Tuesday, June 13, 2006

They hate us ... because we're in Afghanistan fighting them

I don't care if Harper wants God to bless Canada. It wouldn't bother me if he started wearing cowboy boots, or clearing brush on his "ranch" or giving members of the Ottawa Press Gallery cutesy nicknames. But I have to agree with Peter Scowen that this, from Harper on June 3, is bad thinking:

We are a target because of who we are and how we live, our society, our diversity and our values -- values such as freedom, democracy and the rule of law.

It seems indisputable that we are a target because we are fighting in Afghanistan. That doesn't necessarily mean we shouldn't be in Afghanistan: in the appropriate cause, we ought to be willing to take risks. But nothing is gained by denying the obvious. When Bush first spoke like this in late 2001, I thought it might just be a tribal yell -- understandable at the time. Later, it clearly became an obstacle to thought. Harper is far less likely to be able to have the silencing effect that Bush originally did.

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