28/02/2009

MacKay's Chest Beating Misguided.


I found the news reports about the Russian "Bear" bomber entering Canadian Airspace interesting on several fronts.

What I found most intriguing was the news report suggesting that young Peter Mackay let the story "leak" out at a news conference. I can't believe for a moment that this was a slip up or that it "leaked" out. Perhaps it was the reporters first day on the job in Ottawa or something but, this didn't "leak" out. MacKay was trying to make Canadians believe that he and the military had thwarted some Russian invasion. What bull. He said, the Russians were "... met with … CF-18 fighter planes and world-class pilots that know their business. The pilots sent a strong signal they should back off and stay out of our airspace."

First there is nothing new about these flights. They have been going for decades. It is like a game, the Russians start to fly towards Canadian airspace, Canadian fighter jet scramble, they intercept, take a few pictures, the pilots wave at each other, the Russians turn and go home.

For one thing, everything seems to indicate that they were never in Canadian territory. For their part, the Russians seem a bit confused/bemused by it all. This kind of saber rattling by MacKay in an effort to increase the government's numbers in the polls is the cheapest kind of politics. I always hoped that our government's reactions to events on the world stage would be just a bit more sophisticated than they have been lately.

The way I see it, the not so very progressive Conservatives thought they needed a little something to spice things up. A little pro military story to follow up on their law and order stuff. Canadians have been pretty ho hum about their performance lately so they are looking for a little something to catch the public's attention. It will take a bit more that MacKay's chest beating to pull this bunch out of the doldrums.

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