Being Lead Astray

Updated: Jun 6, 2019

lead·er·ship

ˈlēdərˌSHip/

noun: leadership

1. the action of leading a group of people or an organization.

2. the state or position of being a leader.

3. the leaders of an organization, country, etc.

The definition is seemingly simple and straight forward. It leaves room for interpretation as to what good and bad leadership is, though generally speaking the majority of people are very intelligent and can see a spade as a spade.


Photo: Canadian Forces, Afghanistan

Before Trudeau, I would have thought it was impossible to piss off so many people in so many countries world-wide in such short span of time. Trump hasn't even come close to this ridiculousness. You can say what you will of the last of Prime Minister or American President, Justin Trudeau is a man apart... from everything.

These last two months have put significant heat on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau regarding his leadership abilities, but I'm sure he's just mistaking it as a sun burn from his taxpayer funded family vacations.

Lets break it down. For most sane people we can all agree that millions of Jews died at the hand of the Nazi's during World War II.

Depending on who you ask, the general consensus sits at approximately 6 million, give or take a few hundred thousand. There were also another 5 million non-Jewish that died as well from Gays-Lesbians, Gypsies, Trade Unionist, Socialists, and a whole gambit or other ethnicity, classes, and self identifying peoples.

In early October of this year a new monument was unveiled in Ottawa. You would think that with opening a Holocaust Monument you would acknowledge that more than half of those that died were in fact Jewish. No such luck.

The plaque on the Monument mentioned nothing of the sort. It drew so much negative attention by Vets and survivors that even the New York Times wrote a spread about it.

Canadian news media wrote it off as an oversight and the Heritage Minister quickly had the plaque removed.

An oversight is leaving your favourite coffee mug at work, not forgetting that 6 million people were murdered.


Photo: Jews being rounded up after the collapse of the Jewish Warsaw Ghetto uprising in May of 1943

I call that a mistake, and a fairly noticeable one if media from other countries are picking up the story. He failed to follow up and review the details of this monument before unveiling it, a demonstration of lack of follow through from a leadership view point.

Moreover, in early November, Trudeau and his trade minister were in Vietnam to attend the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation summit APEC for short. Canada along with ten other countries were there to conclude trade talks and sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal.

There has been a lot of talk about how bad this deal is for Canada, and whether you are for or against the TPP I think you can safely say that not showing up on time for the trade talks at all, even though you made show of arriving in Vietnam for the press, is unprofessional and not statesmen like in the least.

The Australian media roasted Trudeau for snubbing the conference and insiders from multiple countries from multiple news sources were outraged that Canada not only showed up late but made a huge list of unreasonable demands to top it all off.

Picture the equivalent of your self entitled step-son showing up late to Thanksgiving dinner and then demanding to know why there's no gluten free gravy to go with his tofu turkey. That's pretty much what happened in Vietnam.

As usual, the Canadian media blew it off by accepting the press briefing that Trudeau got his times messed up for the meeting. If Trudeau wants out of TPP there are better ways of handling the situation, and playing hooky isn't one of them. He was literally there to do one thing, and he did it poorly, then blamed a scheduling mishap which demonstrates a lack of accountability and is a sure sign of weak leadership.

A few days later during the closing of the trade summit, Trudeau calls out President Rodrigo Duterte on how he is handling the war on drugs and his hard-line stance on the alleged extra-judicial killings occurring daily in the streets.


Photo: Philippines SOF engage ISIS militants in Marawi.

Clearly a topic that hit Duterte close to home because he slammed Trudeau's comments in the press soon after. This wisely was a topic that all the other leaders at the trade summit did not touch on including President Trump, because they were all there to discuss trade and economics not alleged Human rights abuses.

Whether Trudeau was right or wrong on the issue, there is a time and place, and this was not that time.

Some might call him “brave” for calling out Duterte but it again showed poor judgment and a lack of situational awareness and poor diplomacy on his part. Trudeau's speech was hypocritical considering he hasn't lifted a finger or acknowledged the crisis in the Attawapiskat and Wapekeka First Nations, their crippling suicide rate or the fact that overall 60% of all First Nations lives well below the poverty line in third world conditions.

That's OK though, never heard of the Attawapiskat or the Wapekeka? Well neither has Trudeau apparently. He needed to stay in his lanes like every other leader there did and kept his talking points on trade and economics.

Lets bring this a little closer to home now. One of Trudeau's campaign platform promises was to bring “Peacekeeping” back to the forefront, promising 600 troops and a 150 police strong contingent to go to any troubled spot in the world as the United Nations saw fit.

