Thursday, March 22, 2007

Harper accuses opposition of favoring Taliban over Canadian Troops

This just in:
Stephen Harper:

"I can understand the passion that the leader of the Opposition and members of
his party feel for the Taliban prisoners," Harper said. "I just wish
occasionally they would show the same passion for Canadian soldiers."

Anyway here we go again as our President ...oh I mean our Prime Minister Mr. Bush ...I mean Stephen Harper the Cowboy from Alberta shows off his Cowboy style by shooting from the Hip & engaging in name-calling & questioning the motives of our loyal Opposition in Parliament. As George Bush put it " You are either with us or you are against us & therefore on the side of the Terrorists. To question the governments foreign or domestic policies is to attack Canada & the Canadian people & by extension the Pure & Good Values of Western Civilization or some other bit of clap-trap & blather of the sort spewed forth by Bush's best bud Karl Rove or Anne Coulter & other Neocon intellectuals like Bill O'Reilley & Rush Limbaugh & our own Rex Murphy who seems to be a Neocon though he is so verbose erudite I'm not always certain of his main message.

Harper sounds more like George Bush everyday as he appeals to Canadians’ patriotism & loyalty to our troops to make excuses for his governments lack of interest in how POWs are treated once they are handed over to Afghan authorities or to American Intelligence Agents. If they are tortured it is none of our business according to Harper. I’m sure most of his Neocon Religious Right True Believers agree with him. Since they have little patience with any talk about civil liberties & human rights except when the issue involves white Evangelical Christians & weaalthy Neocons. Everybody else they see as the enemy or as not seeing the world as they believe it really is that is in “Black & White “ terms of the Good Guys versus the Bad Guys & the bad guys include all Afghans . & in the War on Terror the rules of war & pesky little agreements like the Geneva Conventions do not apply to our troops.

The problem is that if we allow prisoners to be tortured then how can we presume to be outraged if our soldiers are tortured & abused when they are captured by those we oppose. And that goes not just for the War in Afghanistan but also for any other conflict our troops are part of now or in the future. But Harper is above all of this since he gets his orders from God & Generalissimo Bush as they pursue their Christian Crusade against Islam & to spread our superiour Western Values throughout the world .

But what can those values be ? Since Harper doesn’t see torture as a crime against humanity or believes in extraordinary renditions & spying on average Canadians or suggesting that all Arab & Muslim & Sikh Canadians or any other minority groups as being somehow guilty of something or that we should question their loyalty to Canada until they can prove otherwise.

In the end it is all about Spin & truth be damned.

What is further troubling in all this is that Harper like Bush believes that since we are now in a state of perpetual war the opposition in Parliament & the Canadian people should trust Harper & support him & his government to prove their patriotism & therefore rubber stamp any decisions made by his government in all areas . Those who disagree with Harper & his government are acting in a " seditious " manner & could be accused of giving aid & comfort to the enemy i.e. the terrorists.

Here are some pertinent articles to check out :

Liberals furious at Harper's Taliban accusation
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
CBC News

Prime Minister Stephen Harper went into attack mode in theHouse of Commons on Wednesday, accusing the Liberals of caring more about Taliban prisoners than Canadian troops.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper leaped to the defence of Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor during question period in the House of Commons on Wednesday.Prime Minister Stephen Harper leaped to the defence of Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor during question period in the House of Commons on Wednesday. (Tom Hanson/Canadian Press)

The attack came during Question Period, as the Liberals called for the resignation of Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor over the erroneous information he provided to the government two weeks ago.

from The Edmonton Journal

Harper calls Liberals Taliban lovers
Mike Blanchfield, CanWest News Service;
Ottawa Citizen
Thursday, March 22, 2007

In recent weeks, Harper has hit hard at the Liberals, and its new leader, trying to
portray them as soft on crime and terrorism. But when he tried to paint them as
sympathetic to the enemy of Canada's 2,500 soldiers in Kandahar province, Dion
was on his feet before the daily showdown with the government had broken for the

Dion asked for an apology, saying that Harper had "insulted the
entire Parliament."

Harper refused.

"I would like to see more support in the House of Commons from all sides for Canadian men and women in uniform. I think Canadians expect that from parliamentarians in every party. They have not been getting it, and they deserve it," the prime minister added.

Outside the Commons afterwards, Dion accused Harper of tarnishing the
country's international reputation by "trivializing the issue of war detainees
and the protection they are entitled to receive from a civilized country like
Canada" and for playing politics with the lives of soldiers.

"He is dividing the nation about our international role when our troops are at risk
with a difficult mission," Dion said. "He's also dividing the nation and the
Parliament about the unconditional support we all have for our men and women in

Dion said the parties could disagree and debate the nature of the Afghan mission while still being supportive of the country's soldiers.

