In the past few days there have been calls for Harjit Sajjan to resign his cabinet post as the Minister of Defense. While it is certainly possible he might resign if he personally cannot take the heat, or if Justin Trudeau believes it is politically expedient to get rid of him, there is no way he will ever resign as a matter of honour.
Sajjan, a former Vancouver police officer, was also in the Canadian reserves and did tours of duty in Bosnia and Afghanistan. His first tour of duty in Afghanistan was in 2006; Sajjan arrived there shortly before Operation Medusa commenced.
Operation Medusa was the biggest Canada-involved combat operation since the Korean War. Although there is no official count, it is estimated 1,500 members of the Taliban were killed during the operation. Some Canadians also lost their lives. The former cop served as an intelligence officer during his tours of duty in Afghanistan.
On April 18, Sajjan was in New Delhi where he was speaking to a group of security experts. The Defense Minister described himself as being “the architect of Operation Medusa.” It was a blatant lie and not the first time he told it. He said the same thing back in 2015 and said the fact he was the architect of the operation came from Gen. Jonathan Vance, who currently holds the position of chief of defense staff. Vance refuses to confirm he ever said it and since Justin’s little weasel has apologized, has refused to comment on the matter.
That Sajjan lied is no biggie in itself. He’s a politician and that it is what they do, especially Liberals who say whatever seems appropriate at the time to further their objectives. But this lie is different. Sajjan out and out lied about his military service during a time when Canadian soldiers risked and sometimes gave up their lives. He downplayed the role others played in the large combat operation to glorify himself. This lie angered a lot of Canadians—especially those who are serving or have served in Canada’s Armed Forces.
On Monday, Trudeau and Sajjan were hammered by the opposition parties for the lie. Interim CPC Leader Rona Ambrose, correctly, went so far as to say what Sajjan did was “stolen valour.” Trudeau, Sajjan and other Liberal MPs could have cared less.
There have been loud calls for Sajjan’s resignation, both by opposition MPs and from some media outlets that are not blinded by their love for all things Liberal. At the present time, there is nothing to indicate Sajjan will resign or the military-hating prime minister will force his resignation.
During Question Period Monday, when the prime minister made one of his rare appearances in the chamber, Trudeau revealed the government’s talking points. He said over and over and over again Sajjan made “a mistake,” acknowledged it and apologized, so everything is okay now. In his usual arrogance, Trudeau purported to speak not for the country but for “Canadians” and said that’s what Canadians expect (in other words that is all Canadians expect) and said he has full confidence in the minister.
Eventually, Sajjan answered questions in the House himself and in a snivelling way, kept saying he was sorry. The way the Minister answered the questions, it is hard to believe he was ever a cop let alone a soldier serving in combat zone. He also said he “owns” his mistake.
While speaking in India, Sajjan deviated from his written speech to make the claim he was the architect of Operation Medusa. It was not the case of a bureaucrat writing the speech for him that he blindly read without thinking. He ad-libbed in order to lie; to make himself more important than he actually is and to downgrade the work of others in the Canadian Forces. This was no “mistake” that arose from sloppiness or inattention to detail. It was an out and out lie. And a particularly disgusting one at that.
Sajjan kept repeating he “owned” his mistake. But as Christie Blatchford pointed out in her National Post column, he cannot own it unless he tells Canadians exactly why he did it. He has not done so and likely never will. But we know why; he is drunk with power and will do anything to make himself seem more important than he actually is.
Sajjan is a total embarrassment to Canada. Memes are now showing up on social media similar to those that were posted about NBC’s Brian Williams. These memes show such things as Sajjan leading the D Day invasion and defeating the Americans during the War of 1812. The minister has become a total laughingstock.
There was a time when Honourable Members were really honourable and would resign if they lied about lesser matters than Sajjan lied about. But those days are long gone. Barring being caught having sex with underage children, ministers don’t resign anymore unless the prime minister feels they have become a serious political liability. The reason for this, as the Little Potato might say, is because it’s 2017.
If those who are demanding Sajjan’s resignation think he will resign because it is the honourable thing to do, they are sadly living in the past. It’s all about power, not honour.
Arthur Weinreb is an author, columnist and Associate Editor of Canada Free Press. Arthur’s latest book, Ford Nation: Why hundreds of thousands of Torontonians supported their conservative crack-smoking mayor is available at Amazon. Racism and the Death of Trayvon Martin is also available at Smashwords. His work has appeared on Newsmax.com, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com. Arthur can be reached at:
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