Saturday, July 15, 2006

What does Harper know about a measured response?

It's one thing to have a track record of dealing intelligently with problems and challenges and it's quite another to be known as a tantrum-throwing, petulant, childish asshole when asked to provide a position on an international situation which is rapidly spinning out of control.

Stephen Harper, when questioned about Israel's response to the abduction of three soldiers by bombing the cities and civilian airports of two countries, suggested Israel has the right to defend itself and that its response was "measured".

Prime Minister Stephen Harper yesterday condemned the abduction of Israeli soldiers by Hamas and Hezbollah, saying he supported Israel's right to "defend itself" and characterized its response to the kidnappings as "measured."
No argument, Israel does have the right to defend itself. Measured, as a means to define Israel's response however, is a whole other issue.

It's bad enough that his statement looks like it was prepared in the west wing of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC, but for Harper to suggest that a response from any quarter is measured is more than a stretch.

This is the guy who, when his political party of the day was roundly stomped in the 2000 election, led the charge with the Alberta Firewall Letter, a document which recommended virtual secession of Alberta from the federal political structure. And that was just because he and his cronies didn't win an election. Measured response? How about a full-blown temper tantrum?

When, as opposition, his views on Canada joining the United States in their unsanctioned invasion of Iraq were ignored by the government he and Stockwell Day wrote an unconscionable letter to the Wall Street Journal. Not only was it highly inaccurate in suggesting Canada had been shoulder-to-shoulder with the United States in all previous US adventures, but it suggested Canada was alone in the world in remaining clear of Bush administration hegemony. The reason for his letter? He didn't get his way, even though he should never have expected it. Measured response? How about an uncontrolled fit of anger?

Harper's response to those positions he once held? Well, that was then; this is now. Things have worked out differently, even though we would have been led to believe that his response to those situations which caused him to shoot from the lip were, "measured".

Of course, Harper's view is shared in very few places. At the G8 conference it is becoming clear that Harper is aping Bush and Bush's view isn't appreciated. In fact, Harper is rapidly becoming aware that those who do know the meaning of a measured response believe Israel is engaged in excessive and unnecessary behaviour. Next to Blair, who has been a Bush poodle for the past four years, Harper is looking like an extension of the Bush administration. And, an ill-informed one at that.

Of course, Harper regularly changes his opinion when he realizes he didn't really know what he was talking about.

Harper toned down his pro-Israeli stance as he stood next to Blair at a joint news conference and called for a negotiated agreement.
That's because most of Europe recognizes that Israel needs to be tempered when it comes to military responses. Similar to what needs to be done with Harper when he opines with his typical knee-jerk responses.

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