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Obama ousts top U.S. general in Afghanistan

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

New commander with checkered past asked to bring ‘new approach' to fight against Taliban ...Read the full article

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  1. Joe Dick from Canada writes: Now get out there and make more war democrats!
  2. Stude Ham from Canada writes:
    what a megalomaniac this BO... did the firing of GM's wagoner help the company? nope. the act was designed to show all just who it is that is the boss... ie... megalomaniac BO.

    and will this firing of mckienan help anything in the stan? nope... the act was designed to show all just who it is that is the boss... ie.. megalomaniac BO.

    best strategy for canada...

    CANADA - GET OUT OF AFGHANISTAN NOW!

  3. The Last Honest Conservative from Western, Canada writes:
    Stude Ham from Canada wrote:
    what a megalomaniac this BO... did the firing of GM's wagoner help the company ?

    Yes Stude,
    It did help the company ................. and the entire US economy.

    Only idiots like you (and Bush) insist on retaining and promoting incompetents.
  4. The Last Honest Conservative from Western, Canada writes:
    Stude Ham from Canada wrote:
    best strategy for canada...
    CANADA - GET OUT OF AFGHANISTAN NOW!

    Stude,
    That was best strategy as soon as our allies started bombing Afghan weddings ................
  5. CU JO from Vancouver, Canada writes: hope they put a hawk in there
  6. J R from Vancouver, Canada writes: Wonder why exactly he was fired. If it was just a need for 'fresh thinking,' that could have been done without the humiliation of being fired.
  7. Another vicious kick right in the face from Orwell's Ghost, writes: .

    I do with this newspaper could display just a tiny bit of competence from time to time.

    'Demoted' in military usage means being lowered in rank. The proper term for what happened here is that the general was relieved of his command.
  8. Crazy Canuck from Canada writes: War is Peace...move along...no story here...the Military Industrial Complex is at work...

    Cheers.
  9. Abdul-Basir Servant of the All-Seeing from Afghanistan writes: Hey Westerners...go home...The Russians got the energy wealth...Karzai and the CIA got the drug money, and the Taliban got the souls.
  10. james p from Canada writes: History's getting ready to repeat itself. And nobody's listening.
  11. Richard Roskell from Canada writes:

    Quote: Asked if Gen. McKiernan's resignation ends his military career, Mr. Gates said, 'Probably.' :Unquote

    LOL

    I wonder if there was a difference of opinion on the future conduct of America's war in Afghanistan?
  12. all canadian all american from USA sector of, Canada writes:
    'Robert Gates asks for resignation of Gen. David McKiernan, citing need for fresh approach '

    How many different ways can you kill people?
  13. Ed Biggler from Philadelphia, United States writes: I did not vote for Obama and I am troubled by his domestic policies, but retaining Gates as SecDef is a move that I can support. After all these years of drift, it is bracing to see accountability return to DOD. When asked whether this would end this Gen. McKiernan's career, Gates said 'probably'. Gulp. Glad I don't report to that guy, although as a taxpayer and an American I am glad that he is in charge of DOD.
  14. Ted Arnold from Canada writes:
    END THE OCCUPATION!
    ALL FOREIGN TROOPS OUT NOW!
  15. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes: Ed Biggler, I can understand your sentiments. But best to recall that while Robert Gates runs the US Defense, he is still a political appointee. Just as Donald Rumsfeld was, for example. Mr. Rumsfeld ignored plenty of good advice he was given by US generals, and did his share of firing, too.

    As far as their policy disagreement goes, General McKiernan could be right, or Mr. Gates could be right. They can't both be right, but they could both easily be wrong.
  16. DAVID DIVER from Comox, Canada writes: The BBc makes no bones about the event - it said the General was sacked, no messing about with less ambiguous words. Why was he sacked? He had the temerity to say that the Afghan war was at a stalemate. Can't let the troops know that can we? He also suspected 'fratricide' in the case of Tillman's death, long before the Pentagon came around to admitting he wasn't killed by enemy fire. Another nail in the General's coffin.

