There is a moment in the bloody battle of Culloden that everyone in my clan knows by heart.
It's the moment when the victorious Duke of Cumberland was riding through the battlefield piled high with Scottish dead and wounded and came across the 20-year-old colonel of the Fraser regiment Charles Fraser.
"Who are you for" Cumberland shouted at the badly wounded Fraser.
Fraser replied defiantly "For the Prince!"
Cumberland turned to a young officer riding next to him and said "shoot him."
The 19-year-old officer refused saying his honour was worth more than his commission. His name was James Wolfe. Fraser was killed by another soldier who shot him in the head.
Wolfe would die on the Plains of Abraham thirteen years later. He's remembered for what happened there. But his real moment of glory came at Culloden.
Flash forward a few hundred years to a scene recounted in Thomas Ricks' excellent book Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq. When an American soldier Lt-Col Alexander Holshek challenges his commander Col. David Hogg. Just after the fall of Saddam.
HOLSHEK --- Sir what is the battlespace?
HOGG -- Wherever the enemy is
HOLSHEK -- Sir, wrong answer. The battlespace isn't physical, it's psychological.The battle is for the people...you can kill every bad guy and there will be two more tomorrow. Until you start focusing on their support, active or positive, in the resident population...
They didn't listen to him, of course. And we all know the result.
Which leads me to what a young Canadian soldier wrote not so long ago... shortly after he arrived in Afghanistan.
"We all wait anxiously for the time we can leave this camp and head there to join the scrap, we can't wait to fight. The war drums are beating louder."
I wish him and his friends the best of luck. But I hope they remember that you don't win that kind of war by just killing a lot of Taliban. It's a question of winning hearts and minds.
And they should also remember a couple of other things too.
The Battle of Culloden, and the War in Iraq didn't need to be fought. All those people didn't need to die.
Chimp Bush is a bloody idiot. So is Stephen Harper.
And so was the Prince...