General Rick Hillier calls Trump’s adviser Peter Navarro a “dumb” for belittling Canada’s role in Afghanistan

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Former Canadian senior soldier Rick Hillier today lashed out at US President Donald Trump’s trade advisor, calling Peter Navarro an “idiot” for dismissing Canada’s contribution to the war on terror as a simple effort to win the favor of the United States.“My first reaction, honestly, was, ‘What an idiot,’” Hillier told CBC News Network. Power and politics Mardi.

“I mean, even if you believe these things, I don’t know why you would do them, or why you would disrespect service and sacrifice in this shedding of blood and loss of life by the sons and daughters of Canada who fought alongside our American Fighting Brothers and Sisters. ”

Hillier was reacting to Navarro’s comments in a new book by CNN correspondent Jim Sciutto. In the book – The Madman Theory: Trump Takes on the World – Navarro is quoted as speaking with disdain about Canada’s role in the NATO mission in Afghanistan.

Navarro suggests that Canada’s ten-year mission that claimed the lives of 158 Canadian soldiers was motivated more by a desire to curry favor with the United States than to support the global fight against terrorism.

White House Trade Advisor Peter Navarro speaks with reporters at the White House on June 18, 2020, in Washington. (Alex Brandon / The Associated Press)

CTV obtained audio recordings of Navarro’s interviews with Sciutto, who was questioning the trade adviser about the Trump administration’s often caustic approach to foreign relations when the subject of Canada’s mission in Afghanistan came up.

“Did they do us a favor or were they tricked into thinking they had to do it as part of the global effort against terrorists?” Navarro answers.

“I mean, if they were just doing us a favor, maybe their government should have been removed from office. I mean, every time a Canadian shows up in uniform, are they doing us a favor? How it works? “

The disrespectful sacrifice

As commander of the multinational NATO-led mission in Afghanistan in 2004, Hillier had extensive contact with US forces on the ground and with US military leadership. He said that in all of his years of service in the United States troops, under multiple administrations, he never heard anyone suggest that Canada sent men and women in danger just to score political points.

“Do you send your sons and daughters to make this great sacrifice so far from home just because you want to make points with an ally?” No, you don’t. You do it because it’s the right thing to do, ”Hillier said Power and politics host Vassy Kapelos.

“I’ve heard so many friends in America today who said, ‘This doesn’t represent what we believe at all. We don’t know where it came from. Our relationships are amazing and we have served together. We are proud. to do it. We are proud to serve alongside Canadian soldiers. “”

Former Lieutenant-Gen of the Canadian Forces. Rick Hillier shown here speaking to soldiers after Remembrance Day ceremonies at Camp Julien in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 2003 (Canadian Press / Terry Pedwell)

Hillier said Navarro was not qualified to speak on military matters.

“First of all, I thought he must be a military genius and knew this stuff. Then I realized he was a business advisor so I don’t know why he is commenting on this, ”he said. “He obviously doesn’t understand NATO’s Article 5, which says an attack on one is an attack on all.

“We believed in it here in Canada. And that is why Canada is committed to being part of this mission and trying to make the world a better place.

Hillier said he hoped the Trudeau government and ambassador to Washington would present the argument to U.S. officials.

He added that the White House has demonstrated its willingness to denigrate Canada and many of its other allies since Trump came to power.

“I don’t think it’s unique to Canada,” he said. “I think it reflects a wickedness in relations across the world now at the international level involving the United States of America. And it is not something that I have experienced. “

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