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Big Lies

Canada is a free and open society in which everyone may criticize the government, politicians (in general), and public servants, including high profile, highly public figures like General Rick Hillier and unknown soldiers, too.

Amongst the critics is Stephen Staples of, inter alia, the Rideau Institute and and marching in lock step is NDP defence critic Dawn Black. Black's acumen for military matters is reported to be an echo of Prof Michael Byers, who wanted to charge former defence minister Gordon O’Connor and General Hillier as war criminals.

Now these two worthies (Black and Staples) have obtained the ear of journalist Travis Lupick of the Georgia Straight who has turned their overstated worries into a one-sided promulgation of their, in our view, misleading spin.
Mr. Staples complains, repeatedly, that he was placed under
surveillance by DND. What’s true is that a report was prepared on
Staples – a highly public (dare we say publicity seeking?) critic of
DND and the CF. Such reports are prepared on all the talking heads
who are likely to be invited to appear on the same TV or radio panel as
a senior DND bureaucrat or a senior military officer. All good PR
departments do that for their clients and The Ruxted Group agrees with
Lupick that DND has an able and well funded PR department.

Black is convinced that military members wrote President Karzai’s
recent speech in Canada. DND acknowledged that it provided information,
especially data about how much the Canadian PRT has accomplished in
Afghanistan, to the Government of Afghanistan – just as every
government department provides information and data to every foreign
government when that foreign government’s leader is about to visit
Canada. That isn’t merely PR; it’s competent diplomatic service.

But the kicker in Lupick’s article is this:

Staples argued that the DND's alleged writing of Karzai's speech was
just one piece of a much larger strategy. He argued that what is going
on in Canada is an Americanization of the government's handling of the
media, and at the centre of it all is Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Rick
Hillier … "It keeps me up at night, thinking about the impact that this
war has had on the country," Staples said. He argued that Hillier was
using the war in Afghanistan to help bring about a change in Canadian
society, working toward a military-oriented culture.”

(Source: )

The ‘big lie’ is the age-old tool of the propagandist and one of the best reminded us that if it is told often enough people will believe it.

As we have pointed out, a ‘new political narrative
is out in the media. It is based on an unlikely and repeated stroke of
lightning: that General Hillier is so smart and so persuasive that he
bamboozled Prime Minister Paul Martin, Clerk of the Privy Council Alex
Himmelfarb, Defence Minister Bill Graham and, we suppose, almost every
politician and commentator (save, of course, Black, Byers and Staples)
and turned Canadian policy on its head – all within a few weeks of
being promoted into his current post. What arrant nonsense! What
rubbish! It is a lie and we have called it that.
To the extent there is an ongoing information operation (spin) being
waged, it is the one against Rick Hillier with a view to undermining
the combat mission in Afghanistan.

We do agree with Black on one issue: General Hillier has been the public face of Canada’s mission in Afghanistan and that, as we have said,
is wrong. Neither the Minister of Defence nor the Chief of the Defence
Staff should be explaining national policy to Canadians; that is the
Prime Minister’s job and he has the bully pulpit in Ottawa, in
the Parliament of Canada from which he can and must convince Canadians
that our soldiers are fighting and occasionally dying in Afghanistan
for good, valid, even noble reasons: for Canada and for Canadian values.

We also suspect that Stephen Staples is correct when, in Lupick’s words, he claims that “senior Liberals who were around at that time now "cringe" at what they got the country into.” That’s a shame because Prime Ministers Chrétien and Martin got us into a 'good war’: a just war which Canadians should be willing and proud to fight.
(Source: )

Canadians must critically assess the nonsense, new narratives and downright lies which an increasingly desperate opposition
(official and otherwise) toss onto the pavement. The Ruxted Group hopes
that the new panel of eminent Canadians, headed by former Deputy Prime
Minister John Manley will do what Prime Minister Harper has failed to
do: persuade parliamentarians and Canadians at large of the undoubted
worth and moral justification for the mission in Afghanistan which our
soldiers are accomplishing which such skill, tenacity and courage.


small dead animals on : Reader Tips

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Thouhts on "capacity building" in Afghanistan, at The Torch. Big Lies; [A] ‘new political narrative’ is out in the media. It is based on an unlikely and repeated stroke of lightning: that General Hillier is so smart and so persuasive...

The Ruxted Group on : Politics, the Military and the Media

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Politics, the Military and the MediaMany column inches in the print media and even more gigahertz of bandwidth in the electronic media have been expended on parsing Gen. Rick Hillier’s recent comments about how long it might take to make the Afghan Nation


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