    Time will tell whether his replacement will make any difference to the general situation (no pun intended).
  17. charlie brown from Canada writes: Unless his bosses took away one of his three stars, he wasn't 'demoted'. Sloppy journalism.
  18. James ofthewest from Canada writes: The Last Honest Conservative from Western, Canada writes:
    Stude Ham from Canada wrote:
    What a megalomaniac this BO... Did the firing of GM's wagoner help the company ?

    Yes Stude,
    It did help the company ................. And the entire US economy.

    Only idiots like you (and Bush) insist on retaining and promoting incompetents. ...........................................................................................................................................................................................................Yes it sure help GM they will most likely go into bankruptcy ......BO is asking for another stimulus package this fall or sooner and most likely more peculating stimulus packages after that.It's like a idiot insisting on retaining and promoting incompetents.
  19. Nick Wright from Halifax, Canada writes: The headline is completely wrong: the general hasn't been demoted (reduced in rank); he has been asked to resign from his post--they are two entirely different things.

    McKiernan is a good general; he is just being replaced by a general who has more experience in the type of counterinsurgency approach favoured by the Obama administration.
  20. Ian Fleming from Toronto, Canada writes: He wasn't demoted - he was releived of his command - big difference

    a demotion would be a reduction in rank
  21. Ed Long from Canada writes: Pres. Obama campaigned on an aggressive approach in Afghanistan including going into Pakistan if necessary.

    Pakistan is picking up its war with Taliban. Wonder where they're getting the intelligence and weapons?

    And we will soon have 68,000 American combat soldiers in Afghanistan.

    No sense whining about 2500 Canadians. We are now spectators.
  22. Golden Locks from Guantanomo Bay: the only civilized prison in Cuba, Cuba writes: Ed. Andy Garrett has been saying for years Canada was a sideline spectator for years. Guess some in Canada are finally figuring it out. Send 100,000 troops from the CAF and we'll be impressed. The retoric is just a lot of hot air about Canada's contribution to A-stan to make Canadians feel good about themselves. 2500 troops just doesn't accomplish anything substantive.
  23. ImaCANADIAN ! from Canada writes:
    A demotion is a reduction in rank or position in an organizational hierarchy system. McKiernan is no longer Commander, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) or Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A). That is a reduction of both rank and position within ISAF and USFOR-A. It is therefore a demotion within both ISAF and USFOR-A.

    The secretary of defense, Robert Gates, former director of the CIA, stated in his 1997 memoirs 'From the Shadows' that American intelligence services began to aid opposing factions in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet deployment.

    In other words, the US clandestinely encouraged Islamic extremism and induced war in Afghanistan in 1979 for their own interests, imposing 30 years of brutal war and suffering on Afghans. The Taliban are a result of that US covert intervention.

    Now this same Gates 'From the Shadows' is bringing a commander of clandestine ops that was found accountable for 'inaccurate and misleading assertions' (ie. propaganda) regarding Tillman.

    The US is imposing more decades of war on Afghans (and now Pakistanis too) and using the resulting violence to justify their massive military build-up in Central Asia. End our involvement in this.
  24. JohnRB . from Calgoronto, Canada writes: Golden Locks, fight your own wars, that you create. The US is fortunate to have other countries at a minimum symbolically supporting them. Though Canada is doing far more than that.
  25. Ooch Ouch from Canada writes:

    James of the West.

    What is a peculating stimulus package?

    .
  26. L.B. MURRAY from !! from Canada writes: Fresh approach...

    Now, what's the spin on the everchanging missions.

    Is this a new mission??

    Never mind. Those who say our Canadian troops are just ''spectators'' must have been out of the country and missed the flag draped coffins coming home in the past couple of years, not to mention all the maimed and injured troops.

    Enough. Good night.

    - = 16
  27. Dick Nails from Canada writes: Ted Arnold from Canada writes:
    END THE OCCUPATION!
    ALL FOREIGN TROOPS OUT NOW!

    >> That would included all non Afghani's too Ted? Or because they don't wear uniforms that doesn't make them troops?

