Partisan politician first Prime Minister second or third

  Niagara Falls, Ontario,
Thursday, May 17, 2007
by: Joe Hueglin

Stephen Harper was correct in saying in his speech at Petawawa that "political wrangling" had overshadowed military heroics. Unmentioned by him, however, was that the root cause of questioning in the House of Commons by opposition parties and a court case by Amnesty International was ineptitude on the part of his Minister of Defence.

Minister O'Connor as of March 8, 2007 had not rescinded his statement that "The Red Cross or the Red Crescent is responsible to supervise their treatment once the prisoners are in the hands of the Afghan authorities. If there is something wrong with their treatment, the Red Cross or Red Crescent would inform us and we would take action."

There was no error in an opposition Member saying "Either he is woefully ill informed or he is misleading the House. He needs to clear this up".


The opposition was not at fault in focusing on establishing just what protocol was in place for not until May 3rd, a week and a day before Harper's Petawawa speech, was a clear agreement arrived at.

Stephen Harper was invited to speak as the Right Honourable the Prime Minister of Canada to the families, friends and comrades of those who have given their lives and those who daily face that threat in far off Afghanistan. Rather than this, he spoke to them dishonourably as Leader of the New Government of Canada. He cast aspersions on his political opponents by choosing to introduce partisan half truths into his speech rather than focusing on the purpose of the gathering: assuring those in Afghanistan and preparing to go there that, while there are those opposing the mission they are carrying out, all Canadians hold them in high regard.


Joe Hueglin

Panetta, Alexander, Military heroics overshadowed by political wrangling over prisoneers: Harper (pdf) May 11, 2007, Canadian Press

Koring, Paul, Red Cross contradicts Ottawa on detainees (pdf) March 8, 2007, Toronto Globe and Mail News Staff, Canada signs new prisoner transfer agreement (pdf) May 3, 2007, CTV News


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