The Most Popular Canadian General
Easily the most common Canadian pinback to be found, from a century ago, is the Lord Roberts, Bobs Chewing Tobacco, right. Bobs was the affectionate nickname by which he was known to the British public and his men.
Bobs was just as wildly popular in Canada as he was in Britain.
In fact the largest pinback, of any on this page, is the 44 mm Brown's Furniture pin made by the Medallion, Photo & Novelty Co. of Toronto left. The Montreal Star had its own manufactured as well below.
He was the only European General ever to win a military success that ended a war in the wild and unruly Afghan province of Kandahar; and he will remain the only one in History...
And why not!
His success can be attributed to the fact that he lived his entire life on the Indian subcontinent among non-white Hindu, Sikh, and Muslim tribesmen of all kinds. He lived their life, and understood them, and respected them as fellow human beings inhabiting the same planet. In fact he included one as a main element in his family crest.
Unlike Canada's top general Rick Hillier, who blindly urged war in Afghanistan when he had never lived there, knew nothing of the people, language, and culture. And certainly had no clue, at all, of its history.
His only interest, as he famously and crassly put it, at a press conference, was "to be able to kill people" targetting the "detestable murderers and scumbags" as he called his non-white Muslim adversaries there.
It is not a formula for a successful general and goes a long way to explain exactly why the Canadian military campaign - unlike Lord Roberts' storied success in exactly the same place, against the same people - is failing so spectacularly in Kandahar, and terrorism is spiking out of sight with every passing month that the Canadian Forces are taking his lead in Afghanistan.
Right the Globe & Mail, Canada's National Newspaper compilation of what is really going on, in spite of what Canada's generals are saying about the success of their shooting campaign..
It shows that the longer Canada has been there, the more money it spends, the more heavy weaponry it brings to the task, the more the generals shoot the place up, the more it inflames the local passions, resulting in more terrorist acts (freedom fighter incidents) which are spectacularly skyrocketing out of sight.
"AN INSIGNIFICANT NOTCH."
Why "military intelligence" is a staple for late night comics...
In the first six months of 2008, insurgent attacks have almost doubled what they were for all of 2007, making reasonable people ask - Why are Canadian generals talking and thinking like George Bush? You know the guy who said Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction, and ties to Al Qaeda... and used these totally discredited claims to kill hundreds of thousands of Muslim women, children, and men, just to get access to the world's second biggest oil reserves for his business cronies.
Attacks on the white Christian occupiers are spiking especially in the southern region of Afghanistan where the Canadians are doing their general's bidding, of "Our job is to be able to kill people."
Not rocket science; any public school student could have predicted this. But not Canadian generals sitting in their air-conditioned offices on the Rideau.
Could we suggest Canada needs a new game - exit - plan and a smarter set of generals? Both on the ground and in the media...
With his fabled March from Kabul to Kandahar, in August 1880, in exactly the region Canadians are responsible for, Lord Roberts scattered the same local Talib tribesmen to the four winds allowing Britain full diplomatic control in a region no one - whether locals or foreigners, before or since - has been able to tame for long. The March, followed by the Battle of Kandahar, ended the Second Afghan War, within weeks.
Bobs and most of his army retired to India, and by choice, he left the feudal state to slumber on without interference, to the beat of its own drum. As a white Christian European soldier, he held that he had no business reordering the domestic political arrangements or the cultural and social mores of a medieval conglomeration of wild tribesmen, in this remote region, however much he disagreed with their way of life.
Bobs was one bright guy; Canadian generals and their white Christian allies not so much.
Queen Victoria honoured him by granting him a glorious title which has resonated in military history: Lord Roberts of Kandahar. And well it should.
Bobs fought and killed only combatant men; he did not kill women and children. He was proud to maintain, that in his Afghan campaign not one Afghan woman was violated by any of his thousands of conquering troops.
What a stark contrast the behaviour of the Canadian Forces - not to mention other Coalition partners - who time and again have killed numerous Afghan women and children, and innocent bystanders, as shrugged off collateral damage in their ruthless military tactics to win Hearts and Minds!!! A repeat of Vietnam all over again...
