Wednesday, July 15, 2009

They Just Can't Help Themselves

There's a terrific article in Embassy Magazine today about Stephen Harper's unfortunate and embarrassing habit of using the international stage to engage in petty partisan attacks.

Journalist and author Andrew Cohen suggests Mr. Harper's performance and press coverage from the G8 may reflect Canada's diminished role in the world. Mr. Cohen questions what international issue Mr. Harper has associated himself and Canada with, and said it is not clear what it is that Canada is contributing.

"What struck me about this is that he was relentlessly and unnecessarily partisan," Mr. Cohen said. "And you wonder why he did it; it doesn't help him internationally and it doesn't help him at why did he do it? Maybe because he just can't help himself.

And then there's this piece on today's damning SIR committee report on CSIS's actions regarding Omar Khadr. The report essentially accuses CSIS of turning a blind eye to human rights abuses at Gitmo, and of treating Khadr like an adult when even one of their own agents acknowledged that he had the demeanour of a child.

He wrote that Khadr viewed the activities of his father "through the eyes of a child."

"It should be noted that (Khadr) was 15 years of age when captured, and most of the critical years in his father's association with Al Qaeda figures took place when he was merely a child," wrote the agent.

And the government's reaction?

A spokesperson for Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan said that the government is "reviewing the SIRC report with interest."

"As you know, it deals with events that took place under the previous Liberal Government," noted spokesperson Chris McCluskey.


Once - just once - I would love for an entire 48 hours to go by without some representative of Canada's New Government referencing Canada's Old Government or the current opposition. Just once, I would like to go for a whole week without feeling embarrassed for my country.

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