The first Whore Derv goes to a person who has been in the midst of a political fracas in Canada. Before we reveal who the winner is, however, a little history is in order. Lester B. Pearson, the only Canadian Prime Minister to win the Nobel Peace Prize (a sometimes dubious honour, no doubt), established Canada’s reputation as a country that was dedicated and skilled at resolving conflict and peacekeeping. Although various governments have stretched the meaning of peacekeeping into the realm of peacemaking, the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan has gone beyond even peacemaking into outright war.
Canada has recently been accused of breaking international laws by none other than the Canadian diplomat to Afghanistan. As few teeth as these laws might have in reality, the UN is still used with varying degrees of effectiveness to pressure countries to improve their behaviour with regards to human rights. The specific laws claimed to have been broken are those governing torture, and the law transgressed is that nations must not knowingly transfer detainees to organizations who are known to use torture to extract information from detainees. The evidence coming out from former diplomat, Richard Colvin suggests that Canada‘s Armed Forces (CAF) have done exactly that. Richard Colvin’s accusations have been substantiated by EU diplomats with experience in the region as well.
Peter McKay, the present defence minister, has denied that the CAF has handed over detainees knowing full well that they would be tortured. He said in a speech, part of which was aired on CTV’s eleven o’clock news on November 22, 2009, that “it cannot be proven that any Taliban detainee was tortured after having been handed over to Afghan authorities.” Notice that he doesn’t deny that such a thing ever happened in his hair-splitting rhetorical parry. He says simply that it cannot be proven. Then again, we can’t prove that blue is really blue after all, can we Peter? And notice how he uses the hot-button word “Taliban” as a modifier to the more neutral “detainee.” When you have no rational justification, emote, emote, emote!
contributed to some degree of self-criticism to the nation’s credit) over its current government’s refusal to abide by the now dated Kyoto Protocol. Not only that, but the Conservative government of which Mr. McKay is a part declines participating in the new initiatives sparked by the growing global consensus of the need for policy changes geared towards lowering carbon output. In a country where a large majority consider the environment the most important political issue, this is unacceptable.Add a faltering human rights record to the mix, one so diligently built by Pearson, Paul Hellyer, and Léo Cadieux, among others, and we have a precipitous slide in Canada’s international reputation, one of the sources of our national pride.