It is hard to conceive of honours you can award to a general on whose watch over 1,000 Taliban prisoners, that it had taken Canadians years of effort and billions of dollars to catch, staged one of the biggest jail breaks in history... (See below)
Bobs retired in 1897, after having spent over 40 years as a successful soldier and political administrator in India, only to be brought back to head up the Boer War front in South Africa, when that campaign faltered under General Buller.
In South Africa he became Commander-in-Chief of several Canadian Contingents, who became just as enamoured of Bobs as their British Tommy brothers-in-arms.
Unlike modern generals, he was a General with Class, and a gentleman man of action, not loud talk. (Educated people shudder every time they listen to generals hold forth at press conferences.)
Unlike Canada's administrative generals - who perform better in front of the mike, than in front of the enemy - Bobs had repeatedly put his own life on the line, many times, in hand-to-hand combat with the Queen's enemies. And had a Victoria Cross for Valour in combat to prove it. Not a chest of service medals of places he had visited in his career.
Which is probably precisely why he - unlike Canadian generals - never sneered at his adversaries from other cultures though their hands were as bloody as any in history, but fought them as a gentleman ought, on the field of battle, and then treated the vanquished with honour and respect.
Reading his autobiography "41 Years in India," one is constantly struck by the sensitivity and affection in his voice when he spoke of the nonwhite, and non-Christian peoples he encountered, and often fought, in his profession of Soldier of the Queen.
No wonder his book was a publishing phenomenon of the age.
How different modern generals are. When Canadians recently underwent soul searching about the future role of its generals in the scheme of things, the Chief of Staff of the Canadian Armed Forces famously barked to the press, his job was to "be able to kill people," specifically enemies, which he called "scumbags" in Afghanistan.
His language, which had no Canadian precedent, was remarkably similar to the language of American generals' press conferences...
This is not a general Bobs would have understood. In hundreds of pages of autobiography, covering one of the most turbulent period of British colonial history, he never once, talks of his profession in the terminology adopted by recent Canadian and American generals. He knew comments like that, though common among barroom brawlers, had no place in the vocabulary of a soldier gentleman who represented his Class, his Profession, his Country, and his Queen.
Bobs was a general who had Principles, and Grace, not, like our peacetime generals, merely thirst for blood sports. Unlike them, he had seen real warfare, on mighty battlefields, and had lost many friends and colleagues - even a son (below) - in war, to think - or talk - of killing as his profession.
In his day generals fought in the face of the enemy, sharing the same dangers as low paid privates and corporals, not sending them out to face the enemy - and die for their country! - alone, as they gave them radio directions from the safety of the Green Zone, or from command complexes at the Pentagon, or above the Rideau, half a world away...
No wonder his pinbacks vastly outnumbered those of everyone else... and in Canada, at that...
There appears to be no parallel rush, any time soon, by Canadians eager for a pinback of their modern generals.
Vanity Fair produced thousands of large cartoon prints, which people framed and hung up in offices, libraries, law offices, and homes, during the period 1868 to 1914. They publicized, with not a little affection, cartoons of all the people of consequence from around the world in the late Victorian and Edwardian eras (lawyers, explorers, writers, inventors, artists, politicians, celebrities, etc.)
By far the most popular print ever produced was that which featured "Bobs," Lord Roberts of Kandahar.
We shall not see his like again. Certainly not in Canada or the United States, where shrill Bushite generals pattern themselves on the mock heroics of John Wayne, himself a notable shirker of war service, like George Bush, Bill Clinton and all the daughters of both families.
Americans are notorious for electing Presidents from both parties - Clinton and Bush - who were notorious military shirkers, while they rejected - again from both parties - real war heroes who laid their lives on the line for America, in Kerry and McCain, who were the real thing. While McCain spent 7 years in prison in Vietnam, Bush and Clinton were partying it up big time, stateside, with gals of one kind or another. But hey, it got them elected, while McCain will forever remain a great American loser for believing what he learned in school. Come to think of it, some genocidal Indian killing generals went straight to the White House on a mound of Indian corpses: Jackson, Harrison.
