Rick Hillier would apparently rather be shot at or bombed than called a “political prop”, which Liberal MP Denis Coderre did after Hillier referred to the period beginning in 1994 as a “decade of darkness” for the military owing to the cuts of the previous Liberal administration. Now I wouldn’t want to step on his bravado or anything, that’s the military’s stock and trade after all, but if someone goes and voluntarily says something that is just asking to be put into a campaign ad for someone else, that person has offered himself as a hack, a tool, or indeed, a prop.
I am not debating the content of his initial assertion – military funding was frozen or decreased in most years under Chretien, so from his standpoint I’m sure it was “a decade of darkness”. In fact, I know people that are or were in the military who feel Chretien was openly disdainful or at best dismissive of them until they were needed for political reasons. However, having made such a partisan political statement, for surely Hillier must have understood how it would be interpretted whether he meant it politically or not, getting weepy over being called on it is stupidity.
So which do you prefer, General – hack, tool, or prop? For surely you are being used as one of them, whether you like it or not.