Sunday, April 23, 2006

All The Wrong Questions Period

Watching that hopelessly befuddled bird-faced hack, Craig Oliver, on this afternoon's Question Period I, as ever, was driven to coffee-spilling fury. To Ujjal Dossanjh and Russ Hiebert he blithered a thin veil of concerns about "public opinion" turning against Canadian involvement in Afghanistan. As though—I confess, I screamed at my television—public opinion was informed by anything more than a vague knowledge of the number of Canadian deaths on the mission to date. As though it was informed by even an inkling of the reasons for the mission itself.

When, I ask myself, did this smooth transition happen: public opinion of a given issue replacing the issue itself? ... I mean, what the hell do the bulk of Canadians know about Afghanistan?! Apart from the number of other Canadians who, apparently, have an opinion for or against public opinion?

Tell you what, Craig, conduct a survey of a reasonably representative cross-section of Canadians, asking specific questions about the objectives of the mission and the realities of present day Afghanistan. Most, I suspect, will tell you that the war with Afghanistan was started because George W. Bush wanted to control Middle Eastern oil interests; that the UN did not approve the invasion; that while Saddam Hussein was a very bad man, Afghanistan is no better off without him.