymous John" hijacked your thread, getting back to the point of the post...

Red Canuck made note of O'Connor's loving missive a little while ago. I believe he titled it "Letter from an Idiot."

ottlib said...

John:

Pressure the other NATO countries with what?

Sorry to bring in another issue but the Harper government's rejection of the Kyoto Protocol and its conduct at the last G-8 Summit has left the European governments with very little inclination to help Canada out at the moment. Really, do you think Angela Markel is taking Stephen Harper's phone calls right now?

Anyway the answer is not to pressure the European governments. The answer is to convince them of the need for them to commit to the more dangerous mission while giving them a way to sell it to their people.

One example that comes to mind is to set up a plan to rotate different troops into the danger zones for one year rotations.

There are more than a dozen NATO countries capable of sending 2500 troops to the South. If NATO can set up a rotation schedule where each country contributes troops to the south for one year if may be more palatable to the other NATO countries.

After all, the countries would only need to put their troops in harms way for 12 months and then have them replaced. They would then not have to worry about putting their troops back there for over a decade, assuming NATO is still in Afghanistan when their turn comes up again.

I am not certain is such a plan would work militarily or politically but something has to be done because the current plan is unsustainable.

Anonymous said...

KNB to answer you is because i like your articles and the way your blog is set up that's why.

John

knb said...

RT, yes, I remember that post. I can't find it archived, but I remember reading O'Connor's comments. I'm just a bit perplexed that they've crossed the ocean. Actually, I think Fisk lives in Lebanon, so, crossed and then some.

All in all, not a place I want this country to be on the world's stage.

knb said...

Thank you John, that was a kind thing to say. It's appreciated, even though you disagree with everything I say, :).

knb said...

ottlib, in the end, wouldn't that be a "forever" plan?

The cork is out of the champagne and there really isn't any way to get it back in, as far as I can see.

ottlib said...

KNB:

I happen to agree with those who support the efforts to rebuild Afghanistan and to help its people. It will take time and commitment.

From the Canadian standpoint though Canada has done its part and it is time for the other NATO countries to step up. My suggestion was just an idea of how we could facilitate that.

It could very well be too late and the window could be closed. In which case NATO cannot do any more good there and they should leave and let the chips fall where they may.

On the other hand there might still be something to salvage there. Unlike Iraq the whole country is not in chaos so it has not become untenable as it is in Iraq.

Anonymous said...

Hi:

These are the people
that the political left
have critized the goverment all winter long, because they may or may have not
been treated dignity a great bunch of people are they ?
Here is the link please read it thank you !!

http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/Story.asp?Article=187898&Sn=WORL&IssueID=30117

John

Anonymous said...

Sorry here is the link:

http://www.gulf-daily-news
.com/Story.asp?Article=
187898&Sn=WORL&IssueID=
30117


John

Anonymous said...

Anon - that group in Quebec are an isolated bunch of wingnuts and are probably NDP type people. They would fight if their mother was being attacked. So, leave the blame where it belongs.

And - nobody needs to be told to support the troops - I'm sick and tired of this bullshit rhetoric.

Our troops are at the mercy of those that plan the mission and the tactics - we don't support how Harper/O'Connor have handled it.

Why is Harper changing his tune - is it for votes because the Van Doos are deploying today?

knb said...

John, I'm not sure why, but I was unable to open your link. Obviously it's there, because the anon ahead of me read it.