It's been an interesting couple of days watching Obama methodically dismantle what Bush and co. put in place. It won't all happen overnight of course, but still, it's heartening to see that country with some adults in charge at last. In fact, I suspect that relief is being felt in most quarters and that 'sense' is going to migrate across our border. I mentioned this a while back, but it was more difficult to see. I think it will become clearer with time.
Yesterday I watched the civil service that will be reporting to Hillary Clinton greet her on her first day. It was remarkable really to see so many people cheer and express absolute delight at her arrival and her brief comments concerning how things were going to change. Far from vindicating those who would claim that the civil service is all 'left' leaning, I think their reaction was based on knowing that their country will once again abide by the rule of law and regain some credibility in the world.
Similarly, when Obama passed the executive order to end torture, end the phony trials at Guantanamo and finally close it, there was a sigh of relief around the world. Except here. Well, more specifically, that relief was not shared by Harper.
No, it would seem that Harper is oblivious to what is right, let alone aware of the shift that is occurring. I find that odd really, because for all my dislike of his policies, I've never thought him to be a stupid man and still don't. So, if he's not stupid, why would he maintain his ridiculous stance re' Omar Khadr? Why wouldn't he recognise that we are the odd country out in putting any faith, whatsoever, into the process developed for Guantanamo?
In my view, it's because he's an ideologue. All the nasty language and rhetoric that comes from his back benchers when the adults are trying to discuss serious issues has never been stifled by him. To the contrary. If he's not making idiotic proclamations himself, he's inciting them. Here's his most recent claim about Guantanamo and Khadr:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Friday he rejects the premise that Omar Khadr was a "child soldier" because the young Canadian was not a member of an army when he was accused a lobbing a grenade that killed a U.S. soldier.
Really? This is the stance that the Government of Canada is taking as it relates to Khadr? After flouting parliamentary procedure and making up the rules as he goes along as it relates to running the government, he becomes pedantic on this important issue? Really?
He goes on:
Harper said he shares Obama's concerns about the military process at Guantanamo Bay, but that doesn't mean Khadr is not being treated fairly.
"Everybody is concerned about that process," Harper said. "The biggest concern about Guantanamo Bay is that most of the people there weren't charged with anything and weren't facing any kind of legal process. That is not the case with Mr. Khadr and, obviously, we have to see what the U.S. is going to do in terms of moving forward on that."
Wow. He really doesn't get it does he?
I suppose I should take some comfort in the fact that the real Harper will now stand out a bit more. This because there are no other leaders with their groups on the airwaves making similar noises. I think it was easy for some of his ideology to get lost in the mix because the chorus was being sung by so many choirs. Now that he's alone for the most part, his voice will be discordant.
Perhaps as a result, more Canadians will take the real measure of the man and we'll finally be rid of him.