rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Maybe Canada's General Vance needs anger management

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca for as little as $5 per month!

Some people have issues with anger. For many, their anger makes them unable to carry on healthy relationships or hold a job. A few, however, find a niche in society where their issues are afforded more tolerance, such as professional tennis. Or the military's officer corps.

Recall that Canada's main man in Afghanistan is General Vance. We saw back in June that Vance flew off the handle when a young boy threw a rock at the general as he rode by in a convoy. The boy was of course merely voicing an increasingly common sentiment, repeated since time immemorial in Afghanistan. Indeed, the general is probably in the company of Alexander the Great; no doubt that ancient general's convoys endured more than a few child-thrown ripostes.

But if Alexander was as cool as he was portrayed in that Brad Pitt movie, I suspect that, when similarly attacked, he would not have jumped off his elephant and chased the boy who threw the rock.

Recently General Vance was at it again, this time getting angry at local elders in Dand district. He demanded a meeting with them following an incident where a Canadian soldier was badly wounded by an IED in their district. Vance evidently thinks that the elders are not doing enough to stop such incidents. Not shy about sharing his feelings, Vance told the assembled elders that he sometimes feels that "I am more concerned about Dand district than you."

"There has to be a change starting now and we need to make sure the roads stay clear of IEDs," he said, referring to deadly improvised explosive devices that have repeatedly caused Canadian casualties.

"If we don't start getting some serious cooperation from the people ... then I wonder whether or not it's worth another Canadian life."

Deh-e-Bagh [i.e. the village where the IED attack took place] is the centrepiece of the Canadian counter-insurgency strategy in Kandahar province... (link)

Vance's patronizing words and negotiation-by-threat seem ill-suited to improve what are evidently already strained relations with the elders.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.