""We're very concerned that weapons are coming in from Iran, we're very concerned these weapons are going to the insurgents and keeping this issue alive."
This attempt to link the Taliban to the Iranian government surprised many, as anyone who knows anything about the religious geo-politics (and one would hope a Foreign Affairs Minister turned Defense Minister during wartime would) that the Taliban and the Iranian government have a very poor relationship, almost going to war before 9/11. MacKay was both trying to help out his buddy the American ambassador, whose government was quite embarrassed by the intel report showing Iran had halted its nuke program years ago, and score some points on the domestic front, as most uninvolved Canadians would readily believe that two particularly nasty groups of Islamic fundamentalists would work together.
However, MacKay's beating of the war drum is somewhat out of tune with reality:
"There is no evidence the Iranian government is behind the export of weapons that end up in the hands of Taliban fighters"
While the article rightly points out that weapons are coming from Iran, and all parties involved have a vested interest in a secure Iranian-Afghan border, this shows that MacKay and the Conservatives have little real interest in the troops and the Afghan mission beyond how useful they can be used to score points at home or curry favour with the Bush administration. We as Liberals, who believe in a progressive and independent foreign policy can never forget to remind Canadians that the Conservatives would prefer Canada had taken part in the Iraq quagmire, and if the Bush administration in its dying months does anything as foolish as attack Iran, that you can expect Harper, Bernier, and MacKay to be ready to say "Aye, Ready, Aye".
I'll be canvassing for Bob Rae today, so hopefully I can get a reminder of what clear-viewed foreign policy looks like.