Few Canadians watch Parliamentary Debates on television, and even fewer read. So they only know, because their TV screens told them, that our military has been thrust into the Civil War in Libya. Do you, innocent Blog reader, have any idea what the "leaders" of the four political brands (Tory, Liberal, NDP and BQ) had to get off their chests before rubber stamping their support for "our troops" and then slinking off on yet another soulless federal election? Do you? No you don't.
On Monday, March 21, the Opposition Parties granted the Harper government permission (post facto) to broaden it's involvement in the Libyan Civil War. In gratitude, the Harperites promised to return in three months time to renew the mandate of the House. That satisfied the "Official Opposition". In order to limit and bury the sordid story, on the eve of yet another election, Parliament agreed to the Defence Minister's brilliant dodge - that they end Question Period and the House declare itself to be sitting in "Committee of the whole on Government Business". They could discuss the Libyan civil war and burble to their hearts content, and then proceed to rubber stamp the war on Gaddafi without going on record. Thus if HMCS Charlottetown takes as a silkworm cruise missile in its bowels, none of them can be held accountable by cranky voters. Mackenzie King would be so proud of these despicable cowards.
The Defence Minister, Peter Mackay, opened the friendly forum and put a name on our compassionate aerial assault on Libya - Operation ODYSSEY DAWN. He reminded the committee that Canadians don't start fights, but do retaliate against those who provoke us. "In fact, we have never attacked or invaded another nation in anger or without provocation." Well it is a fact that Canadian politicians expect our soldiers to fight like emotionless cyborgs. Dare any of our troops flash a "V" for victory gesture after a firefight in Afghanistan, or have the gall to take a photo standing over a dead enemy combatant, they will be cashiered. Yes, in many respects we are a childlike nation.
Jack Harris, (a Nfld MP) was second to the microphone, speaking for the NDP. He let the cat out of the bag. "We have already agreed on a motion to be passed later on today." Translation - this is all window dressing Peter. We don't give a shit what you're doing in Libya because we are going to knock you out of your job before the week is out.
Bob Rae (Liberal) reminded his colleagues that Gaddafi "took power illegally by destroying the monarchy in Libya" but thankfully, he fell short of calling for a restoration of the Libyan monarchy. Rae was the only MP to be a little honest and drop the pretense that there had been a spontaneous civilian uprising in Libya. In fact there is a military coup underway. "It was a movement of people that obviously had some military support from an army that was clearly divided..." Exactly. Point out Harper's obvious lie that Gaddafi was oppressing unarmed civilians, and planned to massacre them. Gaddafi knows exactly the kind of rebels he is facing. They are same ruthless fascists who helped him maintain power, but now they have aligned with Al-Qaeda and militant fascist Muslims. If anyone is going to be massacred Stevie, it is Gaddafi's tribesmen, after the Americans and Europeans have disarmed them.
Last week the German government pulled its aircraft and ships out of the NATO task force, pointing to the fact that its European neighbors had no interest in the welfare of the Libyan people, but great interest in safeguarding their supply of Libyan oil. During WW2 Rommel's AFRIKA CORPS controlled all of Libya. Germany is not keen on fresh Libyan adventures.
Mr. Jean Dorion, a Bloq Quebecois Separatist made it clear that his party was in a bind. They don't support the ALLIED + NATO war on Gaddafi, but don't wish to be the only registered political party opposing the Canadian intervention in North Africa. "We support the sending of CF18s because that intervention is consistent with a value that is fundamental to Quebeckers: that military intervention must be carried out in a multinational framework. ... The Bloc is also against the notion of preventive war... of course in the absence of an established and imminent threat, a country cannot go to war against another country merely because it harbours misgivings in respect of that country."
Paul Dewar (NDP) referred to private briefings given by a cadre of government bureaucrats to all MPs, earlier that day. His contribution was to make the plea that "... it is absolutely critical that we do not engage in rhetoric that talks about regime change and getting rid of leaders. ... I urge the government and all ministers to check their rhetoric and to ensure that not only is it not said but that it is not implied." A reasonable request, and one in keeping with the wording of the U.N. Resolution.
So what happened next? Mr. Dewar sat down and Lawrence Cannon, the Tory Minister of Foreign Affairs, stood up in full splendour and majesty. You can almost hear his thoughts about Dewar in words which echo King Henry in the movie THE LION IN WINTER. "I've got you boy! The NDP and Liberals are in my pocket. To these eyes this is what winning looks like boy!" What Cannon actually said was: "Canada's approach... has been to isolate the Gadhafi regime, cut it off from its financial resources, deprive it of its legitimacy and ensure that there will be no impunity for crimes against humanity.... blah. blah, blah." and finally "We sincerely hope that Gadhafi does decide step down." Well now, in a month's time, Canadian voters, in this very limited democracy, will have the opportunity to practice a little "regime change" of their own, and perhaps "deprive [the Tory party] of its legitimacy." Any gang of scoundrels which wages war (in two countries no less), and then has the temerity to insist that health care spending is the primary "issue" facing Canadians, deserves to be executed for gross deceit, contempt of parliament and abuse of power.At a roadblock in the Libyan desert, a group of devoutly-democratic rebels take time out from their daily routine to thank Allah for the support of Stephen Harper's Tory government.
John Baird then spoke for the minority Tories, "Mr. Speaker... I believe you will find consent for the following motion. I move ... [there followed 200 dishonest words which recorded that Canadians forces are now engaged in a legal intervention, in support of a rebel faction left UNNAMED, commanded by leaders left UNNAMED]. And not one single MP registered in HANSARD a shred of doubt about what they were rubber stamping. You can read HANSARD here, for yourself.
The decent, principled thing to do in the coming election is to boycott all of these illegitimate parties, and let the bureaucracy run the machine for a few years. (Canadian Socialism could easily run on autopilot. The cheque writing machines are oblivious to elections.) To do anything other than boycott this election is to rubber stamp a fraud, which we are assured is "democratic choice". It's not democracy when there is nothing offered to us on the ballot beyond the same old buffoonery which extends back to the Canadian Confederation of 1867.
UPDATE - On March 22 the Canadian military brass announced a suitably bilingual, ie. (English/French) name for the "Canadian component" of the N.A.T.O. interdiction in Libya. It is called OPERATION MOBILE. There is already a Wiki Page for it.