    Ted Arnold out of Canada NOW!!
  28. ImaCANADIAN ! from Canada writes:
    This shows what a complete farce the 'Manley Panel' was. Harper paid a bunch of 'blue-ribbon' US-lapdogs that knew nothing about Afghanistan to say that Canada should stay on the easy condition that 1,000 more troops are added. Well, now several tens of thousands of troops are being added and Afghanistan is still in state of stalemate, the war has spread to Pakistan, the top general has been sacked, and 'fresh thinking' is needed.

    Our troops could have all been home with their families 2 months ago. Instead, Harper extended the military operation again for another 2 years. His latest extension will cost the lives of another 100 or so Canadians and more billions of Canadian taxpayer dollars.

    As shown again in the latest poll this month, the majority of Canadians continue to disagree with Harper's latest extension and want the troops brought back before 2011. Bring our troops home this year before the 2010 Olympics.
  29. Ron McLeod from United States writes: George Bush launched this war and, despite his intelect that is vastly superior to Bush, Obama is taking this war to levels never anticipated by those of us who voted for him. He and Bush, and apparently our Canadian cousins, all share the same level of naivete. That 19 year old kids from Ontario, Oregon, New Jersey and New Brunswick can 'kill our way to peace' and alter 2000 years of tribal and religious culture. Sit back folks, there's years of endless war ahead!
  30. Silver Standard (We need Tariffs and an end to Globalism) from Canada writes: Lets get the troops in al countries home now, we can't afford it anyway.
  31. Golden Locks from Guantanomo Bay: the only civilized prison in Cuba, Cuba writes: The USA supported millions of people around the world in the fight against communism. Hence the creation of the A-stan forces to fight the old USSR. Give 'the USA just creates wars' propaganda a rest; while the purveyors of such propaganda are poisoning the minds of the poor and oppressed peasants around the world. Tell us what Canada is doing; I know one thing they did in A-stan. You lost Khandahar province to the Taliban. Tough pill to swallow, maybe next time you'll send the required force structure for success.
  32. Silver Standard (We need Tariffs and an end to Globalism) from Canada writes: We could also pacify the chicken hawks by just saying we won by taking out some imaginary enemy and then bring the troops home.
  33. Malone Sumself from Canada writes: Golden Locks from Guantanomo Bay: .Tell us what Canada is doing; I know one thing they did in A-stan. You lost Khandahar province to the Taliban. Tough pill to swallow, maybe next time you'll send the required force structure for success.

    Give your locks a shake - Canada is but a partner in NATO and while you may not be aware of our contribution, you should be aware of the lack of contribution by nations such as France, Germany and Spain. Other countries have chipped in in the south but the USA has been chasing ghosts of WMD. Canada is not a war hawk country as the USA is and therefore is likely not prepared to do it themselves. NATO and the US have let them down through the lack of equipment and personel in Afgan. DKHD
  34. Mark Shore from Ottawa, Canada writes: Golden Locks from Guantanamo Bay, yes, like the millions of poor and oppressed Vietnamese, Cambodian, Guatemalan, Salvadorian, etc. peasants that were rescued by the US from a fate worse than death by, well, death...

    But I do agree that 2500 Canadian troops offer nothing substantive to this fine humanitarian effort and may as well go home now.

    At least the Russians didn't believe their own cr@p propaganda.
  35. KANUK SHMUK from Vancouver, Canada writes: The U.S and Nato have the most advanced weapons on Earth. Spy satellites, armed drones, best air force, best helicopters, best tanks, best trained troops, best heavy and light weapons. Best of everything.

    The Taliban and Al Queda have only RPG's,heavy machine guns, some mortars, AK47's and IED's. They have no stinger missiles, no body armor and usually move in pickup trucks, cars or on foot often wearing sandals.

    Something doesn't add up.
  36. scared monkey from Fort Bravo, Saskatchewan, Canada writes: Ah, ...America making new friends, 100 civilians at a time, hard act to follow,...hard act to follow
  37. Mark Shore from Ottawa, Canada writes: Kanuk Shmuk, one side is a long way from home with no real reason to be there, and burning money by the truckload for the privilege. The other side isn't going anywhere, short of Roman-style genocide.

