Nov 19 2009
Canada is at war. It may seem hard to believe at times, given our remoteness from the conflict and the distinct lack of impact on most Canadians’ daily lives. But when our soldiers in Afghanistan are not helping provide schools, health clinics and training to the Afghan army, they are helping defend Afghan population centers against a predatory and nihilistic enemy. And when that thuggish enemy, who would surprise us more if they did not commit atrocities in a steady parade of head-splitting brutality, complains of ill treatment at the hands of our allies, the immediate response ought not to be tainted by political opportunism.
Should we believe allegations that Canadian soldiers were complicit in the torture of Taliban detainees? It’s sad to see Canadian opposition parties essentially taking Taliban prisoners at their word in a ham-handed effort to hit the Conservative government with… well, something.
Our enemy is well aware that the any hope for a pullout of international forces from Afghanistan, a prelude to a Taliban takeover, depends on a loss of confidence on the home front. As such, they will lie. They will make up stories of the most horrific abuse. They will lay out a scenario that rivals the blood and gore of a Rob Zombie film.
Being at war, our political representatives of all stripes have a duty to not use unproven allegations, presumably from the mouths of our enemies. Deep down, I suspect most Canadians could care less whether would-be suicide bombers and child-killers are rotting in a medieval-style dungeon, so attacking the Conservative Party with this issue is unlikely to change any votes either way. But this willingness to repeat our enemy’s propaganda may sap faith in the mission and as importantly, in our system of justice.
Fight the Conservatives on the economy. Beat them up on the environment. But it’s time to stop using the Taliban’s talking points to play politics.