In 1997 the movie Wag the Dog was released. Starring Robert de Niro and Dustin Hoffman, the movie’s premise is that the president, besieged by scandal, uses the media to manufacture a war that he can heroically end, thus restoring his honour and his chance of electoral success.
Stephen Harper’s “act of war” performance last week immediately brought this film to mind. Hounded by scandal at home, what better way to deflect attention from his failings as a leader than to stand up to a tin-pot dictator on the world stage?
There’s no question that Gadhafi needs to go, but our trifling commitment of 6 CF-18s and one frigate will not be a significant factor in whatever the outcome eventually is in Libya. So make no mistake, Canada’s involvement in this war is nothing more than a timely and welcome distraction for the prime minister to be able to appear statesman-like.
So far the writer has been unable to confirm rumours that every copy of Wag the Dog in Ottawa video stores has been commandeered by the PMO.