    No points for guessing which is which.
  38. Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez from Canada writes: The USA has to send lots more troops to Afghanistan even if it is a waste of time. Supporting the American armaments industry is a 'top drawer' concern, and there's no jobs in the continental USA for all the soldiers anyways.
  39. Igodda Mahalingam from Canada writes: small footprint was a bad idea from the get go

    full and complete occupation is in order

    compared to Afghanistan, Iraq got four times the US troops for a land mass and population that are much smaller
  40. Golden Locks from Guantanomo Bay: the only civilized prison in Cuba, Cuba writes: Malone: Sure, shift the blame to NATO. I am talking Canada and as a full member of NATO pick up your part. Some of The other countries didn't bail when it was time to take out Saddam like Canada did. You all commited to A-stan and came up very short. Accept the responsibility of you failure, appreciate what the USA has done for you in the past and will in the future then we might respect you. But at least let Steve try to have you all live up to words and potential.
  41. Hairy Wrangellian from Saltspring Island, Canada writes: Watch for some 'fresh thinking' out of our government in the next while. Suddenly they are going to realize that the current strategy is futile, and we need to rethink how we are fighting this war.
  42. Nick Wright from Halifax, Canada writes: ImaCANADIAN wrote: 'A demotion is a reduction in rank or position in an organizational hierarchy system.' None of that applies to Gen McKiernan. He was appointed to a post and now he's leaving it altogether. If he stayed in Afghanistan in a lesser role or if he was no longer a general, the notion of 'demotion' would apply, but neither is the case.
  43. charlie brown from Canada writes: It's really a matter of semantics I guess. He was fired, or relieved of comman if you will. But he was not demoted to a lower rank. He is still a three star US Army General. As my Oxford states: demote-reduce to a lower rank or class.
  44. Golden Locks from Guantanomo Bay: the only civilized prison in Cuba, Cuba writes: Is he loosing a star? No, I don't believe he is. And if he was, it would only come after a court martial. Has he been court martialed? NO. Now the CINC should probably be court martialed; wish the law allowed it, but I don't believe it does. To the poster above who voted for O'bama and is now disapointed. I told you so. The democrats pulled the wool over so many eyes. They should be charged under our RICO laws (Racketeer Influeneced and Corrupt Organizations Act) as a corrupt organization.
  45. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes: Could you split the semantic hairs finer?

    The man was asked to resign. He's been relieved, unwillingly, of two commands. His boss, Mr. Gates, says his career in the military is 'probably' over.

    Would you prefer 'eviscerated' to 'demoted', perhaps?
  46. ImaCANADIAN ! from Canada writes: Golden Locks from Guantanamo Bay writes: 'maybe next time you'll send the required force structure for success.'

    Since 2006, we've lost 3 times more soldiers on a per population basis than the US has in this US war. It's time to bring our troops back and let the US catch up on that count, something that will take years. We've more than done our part, and our focus should be on asserting our Arctic waters sovereignty that the US has repeatedly refused to recognize.

    Kanuk Schuk writes: 'Something doesn't add up.'

    In Iraq, the US helped Saddam, then they helped the Kurds, then the Shiites, then the Sunni militia. In Afghanistan, they clandestinely armed opposing factions starting in 1979, gave money to the Taliban government until a few months before the invasion, then supported the Northern Alliance warlords. In Pakistan they've been giving money to the military and the ISI, which in turn are said to give support to the Taliban and other insurgency groups.

