Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Could this possibly be the worst op-ed ever?

My thanks to Sandy for taking this one on. I am hoping to spend more time on it myself later, but am currently pressed for time.

Fisking Kitchener Record on Afghan Backlash - both at Sandy's site, and at Jack's Newswatch.

From "Backlash forces change in Harper Tactics" by Professor John F. Conway:

...The Harper government's Plan A, with the unprecedented direct involvement of the military in domestic politics and drum beating support from the Canadian media, involved an all-out propaganda offensive to win Canadians' support for this ugly, illegal war in the service of American hegemony in the region...

Ignoring all the other garbage and innuendos, could someone please explain to me how this is an "illegal" war?

* * * *

Related: Darcey has a great post with a link to Jonathan Kay's excellent blog comment.


Anonymous said...

It's illegal because it was approved by the U.N. and all the Nato countries taking part.

No,wait, that makes it legal.

Please note sarcasm.


kursk said...

Well, the simple answer to that would be that it isn't.Illegal that is...

However, when it comes to anti-war sentiments from the left in Canada, the distinctions blur whenever it is convenient.

Anonymous said...

TangoJuliette sez:


Here's a suggestion.

A challenge to Canadian [news?]media; The Press Complaints Bureau[?]; Freedom of Information Department; Every politician, journalist, pundit, commentator. Every newspaper, magazine, every Televison and Radio Station, and every politically-affiliated blog site in Canada. Now's the time to either Put Up or Sut Up, And, maybe, just maybe, Hang your head in shame!


To all the various media publications and broadcasters in the year 2007: could you please provide for general perusal by the Canadian public, copies of all reports, publications and broadcasts pertaining to deaths of Canadian troops in foreign combat zones , for the period prior to Harper government coming to power in January 2006.
Please provide all examples which might appear even remotely similar to the type of coverage being provided to- day with each passing death of the Canadians serving in Afghanistan, on a Liberal-launched, and conservative-extended mission.

Apart from the former minister Bill Graham’s early “Body Bags” lecture tours across the country, and prior to the deployment of troops to Afghanistan, was there any coverage opposing the proposed dispatching of Canadian forces? Did the first 5, 10 25 or 35 dead troops of the Liberal reign, draw any similar coverage? Show the Canadian public, and please show the parents and families and friends of our troops, that the deceased on the Conservatives’ watch are NOT now crassly, coldly, ghoulishly and calculatingly being used in an attempt to secure some small measure of possible political gain, by those opposed to the Conservative ascension to [minority] government.

Can your organization provide unequivocal proof that the coverage of Canadian troop deaths during the period of a Liberal government, was equal then, to today’s coverage in style, nature and frequency, now being broadcast on an almost daily basis, now that the Conservatives are in power.

Would you also please delineate your organizations position vis-a-vis “ramp ceremonies,” “repatriation of deceased,” “the lowering of the flag on Parliament Hill.” Has your news organization, and the staff within your newsrooms, been consistent in support, opposition, tacit approval through silence, of the campaign in Afghanistan? Did the position of your organization radically change right after the transition of power in January 2006? How? When? Why?

Can your organization provide date-stamped documents with names, hometowns, tear-sheets, proofs, video-clips, obits, of the 12, 24, 36 of our first youngsters to die on distant shores, in service to our [at that time, Liberal]government? If you can:Please, do so, quickly!

If you can't: WHY THE HELL NOT??!


typos, errors and omissions excepted.

Lemon said...

And Prof John F Conway is?
Dr. J.F. Conway
Professor and Head of Sociology and Social Studies

B.A. Hon. (Psychology) (Saskatchewan)
M.A (Social psychology) (Saskatchewan)'
Ph.D. (Political sociology) (Simon Fraser)

And a sociologist's opinion on a war is important enough to publish because?

Lemon said...

Google him and check out his work for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
You know them, the lobby group supported by teh Communist Party of Canada - Marxist Leninist.

