There are a lot of criticisms against the current Afghanistan mission. The at-times confused report of the Manley Panel even added to them today. The mission lacks criteria to measure progress, a definition of success, and an exit strategy. It’s unbalanced. It lacks broad support in NATO. It lacks support at home.
But until now, one of those criticisms hasn’t been to equate the mission to a holy war “from a Christian/Crusader heritage.” But that’s before Elizabeth May spoke up.
Maybe May meant to say that more non-Western nations need to be involved. Maybe she meant something else entirely. But that’s not what she said. Instead she compared the Canadian Forces to a Caucasian religious army on a war to bring Christendom to the heathens.
This isn’t the first time May has shown simply awful judgment in choosing her words. One need think only of her recent Nazi quip, which she even waded back into in the new year. In politics, the way you say things is sometimes more important than what you are saying. May doesn't seem to grasp that.
No one knows why the Liberals didn’t comment on the Manley report today, but you can bet they wish they had now. Because tomorrow they will have to explain why they don’t agree with their coalition partner’s equating Canada’s army with an ancient Pope's holy warriors.