Friday, May 13, 2011

Spot the pattern

Yes, the individual stories have been covered by plenty of others. But it's well worth taking a step back and noting the consistent theme coming out of Wikileaks' revelations about the Harper Cons as seen through the eyes of our closest international ally.

When it came to Copenhagen, Harper and company claimed both that the outcome was a major step in addressing climate change, and that they'd had some significant role in its coming to pass. But behind closed doors, Harper didn't want to be there at all (and didn't do much while he was).

When it came to Afghanistan, Harper continued to pretend through most of 2010 that he planned to stick to the promised 2011 pullout date. But behind closed doors, he promised NATO that his Canadian positioning was a lie - and indeed committed to a training extension as soon as the Libs gave him an opening. [Update: And at other times, even an extension to a combat mission was on the table even as Harper pretended otherwise.]

And when it came to Arctic relations, Harper has constantly pointed to Canadian sovereignty as an excuse for all kinds of military spending and posturing, particularly his government's stubborn insistence on buying F-35s no matter how implausible their price promises look. But behind closed doors, Harper made clear that he doesn't see defending our sovereignty as a serious issue.

So Harper has spent the better part of his time in office providing one message to Canadians in public, and another one to the international community in private. And all indications are that we're the ones getting played for fools when the truth comes out.

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