Thursday, September 28, 2006

President Musharraf Is Right

Over the last couple of days there has been some outrage in the Canadian blogosphere over President Musharraf's remarks, in a CBC interview, where he told Canada to quit crying.
"When a soldier puts on a uniform and he joins the army, is this for fighting or for peacekeeping? What has he joined the army for? He's joined to fight, and when you fight, there are casualties. The nation must be prepared to suffer casualties. So if you're not prepared to suffer casualties as an army, then don't participate in any operation," Musharraf said. - [Globe]
Where exactly is Musharraf wrong? He is not belittling our war effort, but our whining about it.

It would be wrong to say Pakistan places less value on a soldier's life. Every commander hates to lose men. Yes, they do not have free press to the extent that we do, therefore they cannot examine whether their soldiers died for a valid reason or a just cause.

Most of the opposition to Canada's new war in Afghanistan by Canada's "new" government has stemmed from the fact that increasing number of Canadian soldiers have begun to be killed disproportionately in recent times. If we have to oppose the direction this war is taking, it should NOT be due to increasing body counts - but whether our approach to Afghanistan is right for democracy to prevail, or whether our troops are being increasingly placed in needless danger for political reasons. To critics of Musharraf, I ask you this: if tomorrow the Canadian public was told that in a newly planned operation in Afghanistan, necessary for military reasons, we were expecting 500 casualties, do you think support for the mission would go up, stay the same, or Canadians would be up in arms in protest?

If you have to criticize Musharraf, criticize him for this. Or this.



Dr Syndrom said...

Musharraf is 100% right... I feel sometimes that the "Western" countries expect their armies to be causality free. I always wonder... then why just don't disband the army?

- Mental Dribble.

Red Tory said...

It would be nice if Musharraf got his facts straight to begin with. He claims that Canadian casualties are two to four or five. That might come as a surprise to the other twenty or so families that have lost their loved ones in this conflict.

knb said...

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has refused to clamp down on pro-Taliban elements in his own country and is allowing the militants to launch attacks on Canadian troops, a security expert says.

Canadian officers stationed in southern Afghanistan increasingly find young Pakistani men among the ranks of Taliban fighters who have trained in the radical mosques of Pakistan.

Since by this account, Musharraf could be called partly responsible for the deaths of some of our soldiers, we have every right to criticize him, IMO.

Those of us not in favour of this mission, are under no illusion that there are casualties when we take on such missions. However that does not mean we don't mourn every death, nor does it mean that Musharref has the right to tell Canadians how upset they can or cannot be when we lose a soldier.

The man is out flogging a book for god's sake!

When people in his own country have rights, I'll give him latitude to comment on the rights of other nations, though I still won't agree with him. Until then, I suggest he go home and clean his own house before judging other's.

mezba said...

Dr Syndrome: It does seem that Western armies are less eager to accept casualties. While that's good in the sense that soldiers have more protective armour and other stuff, it's not good in the sense of deciding which missions to undertake (even if it is necessary).

Red Tory: Yup, Musharraf got his figures wrong. 37 dead as far as I know, as of current time.

knb: Yes he was trying to sell his own book, and as I said, we have every right to criticize him for other violations. Musharraf has to solve the women's issues in Pakistan first and foremost. Pakistan also has a Sindhi dominated political culture which has led to tribals such as NWFP and Balochistan becoming disillusioned with the central government.

Jason Bo Green said...

I missed any outrage over it, to be honest - but I heard it when it first aired, and I thought he was right - exactly right.

It's irrelevant if he got his numbers wrong, whether deliberately or accidentally - his point is still right. Remarking on his numbers just shows you don't have any real argument, in my personal opinion.

No one said "we don't have the right to criticize him", all that was said is that there are real reasons to do so -- and this interview is not one of them.

I agreed with him whole-heartedly.

And you - we should of course agree or disagree with the war, not the number of casualties.

Jason Bo Green said...

Whoa, that came through wrong....

And you - we should of course agree or disagree with the war, not the number of casualties.


And you're right - we should of course agree or disagree with the war, not the number of casualties.

Anonymous said...

Musharaff on the Daily Show !

Shirazi said...

Musharaf is right. May be he is right at other places too; think cooly.