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Prime Minister muzzles military


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Interesting to watch this all as it plays out.

Cameron

A recent story from the Calgary sun...

OTTAWA -- Prime Minister Stephen Harper has slapped a

muzzle on the Canadian military, forbidding brass from

speaking for fear of detracting attention from his

government's top priorities.

A top military officer said the Prime Minister's

Office recently reeled in Chief of Defence Staff Gen.

Rick Hillier to tell him that all of his speaking

engagements had to be approved and his speeches would

be vetted by Harper's staff.

Hillier was also instructed to advise his top

generals, admirals and commodores that the order also

applies to them.

A source close to Hillier said the general hauled in

military brass to a closed-door meeting and verbally

relayed the instructions in an effort to avoid leaving

a paper trail on the discussion.

The senior military officer who attended the meeting

said Hillier told brass they were to clear all media

interview requests with the PMO first. So far, all

requests for interviews have been turned down by the

PM's staff.

"They don't want anything to detract from their five

messages or lead to debate or discussion," the source

said, asking for anonymity to avoid repercussions from

the PMO.

Hillier also told brass they not only would have to

clear any public speaking engagements with the PMO,

but also have Conservative staffers vet their

speeches, the senior official said.

The military's senior officers were told they should

expect it to take about four weeks for speaking notes

to be edited and approved.

http://calsun.canoe.ca/News/National/2006/...536502-sun.html

Here's a great letter to the Toronto Star asking what we're doing in Afghanistan, and what the gov't is saying...

National interests hardly at stake

Protecting our national interests

I'm surprised there has not been more outrage over

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's frequent "ditto-head"

catchphrases about our military excursion in

Afghanistan. For example, "the time for debate is

over," "we won't cut and run" and "protecting our

national interests." These are clearly not original;

we've heard them all before south of the border. But

it is the last one that has me most irate.

What exactly are our national interests in

Afghanistan?...

full story at: http://tinyurl.com/hsuh6

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CamTheCat

You wrote a quote from the Star - " What exactly are our national interest in Afghanistan"?

I would not hesitate to inform you our national interest would be directly in line with U.S. national interest including national interest that affect all of the free world.

Unbelievable any Canadian would ask such a STUPID question.

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CamTheCat

You wrote a quote from the Star - " What exactly are our national interest in Afghanistan"?

I would not hesitate to inform you our national interest would be directly in line with U.S. national interest including national interest that affect all of the free world.

Unbelievable any Canadian would ask such a STUPID question.

Was there an answer somewhere in there?

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CamTheCat

You wrote a quote from the Star - " What exactly are our national interest in Afghanistan"?

I would not hesitate to inform you our national interest would be directly in line with U.S. national interest including national interest that affect all of the free world.

Unbelievable any Canadian would ask such a STUPID question.

Was there an answer somewhere in there?

There was none. So the question remains , WTF are our national interests in this place? I am doubting we had any for the 20 or so years before when it went through a brutal civil war and occupation from USSR, then run by the Taleban until the US kicked them out and threw The Puppet Karzai in. There is no freedom there, it is the same as before. Sharia Law is the law of the land, the same as under the Taleban. So do not give me any of that freedom crap. They were free to install a form of Islamic Law which they had before. It would be like someone wanting to invade Canada, saying that we are free now. And we would be free to choose the same system as we had it before and such. No change. It is the way we are. And that is the way they are.

National Interests to me would be something like a permanent military presence and resources. That is the reason the US is there. Not democracy or freedom. Overall I would not hesitate to say that the average Canadian's view is not in line with the US's. Yes, Canadians ask really obvious stupid questions. But we do it in a sarcastic rhetorical sense that we have already predicted what your response/answer would be.

Oil is the major factor for the US being in that region.

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Isn't it the role of the Government to make defence policy?

What is wrong with making sure that the DND stays on message?

Better to be clearly focused than to send mixed messages. Or do people really long for the undisciplined days of the Martin governmen?

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Shakeyhands

You wrote- " Is there an answer somewhere in there".

