12 August 2009

I Call Bullshit

This is absolutely atrocious:

"Mr. Layton has written a book about investing in Canadians and their communities. Mr. Ignatieff has written books defending torture,” said Lavigne.

“Mr. Ignatieff has defended and supported the war in Iraq … If Mr. Ignatieff or Mr. Harper were prime minister in 2004, Canada would still be in Iraq today.”

This comment comes from Brad Lavigne, the NDP's communications director. If the NDP had a serious person running their party, Mr. Lavigne would be looking for a new job today. Since they don't, Lavigne will continue to make idiotic, false, and ideologically-charged comments that don't let details such as the facts get in the way.

Fact: Michael Ignatieff has not written a single book defending torture, let alone multiple books. He's written a book, The Lesser Evil, in which he addresses torture and flatly states that the practice of torture is anathema to a free and democratic society that is fighting a war against terror.

Fact: the Iraq War started in 2003.

Fact: neither Michael Ignatieff nor Stephen Harper were prime minister in 2003 or 2004, and thus discussing what would have happened if they were is intellectually irrelevant. Secondary fact: that it was 6 years ago compounds just how irrelevant the argument is. It's 2009, there probably won't be an election this year and who knows about next year - surely there are some relevant and pressing issues that the NDP would like to discuss.

Fact: unless there's some clandestine activity going on, Canada has not been in Iraq since 1991. Saying that we would "still" be there today makes absolutely no sense.

Fact: Michael Ignatieff has indeed supported the removal of Saddam Hussein and the liberation of 25 million Iraqis from his tyrannical grip. The NDP have always preferred that Saddam Hussein remained in power, as the status quo ante bellum was completely acceptable to the NDP. Routine detention, indefinite imprisonment, disappearing political rivals, and physical, psychological, and emotional terror - the hallmarks of the Saddam regime - are things that the NDP can tolerate as long as they're happening to Iraqis. Since George W. Bush opposed those things, the NDP, by reflex and default, supported them.


ridenrain said...

Considering Chretin put us in Afghanistan without debate in parliament, and Martin moved us into harms way again without debate, I'm not sure what it maters what they said. The Liberal party went from total support of the mission to hardly supporting the 2011 extension. The only real parliamentary debate on Afghanistan has been under Harper.
I think Ignatieff is a good guy but he's just leading the wrong party.

Emily said...

The NDP is just getting started.
This next election is about Jack Layton's job, so, Mr Ignatief better have thick skin because wether anyone likes it or not every paragraph the man has ever spoken or written will be an attack ad.

Anonymous said...

Dude, I'm a loyal Grit, but we ran ads in 2006 expressly stating that Stephen Harper would have put Canadian troops in Afghanistan. The Liberal Party of Canada was against sending Canadian troops to Iraq and both Prime Minister Chretien and Prime Minister Martin were clear in their opposition to the war. In fact, Chretien produced one of his most memorable moments trying to explain what would convince him of Saddam Hussein's possession of WMD. Turns out they didn't have a proof and they didn't have a proof because it wasn't proven.

Ignatieff has written some dubious things in the past. He has continually advocated imperialistic foreign policy and Iraq was an extension of that. As a Liberal, I'd like to know whether Ignatieff thinks Canadian troops should withdraw in February 2011 or somehow maintain a presence in order to guarantee Afghan peace and security. Our leader is going to have some work to do on the left trying to explain his previous policy positions. We should have known that when we made him leader.

RGM said...

Apologies to all three of you for the delayed response. I'll address what needs addressing all together here:

ridenrain, there wasn't much of a debate to be had on Afghanistan back in 2001. NATO invoked Article V after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and under our obligations to the Alliance we were bound to commit ourselves to Afghanistan in the name of collective security. Whether or not there was a parliamentary debate or not isn't particularly tied in to the despicable comments made by Lavigne regarding Ignatieff's foreign policy positions. While I do agree with you that the Liberals have gone soft on Afghanistan in recent years, I would hope that under Ignatieff, much like the US has under Obama, we will see more emphasis on the mission in that country.

Emily, I've got no problem if Jack wants to attack Ignatieff's record. What I do have a problem with is fabricating a record and then slamming that. It's facetious and they know it, but unfortunately people will just accept the statements at face value because surely if a politico is on TV talking about allegations of torture it must be true.

Anon - I called the Libs on that bullshit tactic back in 2006 when they did it. I'm not sure if you meant to say "Iraq" in your first statement, since under the Liberals we did go to Afghanistan, so whether Harper did or not isn't all that relevant. And to say that Chretien was clear on Iraq is a gross, gross inaccuracy that leaves out a lot of history. In the end, he said no, but mark my words (and this is as relevant as "Harper would have gone there had he been PM") had the UN Security Council passed a second resolution on Iraq we would have been there. Unfortunately we allowed our foreign policy to be dictated by the likes of Chirac and Schroeder. I disagreed with both the process and the decision undertaken by Chretien on Iraq - had he flat-out said no from the beginning, I would have respected it on principle. But it was literally a day-to-day, week-to-week changing of positions depending on how things were going at the UNSC.