Anonymous said...

According to the left the boy scouts of america are illegal because they wear uniforms.

liberal supporter said...

I support the Afghan war, I even think we should be in Iraq, but the article is bang on. I searched and found it, since the links you gave are for non-blogger sites.

I agree with you, I don't see why he refers to the war as illegal. In the article, it looks to me like in describing plan A, he is talking about a propaganda offensive to win support. I think calling it "dirty immoral" is how he believes people in general may see it, which is what makes the propaganda necessary to gain support. That is just my impression and he is not clear though. I doubt he is unaware of the international process that led to invading Afghanistan.

I agree with his general premise, that Harper is not changing his mind, simply changing tactics.

I also agree that Harper is using and will continue to use the troops for partisan gain. What we have seen so far is that Harper thinks he can bully everyone into accepting every decision he makes because not to support him in every way is cast as not supporting the troops.

Just one example: Karzai has been negotiating with the Taliban. Musharraf has been negotiating with the Taliban. Layton suggests it and your noise machine calls him Taliban Jack. Why? Certainly not because negotiating is what everyone else in the area is already doing. It is because the CPC noise machine thinks they can hang the "terrorist lover" tag on everyone who opposes them.

Harper is so prideful that he can't let the diplomats and the military do their jobs effectively, he has to try to look like he is running everything. A negotiation would likely bring many that are called "Taliban" onside, get them helping in reconstruction, and reduce the support for the true crazies.

Consider your earlier thread about abortion. There are "pro life" people who kill abortion doctors. Naturally, I assume you do not support them, even though they have similar goals. You are engaged in the political process and so will fight forever through non-violent means to have the laws changed. If the process seemed completely hopeless for a long enough time, it is possible you actually might support the doctor killers.

If there is a tiny voice that says "he deserved it" when an abortion doctor is murdered, even if you dismiss the thought as reprehensible, you have gained some understanding of a large part of the Taliban support. Engage the people in the political process, such as by negotiating, and you would find the Taliban equivalent of doctor murderers would lose most of their support.

But that's not what is happening. The objective is not to stop the bloodshed. If it was, negotiating would be happening. If the objective was a resounding military victory, there would be 20,000 troops there not a few thousand.

The original objective was to help a nation reconstruct without it being run by theocratic fundamentalists. Even under Karzai, they had the man who was to be killed for changing his religion. Only international outcry saved him (but I think he had to leave the country). So it is still an Islamic state, and the countryside is ruled by warlords, some calling themselves Taliban, some not. Numerous "Taliban" switched sides in the original invasion. Now some have changed back because our efforts to keep them onside have failed.

I support the troops. I support the war. With real leadership we would be getting real results instead of the excuses and name calling we are seeing from the CPC leadership.

Shameful. And people are dying because of this Harper hubris.

Sheena said...

Regardless of subject matter or political point of view, Sheena just stops reading as soon as the word hegemony appears.

I guess it's like jumping the shark for learned articles.

Anonymous said...

Again the rest of the media has to take some blame for the ignorance of this Conway and his ilk for not knowing what is really going on in Afghanistan.If they would 'report' instead of specualting, emulating and opinionating every move of the soldiers, the ROC might get the real picture.
and right on to what tango juliette sez!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

and right on to what tango juliette sez!

I second that! Tango, that was remarkably eloquent. I do wish MSM would take up the challenge.

Link to the article is here in case anyone had trouble locating it. Record links are problematic in main post sites for Blogger (at least for me...)

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Sheena just stops reading as soon as the word hegemony appears.

lol!!! Sheena always makes me smile.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

since the links you gave are for non-blogger sites.

L.S. - Oh, yeah. Now I remember why you don't go anywhere other than Blogger. ;) Glad you sleuthed out the article.

I think Conway's article might have made some kind of sense if he had dispensed with the acrimonious language, which detracts from his argument to the extent that all you perceive is the anger and venom.