    Result: military-industrial complex profits, lots of violence and suffering, destabilization, and an excuse for massive US military build-up and permanent military bases in the Middle East and Central Asia, next to the massive oil and gas reserves.
  47. Obergruppenführer Hildebrandt from Argentina writes: What's the point to the West's involvement in Afghanistan when Karzai, his clan, and the Central Intelligence Agency rake in the Poppy/Opium/Heroin cash. If the West really wanted to defeat the Taliban and al-Qa'ida...they would give up on Karzai and the hopeless, dilettante American soldiers, who are so ineffective and put Rashid Dostum into the 'top slot'. He could mop up the Taliban and al-Qa'ida in less than a year, after raising a 10,000 strong army of former Soviet trained Afghan vets. Serious soldiers for a serious job!
  48. Man of La Mancha from Canada writes: According to the article, the US and NATO is ignoring the wishes of the democratically elected president of Afghanistan. So much for supporting Democracy.... maybe it's not about Freedom and Democracy after all.
  49. Nick Wright from Halifax, Canada writes: Richard Roskell: Yes, being removed from a post is painful and undesirable, and yes, it doesn't help one's career, but calling it a 'demotion' is a colloquial and inaccurate use of the term; the precise term is something entirely different. That is all that is being pointed out.

    For instance, if the Globe and Mail decides to not to post something of yours because it violates their stated criteria, you may refer to it subjectively as your being 'censored,' but that doesn't make it so.
  50. James ofthewest from Canada writes: Ooch Ouch from Canada writes:

    James of the West.

    What is a peculating stimulus package?

    ............................................................
    embezzle: to appropriate money or property by embezzlement or theft,of our grandchildren
  51. Ed Biggler from Philadelphia, United States writes: Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada suggests that Rumsfeld relieved commanders as well. With respect, the public record suggests that he and President Bush were inclined not to do that. This flowed from an understandable bias towards allowing military leaders lead and not be micromanaged. But it could lead to drift. Gates is different in that he did not really need or want this job. He took it out of a sense of patriotism. He can take the job or leave it, and it shows.
  52. R L from Canada writes: .

    Puppet Obama is just the next despicable WAR PRESIDENT of the U.S.A. (United States of Arrogance).

    War! War! War!

    Democrats, Republicans, it doesn't matter. Both parties are funamentally NeoCons, differing by no more than 5% on policy. The Democrats controlled majorities in both houses of congress in 2007-2008, arguably the worst years. Puppet Obama is taking up Bush's terror war and ramping it up drastically, in the name of 'grave threats to America'.

    Obama is promising to further INCREASE the size of the U.S. military, to as he puts it, 'restore America's rightful place in the world'. In other words, imperial policy.

    .
  53. Geoffrey May from Canada writes: When fighting an insurection, avoiding civilian casualties is more important than killing the enemy .National Security advisor, retired general James Jones referring to Karzai's request for less civilian casualities, as ' fight with one hand behind our back' is a very poor sign about the attitudes of Obama's advisors .
  54. Ed Biggler from Philadelphia, United States writes: L from Canada has a glorious career as a humorist. You had me going with the neocon drivel. Well done!
  55. Mickey Hickey from Toronto, Canada writes: The Afghans will hunker down, pick their shots, wait for the West to get bored and then come back with a vengeance. The Afghan gov't is seen as a puppet of the Americans and has little or no credibility with Afghans. The Americans insisted on making deals with the warlords and appointing them to cabinet positions. The country is a mess and the mess will get worse before it gets better. Canada should get out while the getting is good. A gung ho cowboy in charge will not lessen the flow of body bags back to the West.
  56. Jim Mohagan from Funkytown, Canada writes:
    Ed Biggler from Philadelphia, United States writes: Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada suggests that Rumsfeld relieved commanders as well. With respect, the public record suggests that he and President Bush were inclined not to do that. This flowed from an understandable bias towards allowing military leaders lead and not be micromanaged.

    Rumsfeld certainly relieved commanders, most notably replacing top soldier in Iraq General Ricardo Sanchez with General George Casey in June 2004 after Abu Ghraib. But by 2003 Rumsfeld had already eliminated any military leaders who wouldn't support the 'small, smart' army theories he brought from downsizing in the corporate world. He built the perfect army for 1985. Unfortunately, it was 2003.

    One of the biggest security mistakes the U.S. made in the 1990s was eviscerating its on-the-ground intelligence in the Middle East, thinking they could replace it with spy satellites. Bush and Rumsfeld then brought a high-tech, cold war army the wrong war. I think the Obama administration realizes success can be only can be achieved in 'Af-Pak' is though local players, not occupying armies. That's what's behind this change of command.
  57. Chuck in Edmonton from Canada writes: Mickey Hickey from Toronto, Canada writes: The Afghan gov't is seen as a puppet of the Americans and has little or no credibility with Afghans.
    =========
    This is based on what, exactly? On the spot interviews you conducted? A national tour you participated in? Personal friends and family in Afghanistan?

