24 April 2007

In The Headlines, Canadian Edition

After going global yesterday, nothing but Canadianna today...

Is it me, or is the media trying to spin Harper's image consultant into an actual issue? They spent two segments on it on Sunday's Question Period. I realize that it's one of those poke-fun-at-the-politician things, but there's other, more important issues that CTV's flagship Sunday talk show should be examining. Bringing in numerous talking heads to discuss from multiple points-of-view is a waste of airtime and insulting to Canadians who expect to see actual issues discussed....such as:

Tonight there is going to be a vote on withdrawing Canadian participation from Afghanistan with a hard deadline of February 2009, regardless of the situation in the country and the wishes of Canada's ISAF and NATO allies. For all their criticism of certain neighbours and their supposed unilateralism, declaring without consulting our allies or making a thorough assessment of the conditions on the ground, the opposition parties seem hellbent on unilaterally ending Canada's significant role in reconstructing Afghanistan. Of course it is our decision to make, but to do so without an eye on Canadian national interests and those of our partners spits in the face of well-meaning Canadian multilateralism that was once a hallmark of Liberal-driven Canadian foreign policy. It's almost farcical that the vote hinges on the NDP lining up with the government to defeat the Liberals and the Bloc.

Sticking with Afghanistan, there are some very loud rumours that Canadians are turning over detainees to the Afghan authorities, who are reportedly torturing them. Though there has been no confirmation or denial on these accusations, they are very serious indeed and go straight to the heart of what distinguishes us and what we're helping to build in Afghanistan, and the vile Taliban regime that instituted its tyrannical oppression prior to 9/11. Simply put, Canadians do not and should not support or condone the use of torture, and we would be justly aghast if it turned out that there was some complicity on Canada's part in certain individuals being tortured. Stephane Dion's assertion that we should re-locate these suspected terrorists to Canada is patently absurd, and I'm not seeing the logic in demanding Gordon O'Connor's resignation before: a) the facts are known, b) there is sufficient evidence that Canadians are turning Taliban insurgents over to Afghan authorities for the purpose of having them tortured. It's ridiculous to demand the resignation of a top-level minister over a rumour. Once we get a) and if true, combined with a solid dose of b), sure, but such demands are out of whack right at this stage.

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