Some senior Liberals are unhappy over the manner in which party defence critic Ujjal Dosanjh and foreign affairs critic Bob Rae have been pursuing the Afghan-detainee issue. They fear this relentless pursuit of possible wrongdoing will undermine public confidence in the Canadian Forces and create a major rift between Canadians and their military.Well duh, isn't that what we on the Conservative side been saying all the time concerning this major non scandal? They're just seeing the light now after Bill Graham testified last week? Ujjal and Bob clearly didn't get what they wanted in Bill's testimony. He more or less said much of the same as others had testified to.
The split between at least two very senior Liberals was apparent last week when Bill Graham, the minister of national defence in 2005, appeared before the House of Commons committee probing the detainee matter. At one point, Mr. Graham clashed with Mr. Dosanjh when the defence critic, in effect, implied that the former minister ought to have known that transfers of detainees by Canadian troops had made Canada “responsible as a country” for their welfare – in other words, responsible for their alleged torture. Mr. Graham replied that Mr. Dosanjh “has totally jumbled up what international lawyers make of the law of war and the law in war.”That must have gotten Ujjal's back up.
Reflect on Mr. Graham’s words. He and his government did the best they could at the time, in a chaotic situation. They had no intention to break any laws of war. And there is still no evidence that they or their successors did.David Bercuson, author of the article wonders where Mr. Ziffy is on these two former NDP members.
Where, then, is Mr. Ignatieff on this issue, now that he is the only real alternative to Prime Minister Stephen Harper? His failure to rein in Mr. Rae and Mr. Dosanjh is a major lapse in leadership. There is simply no significant advantage to be gained by the Liberal Party, let alone the nation, by encouraging those who continue to seek evidence of crimes committed by Canadian troops in a war in which tragic ambiguity is an ever-present reality.So what is Ujjal and Rae trying to pull? Looks like Mr. Ziffy is having trouble with his NDP members. What will he do? Does he agree the far left faction? Will he placate them or rein them in?
There ought to be plenty of room between the Liberals and Tories to debate all sorts of issues touching on Canada’s defence, starting with the basic question of how much defence the country actually needs. But there also ought to be a basic consensus on defence and foreign policy.
When Liberals begin to argue among themselves about a gut-wrenching issue such as this, it is time for Mr. Ignatieff to quit flirting with his party’s left wing and restore sense to Liberal defence policies.
Is Bob Rae trying to undermine Mr. Ziffy? We all know Rae really wants to be leader and at some point, heaven forbid, the prime minister. Don't forget it's was Bob Rae who brought forth the abortion motion in the house that so badly backfired on the Mr. Ziffy and the Liberals. Did he know in advance it would fail so it would look bad on Mr. Ziffy's leadership to keep the party on an united front? Who will win in the end, the NDP faction or the other side?
Either way it's good day for Conservatives when Liberals fight among themselves. Keep it up Liberals, just don't denigrate our troops in the process.