As far as "negotiating" goes, I have to ask you how? And with what leverage?

paulsstuff said...

"I also agree that Harper is using and will continue to use the troops for partisan gain."

Every news show repeatedly says Afghanistan is hurting the Conservatives in the polls. If Harper was using them for partisan purposes he would withdraw them from combat.

He's doing the exact opposite. He's standing by his decision to support the mission through, wether it costs him votes or not. He recently stated that the mission will not be extended past 2009 without the consensus of Parliament. In other words, Dion and the Liberal's will have the opportunity to decide if they stay or go.

It's a given the NDP and Bloc will vote to withdraw, with Conservative's voting to stay. Dion again stated today that the troops must leave in 2009, and he'll get the chance to prove it in the vote.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Paulsstuff, I think L.S. was referring to this from Conway:

There were soldiers fanning out to schools across the land. Big "support our troops" rallies were organized by the Tories, using troops, military families and communities dependent on military installations to construct a false image of broad public support.

You know, I would like to see some kind of proof. That's quite an outrageous statement when you think of it! I want to see statements from the troops and their families who were "used" in this fashion!

Anonymous said...

LS is out of touch.Those 'Support the Troup rally's were not CPC projects. Check the facts before you spin,spin,spin.

Anonymous said...

Again it becomes clear that the Ostrich buries his head in the sand and refuses to acknowledge that all civilized countries are at war with a movement that does not have boundries.
Quoting from an article by :
Car Bomb Jihad
By Dr. Walid Phares | July 2, 2007
“Failure to consider the underlying cause of jihadist terrorism has stunted Britain’s intellectual debate. Consider that in the most recent plot, the two cars were declared as “linked” because the bombs they contained were made of the same material. But what if the two car bombs were filled with different types of explosives? Would they then have belonged to two different conflicts? It would have been odd in the extreme for police during the London Blitz of 1940 to wonder whether the bombs falling on the city were “linked” because they were made of the same material. But because many in Britain still refuse to acknowledge that they are at war with Islamic terrorism, we get the kind of official analysis that we saw last week.”

Alberta Girl said...

"A negotiation would likely bring many that are called "Taliban" onside, "

So L.S. - "negotiating" is the way to bring peace to the middle east. I believe "negotiation" has been tried by many in the past - could be wrong though - just think i remember many "peace talks".

I note with interest how many of you on the left put out the simplistic solutions as if it

A. has never been tried in the past

B. would actually work

So - here is my take on the "negotiations"

Canada - Hey guys, what can we do to make you stop killing and maiming and blowing up things.

Taliban - Well, you can for starters make your women cover up and after they do that, you can make sure that they are not allowed to go to school and quit working.

Canada - But, don't you think that is a little harsh - after all, we have had women's equality for decades - women contribute greatly to society.

Taliban - No. Secondly, all your citizens must glorify Allah and accept all that is Islam.

Canada - But, we are a multi-cultural society - we accept all religions and the right to practice them.

Taliban - Praise be to Allah

Canada - But Tali, Negotiation is just that - you give a little, we give a little. How about we let you all come to Canada and have your 72 Virgins before you die.

Taliban - "BOOM"

So you see LS - your simplistic solution is just that - simplistic. Easy to throw out solutions when you are not the one responsible. Paul Martin found out just how difficult it is to make a decision and stick to it. Hence he is no longer the leader.

As someone else said - if SH wanted optics and votes, all he would have to do is announce that he was bringing home the troops. The fact he is not doing that shows that he is a true leader.

Anonymous said...

