March 07, 2006

Politics: Red Flag Time

Few things have infuriated me more than watching politicos down south give sound bites instead of answers when it comes to debate. Specifically, the concept that somehow questioning things is "wrong in a time of war", as if there would ever be a more appropriate time to examine choices not only already made but being made currently. Is there a more important time than when lives are at stake? Possibly, but I would take one hell of a lot of convincing. The very idea that certain questions, whatever those questions may be, must not be asked is an affront to the very concept of democracy. The only thing that could make it worse would be if those opposed to such questions could somehow at the same time give us a patronizing pat on the head with a "It's for your own good" speech.

For those following Canadian politics, you probably know where I'm going with this.

"A debate on whether Canadian troops should be in Afghanistan would put the troops in danger, and any attempt to pull them back would be a betrayal, says Prime Minister Stephen Harper."

-CBC, March 07 2006

Just in case you've been under a rock for the past five years, this is the exact same tactic used by the politicos and pundicrats in the US who are in favour of the Iraq war, without wanting to justify said war in any way. It's a simple ad hominem attack, in much the same vein as "Why do you hate America?" and "Critics love the terrorists!".

If that wasn't bad enough, see if you can remember where have you heard this little gem before:

"I'm saying that Canadians don't cut and run at the first sign of trouble," he told reporters.

"Cut and Run"? Cut and run?? Are you KIDDING me? Does Republican National Committee leader Ken Mehlman's fax machine run a line to Ottawa now?

In any case, I simply do not see where debating our military commitment "hurts the troops" in any way, shape or form. Perhaps if, after the debate, it was decided that the troops should stay, but their equipment would be brought home; or maybe they'd have to go blindfolded every second Sunday or something. Frankly, I don't actually think our military forces are such pussies that they'd stop doing their job because we're making sure that what that job is stays in focus! Now, my personal opinion? I'm in favour of the troops being in Afghanistan. Whether Afghanistan can be considered a single country, or even should be a country, may well be a point of debate.

But to try to prevent any debate at all shouldn't have even be considered.


posted by Thursday at 8:50 pm


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