Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Gen. Hiller called a "War Monger" by U of G's "" editor

First, it was the UoG's CSA attempt to ban a pro-life student group... for which they got shredded in the local and national media. Now, they calling retired General Rick Hillier A WAR MONGER.

Yes, you read that correctly... Scott Gilbert, one of the editors of (the CSA sanctioned and supported online portal of the UofG's undergraduate body) wrote an article yesterday, decrying the University's decision to honour him with the Lincoln Alexander Outstanding Leader Award on January 13th.

One of the University of Guelph's former students, who was at one time the Editor-in-Chief of the student paper there, the Ontarion, has come out and said that the article is "absolutely shameful", is "beyond the pale", is "a hateful and vicious smear", is a "vicious attack on Canada's former chief of defence staff", is "monstrous libel", and that he was "saddened and ashamed" as an alumni to see it published.

Perhaps you've heard his name before... it's David Aiken. Yes, that David Aiken, of CanWest Global, formerly of CTV.

I wonder how the University of Guelph's Chancellor feels about all this... none other than newly minted Senator Pamela Wallin.

I think the CSA has really stepped in it this time.

(and just so no one makes a dumb comment, this kid is indeed a "loony lefty", as he was the Communist candidate in Guelph in the 05/06 election... look it up)

UPDATE: Full text of the disgusting article posted below, just in case, I don't know, it somehow "disappears":
Editorial: U of G to Honour War Monger
by Scott Gilbert

Jan 9, 2009 - "Retired Canadian general and chief of defence staff Rick Hillier will receive the Lincoln Alexander Outstanding Leader Award on Jan. 13 from the University of Guelph's College of Management and Economics (CME)."

When I read this earlier today I nearly pissed myself. The press release was baffling and showed an utter disregard for human rights - a poor reflection on our university. Let me explain.

Hillier is being honoured for "his exceptional abilities as a communicator with soldiers, the public and the media..."

Exceptional abilities as a communicator? Rick Hillier is the source of the infamous linguistic rampage of a nature you wouldn't even expect from George W. Bush. In 2005 he spoke about the role of Canada's Armed Forces in Afghanistan. The CTV News website quotes him as saying: "We're not the public service of Canada," he said. "We're not just another department. We are the Canadian Forces, and our job is to be able to kill people." Really? Whatever happened to Canada's role as peacekeeper? Why is it our job to "kill people" in Afghanistan? What about due process, or the right to a fair trial?

As absurd as this already was, he went on to say the role of Canada's JTF-2 soldiers in Afghanistan was to join the fight against "detestable murderers and scumbags". How eloquent of him - just the kind of terminology sure to help our image abroad in these difficult times.

Then in 2007 the Globe and Mail exposed the debacle of prisoner transfers. This is when, under the oversight of Hillier and O'Connor, Canadian soldiers where transferring some of the prisoners they captured over to Afghan forces where they were subsequently tortured. The Globe's Graeme Smith wrote: "Afghans detained by Canadian soldiers and sent to Kandahar's notorious jails say they were beaten, whipped, starved, frozen, choked and subjected to electric shocks during interrogation."

One of these prisoners, Mahmad Gul, 33, said he was interrogated for three days by Afghan police in May of 2006. He said Canadians told him to ‘Give them real information, or they will do more bad things to you,' and said that although it was the Afghan police actually doing the dirty work, the Canadian soldiers who visited him between beatings had surely heard his screams. Reminiscent of Abu Ghraib?

Now this award is going to someone who supposedly demonstrated "exceptional abilities as a communicator with...the public and the media..."