TangoJuliette sez:
Quoting Joanne(True Blue):
"...I second that! Tango,...I do wish MSM would take up the challenge..." Wed Jul 04, 08:30:00 PM EDT
Joanne Thanks for the backing. The questions then, must be as follows.
How can a few concerned citizens like ourselves, "encourage" today's media and letter-writing general public to reveal the sincerity of those positions which they espouse, promote, and/or report today?
Those, who today, are so openly and stridently opposed to what they now like to label “Bush-lite, lap-dog, imperialistic agressors’ war“ in referring to today’s mission in Afghanistan, must be strongly encouraged to produce , perhaps even shamed, into producing evidence of their supposedly similar and allegedly long-standing opposition to Canadian involvement in Afghanistan, since the start of the deployment in 2002.
I strongly fear that in many instances, much of today's opposition to the current mission and troop deployment in Afghanistan, is all part of a vile partisan turn of events.
Today's alleged opponents, were, in the main, yesterday's staunch supporters of the Liberal policy, in which Canada got our troops “into some fray, somewhere, but it wasn't going to be in Iraq alongside those terrible Bushian ‘Murkins" and their impaerialistic war of aggression of blood for oil.”
Trouble is, Chretien, Martin and MND Bill Grahan diddled and dithered far too long, and our allies got all the safer assignments. The Maple Leaf Gang got stuck with the “shit-storm” part of the Afghan world.
By default, and solely because of Liberal government mismanagement, our military found themselves to be, not only stuck with the toughest assignment in-country, but that they were also woefully ill-outfitted to boot, thanks to Liberal fuddle-duddling during their stint as Government. [Think cancelled helicopters 1993. These would have been immune to roadside bombs. Though probably vulnerable to rocket attack and sand snafus -- though, to date, not too many reports of that happening with the other nations over there. Think forest cammo for dessert postings. Think tin-can vehicles for troop movements, in absence of helicopters.]
To ALL who today actively oppose, and to ALL those who today forcefully and manipulatively report on the opposition to the Canadian presence in Afghanistan at this time:
You say you care now, now that this is tagged as being “Conservative PM Harper’s War?” Prove that you cared back then, back when this was the rarely-covered “Liberal PM Chretien’s War.”
But please, please, PLEASE, as quickly as possible, and as strongly and as clearly as possible, please produce as much hard copy evidence that shall unequivocally, once and for all, put my mind and soul at ease. Help me, and help the many Canadians such as myself, to no longer believe that you are, in fact, indulging in the party-spirited, partisan-driven creation of a politically-manufactured battlefield upon the flag-draped coffins of our repatriated fallen flowers of Canada’s youth – all for what might appear to some, to be nothing more than some slight bit of political one-upmanship over the current government, one more possibly slight advantage at the polls in some future election.
To have sent ill-equipped youth of Canada into harm’s way, then, at the time of their deaths in those far-off hellish places you sent them to, for you to try to suck political life for yourselves through these tragic deaths, are the acts of the most despicable, and absolutely most un-Canadian of hearts and minds, totally bereft of any sense of decency and propriety.
A letter/e-mail/petition campaign to anybody and everybody, might help get the ball rolling. Anyone wants to copy excerpts or portions of these, and the preceding thoughts, is more than welcome to do so.

Copyright laws might apply, should anyone try to make a buck or two from this, however.

liberal supporter said...


I don't know how to negotiate with the Taliban. I am not a diplomat. You'll have to ask Hamid Karzai who is negotiating with them. Or ask Pervez Musharraf who is negotiating with them.

Perhaps you should vent your insults at them for negotiating with the Taliban.

SouthernOntarioan said...

Yep L.S. perhaps Hamid Karzai has been negotiating with the Taliban, and perhaps Musharraf has also been negotiating with the Taliban.

Tell me, what so far have they achieved?

Absolutely nothing. The border with Pakistan is still as porous as it was several years ago and Taliban continue to use the border states as bases of operation.

liberal supporter said...

Tell me, what so far have they achieved?

Absolutely nothing.

They're still negotiating though. Better to try than not.

Unless your objective is to paint your political opponents as traitors for partisan gain. "Taliban Jack" indeed! That is why we are not negotiating. Majority fever is why the CPC is botching this war.