Thursday, January 28, 2010

Truer words...

Ian Elliot of the Kingston Whig-Standard recently sat in on a speech by BGen Jon Vance, a former commander of Canadian Forces in Afghanistan. His article on the topic is worth a read for a couple of reasons. First, the general is delightfully blunt:

With another flash of battlefield humour, Vance said the army cannot forge the political solution that ends all wars and no one wearing a uniform imagines that the military could, or should.

"We're the dog that you let off the porch for a while before tying it back up again," he said.

Second, Elliot is one of the few ink-stained wretches in Canada who's willing to acknowledge the failings of his own industry covering this conflict:

Winning Canadian hearts and minds is just as important and Vance was blunt in saying the public is not hearing enough about Canadian successes in the war.

Even good reporters in theatre rarely report on the small construction projects, the developing relationships with local citizens or what Vance says is concrete proof of what the mission is accomplishing. Meanwhile, every ramp ceremony continues to be covered in depth.

Well said. And more, please.


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