As has been noted around the blogosphere, the media seems to be climbing all over itself to frame the evacuation of Lebanese-Canadians from Lebanon as too “slow” and as a “disaster”.
Where was the flotilla of ships awaiting immediate rescue and extraction from Lebanon, critics asked. The same critics who rush to condemn Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper are the same brave critics that question why Canada would ever need to start spending on military equipment.
“Why does Canada need a military”, asks one babbler.
This question came in response to Stephen Harper’s desperately needed $15 billion infusion into the military, recently earmarking the funds for 3 new multifunction support ships, and helicopters among other vehicles.
Stephen Harper has recently taken over the reins of government from 13 years of Liberal mismanagement and neglect.
A 2003 Queen’s University study titled “Canada Without Armed Forces?” investigated the effect of Liberal neglect and under-funding of our military and relief efforts world-wide. The study postulated a complete Canadian disarmament by 2013.
Just about 6 short months ago to this day, Canadians selected to change the way things are done in Ottawa. Stephen Harper has a modest number of impressive accomplishments as Prime Minister so far. However, he has not undone those 13 years of Liberal neglect to Canada’s ability to react to disaster on the other side of the world.
Other reasons for delay in the rescue effort include logisitics. As other countries act to evacuate their citizens from Lebanon, a bottleneck of ships has been reported as another significant reason for delay.
Jack Layton, leader of the NDP, Canada’s left-wing party with an isolationist foreign policy, described his party’s recent efforts:
“With an estimated fifty-thousand Canadians in Lebanon, the NDP called for an evacuation plan on Friday and has been disappointed with the pace of the response.”
More funding for the military, Jack? What’s your plan? Canada needs a leader ready to do the right thing; a leader who concerns himself with more than canoe expeditions. Further, Canada needs a military to defend its sovereignty and to evacuate Canadians from hot-spots that develop around the world as a result of platitudes and appeasement.
Stephen Harper’s trip to Cyprus also represents much more than symbolism. How dire has our military/humanitarian relief network become when the Prime Minister’s plane in Paris considered a viable element of a humanitarian relief effort. While Stephen Harper can’t snap his fingers and equip our country overnight, his flying to Cyprus to personally help represents that he’ll do everything he can with what he’s got.
It seems that every time this guy goes overseas, his hero-factor goes up.