Tuesday, April 15, 2008

General Hillier's Plans

The last two governments have had a somewhat stormy relationship with General Hillier. Both the Cons and Liberals have had occasion to claim that the General's actions were partisan. Very often the differences were brought out publicly by the media.

As someone with a family past rooted in the military, I have to say that while the General was out of place many a time (and soldiers and police shouldn't be "public" figures), his intentions were always for the betterment of his army - our armed forces. Yes, he was outspoken. Yes, he got under everyone's skin sometimes - okay, a lot of times. But the good General was able to obtain for his troops the tools they needed to do their jobs. Even if it was to ensure his legacy isn't tainted, General Hillier has brought significant attention to the needs of the army in Afghanistan. As a commander of his forces, he has been a "good soldier".

What will the good General do now? Perhaps a career in politics? He was a fixture on the Hill. I recall meeting him in an elevator on the way up to the Parliamentary cafe' for lunch one day. He was all business-like. The day was the fall of the Paul Martin government, and the General must have been on his way to speak with senior government officials - to brief them - on goings-on in Afghanistan. Even on that day - a day where the future of the government was up in the air - the Liberal officials were meeting with the General, and showing concern over recent events overseas. Both Hillier, and the Liberal Government officials understood the importance of these global events... something it seems Conservatives just don't get... (considering their constant international faux pas'). It could be easy to imaging General Hillier running in the next election for one of the two major parties.

While some on these boards will criticize the General, we can most likely save that for the election. At this point it is important to respect his zeal for supporting his troops - our troops. A good soldier is one who carries out his duty faithfully, follows orders, and maintains the welfare of the troops. Expressing the will of the nation is critical too, and it would seem that General Hillier was faithfully expressing the will of this government - even when he was "hung out to dry" by Conservative denials/lies about what really happened.

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