Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The gentle tinge of hypocrisy

Among the multitude of reasons one will hear for Canada's military involvement in Afghanistan is the pronouncement that we are projecting "Canadian values". Not the least of these are culture and education and, respect for human rights (including the promotion of the rights of women and children, with attention to their role in the economy.)

The promotion of democracy, not simply in the form of elections but, a form of democracy that encourages "the development of a democratic culture and civil society - one that is pluralistic and participatory, that allows for the expression of diverse views and that offers its members the opportunities and resources to participate in the life of their community and country".

All very noble and worthwhile. And, not my words. They come from the Foreign Affairs and International Trade website of Canada's "new" government.

So, if we are so intent on ensuring that Afghanistan eventually benefits from the projection of these "Canadian" values, why is the very same Canadian government starting to dismantle or disable the institutional structures which promote those sophisticated values here in Canada?

If we view the Taliban as religious extremists who have no place in the development of Afghanistan, should we really be allowing religious extremists to infiltrate our own government? Or does anybody think that Dave Quist didn't work directly for Steve Harper?

Looks to me like a government which speaks out of both sides of its mouth.

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