It’s a funny old world, isn’t it? The Liberals and the New Democrats bang on about our military turning over Afghan prisoners to Afghan authorities who, according to some sources, are then tortured. All the opposition parties seem concerned about is somehow proving that Canada is at fault and so to discredit the current government and, in so doing, destroy the credibility and reputation of our armed forces.
But do they offer ten cents worth of consideration for the victims of the alleged torture? No they do not. There are no demands that the Afghans stop the torture. There are no demands that NATO intervene and take control of captured Taliban. The opposition’s allegations are serious—tantamount to war crimes—so why don’t they call for the court martial of senior military officers?
Could it be that the Grits are less sure of their position after the generals testified before the parliamentary committee? Or perhaps Michael Ignatieff’s past support for torture under certain circumstances has muddied the waters and caused Liberal attack dogs to be muzzled?
Regardless of the reason, I find the more subdued approach by the Liberals as seen in Bob Rae’s appearance on Thursday’s Power Play on CTV News to be far more helpful to Canadians as they work their way through this file. Rae looked uncomfortable and restrained.
It is all about partisan advantage, of course. Outrage and witch-hunting are de rigeur. Don’t oppose government policy on principle, but slander and accuse (mainly with parliamentary privilege) the government at every opportunity. Waste time and money. Call for public inquiries. All these tactics are standard operating procedures.
And Canadians become more cynical and more and more stay home on election day.
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© 2009 Russell G. Campbell
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