Listening to numerous press conferences, held by American generals about Baghdad and Afghanistan, one is reminded, constantly, that there is no real tradition of an Officer as a Gentleman in the US, going back through "Gook Body Count" Westmoreland, "Nuke the Chinks" MacArthur, "Pistol Packin'" Patton, who'd as soon slug his own men as the enemy, to a whole range of Indian killing colonels and generals like Chivington, Custer, Harrison, Jackson, Phil "The only good Indians is a dead one" Sheridan, and Theodore "Well nine out of ten anyway" Roosevelt, not to mention General "Marching Thro' Georgia" Sherman. Brutes mostly...
Canadian top General Rick Hillier models himself proudly on this line of past and present US generals - and their President - who talk of killing, Rat in the Hole, Dead or Alive, in public no less, as easily as genocidal generals of an earlier day talked openly of exterminating the Indian vermin of the West. General Hillier's snorting about "our job is to kill... detestable murderers and scumbags" in Afghanistan fits in well with this crowd.
But then hey, genocide has always been the quintessential American sport.
|Go to Massacre USA|
|Go to The Only Good Indian|
In Iraq and Afghanistan, US men and women in uniform, taking their cue from their leaders, produce brutality, rape, murder, and Abu Ghraib, and then are left dumbfounded when they are made sacrificial lambs for carrying out, in the field, the very thing they see their leaders promoting on TV press conferences! The official American mind set continues to boggle the mind of civilized peoples around the world..
Gentlemen officers like Lee, Ike, and Carter, are anomalies...
Bobs remains in a class by himself.
And so is the most fabulous biscuit barrel we have ever seen, right, featuring Lord Roberts, looking not at all out of place surrounded by flowers and petals, and other pretty things.Says current US Joint Chiefs Chairman, the very Christian General Peter Pace: "No soldier, let alone general, of mine is going to be caught dead in such highly suspect immoral circumstances... Wait a minute. What I meant to say was, that any soldier who is inclined to surround him or herself with gay little flowers would be better off dead than in my army."
In his army he considers being gay a worse crime than bombing, strafing, and killing off an entire civilization of nonwhite Muslim Iraqi and Afghan men, women, and children for no other reason than they're non-Christians and in the way of American business interests.
That he seems to say, is what a Christian general's duty is; not harbouring flower children in the Armed Forces of the United States.
It was not the kind of Christianity Bobs would have agreed with at all.
Nor with the credo of the modern "American-style" military officer who routinely, now, allows for collateral damage - cynical political spin for deliberately killing women and children - as a cost of doing business against Third World non-Christian guerillas who refuse to stand and fight.
The more sophisticated modern generals become, the more they brag about the pinpoint accuracy of the weapons they deploy, the more Muslim women and children are dying in modern warfare in the Middle East.The conclusion is inescapable: women and children are themselves primary targets because family is the only weak spot where one can pressure guerrillas to give up. And for a time, for those ultra-Christians, the Americans and the British, it really worked... (Sidebar right)
Published figures show that a huge proportion, of the 1,200 victims the Israeli generals killed in the recent Lebanon War, were Muslim women and children.
The most high-tech military force in the world said it was accidental...
Compare this level of incompetence with the thousands of wildly inaccurate missiles - by which, everyone agrees, a hit is accidental - launched by the Lebanese into Israel that managed to kill only 43 civilians, 18 of whom were Arabs. So who's better at accidents?
Barked super warmonger - "I just love targeted assassinations" - Alan Dershowitz, at an Arab panelist on CNN's Larry King, "We can perhaps forgive you for killing our children; but we can never forgive you for making us kill your children."
Talk about a new low in blaming the victim...
Well at least he recognized it was being done, with supreme efficiency, and though his relish is disturbing - at best - at least (quoting Golda Meir) he owned up to it...
A lot of blood on your hands Alan... And a lot of spin... But what is more disturbing is that, we know, you sleep well at night...
Unlike scores of thousands of Muslims in the Middle East, who go to bed worried that their family will be obliterated by another accidental bomb or missile during the night...
They know that it's only a matter of time till Israel drops the Big One. The Americans - as everyone knows - have already given the go ahead, just like they approved the Israeli obliteration of Lebanon in the recent war, sending Condy back and forth on a peace mission they knew was bogus from the start, making her go through the motions just to buy time to give the Israelis time to annihilate as many Lebanese as possible till world pressure would force a halt.
Amazing! What all lies behind a single pinback...
The accusing eyes of Lord Roberts of Kandahar.