Thursday, March 01, 2007

Conservative Lies of Omission: Part 1 Harper and Iraq

During the election Harper came out and said this. “On Iraq, while I support the removal of Saddam Hussein and applaud the efforts to establish democracy and freedom in Iraq, I would not commit Canadian troops to that country.” In saying this Harper was clearing trying to obscure the fact that he supported Canada joining the coalition of the willing. You see, unlike most bloggers, the vast majority of population can not list all the times Harper said he wished Canada had been part of the coalition of the willing. Here are two examples by the way.

“On the justification for the war, it wasn't related to finding any particular weapon of mass destruction. In our judgment, it was much more fundamental. It was the removing of a regime that was hostile, that clearly had the intention of constructing weapons systems. … I think, frankly, that everybody knew the post-war situation was probably going to be more difficult than the war itself. Canada remains alienated from its allies, shut out of the reconstruction process to some degree, unable to influence events. There is no upside to the position Canada took.” (Maclean’s, August, 25, 2003)

"We should be there with our allies when it counts against Saddam Hussein." March 26 2003 7 days after the war started, some two weeks before the collapse of Saddam’s regime."

So how does the above passage do this? Well, look at the above passage again. Saddam Hussein has long since been removed from power. His government fell on April 8 2003 and he was fished out of Spider hole in December 2003. Yet Harper speaks as if it was not already a done deal. By speaking of the Saddam regime in the present tense rather than in the past tense he was able magically go back in time and state his position was that he will not send troops to help overthrow Saddam. Austin and Grice and the other founders of speech act theory are no doubt turning over in their graves.

Perhaps, an example is in order. To understand how truly Orwellian all of this is, imagine for a second that the Swiss had declared in 1948 that “we support the removal of Hitler from power.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent Post