Our media have lost all serious interest, to the extent that they ever had any. And it takes the US embassy in Ottawa to point out that our opposition politicians have not taken the work of the mission itself seriously either (I’m not sure the government has been all that much better–see this earlier post elsewhere, “Afstan to the back burner“). Damn good diplomatic reporters those Americans, as many others have noted including Andrew Potter in this Maclean’s blog post:
You mean the Americans pay attention?
Glen McGregor… is trolling through today’s [Aprikl 28] Wikileaks dump of cables from US missions in Canada. He’s crowdsourcing the job and is collecting the best of them. My contribution is this cable from the US embassy in December 2009, reporting on the presentation of the sixth quarterly report to parliament on the mission in Afghanistan [text here]. >From the cable’s summary (my emphases):
Signature development projects move forward, and border security dialogue between Afghanistan and Pakistan is expanding, with Canadian facilitation. The media and Parliament, however, remain more obsessed with allegations that the government ignored credible reports of abuse of Afghan detainees transferred by the Canadian Forces in 2006 to Afghan authorities (ref c), and largely ignored the mostly discouraging news in this latest report. End summary.
The concluding remarks are rather astute as well:
While the media covered the December 10 release by Minister Day, virtually all of the questioning related instead to the on-going controversy over the treatment of prisoners handed over to Afghan security forces by Canadian soldiers and what the government knew when…
The three opposition parties are united in seeking to embarrass the government over this issue and have vowed to call into session the Special Committee on Afghanistan even during the holiday recess (which began December 10), but have indicated no interest in debating the actual Canadian mission in Afghanistan and the successes – or failures – of Canada’s role as documented in the quarterly reports.
Moral outrage trumps all for the opposition. Which relates to this previous post by Jack Granatstein on an earlier WikiLeak on Canada:
Alice in Wonderland is right
The purloined WikiLeaks cables have caused a sensation all over the world, and Canada has been no exception. The former head of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Jim Judd, told a senior visiting US State Department official in July 2008 that Canadians had an “Alice in Wonderland world view,” suffered from “knee-jerk anti-Americanism,” and would fall into “paroxysms of moral outrage, a Canadian specialty” at the drop of a hat. Judd had much more to say, but these comments are worth consideration…
Mark Collins is a prolific Ottawa blogger