    There is an insurgency that is effective, dangerous, public, and serious - but there is almost no evidence of broad support. Fear and coerced cooperation, sure. Concern about the effectiveness of the government, absolutely (something shared in this country by many of us who challenge the legitimacy and competence of the Harper government). But puppet and credibility? Sounds like comfortable little slogans from the cheap seats to me.
  58. N Dawg from Canada writes: Had the world gone to Afghanistan in droves after 9/11 (militarily, diplomatically and developmentally), I am guessing the results would be better by now.

    The war was never in Iraq. That has been shown time and time again.

    And criticizing Canada's role in Afghanistan is immature and naive at best. Canada is a very small country (32 million) with a small volunteer army. The CF has done an admirable job.
  59. Catherine Medernach from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Golden Locks from Guantanomo Bay - still going with your patriotic US bs I see. Canadian troops were awarded a US Presidential Unit Citation for their part in tracking Al-Qaeda - and at least 30 have been awarded US Bronze Stars. They saved the lives of US troops more than once.

    On the other hand, how many US troops have been killed by CF friendly fire? Aside from the Tarnak Farm incident, in the first days of Operation Medusa US friendly fire (from an A10 Thunderbolt) took out almost a full CF platoon. Former Olympian Mark Graham was killed and 30 were wounded. This incident stalled the military assault and led to the largest casualty evacuation NATO has ever had to carry out.
  60. Catherine Medernach from Winnipeg, Canada writes: The US made some major mistakes in Iraq which is why they had to send in a troop 'surge'. Their total disbanding of the Iraqi army and de-baathification led to high unemployment - most professional positions required party membership under Saddam. This included teachers, doctors, nurses etc. all of which suddenly had no income. Meanwhile private US contractors where making money hand over fist - especially their mercenary friends like Blackwater. All profits could be taken out of the country and no taxes paid. Not exactly a shift in approach that will win hearts and minds in Afghanistan.
  61. The Last Honest Conservative from Western, Canada writes:
    'The forced ouster of Lieutenant-General David McKiernan and his replacement by Lieutenant-General Stanley McChrystal, a commander with a controversial background in clandestine warfare and special operations, spearheads a new counter-insurgency strategy.'

    So our American allies are going to stop bombing weddings ?
    That will really piss Cheney off .................
  62. Andrew Manavian from Toronto, Canada writes: This guy led troops that wiped out Zarqawi, captured Saddam, and is involved in more military trials than you can count. All in all, seems like a gung-ho 'shoot-first' kind of guy.

    Exactly the type of leader to lead the reinforced US contingent in Afghanistan.

    His bio shows that he has also done courses in psychological warfare.

    In other words, the kind of guy that the Taliban will soon come to fear.
  63. F.T. Ward from Canada writes: Catherine: I'm confused about your position on the US. You seem to think they're incompetent and full of BS but you continue to brag that a Canadian unit got a Presidential Unit Citation and CF members were awarded Bronze Stars.

    Again for the record at the time the CF Bronze Stars were awarded virtually every senior officer or E-8 and up in theatre received one. Medal inflation got so bad that a sgt received a Bronze Star for efficiently putting up a tent. At that point it was too much and all recommendations for awards were dropped one level.
  64. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes: Nick Wright writes: 'Yes, being removed from a post is painful and undesirable, and yes, it doesn't help one's career, but calling it a 'demotion' is a colloquial and inaccurate use of the term; the precise term is something entirely different. That is all that is being pointed out.'

    It's not a colloquial or inaccurate use of the term at all. When a general is forced to resign, forced to vacate two command posts, and his entire career in the military is thereby finished, the average reader understands that as a demotion under the common definition in use: 'a reduction in rank or status.' And General McKiernan's status isn't just reduced, it's plummeted.

