The editorial in the Globe and Mail today leads one to believe that even they do not believe Harper is sincere about his sudden promise to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2011.
"But further decisions about our future role in that country must be made in a sober fashion, removed – as much as possible – from the partisan pressure cooker of a federal election campaign."
That is, wink wink nudge nudge, we'll see about this again later after the election.
It was, in fact, the Conservatives with their "don't cut and run" "scumbags" "fight them over there so we don't have to fight them here" "global war on terror" language that really politicized the debate here in Canada. Harper thought it was a vote getter. But it was not. It was dumb both politically and in terms of finding a way forward in a minority parliament because it poisoned the discussion with infantilism.
Given Harper's past statements, his history of abrupt flip-flops and broken promises, and his devotion to secrecy, I think any reasonable Canadian would have doubts about what his real intentions are. In other words, I don't think many people believe that if he gets a majority we will be pulling out of Afghanistan in 20011.
The conservatives have demonstrated time again their inability to deal with this complex file. The most highly reported example is the torture allegations. Not only did the Conservatives lie about the Afghan detainee issue, about torture, listen as Harper and his ministers deflect the issue with cheap jingosim and chest thumping.
Can Harper be trusted to tell us the truth?