Sunday, February 06, 2005

And if I'm him and if I'm he, each one of us might not agree on what to do

I think Stephen Harper is making a mistake here: Conservative Leader Stephen Harper is warning the Liberal government will pay a 'severe price' if it sends Canadian troops to Iraq. 'I remembered how the prime minister attacked us during the federal election for wanting to spend more on defence,'' Harper told reporters Saturday in Halifax. 'I sat through an election campaign where the prime minister accused me of having secret plans to send troops to Iraq. If it turns out he has secret plans, this has to be one of the biggest election deceptions in history.'' However, Harper didn't rule out supporting such an initiative if he could be convinced it was safe. I'm all for holding the PM's feet to the fire for his cynical posturing during the election, playing the cheapest (at the time) of all possible cards. And Harper is probably right; if Martin does send any troops at all, even the smallest token contingent, it probably will bite him in the ass come election time. But this would be one of those times to smile, and nod, and be conciliatory. If Liberals can be made to do the right thing, by that strange magic of politics-as-usual around here, it somehow becomes the Canadian thing. (Despite being that which they were vehemently opposed to, yesterday or the day before. Funny, huh?) At that point, when it therefore can't be sold during an election campaign as fundamentally despicable and un-Canadian, the Tories can step in with a rational and reasonable plan to both stop being unhelpful to American policy aims, and return some kind of dignity to the funding of our military forces. It doesn't have to be a good one, as such platforms go, just better than the current Liberal one. After Paul Martin lays the groundwork, both will be a far easier sell in general - and, more importantly, the Liberals won't be able to substantially contest the morality of either. Didn't Sun Tzu say something about not stopping the enemy from marching straight into a trap of their own devising?

5 Comments:

Blogger Michael said...

I agree. If we send troups to Iraq, we have to support the troups and the mission. But Mr. Harper can still do that while pointing out the hypocrisy of Martins "Hidden Agenda" comments.

2/06/2005 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger PR said...

I disagree. The Liberal Party has always survived by denouncing its opponents' policies, and then swiftly implementing them once in power. We have to be ruthless, and take it to Martin for his hypocrisy without reference to the issue.

2/06/2005 09:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a dilly of a pickle.

While it would be nice to praise Martin for doing the right thing, it is the height of hypocrisy that Martin is now going to send troops to Iraq after those election ads that tried to scare people by suggesting Harper would have Canadian troops in Iraq like it is a bad thing.

2/06/2005 09:25:00 PM  
Blogger Paul Denton said...

Peter, Anonymous, I agree - but this might be a situation where it's possible to both let Paul Martin be hoist by his own petard and win some support for the CPC doing the right thing, after one of the chief Liberal fearmongering tactics against it is declawed. This could just be win-win for Tories.

2/06/2005 09:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This just drives me nuts. Canada had 30 ground troops and 225 sailors serving with the US in Iraq during the invasion, we have at least 20 still there and a Canadian general is 2ic of III corps in Baghdad right now. Yet the Liberals blandly claim that those troops are not an "Official Canadian Committent" so everyone pretends those troops don't exist. How the @#$%$%!@ do the Liberals get away with this??

2/07/2005 03:02:00 PM  

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