Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Rona Ambrose and the Assault On Harjit Sajjan

The grotesque chicken hawk Rona Ambrose has disgraced herself so many times it's almost impossible to keep a body count.

Whether demanding that we should drop more bombs on one country or another, or attacking the Trudeau children, or trying to prevent doctors from helping dying heroin addicts, she simply has no shame.

And now she has disgraced herself again.

By demanding that defence minister Harjit Sajjan resign or be fired for the "crime" of "stolen valour."

Interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose accused Sajjan of "stolen valour" for taking credit for the actions of another, and called on Trudeau to fire him for dishonouring himself and the military.

Which couldn't be more outrageous for at least three good reasons:

One, you don't accuse a man who served THREE tours of duty in Afghanistan of the "crime" of "stolen valour" without sounding like a coward yourself.

Two, Sajjan may have embellished his role in the battle known as Operation Medusa, as many old soldiers sometimes do. But he has apologized profusely, and at least his claim didn't come out of thin air. 

I must say that Major Sajjan is one of the most remarkable people I have worked with, and his contribution to the success of the mission and the safety of Canadian soldiers was nothing short of remarkable.

Not only did he display a rare high level of intellect and experience in his analysis, he also demonstrated remarkable personal courage in his collection efforts, often working in the face of the enemy to collect data and confirm his suspicions, and placing himself almost daily in situations of grave personal risk.

He tirelessly and selflessly devoted himself to piecing together the ground truth on tribal and Taliban networks in the Kandahar area, and his analysis was so compelling that it drove a number of large scale theatre-resourced efforts, including OPERATION MEDUSA, a large scale conventional combat operation that resulted in the defeat of the largest TB insurgent cell yet identified in Afghanistan, with over 1500 Taliban killed or captured. 

Not with a letter like that from the supreme commander of Operation Medusa, Brigadier General David Fraser, which should allow him to claim that he was AN architect of that operation.

And lastly, but not leastly, claiming to be the architect of Operation Medusa is not the honour it might appear to be, or as good as it sounds...

For while the battle was a so-called tactical success, and our soldiers fought bravely. Fraser's decision to launch an assault on a Taliban stronghold known as the Pashmul 48 hours sooner than planned had tragic results. 

With several vehicles destroyed, four Canadian soldiers killed, and nine others wounded. For no good reason.

Indeed, it’s hard to see what caused the need to hurry–the Taliban were trapped and surrounded, it was now just a matter of lopping their heads off. As Fraser himself notes, the very heart of the Taliban strategy was to draw them into costly ground conflict. 

As one RCR officer said, it’s not like they were racing to save Ottawa from an invading force. “What’s the rush?” said another RCR officer. “We know where they are, it’s a free fire zone.”

Despite the arguments of his tactical commanders, Fraser would not be deterred. “The decision was ‘we’re gonna go in’ and 26 years of experience in seven different operations told me now was the time to go in there and finish this thing off.”

In the end, of course, the only thing that was very nearly finished off was Charles Company.

So the question Canadians should be asking themselves is not what was Sajjan's role in that battle?

But whether Fraser was pressured to attack prematurely by the self styled Great Warrior Leader Stephen Harper...

For the usual crass political purposes.

And of course the larger tragedy is that it was all for nothing. 

And the bottom line?

This whole hyper inflated controversy is being driven by racism more than anything else.

And the next time the ghastly chicken hawk Rona Ambrose accuses a Canadian soldier of the "crime" of "stolen valour."

She should be accused of the very real crime of stolen decency. 

Told to put up or shut up.

Or suit up herself...

Harjit Sajjan may have embarrassed himself, but he did not dishonour himself or our military.

While Rona Ambrose managed to disgrace herself, her party, and our country.

Her name will live in infamy, and she cannot be fired soon enough...


P.S. I'd like to thank readers for all the get well messages and e-mails I have received. I'm still in some pain so blogging will be limited, but should be back to normal by the beginning of next week.


  1. ' His analysis ... drove... efforts ' Are we in angels dancing on a pin territory ?
    I heard an ex military on the Current this morning. To hear him tell it its all the Liberals fault. No mention that the Tories were in power. I could only think " Swiftboating ".

    1. hi rumleyfips....I don't know about the angels, but this story really is dancing on the head of a pin. It's absurd, it makes our parliament look petty, and this big country look like the Duchy of Grand Fenwick. The man made a mistake, it hurt nobody, he has apologized, time to move on....

  2. Anonymous9:31 AM

    Thank you for this. Sajjan made a mistake and deserved to be called out and embarrassed a bit but the calls for his resignation are disgusting. Not at all shocked to see the ndp jump in to help their con friends.

    1. hi anon...well thank you, for letting me know that I am not alone in finding the calls for Sajjan's resignation disgusting. It's an absurd overreaction, and seeing the NDP join in this chap political game is depressing to say the least. Surely we are bigger than that...

    2. Anonymous9:21 AM

      Simon you're a bright guy and I love your blog, but I am surprised every time you are shocked by bad dipper behaviour. They have been doing this for well over a decade.

  3. John B.11:29 AM

    Minister Sajjan isn't the first military veteran and he won't be the last to pump up his resumé in order to improve his fortunes in the post-service job market. I recall a long-service military man with whom I was acquainted expressing some embarrassment over the misrepresentations he was counselled to make in this exercise by a career specialist that the forces employed to assist retiring members in the transition.

    On the other hand, Rona Ambrose would seem to regard Saijjan's specific transgression as an offence comparable to wearing an unearned service decoration. I don't know how members of the military and other vets feel about it but, personally, I'm disinclined to join any pile-on directed at a victim who's obviously taken on responsibilities and willingly subjected himself to situations that would likely make me shit my pants. Ambrose should remember who she is.

