Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Make 'em wear it

A quick note about Question Period earlier today. Dion led off with questions about Canadian citizen Omar Khadr's imminent "trial" at Gitmo. And why the Prime Minister has been delinquent, in comparison to all other Western nations, in getting our lone citizen out of that mockery of justice.
Liberal Leader Stephane Dion on Wednesday demanded to know why the government has not called for the Canadian citizen's return like other Western nations have with their citizens.

"It's the freedom of a Canadian citizen that's at stake," Dion said during question period in the House of Commons.

"Why is the prime minister refusing to demand the return of a Canadian citizen?"

Harper's response to questions about the child soldier's fate was similar to answers he has been given about his government's handling of election tactics, environmental policies, and bureaucratic issues -- he said the previous government was no different. Harper said the Liberals did not do anything to help Khadr when they were in power.

"The only thing that has changed is that in 2006 Canadians changed governments," Harper said.

Harper said Khadr, who was taken by his father to war-torn Afghanistan as a child, faces serious charges.
Note Harper's dispassionate non-responses, as usual, pointing the finger back at the Liberals and repeating the obvious, Khadr faces serious charges. No kidding? No one's asking for Khadr to be released in Canada, they're asking for a transfer to the Canadian justice system, just as all other western nation citizens have received.

Leading off with this line today seemed to me a better strategy than the access to information line of questioning from yesterday. The Khadr story is an effective way of framing the Conservatives as subservient to misguided American efforts in their so-called global war on terror. Blind allegiance to the U.S. on this front is not a place most Canadians are comfortable with. So I am happy to see the Liberals back in this territory. The alliance between Harper's foreign policy and that of the Bush administration is worth reminding voters of at every opportunity.