Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Prime Minister Should Read His Job Description

Two weeks into the bombings in Lebanon and the Internet’s blogsphere erupted angrily over the weekend when the Conservative Party’s Internet media wing called Steve Harper a hero. The PM called Israel’s bombings in Lebanon a “measured response” to Hezbollah’s kidnapping of two soldiers and Mr. Harper used his government plane to pick up 100 evacuees.

In contrast to calling the PM a hero, the evacuees on the plane asked him, to his face, to tell Israel to stop bombing civilians. A measured military response in any war zone does not include bombing civilians.

Most seriously, if your title is Canadian Prime Minister, your duty to Canadians supersedes loyalties to other countries. To the eight Canadian civilians who died in the conflict, the job description includes speaking for them.

This is the second time in six months that Steve Harper has failed to grasp that his first duty as Prime Minister of Canada is to defend Canadians under fire. Previously, he would not speak up for our diplomats in Bagdad when US troops opened fire on our embassy’s convoy.

The Lebanese government does not want either of the current combatants in their country – neither the Hezbollah nor Israel. And, the Lebanese government understands that innocent civilians are not a legitimate part of Israel and Hezbollah’s conflict.

Steve Harper should understand that his loyalties must include the innocent – regardless of whose country they come from. Why has our PM Steve Harper failed to grasp this?

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