    The specific military use of the term 'demotion' puts in that use in the category of jargon: 'language that is used by a group, profession, or culture.' It's not up to a general publication like the G&M to cater to a specific group's jargon; they write for the average public reader.
  65. Dik Coates from Canada writes: Just about time that they restricted the reporting for Afghanistan...

    Dik
  66. Brad Brien from Canada writes:
    Many of the above comments have missed the underlying story. That being, the Wests forced indoctrination of a proud but somewhat flawed society.

    Trying to impart sweeping changes within another society, which is fundamentaly different than our own, is an extremely difficult challenge. Please do not suppose that we (the West) know what's best for their society. Arrogance only breeds indifference ! Their society existed for thousands of years before Western Europe and North America ever began to formulate societies !

    If we truly have decided to 'force' our good and righteous ideals onto this society, then I suggest we all hunker-down for a good long stay. That means f-o-r-e-v-e-r !

    As a comparison, how many of us would be willing to roll over and accept another (invading) societies fundamentals ? Would we all say, 'Okay, you're right, we'll change' ?

    Righteous indeed !!!
  67. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes:

    More on General McKiernan's 'reduction in status:'

    'Pentagon officials said it appeared that General McKiernan was the first general to be dismissed from command of a theater of combat since Douglas MacArthur during the Korean War.'

    New York Times

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/12/world/asia/12military.html?ref=global-home
  68. Jo Blo from Canada writes: 'Mr. Gates also announced that a second four-star general, Lt.-Gen. David Rodriguez, '

    A Lieutenant-General is a three (3) star general.

    A General is a four (4) star general.

    5 star generals were rare in the US military. There are none now. Gen Douglas MacArthur was one. Gen Omar Bradley was the last 5 star general of the US army, appointed in 1950.

    A five star general is called a Field-Marshal in other countries.
  69. Jo Blo from Canada writes: Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes:'The specific military use of the term 'demotion' puts in that use in the category of jargon: 'language that is used by a group, profession, or culture.' It's not up to a general publication like the G&M to cater to a specific group's jargon; they write for the average public reader.' Sometimes the public, and some journalists as well, need a bit of explanation. It's not as if it's beyond the general public's ability to understand. In this case, a demotion would be understood by the public as a stereotypically punitive and public reduction in military rank, such as following a court-martial. However, he was not demoted. He was dismissed from his assignment. It's important to make that distinction because the general did not do anything wrong. Just that the policy has changed, and him with it. In other words, the headline is over dramatizing the change of command, imputing on the general a stigma of wrongdoing. This is sensionalism, thus an exaggeration. An attempt to spice up the facts: worthy of jingoism only found in the diresputable tabloid press. It's important to point out that the headline is not reflected in the body of the article itself, so is likely not Mr. Koring's doing. Just those juveniles the G&M seems to have appointed lately as evening/night editors.
  70. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes: How condescending. It's not above the public's ability to understand that within the military specifically, a 'demotion' means a reduction in rank. If the G&M was a military journal your criticism would carry some weight. But it's not; it's a public media source catering to the widest possible audience. Hence, the normal language the public uses is what's written, read and understood.

    Common, everyday communication would look damn peculiar if every profession demanded that its own particular take on a word were the only one which could be used.

    'Ah, no Bob: Malicik wasn't 'demoted' to the minors. That's a military term which means 'reduced in rank.' Malicik was, in fact, sent to the farm team because he can't skate, score goals or play defence. But he wasn't demoted.'

    Right.

