Today in Question Period, the Liberals asked the Prime Minister about the juvenile detainees in Afghanistan. Instead of answering the questions, Harper become quite huffy, turned the issue into a question of patriotism. The Liberals are dishonoring the brave men and women, they should apologize, blah, blah.... This response has become standard government policy, whenever anyone ever dares question any facet of the mission in Afghanistan, and frankly it drives me mad.
If there is anyone who is using the soldiers as political pawns, it is Harper. The disingenuous outrage exhibited today, more an attempt to distract, than to deal, really does a disservice to the necessary role of the opposition, in its parliamentary duty to hold the government accountable. Ignatieff actually cracked- "we will not apologize for doing our jobs, maybe the government could start doing theirs".
In the black and white world that Harper likes to project, you either blindly endorse everything military or you do the traitor's work. This frame is so infuriating because it undercuts honest debate, akin to the American neocons. Somehow, people are less Canadian, less concerned about the troops, less supportive, if they ask serious questions about torture. Harper ups the ante into an entire indictment of every single member of the military, when really this is about a singular issue.
Watching the Prime Minister get irate, waving the flag, is frankly embarrassing and petty. Last time I checked it was the Canadian military, not the sole domain of the Conservative Party. Harper's entire posture is that of someone who has ownership, all others enemies. How entirely lame, how entirely Republican.