Monday, April 14, 2008

Harpie cleans up after his Foreign Affairs Minister

Interesting report from CP with Harper defending Bernier's boneheaded comments today: "Bernier comments on Kandahar governor not related to Canadian mission." That's the lipstick Harper is putting on this pig of a "misspeak" from his brilliant Foreign Affairs Minister. And it's quite strange. Harper appears to be suggesting that Canada is just there for the military mission, that's it. So Bernier's comments on governance in Afghanistan are irrelevant. How does that work, Mr. Harper? Do the military not deal with Afghan officials on a regular basis?
Prime Minister Stephen Harper says remarks made by his foreign affairs minister about the governor of Kandahar have nothing to do with Canada's mission in Afghanistan.

Speaking in Winnipeg, Harper also said Maxime Bernier has clarified the comments he made and doesn't need to step down.

Bernier effectively called for the ouster of the controversial governor when talking with reporters at the end of his visit to Kandahar.

He subsequently issued a statement saying that Canada respects Afghanistan's sovereignty and stating he wasn't trying to tell Afghan President Hamid Karzai what to do.

Harper says the two countries discuss matters of governance from time to time, but that's different from any talks about Canada's military role in Afghanistan.
Oh, I see. Harpie is assuring us that the military's operations in Afghanistan can be completely divorced from the Afghan officials who interact with the Canadian military on a daily basis. No basis for that, but he's got to say something I suppose. And note how it's all about the military to Harper. As in none of the development efforts get any mention when he speaks about how such comments might affect Canada's mission.

Here's the Globe's report:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper defended Mr. Bernier, saying it was a misunderstanding that wouldn't have an impact on Canadian military operations in Afghanistan.

“Minister Bernier very quickly corrected the misimpression that had been left from some earlier comments," Mr. Harper told reporters in Winnipeg. "We have talked to the government of Afghanistan from time to time about concerns on the performance of that government and we will continue to talk to them from time to time.”
See, it's all a harmless "misimpression."

Well, out of this embarrassment, at least we can say we learned a new word today.