Like many other leftie bloggers, Liberal Catnip weighs in on the flag flap, but it's something else in that piece that caught my eye (emphasis added):
My member of Parliament, Jason Kenney, defended his Conservative government's decision to not fly the Canadian flags at half-mast on Parliament Hill to honour the recent deaths of 4 Canadian soldiers by stating on CTV's Question Period that Canada should proudly fly its flag high at all times because we are at war.
I'm sorry ... we're at war? When the fuck did that happen?
No, seriously, when precisely did Canada declare war officially? And against whom? Because this is starting to sound an awful lot like the dishonest bullshit you hear down south with so many people talking about being "at war," the Global "War" on Terror, George W. Chimpster being so terribly morose about having to be a "wartime" president, and on and on and so dishonestly on.
However, the last time I looked, the U.S. president doesn't have the power to declare "war" all by himself but, gosh, it sure is convenient to just start using the word, isn't it? It's even more convenient when almost no one calls you on it. (Hello? Mainstream media?)
Of course, being in this funny grey area of war/not-war has its advantages, since you can pretty much declare martial law but, at the same time, ignore all of those pesky Geneva Conventions since, well, you're not really at war. Not that kind of war, anyway, where you have to fill out forms in triplicate or get official approval or something.
So what exactly is going on up here? Are we technically "at war?" Against whom? And when exactly did that happen, and what did it require? Because if we're not really at war, then I'd like to see every person who makes that claim get immediately bitch-slapped by whatever media wank they're talking to at the time just to keep them honest:
The Hon. Stephen Harper: "Well, it's important for our country, in a time of war ..."
Craig Oliver (reaching over): (SLAP!)
The Hon. SH: "Hey! What the fuck was that for?"
So ... what's the story? War? Not war? Enquiring minds would dearly like to know.
WHY THE QUESTION MATTERS: I don't imagine I need to spell this out for most of my readers, but I think it's critical to establish whether Canada is, as a country, officially "at war" or not. The reason this matters is that there are very clear rules that govern behaviour in a time of war, such as these.
Note well some of the central underlying principles of those laws, including things like knowing your initial political goals so you can tell when they've been achieved, the fact that the conflict should be brought to a conclusion as quickly as possible, and so on.
Given that numerous right-wing whackjobs have publicly stated that they think the "War on Terror" will never be over, this would seem to suggest that, by definition, it cannot be called a "war."
In any case, this question needs to be answered, and it needs to be answered soon and unambiguously.