Currently there are approximately 62 Canadians deployed around the world on UN missions, roughly 40 of them are police, the lowest number of deployed in almost 30 years.

In mid November the government pushed out a half cooked plan of sending 200 troops, location undetermined, to a mission undetermined. It was picked apart quickly by the ruling opposition as well as the news media. Aside from the obvious discrepancy in numbers and a lack of an actual plan, it has left the CDS General Vance scrambling to explain away the gaps in the plan, in turn making him take the brunt of the criticism.

Peacekeeping is a minor footnote in the total history of the Canadian Military, would it surprise you to know that the “father” of peacekeeping Lester B. Pearson was also the same person that brought nuclear weapons (American) in to Canada during a good part of the Cold War right up until 1984? A point in fact. The Canadian Armed Forces doesn't even call it Peacekeeping. Any reference to the type of mission being proposed is defined as a Peace Support Operations.

Whatever you want to call it, a blue helmet mission right now would be purely for show, yet another bid for Trudeau to get back in the UN's good graces. Poor planning, or maybe lack of planning equals poor mission execution, which could potential equal loss of lives, not something to take lightly.

Even closer to home, or should I say who we're bringing home, there are roughly 15,000 people on a deportation list in Canada. Some of these countries are refusing to take their citizens back. Other countries like Australia, the U.K., and the U.S.A. have imposed travel and visa restrictions to citizen of said countries not openly cooperating with international law and repatriating their citizens on deportation lists.

Canada on the other hand isn't even releasing the list of countries that these people are being deported back to let alone imposing sanctions. Put simply, not holding others accountable is another sign of poor leadership, and that starts at the top. Remember there are no bad teams, only bad leaders.

But lets not talk about who we're sending away, lets look at who we're bringing into the country. How about a potential 180+ Canadians who left to go fight with ISIS against us and our partner countries?


Photo: ISIS convoy retreating, Mosul

The governments current plan (or non-plan) is to let them all back into the country and “keep a close eye” on them. Trudeau has even go far as to whitewash returning enemies of the state as “Returning Foreign Terrorist Travellers”.

These are people that gave up a first world and peaceful life in Canada (unless you're First Nations) to knowingly go into a war-zone to fight against the country and allies of the place you just left. Call me crazy, but that sounds like treason to me.

He insists that we should bring them back to “rehabilitate” them. Rehabilitate from what though? You can't rehab a religion or ideology. It doesn't work, Canada should know better than anyone else as well.

Remember the Native Residential School Programs in 19th century? “Rehabilitating” those "savage" natives to be more like civilized people. That worked out well for Canada didn't it?

Currently 60 or so know foreign fighters are back in Canada right now. I don't know what you call it, but I call it a Platoon plus size of enemy combatants in our midst.

How are they going to track them? Seriously? I want to know, because we can't even seem to get a plaque correct on a non-moving monument made correctly.

All this in essentially a two month period. While other countries are actively searching and putting their homegrown terrorists down like the U.K., Germany, France, and the U.S.A., Canada is doing the exact opposite. It's no coincidence that those countries I listed have all had major attacks on their home soil from foreign fighters. Canada is thus far lucky to have not suffered a major attack, that is not to say we haven't at all, R.I.P. Nathan Cirillo and Patrice Vincent. We should know better and do more. Leadership starts at the top.

Trudeau's shortsightedness and lack of connection with the common man is staggering. Even our last two Prime Ministers good or bad had a link to the real world we live in. Stephen Harper worked his way up the political ranks, got a masters degree in Economics and helped weather Canada through one of the worst economic down turns in the last 20 years.

Prime Minister Jean Chretien was a poor boy from Shawinigan, that worked low paying jobs and through substantial hard work got himself into the Prime Minsters chair, he also expertly steered us away from the initial war in Iraq in 2004 with a stroke of good political brinkmanship. Education, experience, and wisdom that is sorrily lacking in our current Prime Minister. Even a ruling despot like Robert Mugabe knows when to quit.

So what is a man fully removed from the common citizen, lacks attention to detail, has no follow through, doesn't respect timelines or other peoples schedules, doesn't hold himself or others accountable, doesn't know when to stay in his lanes of responsibility, demonstrates no political professionalism, doesn't learn from past mistakes, of others as well as his own, and can't see the forest from the trees on a multitude of issues?

If you can tell me what all that is a definition of, please let me know, because that's not leadership.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

CK Rohan is a currently serving Infantry soldier in the Canadian Forces. He is also a News and Broadcast media specialist with 18 years experience, a civilian contractor for the British Army and Zahal Israeli firearms training. He is an avid combat shooter and is out on the range rain, shine, or snow.