Friday, October 23, 2009

The Last Squawk of Rick Hillier?

I've had about enough of Rick Hillier and his delusions of grandeur.

The safely retired, ex-general seems to have found a perch where, like one of those really annoyingly loud parrots, he can squawk and scream at his former masters. Perhaps sensing that he still has the Canadian public on his side, Hillier is using his store of political capital to, well, politic.

Hillier doesn't seem to like the politicians we elect - of any stripe. The Liberals were bad, Harper is maniacal. Don't listen to them, don't trust them, he tells us. Apparently he thinks that parliament is going to sell us out on Afghanistan as if Canada's supposed military leadership hasn't done a good enough job of that already.

It's remarkable how readily and fulsomely Hillier can find fault, incompetence and dishonesty in the Canadian public's elected representatives and yet recognize so little fault in his own leadership of the Afghanistan mission. Memo to Rick - politicians alone can't screw up the Afghan gig as thoroughly as it is. It takes deeply flawed political and military leadership to pull off a mess like Afghanistan.

It seems Hillier's solution to Afghanistan is more of the same. Yeah, Rick, and just how well has that worked so far? Are you looking to repeat the Hundred Years War?

Rick Hillier is known to have a great affinity for his American counterparts so it's not surprising that he acts so much like them. Ever notice how many US generals have become astonishingly candid and outspoken about places like Iraq and Afghanistan but only after they have reached the safety of retirement? It's all "yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir" while they're still in the driver's seat but the gloves come off just as soon as they're safely buckled up in the backseat. And we all really love those backseat drivers, don't we?

Man, Hillier makes me yearn for the good old days when the only retired generals who castigated politicians were those who had actually won a war or two.

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