JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: HARPER’S SPEECH ABOUT EGYPT : REGRET THAT THE TOOTHPASTE CAN’T BE PUT BACK IN THE TUBE – SURELY A MEMORABLY BIZARRE STATEMENT OF DEMOCRATIC VALUES   Leave a comment


 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

FURTHER POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY JEFFERY SIMPSON IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

I do think in Harper’s late and reluctant statement, following the great events which riveted the world’s attention, say something profound, and not very pleasant, about the man.

He eloquently quoted the platitude about not being able to put the toothpaste back in the tube.

Toothpaste?

Great God, how did those words fit this historic and rather magnificent moment?

Eighty million people toppling a dictator after thirty years of abuse, and our prime minister expresses regrets about not being able to put toothpaste back into a tube, not being able to return to the status quo ante?

What in God’s name do his mean and cringing words have to do with Canada’s historic reputation for love of freedom and justice?

Absolutely nothing.

The sense of these words only highlights what I wrote earlier.

Harper’s only focus has been on Israel’s paranoid and anti-democratic views of the matter, its desperate desire to keep a neighboring tyranny going, a tyranny that has served its narrowly-defined interests and convenience in the exercise of brutality for three decades.

Never mind what such a giant step forward in human freedom and decency means for Egypt and the world.

Harper’s statement also documents, in an excruciatingly public way, something of his rather bleak and ethically-ambiguous character.

There really is no other way to look at it.

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