A full-blown spin war is developing between Michael Ignatieff's Liberals and Stephen Harper's Conservatives over who loves the Canadian military more.
The Prime Minister's Office issued an email missive this morning to its MPs slamming Mr. Ignatieff for playing politics with the Canadian troops and attacking them over the handling of the Afghan detainees. It says: "In another Liberal blunder, Michael Ignatieff has issued a statement denouncing the Prime Minister for supporting the men and women of Canada's Armed Forces."
The talking points say Mr. Harper "rose to defend Canadians soldiers" but "in a breathtaking response, Mr. Ignatieff denounced our defence of the military - a defence that was made necessary by the Ignatieff Liberals' disgraceful attacks on the men and women who serve in uniform."
The Tories say, too, that the "Ignatieff Liberals have tried to gain political advantage from attacks on our soldiers' handling of the Taliban prisoners."
Yikes. And it's only Monday.
An official in Mr. Ignatieff's office today called the charges "outrageous" and "totally disgraceful."
Here's the back story: Yesterday, the Prime Minister visited HMCS Ville de Quebec while at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Trinidad. The ship was there to help with security during the summit. While aboard, the Prime Minister decided to take a swipe at the opposition for what he believes is criticism of the military over the transfer of Afghan detainees.
"Let me just say this: living as we do, in a time when some in the political arena do not hesitate before throwing the most serious of allegations at our men and women in uniform, based on the most flimsy of evidence, remember that Canadians from coast to coast to coast are proud of you and stand behind you, and I am proud of you, and I stand beside you."
Those comments didn't sit well with Mr. Ignatieff. Here what he said in a news release last night about Mr. Harper's remarks: "Stephen Harper's comments are beneath the office of Canada's prime minister. To use an audience of active Canadian service men and women serving abroad as a prop for political attacks is bad enough. To try to hide behind the brave men and women in uniform for his own government's handling of the Afghan detainee scandal is even worse."
There you have it. We can hardly wait for tomorrow.
(Photo: Chris Wattie/Reuters)