National interest in my mind has to do with the preserving of Canadian nationalism that include securing the fundamental units that form Canadian social life concerning certain cultural and political claims that form the nation that Canada and Canadians belives it is entitled to.

Some of these fundamental units are jobs, economic competitivness, health, security, sovereignty.

Sometimes when I read some of the post on this board leads me to believe certain people would be delighted to see Canada fail and ground into the dirt.

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Interesting to watch this all as it plays out.

Cameron

A recent story from the Calgary sun...

OTTAWA -- Prime Minister Stephen Harper has slapped a

muzzle on the Canadian military, forbidding brass from

speaking for fear of detracting attention from his

government's top priorities.

It is the job of the government to make policy, of the military to carry out that policy. Therefore, there is no reason to expect any government to want the top members of its military to make policy statements which might conflict with government policy. Under the Liberals the military, not just officers, but enlisted men, were well aware that they were not to speak to the press for any reason whatever without vetting it with the politicians.

A top military officer said the Prime Minister's

Office recently reeled in Chief of Defence Staff Gen.

Rick Hillier to tell him that all of his speaking

engagements had to be approved and his speeches would

be vetted by Harper's staff.

In all likelihood this is a reaction to Hillier's somewhat surprising statements to the press last week, where he said that the military didn't have time to go through the procurement process and they wanted new things, like new helicopters NOW, as in, later this year would be nice. While the tories have expressed a desire to upgrade the military I can't imagine they want to be pushed into making hurried purchases before they've even had a chance to examine what purchases are already in the pipeline.

What exactly are our national interests in

Afghanistan?...

Our interests are to support, either through the United Nations, or through NATO, or on our own, the idea of responsible, peace and order, and for that reason to support law-abiding governments which take care of their people, support trade, and are good international citizens. We have had that policy for some decades now, in pursuit of which a good number of Canadians have died during various international peacekeeping operations. By doing this, we hope to make the world a more peaceful place in which Canada can aquire the resources it needs and sell its products without danger and instability.

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Leafless said:

our national interest would be directly in line with U.S. national interest

and:

National interest in my mind has to do with the preserving of Canadian nationalism...

So tell me, if it is our interest to preserve Canadian nationalism (which I'm all for), then why the hell should we be following the United States into anything? Yeah, the US is our "best friend" our most important trading partner, but we should at least attempt to find ways to be autonomous and self sufficient. And if we were to go along with US interests, then we would have gone into Iraq as well.

However, Afghanistan is not about the US interests, its about the War on Terror and humanitarian intervention. But, regardless of whether you agree with why or how we are there, Canadians should be stepping up and supporting our troops regardless of government bs.

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cdnazzurri

You wrote- " And if we were to go along with U.S. interest, then we would have gone into Iraq as well".

It was the Paul Martin Liberals who refused Canadian military intervention in Iraq as allies with the U.S. not Stephen Harper and the Conservatives.

You also wrote- " However, Afghanistan is not about U.S. interest, it's about ther War on Terror and humantarian intervention".

The U.S. and Canada both share core "fundamental units" concerning national interest and with Canada's participation in the war on terrorism in this advanced stage indicates Canada's concern regarding national interest or Canada would have probably pulled out if only interested as a peace keeping force.

Canada's participation in Iraq at this point is really inconsequential as Canada's military is quite small and has been underfunded for years by the federal Liberal government with conflicting ideologies between the Liberal and Conservative governments.

I to think that Canadians should be supporting our troops but understand our involvement should be limited and controlled to ensure our troops are adequately protected according to the availability of our military resources.

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We have an obligation to the people of Afghanistan, and as the candidate homeboy of the left Ignatieff says, the people of Iraq too.

We need to be there. What makes us better than them? Just our government, our institutions. Why not help them build these institutions, where they can live better lives. You'll hardly see terrorism coming from wealthy areas.

And yes, humanitarian aid may need to be increased. But there is only so much money can do in a violent, oppressive situation. Boots on the ground make change, boots on the ground would have saved a million people in Rwanda.

When will Canadians live up to the responsibility that our privledge and wealth comes with? When will Canadians stop boycotting wars because the Americans are involved, and start thinking about people before politics?

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