    1. hi John....I have listened to many old soldiers calling their war stories, and a little embellishment is par for the course, and in my opinion made those stories even better. I don't think Sajjan was trying to pump up his resume. I think he was just trying to show people in his homeland how successful he had become in his new country, and bragged a bit which is also a natural part of the immigrant experience. He bragged because he was proud to be a Canadian, he has apologized, and the opposition should stop trying to make it a big deal, and give they guy a break...

  4. The point you miss, Simon, is that bad as Ambrose is, the rest of her crew is worse. We saw their true faces when Preston arrived on the scene with Reform. Manning was kept busy those first few years getting them to at least appear more "mainstream" and less fundamentalist social conservative. He cleaned them up but he didn't change them. They're still there.

    1. hi Mound....what I find distressing is that so many Cons and so many in the Con media think Ambrose is a model leader, and should be the new permanent leader of the party. When in fact, she's a very cruel person, not very smart, and actually part of the Reform gang. That gang has been weakened by the departure of people like Kenney, but as long as so many MPs come from Alberta it will still determine the direction of the party.
      You only have to hear Bernier calling himself a Quebecois Albertan to understand that...

  5. Anonymous2:55 PM

    Welcome home Simon! I was imagining you in fish and chip heaven and refusing to leave lol. Luckily you got back just in time to see Rawna humiliate herself again and Kevin O'Smeary skulk back to Boston! You would think she wouldn't want to remind us that 4 people died for no reason because of her Corrupt Government and Chicken Hawk Harper's failing Poll numbers but she just can't resist the opportunity to smear a Liberal no matter how ridiculous she looks to everyone outside of Alberta. Harjit Sajjanis a hero whose name doesn't deserve to be on her plumped up fake lips. Suck it Rawna and less filler please, you're tripping over them.
    Sure glad you're ok and had a well deserved holiday. ❤️ Pamela .

    1. hi Pamela...thank you. I was in fish and chip heaven, but that wasn't the reason my return was delayed. Still I am glad I did get home in time to see Mr Marvellous make a complete fool of himself, and if he really does intend to act as Bernier's consiglieri I think the fun is just beginning. But you're right, the Cons are getting nowhere, and they are desperate to find any possible way to attack the Liberals. The polls tell me most Canadians are not impressed...

  6. I can't say I was thrilled with Mulcair's attack, either.

    PS get that pain under control, heal faster.


    1. hi Geoffrey...thank you. I was lucky to escape with only some scrapes and bruises, but it's hard for me to spend too much time writing without getting a pain in my lower back. The doctors provided me with a stash of opioids big enough to bring down a horse, but I'm scared stiff of them so I suffer in silence... ;)

  7. Anonymous4:51 PM

    There's your typical Rona squawking like the brainless chicken that she is.
    While she was still shining Harper's boots, Mr. Sajjan was time and again laying his life on the line and saving others during the course of his duties. How dare she attack him for the sake of scoring political points.
    Whatever compelled Mr. Sajjan to make that statement is vexing to say the least. He had to have known the media would have picked up on it so why?
    Perhaps he himself is suffering from some form of PTSD. It's an insidious condition and it can affect anyone at any rank. Anyone disagreeing with that need only look at what happened to Lieutenant-General Romeo Dallaire in Rwanda.
    It's unfortunate that Rona couldn't take the time to look at the human side of this story but that would require someone with a modicum of humanity.

    1. hi JD...you know if Sajjan was working for the Cons I would still feel the same way about the way he is being treated. Maybe because I'm an immigrant myself I like to see other immigrants succeed in their new country. Although three tours of duty can easily lead to PTSD, I think his desire to impress his former countrymen led him astray. As I tried to point out in my post Brigadier General Fraser did heap a lot of praise on him, and if he had called himself one of the architects of Operation Medusa, I don't think anyone would have objected. But whatever, he did not hurt anyone, he has apologized profusely which must be painful for a proud man, and the Cons and the NDP should stop being so petty....

  8. If the media would report ALL the information, Rona and her friends would want to take back their words. Valour? They haven't a clue! Sajjan used a poor choice of words given our current media environment. As to his role - it would appear the action didn't have a chance of success without his significant contribution.

  9. hi UU4077...yes, I was particularly offended by Ambrose calling it a case of "stolen valour." As Fraser points out Sajjan risked his life on more than one occasion and does not deserve to be treated like that. He did make a big contribution to Operation Medusa, and I just find the whole controversy completely overblown....

  10. Anonymous4:41 PM

    Thank you! Damn, this whole thing sounds like a tempest in a freakin' teacup. It's as if the Canadian public are just finding out that soldiers can be self-aggrandizing from time to time, particularly the politically ambitious ones. He got caught polishing his laurels a bit too much and he apologized.

    I dunno, between Ambrose calling it "stolen valour" and articles questioning the military's "confidence" in him, I'm getting some strange vibes reminiscent of this "cult of the soldier" I've seen popping up in this country. I thought it was bad enough in the States with their worship of the military, but even at sporting events the constant "saluting" of select service personnel makes me uncomfortable. But if we as a society are going that way, why doesn't Col. Sajjan get the benefit of the doubt? I can't help but think that the double-standard has a racial component to it, as you said Simon.

  11. Anonymous4:34 PM

    Sorry is this the same Rona Ambrose accusing a soldier of "lying" that was exposed earlier this year for being two-faced? http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/rona-ambroses-yacht-vacation-keeps-tories-mum-on-liberal-ethics/article33920459/

  12. e. a. f.9:12 PM

    ah, gotta love that comment by A. 4:34 p.m. Ambrose is doing a good job of being the leader of the opposition. don't like what she says and she is over the top on things, but she sure does keep at it and that is her job, a strong opposition always makes for a better government. keeps them on their toes and they don't get lazy.