Thursday, July 28, 2005

That Taste In Your Mouth Ain't Grit, It's A Garish Foot

Well, it doesn't look like The Garish Ms. Parrish will be returning to the Liberal caucus any time soon, if this Ottawa Citizen story is anything to go by:

Ms. Parrish is furious that Canadians and their politicians have not been consulted about what she calls the new role Canadian soldiers are being asked to carry out in Afghanistan, a role that includes killing, which is not the traditional job of peacekeeping.

"We're sending in armed troops to kill people (in Afghanistan). This is a drastic change in direction. I don't think anybody has consulted with the Canadian public. The first time Canadian soldiers come back in body bags, you just wait for the outcry," said Ms. Parrish, who was elected as a Liberal in 1993 but has been sitting in the backbenches as an independent MP since last year.

"If this thing gets any deeper in (Afghanistan) and we get a couple of dead Canadians back, I'll vote to bring the government down the first opportunity I got."

"Anne McLellan's not helping," added Ms. Parrish. "Every time I have the TV on there's a comment from her (that) 'we're not safe, we could be next.' What are we doing taunting people?"

Sigh. I suppose the one major difference between The Garish One and British MP George Galloway is that at least people can believe that Galloway was paid to be stupid.

Shall we fisk this latest statement? Yes, let's:

"We're sending in armed troops to kill people (in Afghanistan)."

Not quite. We're sending in armed troops to assist Afghanistan in its transition to a stable, representative regime. If that means insurgents are going to have to bite the bullet, well, that's tough on them -- but killing people is a collateral duty, not a primary one.

"This is a drastic change in direction. I don't think anybody has consulted with the Canadian public."

Nothing drastic about it. That's what peacekeepers are supposed to do. They've been in this current campaign for nearly four years now.

And this is just another stage in a military campaign. To consult the public -- as in seeking approval from the House of Commons -- is micromanagement, second guessing a trained soldier, inviting more tongue-lashing from people who are ignorant about military operations and only interested in partisan points.

"The first time Canadian soldiers come back in body bags, you just wait for the outcry."

Outcry? Wolf cry, more likely. There's been enough publicity about the Afghan campaign for people to know it ain't a walk in the park.

We are sending soldiers into harm's way. Getting killed in theater is a risk. So is crossing a highway; we don't close a road just because someone got run over. But if we're to be serious about the peacekeeping tradition that The Garish One is on record as supporting, then the Afghan project needs to go forward, not stopped because of a bloody nose.

There is one aspect of this story that can cause people like me to laugh out loud:

Ms. Parrish, who was booted out of the Liberal caucus last year after she criticized the government of U.S. President George W. Bush as "bastards" and "idiots," also said she is interested in returning to the Liberal fold, but only if she receives a personal invitation from the prime minister that has no strings attached.

Yeah, right. After threatening to bring down the government over an foreign policy issue? Tony Volpe, the House leader, may be machiavellian, but he's not that desperate for numbers.

On the other hand, let the Garish One keep talking. Whoever the Conservative candidate in Mississauga is, he or she has gotta be rubbing hands in glee ...