Thursday, June 21, 2007

Unfortunate Accident?

Whooee! When three more Canadian soldiers died yesterday after being targeted by Taliban in a successful enemy operation of planting an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) inside an area deemed to be secure, it was no accident.

I was watchin' CTV NewsWorld when they had a clip of our top general in charge of Canadian operations in Afghanistan. Brigadier General Tim Grant said:

"This is an unfortunate accident."

At first, I thought maybe Grant misspoke and would correct his slip of the tongue. No. He reiterated the "unfortunate accident" phrase twice in the clip.

It's an accident when somebody falls off a ladder.
It's an accident when a tree blows down and squashes somebody.
It's an accident when a 3 year-old pisses his pants.

It ain't an accident when an enemy plants a bomb and blows up 3 soldiers.

How in the hell can something like that be called an accident? How can it be called an accident by the top general in charge of Canadian operations?

Most folks would define "accident" a lot like this:

When the enemy is successful in killing Canadian troops in exactly the manner that they plan, it is in no way an accident. This wasn't a mishap or something that happened without an apparent cause.

If the top commander doesn't know the difference between an unfortunate accident and a successful enemy operation that results in the death of three of those in his command, what sort of operation is Dennis O'Connor running?

(h/t - Dave at the Galloping Beaver)


tdwebste said...

I am sure he does know the difference. Rather than providing a dictionary definition of an "accident". I think support and sympathy is more appreciated.

Also they have the mission. Guiding Afghanistan on the path to a better future. Unfortunately I rarely hear much about what they are doing in this regard.

JimBobby said...

Well, Tim, I think when their commanding officer calls deaths of soldiers in what is essentially a combat operation an accident, he is not showing due support or sympathy. By failing to acknowledge that that enemy action was responsible for these deaths, the general diminishes their sacrifice. They died valiantly at the hands of the enemy. Not in an accident.

The fact that 90%+ of Canada's expenditures in Afghanistan are on Taliban-fighting would explain why we hear little about what they are doing other than fighting a war.

An all-party commons committee reported just yesterday that aid money under CIDA is exceedingly slow in getting to Afghanistan.

Yet, tanks and other military expenditures are fast-tracked in no-bid contracts that award billions of dollars to companies that formerly employed Dennis O'Connor as a lobbyist.

I support our troops. I've consistently said that the political leadership that sends troops unprepared and ill-equipped into danger does not support the troops. Actions speak louder than words and the actions taken by our Defense Ministry wrt soldiers' funerals, the detainee issue and choice of deployment locations show a lack of support.

You don't support troops by sending them on a fools' mission where their main stated goal is to prop up a corrupt, warlord-ruled narco-state.


Steve V said...

I would be concerned if we are now referring to a vehicle travelling from one checkpoint to another, within a distance of 1 mile, in a "secure" area, an accident. The reason why those troops were in that lightly armored vehicle is because of perceived threat potential, which apparently was quite low. This strike shows the Taliban can hit anywhere, it was no accident.

Red Tory said...

An excellent point JB. To dismiss something like this as merely an "accident" suggests a contempt for the enemy that's very troubling indeed. It's one thing to call them "scumbags" but it shouldn't be forgotten that they're very crafty and deadly scumbags.

Anonymous said...

He knows the difference, it's propaganda, pure and simple.

If it's portrayed as "an unfortunate accident" the public can shrug and say, 'too bad, but accidents do happen', and quit thinking about it - which is what they want.

If it is portrayed as what it is, lax security, then someone has to take responsibility for the public relations, because no one wants our soldiers subject to that sort of incompetence.

Anonymous said...

Your point is well taken JB, I thought the same thing when I heard the CO say it. The point I think people are missing is that sometimes the enemy gets lucky and our troops can be the vitim of that at times. This was one of those times so why not just say 'the bastards got lucky', bury our dead and carry on. Five dollars says our troops thought exactly that.

I can't believe I sort of agreed with RT about something. I'm going to go take a shower now.

Anonymous said...

Calling it an acident is just their way of saying, "we don't want to hold anyone responsible".

Anyways, hope you had a good Canada Day!