What did the media think of him during the prisoner transfer scandal? Well, at the time there were numerous calls for the resignation of Hillier and O'Connor from both political parties and many public advocacy groups, including the well-respected Council of Canadians. The Toronto Star's usually very conservative columnist Rosie Dimanno wrote an article with the subtitle "[Hillier] defends decision to hand over captured Taliban as 'right thing to do'". At the end of this piece that looks at the gaffes of Canada's Armed Forces over prisoner abuse, she writes:

"Asked if his own leadership should be put into question as a result of this imbroglio, the general responded: 'Well, that wouldn't be a question to ask me, would it? You'd have to ask the men and women that I lead. And you'd have to ask my Prime Minister, of course.'

The answer is self-evident."

Sounds like even the Star approved a call for his resignation. Is he really the effective communicator the university is honouring him for?

And I love the quote Maclean's ran in 2008. "Asked early this year about a gaffe by a Harper staffer on the delicate subject of Afghan prisoner transfers, Hillier, who was on a winter holiday in the Dominican Republic when it happened, remarked, 'I was on my third rum and Coke, and I really didn't give a damn.'" Surely the words of an exceptional leader and someone devoted to advocacy, collaboration, and scholarship.

Hillier also faces a legal challenge from Amnesty International and the BC Civil Liberties Union (Amnesty International Canada and British Columbia Civil Liberties Association v. Chief of Defence Staff for the Canadian Armed Forces, General Rick J. Hillier, Minister of National Defence and Attorney General of Canada)

In the case, they argue "that transfers of these detainees violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Canada’s international human rights obligations not to transfer detainees when there is a high probability of torture or ill treatment." The case is against Rick Hillier himself.

Another Globe and Mail article contains the following quotes from "Human rights experts and university professors Michael Byers and Amir Attaran"

"In the current circumstances, they said, Canadian Forces members are complicit in the alleged torture that is inflicted on prisoners of war in Afghan prisons.

'Under international law, you are prohibited from transferring to torture. You are prohibited from facilitating torture in any way,' said Mr. Byers, who teaches international law and politics at the University of British Columbia.

'We're not simply speaking about the criminal responsibility of individual Canadian soldiers. We're speaking also of command responsibility, of criminal responsibility that continues up the chain of command, to any superior officer who knew of the risk of torture and who ordered or allowed our soldiers to transfer detainees nevertheless,' he said."

It really is a shame that Rick Hillier of all people has been chosen for this award. There are so many people in Canada far more deserving of such a prestigious award and with much better track records. For the U of G to praise this guy shows a lack of critical thinking, poor moral judgment and tells the world how complicit we are in activities that violate countless international laws and multi-national conventions. Not exactly the "moral conscience of society" that U of G president Alastair Summerlee touts this institution as being.

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  • At Sun. Jan. 11, 12:28:00 a.m. EST, Blogger David said…

    Oh noes!!!! Won't somebody PLEASE think of the CHILDREN!!!

    Seriously...who cares? Even if he weren't just an editor of a student paper with a dissenting opinion, are we all expected to have the same opinions now?

    Must be a slow news day. I've got a good topic for you: Harper's planned deficit.

  • At Sun. Jan. 11, 01:05:00 a.m. EST, Blogger BBS said…

    The actual title originally called Hillier a War Criminal. It was changed after David Akin posted his blog and pointed out the highly defamatory nature of that title.

  • At Sun. Jan. 11, 10:58:00 a.m. EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    imagine, this so called place of higher learning keeps pumping out ignorant ill informed heads full of mush.

  • At Sun. Jan. 11, 05:37:00 p.m. EST, Anonymous Dave said…

    Sorry folks. I thought the exact same thing as the writer when I heard that Hillier was going to be given an award by UofG. Surely, the UofG could find a better example than General "Kill the Scumbags" Hillier. A very unwise choice by the UofG, and I think Gilbert's article is backed up by facts, not just a leftist rant.

  • At Sun. Jan. 11, 07:36:00 p.m. EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The editorial is now gone, while its appropriateness is being "reconsidered".


    So is the poll.

    However, we have a fresh new poll! Do you support Israel's invasion of Gaza.

    Go out there and make your voices heard!


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