Friday, December 28, 2007

Speaking Out

Harper made the most cursory of statements yesterday:

"On behalf of the people of Canada, I want to express my sincere condolences to the families of Mrs. Bhutto, as well as to those of the other innocent victims today, and to the people of Pakistan.We condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms. This was an abhorrent act of terror. We hope that the government of Pakistan will act to bring the perpetrators to justice and this cannot be allowed to permit any delay in the return of Pakistan to full democracy, something the people of Pakistan have been waiting for far too long."

To begin with, return Pakistan to full democracy? What period of time is he speaking of?

That aside, that comment was difficult to find. It's not on the government web-site that I can find, no that's a pic of the PM and his family, still wishing us a Merry Christmas. It is on the Con site, but it's not obvious. You have to go to the press tab to find it. Christmas is still going on apparently and Stephane Dion seems to be more important than Harper on that site.

Anyway, it's quite obvious that much more must be said about what happened yesterday, today, and what the likely outcome might be.

Obviously things are tense in Pakistan but they are also not calm here at home. In the comments section of my last post, Mushroom raised a good point and that is we need to start speaking out.

It would appear that we have, in the Liberal party at least.

Musharraf 'ineffective' in curbing extremism: Rae

Federal Liberal foreign affairs critic Bob Rae said it's hardly a secret that the Taliban's military strength, education, funding and ideological lifeblood all come from northwestern Pakistan.

He said the international community must wake up and appreciate the implications of Bhutto's killing and the instability it has sparked in the region.

"We now clearly have a government which, as well as being highly repressive, has also proved to been singularly ineffective in its own efforts to deal with extremism."
Rae said Canada must look beyond its military role in Afghanistan and join diplomatic efforts to make the region stable.

The article goes on to say that Harper offered assistance in finding out who carried out the assassination, but I've yet to find that comment anywhere and on it's own it means very little.

I cannot find a quote I heard yesterday by Dion either. He suggested that an international body should investigate the assassination. While I think it will change little in terms of what we actually learn, it may establish some calm. Obviously Musharraf investigating this will only fuel the fire that is lit and roaring. If Musharraf is open to having an international body look at the affair, unrest may calm down a bit.

Just look at how many times the story has changed on how she died today. Gunshot... to knocking her head on a lever. A) It's irrelevant as the cause remains constant, B) It's evidence that nothing in this country's leadership is cohesive.

This is a bit off the topic, but I do not know the answer. Did everyone in her car die? If not, surely they witnessed her death and perhaps the cause. I presume they are in hospital and will speak when they can. If they all die, obviously there are more questions.

Back to the point. There are obvious problems in Pakistan. There are problems in terms of how the Musharraf government has been complicit in inciting jihad in Afghanistan and what disturbs me the most perhaps is how this concept is being developed in the west, because we attempt to impose our definition of democracy in countries where that concept is reviled.

Bravo to Rae for speaking out. That tells me that the Lib's are not afraid to confront this issue.

The Con's on the other hand seem to be reluctant to take a stance, unless of course it marries the Bush stance.

It's time to oust Harper. He's leading this country into a place we've never been and to a place we do not want to go.

Update: What the hell is this about? If it's behind a firewall, let me know. I'll copy it in comments.

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