Mar 04 2008

Globe & Post: General Dion’s Victory: A Study in Quotes

Published by at 8:43 pm under Uncategorized

Canada’s mission in Afghanistan has received a recent boost from some unexpected non-partisan cooperation between the Conservative minority government and Liberal opposition (Canada.com). Notwithstanding the even more recent acrimony that has inevitably made its return to Canadian politics, the idea of committing to the Afghanistan mission until 2011 (dependent on the rest of NATO sending more troops to actually fight the enemy) may hold up. That’s a darn sight better than where Canada’s politicians were heading before that. Canadians concerned about Afghanistan are pleased at our government’s renewed commitment to the people of that war-torn country (and if are one of those concerned Canadians, please read this).

Notwithstanding, the Liberal position on the Afghanistan file has been clouded more than slightly by Liberal leader Stephane Dion’s rather uninspiring statements. Earnest Canuck Lyle Neff has kindly contributed a masterpiece of political commentary to Currents to demonstrate the point. Enjoy.

GENERAL DION’S ART OF VICTORY: A STUDY IN QUOTES

“Attack the enemy where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.” – Sun Tzu

“Look, we are very willing to work with you, to design something that makes sense, because I don’t want to risk the life of our soldiers if we are not making progress…” – Stephane Dion

“To those who fall I say: You will not die but step into immortality.” – Lt-Gen Sir Arthur Currie

“What needed to be done was a thorough study of the conditions and consequences of such an extension: the troop deployment conditions; the governance situation on site; the humanitarian and development measures that will be needed…” — Dion

“If [the enemy] presume to appear in arms, they must expect the most fatal consequences; their habitations destroyed, their sacred temples exposed to an exasperated soldiery, their harvest utterly ruined…” – General Wolfe

“We will see if there is a way through clarification and exploration of the two positions to see if after February 2009 we may agree about what to do…” — Dion

“Mullah Omar’s order is effective immediately, and there will be no more beheadings by the Taliban.” — Talib spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid clarifies the Scholars’ position

“[More] forces from a Christian/Crusader heritage will continue to fuel an insurgency that has been framed as a jihad… The continuous availability of external personnel and logistical support in a poor country like Afghanistan risks creating a structural disincentive…” – Dion lieutenant Elizabeth May

“We have jihadists in Kabul right now and soon we will carry out more attacks [i.e., restaurant bomb massacres]” – Mujahid frames a Taliban disincentive

“Take up our quarrel with the foe:/ To you from failing hands we throw/ The torch; be yours to hold it high./ If ye break faith with us who die/ We shall not sleep…” – Brigade Surgeon John McCrae

“The battle group, should we put them to PRTs and to training? I think that we need to recuperate, too, so we’ll have to refocus about, what does it mean, in the status of our troops, regarding the mission…” – Dion military aide Denis Coderre

“I went to Spain to kill as many fascists as possible; that’s all the less to kill when they get here.” – Toronto’s Fred Baxter, volunteer, Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion, XV International Brigade

“There remains much to do to ensure that the stability and governance institutions are in place to allow Afghans themselves to resolve their differences… a greater emphasis on stronger and more disciplined diplomatic efforts, and striking a better balance with respect to the reconstruction and development efforts… will be essential to creating a stable Afghanistan…” – Dion

“We are not fighting so that you will offer us something. We are fighting to eliminate you.” – Taliban soulmate Hussein Massawi

“In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man/
“As modest stillness and humility;/
“But when the blast of war blows in our ears,/
“Then imitate the action of the tiger:/
“Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood…” – Henry V (reportedly)

“Liberals also believe that clarity, honesty and transparency are essential to the success of the mission. To this end, we believe, and our amended motion stipulates [that]… in the coming weeks, we will continue our debate.” — Dion

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