Thursday, September 6, 2007
When it has come to trumpeting the cause of war, Christine Blatchford has taken it to a new level among Canadian journalists. In many ways, her coverage of the Afghanistan mission for the Globe & Mail has elevated the readers' sense of the conflicted situation in the country where invaders always lose.
Although she isn't quite the 'pro-war celebrator' that some in the US proved to be for Iraq, Blatchford has consistently condemned the role of the opposition to question and challenge the government on its place and proposal for our men and women fighting alongside the Afghan National Police.
In Wednesday's paper, however, she kind of snapped, beginning another 'get behind the boys' blast with "I left Kandahar yesterday for the fourth time in 18 months. For the first time, I left filled with shame."
The 'shame' apparently is directed at the opposition that doesn't see the mission as clearly as Ms Blatchford. Apparently only her personal regular attention to the case is worthy of constructive denouement; while the situation on the ground has been compared in recent days as 'one foot forward, two feet back', she has the clear-headedness to see that only Canada and a one-hundred percent support of whatever the generals are mapping out in the backroom is good enough for our fighters.
Sorry to disagree, but the first question I have is: since when is the Opposition setting the tone on this mission? With only one reference of Stephen Harper, Blatchford has seemingly forgotten the trepid situation our Prime Minister sits in. His main mantra and life purpose the past 12 months has been trimming the tree for a majority. The Opposition was fairly clear on a number of issues that it didn't like what was happening -- the softwood lumber agreement, the gov't's Green Plan, and Afghanistan. All have been framed by Harper at one time or another, as a tool to bully the weakened and exhausted opposition forces to back down. Afghanistan has been and continues to be a case of the PM's club. Because Harper 'doesn't react to polls', the latest signal from our so-called leader's righthand man is that the combat part of our mission will not be extended. Not that he's reading any poll, mind you, but hey if its a majority he wants, that's exactly what the polls would be telling him, right? Which would not make him a leader, either.
While Stephane Dion remains adamant in supporting an end to the combat portion of this meeting by the 2009 extension date, and Jack Layton remains adamant about withdrawing immediately, it is the PM that sets the tone and direction, if he so chooses.
But then, he has consistently tried to follow the Republican blueprint with constant missteps. And there is where Blatchford should put most of her blame. Canadians are possibly more acutely aware of what's happening around them than most nations. They've followed closely the ugly, virtually treasonist acts of an American administration that would demand impeachment for a President that lied about cheating on his wife, but turn a blind eye, nay, even cheer on, a President who calls for the invasion and mass bombing of a country under false pretenses. The press, Blatchford's cousins, joined the cheering masses in the rush to war.
Harper also joined that march.
Does Ms Blatchford have any time to dig into Harper's motivation behind that move?
But having witnessed the quagmire down south, is it no doubt that Canadians, when faced with a situation where American forces should truly be the leading forces but instead have made it a third ring to their circus, are skeptical and hesitant to trumpet a longer investment in both Canadian lives and time?
Dion nor Layton are setting the agenda here. Blatchford should ask the man who pretends to lead just why he's changing direction -- could it be that he so preciously wants the Quebec voter on his side that he's willing to sell the last vestiges of a soul for it?
After more than 60 soldiers from various regiments died for the cause, why after just a couple from Quebec's Vandoos has the government suddenly decided to follow the opposition's lead?
Who is holding this government, it's leader who refuses to face questions, to answer? That is a shame you can do something about, Ms Blatchford.