"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Monday, March 13, 2006

Steven Harper and coffee in Kandahar
Canada's new Prime Minister has been beset by allegations of unethical behavior over floor crossings and Senate appointments and refuses to meet with the federal ethics commissioner. His shaky popularitity is taking a pounding and so, following the example of his ideological inspiration, U.S. President Dubya McCodpiece, Stephen Harper decided to top-gun his way (see photos 8 and 9) into Afghanistan last week to visit the Canadian troops there. At least he didn't pretend to land a Sea King on a destroyer, and had the class not to play dress up and put on a Canadian Forces uniform or quasi-military flightsuit.

Whether you agree that Canada should be sending troops to Afghanistan or not -- and the Galloping Beaver makes a compelling case for deployment -- I think anyone with any respect for democracy and the troops being sent into harm's way would agree that the issue deserves to be discussed in Parliament. If the reasons for deployment are so clear and compelling - and I think they are - then what the hell is Peter MacKay afraid of? An open discussion of why they are being deployed does not mean that people don't support the troops, it means they don't take decisions to put them at risk lightly.

If, as Gen. Hillier suggests, we are liable to be in this for the next decade surely it merits some kind of public debate. Canadians will always support Canadian troops when their actions deserve support, but to our national credit, we will not tolerate abuses, unlike some of our allies.

"Two large double-doubles and a cruller, hold the shrapnel"

When I heard Harper had gone to Kandahar, I figured he'd have to go in with a very small contingent of press in order to make room in the C-130 for 3,000 take-out coffee's from Tim Hortons, but then I saw that Tim's is opening a local branch. I'm not sure how Hortons plans to staff the Afghanistan outlet. Likely some poor soul in the Canadian Forces quartermasters corps will be trading his combat greens for Hortons' polyester browns, but I'd like to volunteer for the 1st Canadian Expeditionary Doughnuteers, maybe Rick Mercer could put in a good word for me with his skydiving buddy Gen. Hillier. I can only think that the reason they held off on doing this so long is that they were worried the armored personnel carriers would be pretty tough on the drive thru lane.

No comments: