In otherwise unrelated news, earlier this month, Canadian Maj.-Gen. Marc Lessard took over leadership of the 12,000 NATO soldiers that are part of the Regional Command South, which covers six Afghan provinces.
'Otherwise unrelated' except for the General's comment that the insurgents are gaining in strength.
"The truth is there has been a 50 per cent increase in incidents," Lessard said. He's calling for aggressive war-fighting to combat the rising tide of violence. "In every occasion the Taliban were blocked, they didn't achieve any real success. So, what we are doing? We blocked in 2007. In 2008, we are going on the offensive," he said.Contrast the General's comments with those of the government. After that weekend bombing, Defence Minister Peter MacKay told the press that doesn't believe the recent bombings indicate an escalation in Taliban activity. Gee, I wonder who might have a better sense of that, Mr. MacKay or Maj.-Gen. Lessard?
Peter is an okay guy, I suppose. Although I didn't know him well in law school, he always seemed friendly enough with a genuine smile. At the time, I hadn't made the connection with him being the son of a very well-known Nova Scotian politician. And I will give him this much, he certainly has done well for himself, politically. But it tends to make me a little nervous to see the Defence Minister contradicting the General in charge of the troops on the ground. Especially given that recent little spat between the Prime Minister and General Hillier.
Gee, you don't suppose there could be an agenda at work here? Although I happen to agree with the governement's position on this particular issue, I think they would be well-advised not to treat the Canadian people as too stupid or gullible. That one might just backfire.