Just a few years ago there was a game show on TV in which presenter Anne Robinson told one contestant after another that she or he was the weakest link and was out of the contest. An article in the Globe and Mail says that: “Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan says Canada is not currently at war, but is involved instead in “a conflict that has high risk” with the so-called Islamic State.” Huh? < head scratch > Come again, Minister … our soldiers are in “a conflict that has a high risk” but one that is not a war. OK, I understand that the Korean War was, officially, a “police action,” and that Canadian soldiers swapped bullets with bad guys and, now and again, got killed by enemy fire, while wearing blue berets, but it was, still, only “peacekeeping,” but, surely, now, we’re beyond that sort of doublespeak … after all, Minister, it’s 2016!
The article goes on to say that “The semantic gymnastics won’t help a government that has struggled to clearly explain its new Middle East strategy.” That’s for sure. On big, life and death issues, this Liberal government is starting look like the gang that couldn’t shoot straight. The media, generally (but not always) liberal in outlook and reliably in thrall to youth, sex appeal, great hair and even medals, has given Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Foreign Minister Dion and Defence Minister Sajjan a “free pass” on most things, but even the media can see the inherent contradictions and inconsistencies in the new Liberal government’s approach to the war against Da’esh/ISIL/ISIS ~ yes, it is a war, Minister Sajjan, and there’s that big word again, the one that absolutely terrifies the Butts-Trudeau-Telford troika in the Langevin Block: war …
… it scares them so much, because it’s a word the Laurentian Elites hate, that they send you, with your medals gleaming, out to face a skeptical and increasingly hostile media armed only with “a conflict that has high risk.”
Wow, Minister! I’ll bet you never thought Ottawa would be more dangerous than the Afghanistan or the Balkans and I’ll bet you thought that all those medals would give you at least a little cover against both media hacks and political flacks … sorry Minister Sajjan, but welcome to the big leagues. You see, Minister, I was perplexed about why Prime Minister Trudeau chose you, over some others, to be the MND. I thought perhaps it was because he is giving you the thankless task of cutting National Defence even further so that he can fund his own pet social projects, I even thought it might because you are a pretty good communicator, but then I learned that you, like your leaders, haven’t really thought this through and you are content to leave the clear communicating to General Vance.
But now it appears to me, and I really do hope I’m wrong, that you’re just the fall guy … the one they send to try to ‘spin’ drivel like “a conflict that has high risk” to media outlets that are not as knee-jerk anti-Harper as, say, the CBC.
Do you remember any of the promises in the Liberal campaign book, Minister? Are you going to have to be the fall guy, again, when Prime Minister Trudeau decides that bailing out Kathleen Wynne’s green energy fiascos is more important than investing in the Royal Canadian Navy or than maintaining current funding levels? He’s already backtracking on key economic/fiscal platform promises, do you really expect him, given who he is and who the people around him are, to care about national defence? Or will he just send you out, “over the top,” so to speak, to show off your medals and explain away the choices that will emasculate Canada and weaken us in the world.
Sorry, Minister Sajjan, but I really do believe that you’re here for show, not because the Liberal campaign team, now the PMO, cares about our national defence, or Canada’s place in the world, or your service to your country, for that matter. Your job, now, is to serve the Laurentian Elites who despise everything you are and everything you’ve done.
And I really, sincerely, am sorry, Minister. I know people who served with you in the sandbox. They say you’re a good fellow ~ and you seemed to be when we did meet, once ~ they say you’re a guy who can think outside the box and who bought some useful insights, from your work in the “gang unit” of a police force, to the battlefield in Afghanistan because you recognized that the Taliban are rather like a street gang in many ways. But this is a different gang, and maybe my “gang that couldn’t shoot straight” analogy was wrong: this new gang, Team Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada, might have problems communicating but they know what they want and they have a long, sorry history of using good people for thankless tasks and then tossing them aside in order to get what they want.
It must have seemed like you had finally grabbed the brass ring, won the biggest prize … what a great thing to be on the winning team and to be a star, to be named the Minister of National Defence. And you know what? Your friends in uniform and those who are veterans were proud and happy, too. But, what now? Are you still proud of yourself and your new team? Are your old military friends still proud of you? Or is it pretty clear to everyone that you’ve been set up, that you’re the fall guy for Team Trudeau, and that, in sad fact, you are the weakest link?