    US General McKiernan was publicly and ignominiously sacked, terminating his 37 year career in the military. The last time that happened to a US commander in theater was over 50 years ago. Military types are free to use any term they prefer amongst themselves. But in the general public, calling it a 'demotion' is a reasonable use of that word as its commonly understood. Indeed, within the general public it's a pretty mild word to use, given how quickly and how far General McKiernan has fallen.
  71. Jo Blo from Canada writes: Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes: 'How condescending. It's not above the public's ability to understand that within the military specifically, a 'demotion' means a reduction in rank. If the G&M was a military journal your criticism would carry some weight. ' I don't know where you get the 'how condescending' bit. In fact, I give the general public the benefit of being able to understand if given the straight facts. You are uncharacteristically being a bit testy. The headline is preying on popular misconceptions. The public understands quite well the stereotype of a demotion: that of disgrace by way of standing in the middle of a parade square, and getting one's stripes ripped off. This is what the headline implies, and that's what the intent of the editor is: to cast an unwarranted stigma on the general. In any case, the general is not being demoted, because that implies assuming lower grade responsibilities. He is probably going to be retired, or placed on an inactive reserve list. Dismissed (resigned) yes, demoted no. He represented the application of a certain doctrine, once approved by his superiors. That doctrine has obviously changed, and another commander has been appointed who is thought to be better able to carry it out. I don't agree, by the way, that this new doctrine will produce any better results than the previous one. In the meantime, the US campaign in Afghanistan has destabilized the region, to the point that Pakistan could face dismembrement in the future. The buildup of US forces in the region will only further accelerate this process.
  72. Counsellor Abroad from Togo writes: Jo Blo from Canada writes: 'Mr. Gates also announced that a second four-star general, Lt.-Gen. David Rodriguez, '

    Glad you also caught this Jo. Combined with the incorrect use of 'demotion' in the title, one wonders how hurried the author was in getting this article to print. Those are some unforgivable basics for a military correspondent ...
  73. Fat Freddy's Cat from Canada writes: Golden Locks, we are doing what we can. You do realize that the entire Canadian Armed Forces could watch a Maple leafs game and there would still be empty seats in the arena. 2500 troops is all we can send at any given time. Also, we don't have the equipment to contribute in any other way either. Canada likes to think that they are peace keepers, but go to the UN website and check out the rankings for peacekeepers. The UN doesn't even rank Canada in the top 75 countries as far as peacekeeping goes.
  74. LUCIEN ALEXANDRE MARION from Canada writes: NEW USA ARMY GENERAL IN AFGHANISTAN....If I may express, I beleive in President Obama's vision and what is important in this case concerning his strategy, is the fact that this is no more former President Bush' war ( Irak) where Americans will be pulling out soon under President Obama orders and to concentrate in Afghanistan with changes by applying his vision and beleifs and using his presidential powers to alter the course of this war that seems never ending and like in a labyrinth. Replacing Lieutenant General Mckiernam is not diminishing the value of this General, but it will bring a new way and new strategies will emerge for the troups added in combat in the southern Province of Kandahar and I am pretty sure that it will help our canadian soldiers toward 2011...President Obama has vow to neutralize the Taliban and to defeat their"associates" and we are gradually assisting, for those following the events in that part of the world to a different strategies concerning the way President Obama and Pakistan's Governmental Authorities are squeezing slowly the Taliban in the Swat Valley and on the Afghanistan mountains surrounding frontiers , the "Talon d'Achyles" of the Afghanistan Army and NATO. We all know how the Taliban are fighting this war and it's not a conventional war and also having received in circumstances training in the 90's from the Americans while figthing at that time the former USSR. Gen. McChrystal is a very dangerous warrior and knows such Taliban tactics and can apply them to his troups. President Obama has vow to defeat the Taliban and their "Associates" and I think it is just the beginning of what will happen in Afghanistan under his Presidency.The added american troups will become like a shield for our canadians troups toward 2011 and there can be light in the darkness for the People of that country whose children have suffered too much and for so many years...Paris wasn't built in one day...Merci Thank You Lucien Alexandre Marion
  75. Syed Abbas of Toronto from Seattle WA, United States writes:

    The USA did not create Pakistan's problems, and USA can not solve them.

    The problems of South Asia were created by the hurriedly departing British.

    USA can do what the English could not and did not - be an honest broker for the warring parties. That is what Obama had promised.

    However, sending US troops to Afhanistan, and possibly then to Pakistan to help Pak Army is not going to win the US a neutral status.

    In fact it could play in the hands of Iran and Russia who want US get a bloody nose so that the Corporate West exits Asia for ever.

    Interesting times lie ahead.

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