The following story was aired during The National last night on CBC. The story describes U.S. President George W. Bush’s veto of Democrat legislation limiting funding for the Iraq war.
Here is the story (video contains full report):
As I’ve pointed out in the video, CBC uses video footage of a Canadian soldier (with flag patch on his gear) and what looks like Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan (the clip after the one I point out). While the “file pictures” do initially show American marines in Iraq, the ambiguous use of the images of Canadians in the same report does raise concern.
Some observers have noted that some Canadians do not discern the difference between the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Consider the NDP, a party which would lump the conflicts together and set its communications strategy to speak to these particular Canadians:
“Mr. Speaker, Canadians recognize that this government is too close to George Bush, especially when it comes to foreign policy. Incredibly, the U.S. Congress is passing a law that will give the President the power to interpret the meaning and application of the Geneva conventions.
Documents show that this government is fully aware of the fact that prisoners we hand over to the Afghans can be given to U.S. authorities.
What assurances is this government seeking that prisoners handed over to Afghan authorities are not sent on to Guantanamo Bay or to secret U.S. prisons?” — Dawn Black, NDP Defense Critic
“Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
One week ago his colleague, the Minister of National Defence, said, with respect to the prisoners taken in Afghanistan, “They have every right, though, for a tribunal to determine whether in fact they have status as a prisoner of war or have status as an unlawful combatant. Canada stands by that determination process in accordance with international law”.
One week later the United States has still not set in place any tribunals. I want to ask the minister, will Canada refuse to turn over any prisoners to the Americans until they have given us an assurance that these tribunals will be established? Or will we show total contempt for the law under the Geneva conventions and simply let George Bush run Canadian foreign and defence policy?” — Svend Robinson, former NDP MP
and consider the role of the CBC in reflecting a difficult, troubling and complicated world to Canadians:
“Canadians are increasingly uncomfortable with Canada’s role in Afghanistan. On the nightly news we see growing destabilization, growing counter-insurgency on our part, insurgency on the part of the Afghans, more civilian deaths and increasingly more Canadian deaths.”Peggy Nash, NDP MP
Canada and its allies are experiencing successes in Afghanistan. The NATO mission in Afghanistan is different from the American war in Iraq. To lump the two together and deem collective failure is irresponsible and misleads Canadians.
As for the CBC, the ambiguity in the report doesn’t help.