Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Shifting Focus

It's hard to keep up with all of the nonsense that the Harper government dishes out on a daily basis.

I almost forgot about this one. Yes, we're "shifting focus" in Afghanistan. It turns that, after all, we weren't doing a whole lot of reconstructing in Afghanistan! No, we were actually so busy taking care of the "security situation" that we didn't have time to build anything.

The "security situation" is, naturally, a euphemism for "clearing the way for an oil pipeline". In some senses, I imagine that the people who make these decisions really believe the term "security situation". Once there's oil flowing through the country, the Afghan government will get their pittance of a commission and then there's "security" for everyone.

What it really means is that we've been lied to. Our military wasn't being used to help rebuild Afghanistan. It was being used to suppress the people in Afghanistan who don't want to play ball with the oil companies.

Next up, we have Harper's announcement of "Renewal" of the Canadian military. That sounds exciting and progressive, doesn't it? That word "Renewal"?
If Canada wants to be taken seriously on the world stage, he said, it has to rebuild the military's ability to act decisively at home and globally.
Really? That's interesting. When Lester Pearson won the Nobel Peace Prize for creating the international institution now called "Peacekeeping", was it because Canada had a lot of military hardware?

When Lloyd Axworthy found a way to skirt the American veto and get almost every other nation in the world to sign a land mine treaty, was it because Canada had a large military?
Mr. Harper said the spending plan will ensure Canada can meet its commitments.
Commitments? What an odd term. What have we committed, and to whom? And a better question yet is this: what the hell are you planning to do with this renewed Canadian Military? Besides a commitment to defend the northern ice floes, I don't see anything in any of his or McKay's statements telling us why, precisely, we need this enlarged military. There's just this telling quote:
"Otherwise, you forfeit your right to be a player," he said. "You are the one chattering on the sidelines that everyone smiles at but nobody listens to."
What is this, a macho thing? Mr. Prime Minister, do you feel the need to be a player?

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