Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The definition of "combat" ...

Is NOT the one provided by some pencil-necked, political, maggot out of the prime minister's office. Especially when that particular creature has never so much as stood in a recruiting office, much less actually been in armed conflict.

Let's get an item out of the way here. Anyone in any military theatre of operations coming under hostile fire has every right to return fire and every right to return that fire with full effect. (Yes, that means kill the person(s) shooting at you). That clean little white box is not up for debate.

Here's what the PMO's resident mouthpiece, Jason MacDonald, had to say:
A combat role is one in which our troops advance and themselves seek to engage the enemy physically, aggressively, and directly. That is not the case with this mission.

That definition has been flatly debunked by MGen (Ret'd) Lewis Mackenzie and Col (Ret'd) Pat Stogran, both of whom have extensive combat experience.

MacDonald suggests that Canadian special forces, on the ground in Iraq, providing targeting information and data to CF-18 (and allied forces) air strikes, does not constitute "combat". Worse, however, is that the Canadian Forces, in the form of Lt-Gen Johnathan Vance, provided cover for MacDonald by continuing to advance that ludicrous notion.

What's the issue here? Well, Harper told parliament and the country that Canada would not be involved in ground combat operations - at all. The SFOC troops sent to Iraq were provided as trainers. Which suggests he knew that was never the case and he lied.

The simple fact that Harper's mouthpiece has had to come out with a warped definition of "combat" highlights one very illuminating fact: Harper lied to Canada from the get-go about the nature of the Iraq mission and he knew he was lying.

What else is at issue is the behaviour of Lt-Gen Vance. He should have withdrawn from the discussion immediately by stating that Canadian ground troops were obeying the rules of engagement specified by the Government of Canada ... and then let the excrement land in the laps of the politicians. Vance is now party to a political fight in which he has no place and which erodes public trust in the Canadian Forces.

I have contributed to a lot of "After Action" reports, but in this instance one stands out. In referring to a particular action the report stated that:

"Elements of (unit) came into position where company-strength enemy activity was observed. (Unit) continued to provide situation reports without engaging the enemy. At (time) (unit commander) called for gunfire support from (ship) to neutralise enemy position. After (several hours) of continued bombardment (unit commander) reported that enemy was sufficiently incapacitated to allow (different unit) to advance on final objective. (Unit's) combat action successfully cleared the route to (objective)."
See that? The members of the "unit" did not fire a single shot from their position. It did however, provide targeting data and coordinates for the ship. Here's the thing: The guy calling the fire is the guy leading the fight. As each bullet left the ship's guns they became the combat multiplier of the ground unit and the combat action was attributed to both the ground unit and the ship.

If I'm on the ground providing targeting information to an air asset with a bomb, it's MY bomb. Nothing about it is not ground combat.

Harper lied and he knew he was lying. Now he's got others lying for him by trying to change the definition of "combat". It is reminiscent of another politician saying, "I did not have sex with that woman."



 

13 comments:

Scotian said...

Yup. As usual on these points Dave very well said and entirely correct to the best of my understanding as well. I knew Harper was lying when he claimed there was no chance of combat ground operations last fall, it is after all his record/pattern, and he clearly was hot and horny for this war, which meant if he was going to lean in any direction it would be towards MORE conflict role, not less.

Thanks for a simple, straightforward post on what is a crucial point regarding the political definition of combat in the Harperium versus the reality of the ground. Having Captain Cowered and company playing these games of semantics for political purposes only further underscores just how much the classic chicken-hawk he and his truly are. Yet another import from American right wing politics to our system of government, thanks oh so much there Captain Cowered.

the salamander said...

.. how could a polititian lacking courage define combat anyway.. especially since he's also proved he really does not respect his country's combat Veterans .. ?

Dave said...

Ah yes. Accepting a Harperite's definition of combat is like opening a closet door and asking the person hiding inside the definition of "bravery".

Scotian said...

Dave re 19:03:

*APPLAUSE!*

Steve said...

Did Airshow just get a $26 Billion dollar re election gift in the form of a no bid, no tender, no competition contract?

West End Bob said...

Dave @ 19:37 . . . .

EXCELLENT analogy, Cap'n ! ! ! !

;-)

Owen Gray said...

I wonder why so many people are willing to lie for Harper. What's going on?

Dave said...

Funny how Harper listens to others when it comes to his own safety, but anything else ... nah!

Enjoy the trip, Peter.

Dave said...

Owen, I keep asking the same question.

Kevin Wood said...

I'm a complete civilian, but I always figured if they were shooting at you and you were shooting at them, that's combat.

Alison said...

Harper's own Triumph, er, Bumf of the Will at 24/7

Chris Turner responds

West End Bob said...

Ooooohhhhhh, M'Lady Alison! The 24/7 vid nearly made me barf up my brekkie this morning - Eeeeewwwww!

stevie feigning outrage at attacks on "freedom of the press" was quite rich considering his own media-control actions and that of his party . . . .

dgrb said...

Q. How can you tell when Stephen Harper is lying?

A. His lips move.