Thursday, October 25, 2007

Dr Who And The War On Terror

Remember the predictions of flying cars that we were all supposed to be using at the start of this century? Meal in a pill? How about personal robotic maids that every family would have? Sure, these are all things that may someday come to pass. To date, the predictions made in such eminent magazines and newspapers such as Popular Science and The New York Times haven't been very accurate. Sure, maybe there has been a flourishing civilization on the Moon since 1990, but neither you or I have been shown any such evidence of it. So what's the point of this particular blog entry? From a link in National Newswatch: Tories accused of lying about time needed to stabilize Afghanistan OTTAWA - The Conservative government was accused Thursday of painting a misleadingly rosy portrait of the situation in Afghanistan that contradicts the view of its own military experts. The Tories say Afghanistan should be stable enough to handle its own security by 2011 - a view reiterated late Thursday by a spokeswoman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper. But opposition parties pounced on far less cheerful assessments of the situation from two leading authorities: Canada's top soldier and the head of NATO. Gen. Rick Hillier declared it will probably take "10 years or so" for the Afghan army to meet its security demands - and NATO's secretary-general suggested it could take far longer than that. The opposition accused Harper of ignoring his own military experts and allies because the truth makes him politically uncomfortable. Liberal defence critic Denis Coderre said: "Mr. Hillier is the expert and he knows better. Someone lied there." On Afghanistan, the throne speech said Canadian troops should remain deployed for four more years - and then, by 2011, Afghan forces should be able to defend their own sovereignty. But the NDP wanted to know whether Hillier or Harper was telling the truth. "This is a very serious matter and I think the Prime Minister needs to respond," NDP Leader Jack Layton said afterwards. "We got glib responses . . . This is an enormous discrepancy and it does come down to who's telling the truth about this war." Now for my point. For years we have been treated to various experts, psychics and seers telling us the future. We don't need politicians doing it. If politicians could successfully see the future results of war then Adolph Hitler probably wouldn't have invaded Poland. Saddam Hussein probably wouldn't have violated 17 U.N. Resolutions. To hear Jack Layton paint a point of view or an opinion on something that may or may not happen as a lie is ludicrous. To take him seriously is even moreso. It was Winston Churchill who once said "We will never surrender". I don't recall him ever saying in 1941 that "We'll win by May 8th of 1945; news at 11." It's time we stopped making ridiculous demands of our leaders as to when the wars in Aghanistan or Iraq will be over. Just because we live in a microwave world doesn't mean the rest of the world does. UPDATE: CTV gazes into their crystal ball, determined that either the Prime Minister or the Chief of Defence is a liar. "Now we've got a situation where the chief of defence staff is saying one thing. The prime minister and his spinmeisters are saying another. It raises serious questions about whether we have adequate civilian control of this mission, Deputy Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff said Friday after question period. "The soldiers deserve better. They deserve effective leadership by the civilian elected government of this country and they are not getting it." The only lie being told in this story is that either the military or the government aren't telling the truth. I don't see anything conclusive offered by the media to suggest that both couldn't be right. Perhaps both are wrong. Perhaps it'll take seven years, instead of four or ten. Only time will tell.

1 comment:

Raphael Alexander said...

Agreed. Well put. Although technically I think Hitler wouldn't have invaded Russia if he had foresight like that. I mean, walking over France like that must have been sheer joy for the Germans after their humiliation following WW1.