Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Take note

Well, the people's representatives have had their "take note debate" on the Canadian military mission in Afghanistan. Bill Graham, Liberal interim leader, said his party didn't consider it a debate but rather "an opportunity for the Canadian public to better understand this mission." Apparently parliamentary debates are not supposed to enlighten the public. Graham also said the Liberals, who authorized the undertaking in the first place, support the troops. Support the troops! Who woulda thunkit? But, actually, this is obfuscatory balderdash -- as if the troops decided on their own to deploy to Afghanistan and the politicians have patriotically got behind them. In fact, it's the troops that are putting their lives on the line in support of a political decision, and the politicians who made that decision had better show them and the Canadian public that there were compelling reason to send them to fight. CTV reports an illuminating little exchange between Jack Layton and Gordon O'Connor, the new Minister of Defence.
However, NDP leader Jack Layton voiced concern over the operation and rhymed off a list of questions about the deployment that were first asked by O'Connor during a similar debate on the topic in the House last November.

"What are the goals and objectives of the mission and how do they meet our foreign-policy objectives? What is the mandate, what is the defined concept of operations, what is the effective command and control structure, what are the rules of engagement," Layton asked quoting O'Connor.

The defence minister responded by accusing the NDP of being anti-military.
It's wonderful how a switch from opposition to government can change a person's perspective.

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