Monday, August 18, 2008

Politicians Say the Darndest Things

In response to the threats of retaliation from the Taliban, we have some very exciting comments from our politicians.

Peter McKay was disgusted:
This letter is a disgusting attempt to justify the deliberate killings of innocent civilians. There is no justification for these killings by the Taliban

That's true, but entirely beside the point. The Taliban are going to kill Canadian civilians in response to our killing of them and the civilians near them. Of course it's disgusting. You're fighting evil, theocratic despots. What precisely were you expecting?
Canada is in Afghanistan at the request of the democratically elected government of that country.

Well, that's simply false. Hamid Karzai and his bunch were put in place by a loya jirga acting under the expressed wishes of the American government. There was no general election, just a sort of "council of warlords". Democracy it is not.

Harper's communication direction tells us that this is "Taliban propaganda" which is also untrue. "Propaganda" is taken to mean "lies told for a political goal". The Taliban aren't lying, they're just promising to kill our civilians if we keep fighting in Afghanistan. "Taliban threats" would be more accurate. But maybe the intricacies of English aren't their strong suit.

The NDP chimed in with this from Dawn Black:
Of course, it's a very chilling situation and a rather dramatic example of the deteriorating security situation. There can be no justification, ever, for killing innocent aid workers.

Of course there are justifications for killing innocent people. We justify it all the time with all sorts of excuses (collateral damage, caught in the crossfire, human shields, bomb the village to save it, better dead than red). I can even imagine some really, really strange circumstances where killing an innocent person might be warranted in very specific situations (say, a virulent disease outbreak).

Everyone here is missing the point: are we willing to die to bring freedom to the oppressed people of Afghanistan? Are we willing to make sure that that's what we're doing in Afghanistan?

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