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Monday, March 10, 2008

Former Minister of Defense John McCallum on Kandahar: Unprincipled Cowardice Undermined by Mr. Dithers

Mccallummartin
Is it just me, or did John McCallum just take an open potshot at his former boss, PM Paul Martin? From "Eyeing Canada's Path to War in Afghanistan", an Ottawa Citizen preview of Tuesday March 11th's Global TV documentary by Kevin Newman:

Former defence minister John McCallum, in particular, is disarmingly frank, speaking openly about how Canada ended up being stuck with the unenviable job of trying to bring security to the increasingly dangerous province of Kandahar. "We dithered, and so all the safe places were taken and we were left with Kandahar."

McCallum, of course, is referring to the 2005 committment by the Martin government to take control of NATO's provincial reconstruction team in Kandahar Province, the most active area of Taliban resistance in Afghanistan proper. So let me translate McCallum's brief quote:

'As good Euro-worshipping liberals, we wanted to give the illusion that we were actually doing something in the war on terror, without actually risking much of anything. Unfortunately, the loser PM who led our party into this unbearable political purgatory we wallow in today waited so long to commit, that we couldn't hide our military in areas they weren't actually needed (like the Germans, the French, and other Euro sophisticates). If only that damned ditherer weren't so stupid, we could have continued our preferred policy of unprincipled cowardice.'

Or something like that.

(Cross-Posted at Flaggman's Canada)

Posted by Neil Flagg on March 10, 2008 | Permalink

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Comments

McCallum seems to have "pissed in the pickles."

Posted by: dewp | 2008-03-10 11:03:32 PM


Kandahar is Mullah Omar's hometown and stomping ground.

Having Kandahar as an AO is a mark of pride similar to having Juno beach, which was closest to Wehrmacht reinforcements and the Panzer reserves, as Canada's assignment on D-Day.

One day Canada will have to withdrawn from Afghanistan, then who will take over Kandahar as their AO?

Posted by: Speller | 2008-03-10 11:09:41 PM


"One day Canada will have to withdrawn from Afghanistan, then who will take over Kandahar as their AO?"

The Taliban.

Posted by: DJ | 2008-03-11 12:44:45 AM


DJ, you may be right.

Posted by: Speller | 2008-03-11 12:50:34 AM


Martin may already have gone to Hell, he's not been seen on the Hill for some time, not even to take part in the behind the curtain abstentions.

Bring on the Income Trust leak.

Posted by: Liz J | 2008-03-11 8:12:23 AM


Surely Helmand is far worse?

Posted by: lizzie | 2008-03-11 11:44:27 AM


If i remember correctly John Mc Callum for a while was Defense Minister in the Liberal Government and was one of the dithers who did not equip the military in any way shape or form.

Johny spent too much time with the likes of Johnny Walker and not enough clear thought as to how to clean up the mess in buying modern equipment for our military.

Posted by: Larry Hallatt | 2008-03-31 3:43:23 PM



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