And from the Globe & Mail

Liberals' 'passion' is with Taliban, PM says
Accuses Opposition of caring
for enemy more than troops

Mr. Harper's comments were reminiscent of his allegations last month that the Liberals are "soft on terrorism" and refused to extend anti-terrorism measures in order to protect the family of a Liberal MP.

Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe said Mr. Harper's comments reminded him of U.S. President George W. Bush's attacks on the domestic opponents of the military invasion of Iraq.

"It's unacceptable," Mr. Duceppe said.

NDP defence critic Dawn Black said the attack was uncalled for and created a diversion from the human-rights issue behind the controversy.

"It reduces the debate in the House of Commons to a level that's just simply not acceptable," Ms. Black said.
And from :

PAK Tribune
Afghanistan`s "Hard Mission" slips away
Sunday March 11, 2007

OTTAWA: Canadian lawmakers have written an Afghanistan version of
the Iraq Study Group report, reaching a conclusion that the conditions on that
original battlefront in the "war on terror" are grave and deteriorating.

The 16-page Canadian Senate report, entitled "Taking a Hard Look at a
Hard Mission," foresees a conflict that could drag on for generations and might
well fail unless NATO significantly increases its commitment of money and

"It is in our view doubtful that this mission can be accomplished given the limited resources that NATO is currently investing in Afghanistan," said the report by the Standing Committee on National Security and Defence. "The current NATO contingent doesn`t have enough troops to go toe-to-toe with the Taliban."

Former Canadian Ambassador to Afghanistan Chris Alexander told the committee that it would take five generations to "make a difference in Afghanistan," while Land Forces Commander Andrew Leslie estimated that it would take at least two decades to complete the mission.

NATO has roughly 32,000 troops in Afghanistan, including 15,000
Americans and 2,500 Canadians. Another 12,000 American troops under U.S. command conduct missions ranging from counter-terrorism to training Afghan forces.

In 2001 after the 9/11 attacks were blamed on al-Qaeda operatives based
in Afghanistan, the United States led an invasion of the rugged country,
toppling its Taliban government and trapping many al-Qaeda leaders, including
Osama bin Laden, in the mountains of Tora Bora along the Pakistani border.

At that crucial moment in December 2001, however, President George W.
Bush failed to deploy adequate U.S. military forces to capture bin Laden, who
managed to escape on horseback with some of his key lieutenants into Pakistan.

And from AlterNet:
Torture Sours U.S.-Canadian Right-Wing Lovefest
By Sarah Anderson,
AlterNet. Posted January 29, 2007.

Stephen Harper, Canada's conservative prime minister, campaigned on strengthening ties with the Bush administration. But the love affair has ended over the American "rendition" of a Canadian citizen to Syria.
And check out:
6 February 2007
Day suggests that security certificate detainees remain in prison of their own volition and are free to leave the country at any time 1 In a letter (faxed 25 January 2007), Minister Stockwell Day wrote, "Throughout the process, an individual named in a certificate has the option to leave the country." He repeated a similar statement to the press on 2 February 2007.

Or check out " rabble columns "

Canada's very own Jack Bauer
by Rick Salutin
March 2, 2007

So we now have our own Jack Bauer, hero of 24. He's Stephen Harper, ready to take any step against terror, not squeamish like the terrsymps who voted down renewal of preventive arrest and forced testimony in Parliament this week. Oh, wait, we already had our own Jack Bauer: Canadian (and grandson of Tommy Douglas) Kiefer Sutherland, who is Jack Bauer on 24.

Jack doesn't shrink from extreme measures, like torture. There were 67
torture scenes in his first five seasons. Stephen doesn't shrink from extreme
measures either, like those defeated measures, or from extreme language: “For
the first time in history, we have a leader of the opposition who is soft on
terrorism.” You're with him or against him.

24 is so extreme that in the United States, the (real) military and spooks are begging the show to back off because it does more harm than good. The New Yorker reports that a general who is dean at West Point and some interrogators flew to the set to say torture doesn't work, but the show is influencing U.S. soldiers in Iraq and elsewhere to do it. They want the producers to depict a case where torture “backfires,” like Abu Ghraib, and causes worse terror.

A spook who worked in Iraq said, “I never saw pain produce intelligence,” and he's seen it all: waterboarding, dogs, sitting on a Humvee's exhaust pipes. Forget it, said 24 producer Joel Surnow, who hangs with Rush Limbaugh and Dick Cheney. He says he doesn't believe the experts. He probably saw torture work somewhere, oh yeah, on his own show.

The whole torture debate gets skewed because its justification usually
centres around the case of a “ticking bomb” that almost never occurs (the
“almost” is generous). Yet on 24, every case of torture is about a ticking bomb,
usually nuclear. This season, one has already gone off in the United States and
three are ticking as I write.

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