Contradictions on the war in Mali

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Government going around in circles

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Defence Minister Peter MacKay don't seem to agree over the war in Mali.

Last week Harper said Canada would provide France with a single C-17  transport aircraft and only for one week, and there would be no Canadian soldiers going over to Africa.

President of France François Hollande and his Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called up and begged Harper to extend the use of the aircraft for a few more weeks.

Harper said he had been categorical. It would be one plane for one week. And only to carry equipment. Nothing more. He had decided.

But then on Sunday, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced in Paris that Canada had agreed to carry African troops to Mali aboard a Canadian C-17.

But then later in the day, Jay Paxton, a spokesman for Defence Minister MacKay told reporters: "I can confirm that no decision has been taken on an extension."

So Harper's NO became Fabius' YES, and then became Paxton's "NO DECISION YET." That's a MAYBE. Doesn't anybody know what's happening?

It is always possible that Harper said "only one week" so as not to scare Canadian who have no taste for another Harper war.

So what if we simple people don't really know what is happening.

Possibly Paxton never heard the Harper's words "one plane for one week."

Or possibly Paxton was simply quoting his boss, Minister MacKay who told him that in military matters he calls the shots, and he still hadn't decided yet whether to give the French an "extension."

It will not be the first time that Harper says one thing and one of his ministers contradicts him.

All we know for real right now is that Harper's "for one week" ends next Thursday. It remains to be seen whether the C-17 will keep on making the trips between Canada and Mali in the weeks to come, no matter what Harper said.


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