Sunday, February 14, 2010

Harper Will Interrupt Relief Efforts To Bolster Political Fortunes

Time to call a spade a spade, and stop with niceties surrounding benefit of the doubt. There is NO need for Stephen "sudden humanitarian" Harper to travel to Haiti tomorrow. With resources scare, time of the essence, it's hard to justify the misdirection of focus just so Harper can get his picture taken with rubble as a backdrop, the look of concern beamed back to Canadians:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who has made relief and reconstruction for Haiti a major cause for his government, will travel to the earthquake-ravaged nation on Monday to see the recovery efforts firsthand.

His visit comes as international efforts to aid Haiti, still struggling to provide basics like food and shelter and sweep rubble from roads, increasingly look ahead to the task of rebuilding the poorest nation in the Americas almost from scratch.

The KEY line:
Mr. Harper will not be the first foreign leader to visit Haiti since the earthquake

Why will Harper be the first? Probably because this human tragedy doesn't lend itself to taking PEOPLE from the field to CO-ORDINATE and PROTECT a foreign delegation of this scale. I'm curious how many soldiers have spent the last few days wasting time preparing for Harper's visit? I'd like to know the cost of said visit, and WONDER ALOUD if this money isn't better allocated? I'm watching with interest to see how many ground commanders and personnel are removed from their important work so Harper can express his concern and TOUR the devastation?

This is the kind of trip that nobody in the media dares question, we are supposed to just assume the best and the coverage will be mild to overtly positive. That sentiment doesn't detract from the inherent truth surrounding this trip- it's a political calculation, that sees opportunity in the face of tragedy.

The rest of the world's politicos aren't rushing to Haiti, everybody appreciates the challenge, there is no need for "first hand" viewing. Nobody needs to see Harper lavishing praise on the "brave men and women", speaking to a few token refugees, basically being his awkward, socially challenged self, trying to look the concerned world citizen. I'm sure he'll be humbled, sobered, somber, patriotic and resolute. I'm also sure that the true reason for his visit will have nothing to do with anything presented while there. That's a fact jack.


bubba said...

the troups there have been doing hard stressfull work. A visit from the prime minister may help many of them get through the mission.I hope this is his thought process. You are entitled to your thoughts but I suspect the truth is somewhere between. The Government has been excellent on this file.

Steve V said...

Yes, without Harper's cold handshake and social misfit interaction, I'm sure the troops would fold.


Gene Rayburn said...

oh bubba, I think I barfed a little from your schmaltz.

Steve V said...

Baaa, baaa.

bubba said...

say what u want but PMSH is admired by the troupes big time. The "Decade of Darkness is over" I think we actually were able to fly our own troupes this time. Were the Libs in charge our thumbs may still be in the air.

fern hill said...

This spade is called photo-opportunism.

Also despicable.

utterlyuseless said...

bubba.......if the troops need inspiration, they will find it very day from each other and from the gut wrenching heroic work they are doing. Puffy Steve coming along with a pat on the back and a photo op will be seen as that. Nice spin but the members of our Services know exactly what they are doing and do not need the barfbag that is our PM stepping in for purely opportunistic reasons.

bubba said...

I know it Kills many Liberal supporters to admit it but without the recent Military investment initiated by PMSH and this Gov't. A lot of this great work would not be happening. That is a fact.You know it I know it and the troups know it.What % of military vote liberal if it is over 15% i would be shocked.

Billy said...

Long before we sent our troops to kill they were recognized as keepers of the peace. They would have been there regardless and performing heroically. From a "decade of darkness" to a decade of killing? That is not a record to be proud of. Soldiers do what we ask of them. It is those asking like Harper who bring shame to our traditions. Serving in Haiti is their mission, Harper's shameless opportunistic photo op is a disgrace and should be seen for what it is. Perhaps he is preparing the Governor General to rule in favour of another attack on our democratic traditions.

ottlib said...

Oh c'mon now give the man a break.

He is desperately trying to find someplace where he does not need to worry about people protesting his proroguing the House and I think he might have finally found it.

bubba said...

bill, Canadian soldiers have been the best at whatever is asked of them for a long time. When it is time to kill they kill. Some peace came because of canadians that were ordered and willing to kill.When you are horribly under funded your choices become limited.The decade was dark because people around the world needed us and we could not respond we left them to their own devices. If you sleep better thinking a hug will keep evil at bay . then I do not want you protecting my family.

