Sunday, April 15, 2007
Tanks for the enemies.
Photo: CP/Bill Graveland
New Canada's Minister of the Defence Lobby is such a fucking optimist! On CTV's Question Period, O'Connor justified spending almost two thirds of a billion on tanks. He's gone shopping and bought a hundred mothballed Leopard tanks from the Netherlands and leased another twenty from Germany. Let's hope that we have better luck with our used vehicles this time. At least a tank won't catch fire under water on the way home.
For me, the money quote, "We see Afghanistan is the future. Afghanistan and these type of engagements are the future for 10, 15 years," said O'Connor."
Well pardon me but fuck that shit. Just where does that time frame come from? Who knew you could pull random numbers out of a half ass? I know that I am not the only Canadian that is uncomfortable with the shift in our military from peace keeping to combat force. And forgive me if I have no faith in the vision and wisdom of Gordon O'Connor but this bumbling fuckwit doesn't even know the role of the Red Cross in regard to the transfer and treatment of detainees. Alison at Creekside has been doing a stellar job cataloguing O'Connor's serial ineptitude. Go on, go read.
The Conservative vision casts Canada into a more aggressive stance, none of that wimpy diplomacy, enough of that wussy peace keeping. Harper and his band of gym class drop-outs want to be tough guys. They believe that Canada should be a force to be reckoned with. Well Mr. O'Connor, your vision of the future is pretty myopic. If the grinding, ill-led clusterfuck of Afghanistan is a model for the future, well sir, you can take your vision of the next ten or fifteen years and stuff it. You have ignored history, hell, you've ignored the present and your future is that of dismal failure.
Evidently O'Connor hasn't bothered to look into the booming success of the Soviet experience in Afghanistan. All of the tanks in the world could not defeat a deeply entrenched resistance. More than any speech Ronnie Reagan gave, it was Afghanistan that brought down the iron curtain and broke the USSR. We are five fucking years into Afghanistan and we are failed and failing. Bigger tanks and better bombs will not achieve the victory we seek. The Taliban is resurgent and they won't be defeated by force of arms. The only sane way to defeat the Taliban is make them irrelevant. We have failed at diplomacy, we have failed at development and we are losing the patience of the Afghan people.
Shit that blows other shit up and kills more efficiently will not help the people of Afghanistan. Bigger guns make bigger targets and even a pacifist like me knows that tanks are not defensive weapon systems. O'Connor wants to try and spin the world counter clockwise,
"They will go into positions and defend the infantry where they're holding strong points, or lead convoys because they can withstand a lot of mines and things like that so these tanks are being used in a defensive role only."
So we're going to deploy tanks to roll over 'mines and things like that', are we? They can withstand plenty of that stuff going boom. I'm sure that the tank commanders are very happy to hear it. I mean what could go wrong? The Taliban will be so disappointed as the convoys go streaming past. Unless of course a tank blows a tread on one of those mines, creating a long narrow string of targets. And who am I to question the idea of using tanks as mobile pillboxes to hold positions. It's not like anything bad could happen to a big, static target. It's not as if the Taliban will adapt to new conditions and challenges. It isn't as though an insurgent will watch the tank pass and remotely detonate an IED as the lighter vehicles come into range. Why that's just crazy talk.
There's nothing like five and a half million bucks worth of rolling fire power to win those hearts and minds. Don't worry, we'll come back later and paint a few schools, if there are any.
"If the Taliban concentrate against us and start taking areas which are difficult for the infantry to get at, the tanks will go in and break down the walls and get at them -- certainly they will. But this still is a defensive mode."
Yeah, the locals should love that.
"This term, spring offensive, I don't know that there is ever going to be a spring offensive, certainly in Kandahar province," said O'Connor.
"What we're seeing in Kandahar province is increased activity of these people who have set IEDs. But we haven't noticed at this time, anyway, any large numbers of Taliban returning into our province."
This is the forward thinking visionary at the helm. Seems there's a long list of things that Gordon O'Connor doesn't know.