Yet Another (Missed) Sign of Civilianization of AFG Mission

Thanks to E.R. Campbell (ERC) over at for helping me see something I’d looked at earlier in a different way.

Remember the Minister of National Defence’s letter to the editor in response to Margaret Wente at the Globe & Mail saying Canadian troops weren’t getting out and about?  Here’s an excerpt from the Minister’s letter:

Our troops are out, every day, helping people help themselves under challenging circumstances. They are training the Afghan army so Afghans can stand up for themselves. Our soldiers are doing so proudly, effectively and bravely.”

Thanks to ERC’s post here, the bit I’ve highlighted in red looks very different to me now:

“Note that Minister MacKay did not directly counter the canard that our forces are hiding behind the wire when the reverse is clearly and demonstrably true. Canadians do not want to hear that our soldiers are more engaged with the enemy than ever. Canadians do not want a fighting army. They want blue berets and sand bags.”

The Minister’s phrasing – “helping people help themselves under challenging circumstances” and “training the Afghan Army” – points to the nicety of helping people, not the reality of Canadian men and women dispensing channeled violence to achieve an aim.

Much nicer to refer to the aim these days than the method, right?

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