Steve V said...

Great nic choice, says so much.

CanNurse said...

Harper is going for a Photo Op or two (wait for it... he will be photographed with poor Haitian children with big eyes, who will have no choice). He thought his photo ops were at the Olympics, but he's not getting any attention there, what with the athletes, bigwigs & all. He's getting desperate & hoping his "humanitarian" act will swing voters to his side. Too bad Bubba is buying it.

Jerry Prager said...

DART was created in 1996, not a year of Conservative rule.

Gene Rayburn said...

"When you are horribly under funded your choices become limited."

Does that mean give em money so they can kill bubba?

Jeez, man no wonder you're vote is so easily bought. Not a lot going on upstairs huh?

kitt said...

bubba, try as much as you like but you never will be able to rewrite history....nor will your Dear Leader. Kinda reminds me of Dubya Bush and his photo-ops.

JimBobby said...

Two years ago, Haitians were rioting for food and eating dirt patties to fill their empty bellies.

The food shortage was spurred by high commodities prices which the World Bank attributed mainly to biofuels. Canada was riding high on a crest of grain prices and federal and provincial "environmental" policies mandated 5% - 10% ethanol content for motor fuel. Harper and McGuinty denied the effect of their policies on world markets and thousands starved.

Today, the situation is compounded by the quake. Desperate reports from those on the ground are reveling a situation where food and water are stockpiled and people are starving.

They don't need Stephen Harper or Angelina Jolie or John Travolta scrambling for self-serving photo-ops. Harper can manage things just as well from Ottawa or Vancouver. If the troops need bolstering, he can do it video.

What are Harper's qualifications regarding the delivery of disaster relief? Do his medical qualifications go beyond his expertise in nuclear medicine? Where was he when they were eating dirt?

Haiti is headed for more grief. Their planting season begins in March and by all accounts, they need seeds, fertilizer, agricultural equipment and expertise to avert yet another round of starvation and desperation. Yet, little of this type of aid is reaching Haiti.

The first reports of Harper's trip said he would be sleeping inside the Canadian embassy and reporters should be prepared to sleep in tents outside the building. After a bit of negative reaction to the photo op started cropping up, the PMO quickly came out with new details. Harper will be flying in on an aid transport plane (read: white horse) and sleeping aboard a Canadian battleship anchored offshore.

If only our pandering news media would simply refuse to send anyone to cover this obvious play for approval. If only...

CathiefromCanada said...

It is interesting to see how Harper has also latched on to our popular Governor General, hasn't he?
When is her term up? I wouldn't imagine he would dare to not reappoint her now, though of course we can always trust Harper to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
While I don't necessarily fault him for going to Haiti, which could also have the goal of increasing donations by getting Haiti back into the Canadian news, the hope of getting some positive press coverage for Harper is always a consideration by this PMO.

RuralSandi said...

Good grief - bubba tooting the military when he can't even spell "troupes"????

bubba - it's TROOPS.

By the way, the troops are very experienced and trained for relief work - they truly don't need Harper to take away from their work.

The so-called 10 years of darkness - too funny. Hillier couldn't say enough good things about Bill Graham when Hillier was appointed by the Liberals. Then he decided to do the schmooze thing for Harper.

Fact: Trudeau spent more on the military than any other PM.
Fact: Mulroney had his so-called White Papers with promises to build up the military but didn't come through.
Fact: When the Liberals came to power there wasn't the money. We were losing our credit rating - meaning we couldn't borrow money.

I get sick and tired of people like bubba (who obviously doesn't know what he's talking about) spewing talking points instead of facts. I think bubba wets his pants everytime he thinks of Harper.

Harper helping them get through the mission? Are you kidding. Harper going to pick up shovel, hand out some food and water?

It makes me sick that Harper is using Haiti to try to pick up in the polls.

Malcolm Barry said...

I am certain if the Media printed what they really thought of Harpers visit, the PMO's would be extremely harsh on them. Politics being what it is and the fragile position the Govt. is in, they will do anything if they believe it helps the poll numbers. Cynical but true.

Holly Stick said...

The troops may or may not like Harper, but the troupes despise him.

Didn't Bush do something similar after Katrina, where they flew in a bunch of stuff, electrical generators or something, took a few photos of him, then packed it all up and took it away again?

first wv = kinglard, I kid you not!