A scathing column on Paul Martin’s Liberals was published today in the National Post. The heart of the diatribe:
“To those countries and their citizens who are so much the subject of our prayers and our concern, we say simply that in Canada, you have the most caring of friends and strongest of allies.” — Paul Martin
Are we more caring than the Swedes or Italians or Australians or the dozens of other peoples who have dug deep as we have and have actually managed to show up? Are we stronger allies than the Americans, who have 12,500 military personnel in the region, an aircraft carrier, field hospitals and helicopters?
It turns out helicopters — helicopters that can actually fly — are useful things in a disaster. Even Bangladesh has sent helicopters and, of all things, two C-130 transports. Military aircraft are a shameful extravagance for such a poor country. But for a country like Canada that aspires to be a player in the world, the soft power of good intentions and eloquent resolutions is not enough. The hard power of helicopters is what people really need.
I am very proud that my country is donating a significant amount of money to provide aid for those that desperately need it, but Paul Martin might be better off writing an $80 million cheque to the Red Cross who is better equipped to handle such a crisis, in coordination with other countries that possess the proper tools and vehicles.