afghanistan, Consevatives, politics, Stephen Harper

Low for even Stephen Harper

“I can understand the passion that the leader of the Opposition and members of his party feel for the Taliban prisoners,” Harper said. “I just wish occasionally they would show the same passion for Canadian soldiers.”

– from the CBC report

Either Stephen Harper thinks the Canadian people are idiots or he himself is one, there is no other interpretation of a remark like this. Reducing complex issues to “fer us er agin us” statements is dangerously stupid.

Set aside the moral argument about whether it’s A-OK to participate in or condone torture, it is simply not effective when the war is being fought to pacify a population. Just in case it’s not us that are the stupid ones, I’ll spell it out as clearly and simply as I can for Mr. Harper: when our troops or our allies mistreat foreign prisoners, it creates more hostility and more enemies, not less.

It will serve only to make the war longer, which benefits no one except those that like to use war as a reason to wrap themselves in a flag and make simplistic statements to cover their own inadequacies. So please, Mr. Harper, set aside aside your faux concern for the troops, we see it for the bullshit that it is.

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6 thoughts on “Low for even Stephen Harper

  1. If I noticed one thing during my years in the military it was that politicians of all stripes love to wave their concern for our well-being and morale in public. The higher the flag pole the better. Very few of us actually believe them but if it gets us armored vehicles or even rain gear that keeps us dry (boy, do I ever wish that was a made-up example) we’ll sit still for it. It’s not like they ever check with us anyway. In any case,let’s not forget that back in the eighties, when barbequeing service members on parliment’s front lawn would get you votes, the conservatives were as happy as the ndp to roast a few of us. I’ve no doubt that Harper will be just as happy to throw the Canadian Forces to the winds if those winds should happen to change.

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  2. Can anyone in their right mind not have finally come to the conclusion that Steve is trying to be George Dubya Bush Lite?
    Der Harpenfuehrer is relying quite heavily on his ability to buy off any opposition, at least in the provinces that matter.
    I’d get more angry, but I’m so mired in this ‘culture of defeat’…

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  3. Doug makes a great point – Harper is just the most recent in a long line of politicos willing to use the military to advantage. The problem is that he, like Bush au sud, is doing so at a time in which they are fighting an ill-defined war and getting killed doing so.

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  4. Kev, I think that the only real difference between times of peace and the current situation is that it gives politicians more chances to climb up on that tank and wave some some flags for their own benefit (or to pour gasoline on it, if the winds of public opinion would prefer). I think that what galls me the most is that military members are prevented,by both long custom and military regulation, from voicing their own opinions in public, so that while we may recognize the positive things coming from parliment as transitory but will take them anyway for as long as they last, we have to shut up when the budget is being slashed, we can’t get proper kit to train with and half the MPs in Canada are calling us a drain on social programs that haven’t even been developed yet. Harper wrapping himself in the flag at the opposition parties expense isn’t surprising. It was done in a bone-headed manner though and I remain convinced that like most politicians he’ll turn on us the moment the polls tell him it’ll get him three extra votes.

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  5. I think that what galls me the most is that military members are prevented,by both long custom and military regulation, from voicing their own opinions in public

    I understand why discipline in the ranks (both commissioned and non-commissioned) is required, but this really is too bad. It took reports of lower ranking members on the west coast showing up regularly at soup kitchens before the pay issues began to be looked at seriously. Christ, there is no reason in the world that this should happen. If we need to have a military, and as much as I would like to think we don’t, we do, then let’s keep it small enough that it can be adequately financed.

    And let’s use it sensibly, and hopefully rarely.

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  6. It is the strangest thing how many lowbrow Conservatives show this mean streak that Harper breaks out in, much like a skin rash. Can’t be stopped, not easy to explain. A clue might be that for years he was fond of Quoting Edmund Burke, a really nasty bombastic toady who use to bore the near empty benches of the House of Commons in UK with 2 day speechs. He once ran for Parliament and won, then told his electors he would ignore them and vote as he pleased, remarks that are often quoted but conduct that is rarely emulated. You can see what happens when you talk like that by watching Emerson. Anyhow, after that speech Burke lost the next election, to no one’s surprise but his own, this thoroughly scared nobody, for such he was, looked about for a safe seat as a landlord’s stooge in what was called a “rotten burrough” a seat owned by a Landlord. These old money and aristo cratic types were comfortable enough to develop delisions of grandure as you can see over in the old country from their big houses. So their spokesmen in Parliament could indulge themselves in pretty high sounding rhetoric, but behind it was naked fear: what do I do if the boss is gone or does not like me anymore!. Some people like the sound of that stuff which Burke produced by the ton. So it is no surprise that he ferociously attacked the French Revolution since what the French were doing was exactly what such a servant would most fear: finishing off the masters. So you have this strange contradiction, high sounding talk coupled with really mean and fearful hatreds. Since then Harper has turned, more and more, for his basic tune, to a much worse, character, Leo Strauss, a real stripped down mean power grabber. His idea is way past Burke. He said ,not very clearly but surely, all the people except me and my pals are dopes so feed them big lies that sound grand and terrify the living daylights out of them with war talk, then you can do what you please. That is what Harper is doing, is it not?
    Big question, will it work?

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