The Beatification of Rick Hillier

Big surprise, they’re trying it out at the Torch already. It all starts well enough by an approving quotation of a favourable Economist segment on the general. The ensuing commentary by Damian Brooks gets a bit silly though:

“The point they fail to make – and it’s an important one – is that the general’s fame wasn’t his aim. Rather, it was a necessary evil in order for him to do the job with the level of effectiveness he needed. In other words, Hillier wasn’t chasing cameras and microphones for his own sake, but for the sake of his men.”

Now I know that Brooks loves to write about military stuff and that he’s from the same region as Hillier, but how can he even assert to know this about Hillier? Outside of our close friends how can we know an individual’s deepest motives? Even among our close friends we might be misled. Generally people who are vainglorious assholes don’t get up and say “look, I’m not altruistic, I’m a camera-hog because I need the attention.” I really have no idea why Hillier put his mug in front of the cameras so much. It may not be an either/or thing too. He might have legitimately thought he was doing right by his soldiers and furthering some nascent political ambitions.

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2 responses to “The Beatification of Rick Hillier

  1. Hmm. I’m not from NF. In fact, the only time I’ve ever set foot in NF, to my regret, is when I was refueling in Gander on my way over to Lahr many moons ago.

    You may have me confused with Damian Penny, a lawyer who until recently has lived in Cornerbrook.

    As to how I know why Hillier was as public a figure as he was…true, I can’t reach into his soul and divine his deepest intentions. But I’ve met the man. And I know a lot of people who know him, and can speak to his conduct and character long before he became CDS. To a person, they’re fans – because Hillier was always all about his soldiers.

    So you’re right, I don’t know for sure. I just know a whole lot better than most people writing about him.

  2. I haven’t been in any part of Canada east of Montreal so you’ve been closer than me 😉

    Seriously, I’m just suspicious of anyone who takes on a top job anywhere, CEO, union boss, political leader. There has to be a good dose of ego there, no matter how well intentioned the person otherwise is – not that that’s a bad thing all the time (it does help get stuff done). It’s just more clear-eyed to acknowledge it.

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