The ignoble contents of this piffle provide a case in point. Mr. Gerstein whines:
Stéphane Dion is a risk to our reputation around the world with his reckless suggestions of bringing the Taliban to Canada and NATO invading Pakistan. We can't go back.The "back" that Gerstein wants us to dread so deeply is, we assume, the pre-Harper foreign policy era--before Canada endorsed child torture, before we turned POW's over to a corrupt Afghan regime for more torture, before we ran away from our every significant environmental obligation, and before the world began to have to get our attention by tapping us on the shoulder while we kneel before the open zipper of the White House. Yes indeed, Mr. Gerstein: thank God that sad chapter is closed.
Gerstein's glib jab about "bringing the Taliban to Canada" would appear to be a swipe at Stephane Dion's suggestion that Taliban detainees could be brought to Canada for internment, an utterly outrageous idea that was, oddly, considered good enough by Canadians during the Second World War, during which approximately 40 000 Axis POW's were imprisoned on Canadian soil, including members of the notorious Hitlerjugend SS Panzer Division, arguably the most fanatical and savage warriors Hitler's war machine produced.
Gerstein's stupidity reaches heroic levels, though, in his denunciation of Dion's "reckless" suggestion that NATO should invade Pakistan. Gerstein is referring to Dion's stated view that NATO might have to intervene in Pakistan, given that the country seems unable or unwilling to police its Afghan border. Dion insisted he meant a "diplomatic" intervention (whatever that is), so Gerstein's allegation is hysterical, at best, though it was repeated and exploited by a number of Blogging Tory lemmings. CPC MP Jason Kenney called Dion's views a "descent into amateur hour".
Someone needs to remind CPC apparatchiks that they really ought to read the news, if only to keep in touch with the reality that they seek to distort. The day after Harper dropped the writ, a U.S. attack on Pakistani soil claimed at least twenty-three lives, most of them women and children. This attack was later confirmed to have been authorised by the President himself. As the story tells us, the most recent attack was part of a new American strategy of operating within Pakistan's borders without the nation's consent:
U.S.-led forces have stepped up cross-border attacks against al Qaeda and Taliban targets in Pakistani tribal areas. Helicopter-borne commandos carried out a ground assault in South Waziristan last week, the first known incursion into Pakistan by U.S. troops since the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, killing 20 people, including women and children...The U.S. commando raid and repeated territorial violations aroused anger in Pakistan, prompting the government to partially block supply lines to Western forces in landlocked Afghanistan.This is astonishing. A CPC operative announces that allowing NATO to operate within Pakistan would amount to an "invasion", an act of fatal recklessness, and that Canadians must do everything in their power to defeat a leader who advocates such a thing. Concurrently, we learn that the White House, the effective executive authority of the Afghan mission in which Canadian soldiers are engaged and the very embodiment of all that is right and noble for the CPC and their acolytes, has been doing precisely what the CPC tells us is unthinkably stupid.
Have I missed something? Have you read that Stephen Harper has announced his dismay at this worrying development and demanded that NATO pull back from Pakistan and respect its territorial integrity? I have not, and I'm at a loss as to how to explain this glaring incoherence.
Is it that the CPC really believed that invading Pakistan would eventually become necessary, but (with typical cynicism) merely wanted to nail Dion for uttering an unpopular notion that it also happened to believe to be true? Is it that an idea, no matter how preposterous and dangerous, becomes perfectly acceptable as soon as it is espoused by Americans? Perhaps the CPC feels that, while it is fine for Americans to protect their own troops by rooting out the Taliban bases in Pakistan, Canadian troops should not be allowed that privilege but are, instead, best employed as the good little dumb-Canuck sitting ducks that Americans think we are.
I hope one of my CPC-friendly readers is able to give me some insight into how the party could manage to extricate its feet from this self-shat pile. I should also like to hear opinions about which path their party should take from here: should it apologise to Dion for ripping him apart over a tactic that the CPC's own heroes and the de facto commanders of the Canadian Afghan contingent are already using, or should it pressure its leader to advise George W. Bush of the "recklessness" of his Pakistani incursions and to demand an immediate halt to them?
Frankly, I think both gestures are in order.