Monday, November 30, 2009

The Conservative tangled Afghanistan web

Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive!
Sir Walter Scott, Marmion, Canto vi. Stanza 17
Between sharing an office with another consultant and the start of ski season, it has been hard to find time to blog lately. Even with regards the Afghan scandal. This has been especially hard given the self-incriminating actions of the Conservatives. Luckily there are lots of good bloggers handling the case. Heck, even a Harper Hagiographer has recognized the Conservative trash talk.

What I have been speculating on is: Why? Why would they do something this stupid. Why expose themselves to this?

I have my suspicions that this was all tied up in the drive to paint Harper as the Great Leader. From the moment of taking office the Conservatives worked on portraying Harper as a War Prime Minister, much as Rove framed Bush as a War President. Stephen Harper - strong, confident and manly. A Leader. Graham/Dion - weak, vacillating and effeminate. Not A Leader.

The Afghanistan intervention served Harper's purpose. Harper needed a war. And it had to be a "just" war. A "heroic" war with a newly muscular Canada marching as one behind Harper to deliver Afghanistan from itself.

Any hints that Canadians were a party to torture, even at arms length, ruined the narrative. Allegations that prisoners turned over to Afghan authorities were tortured had to be suppressed.

But truth will out. Now they are tangled up in their web of deceit and it looks good on them. If only innocent people didn't have to suffer.
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