11.18.2010 08:00 AM


Golly, it sure seems like all that stuff they told us – you know, that there were only one or two “casual” chats between Messrs. Rae and Cannon, and that there were no backroom deals – was, well, bullshit, wasn’t it?

Sgt. Rae, at your service.

UPDATE: From a friend with deep Grit caucus connections: “Rae to Jerusalem. Smitherman to Ottawa. All’s well that ends well.”


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    Blair Shumlich says:

    And what would you have had them do, Warren?

    The Liberals have been advocating for this position for quite some time. Would you have had them reverse because the Tories supported it?

    The government does not need to put this to parliament; they can act unilaterally. Even if they did put it to parliament, it would pass because of Liberal support. What is the point? Has good information come up in parliament since…oh, I dunno, 2004?

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      Warren says:

      1. I’d stick to what my entire party originally voted for: withdrawal from a combat role in June 2011.
      2. I’d urge other allies to step up and do their bit. We’ve been there for a decade; it’s someone else’s turn.
      3. There are many, many other places in the world – such as the Congo, for instance, where 300 women and girls were mass-raped this Summer, some of them to death – where our expertise and people would be welcome.
      4. I’d be an opposition – and thoughtfully oppose the government. For once.

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        terence says:

        1. combat withdrawal is assured by the agreement

        2. its not someone else’s turn; we are known as peacekeepers and that’s the new role within NATO of which we are a strong member.

        3. How many women and children are killed or raped or stoned to death etc in Afghanistan. C,mon Warren you can do better than that comment.

        4. The libs have advocated a peackeeping transition role for months…..Where were you when Iggy announced his preference back then? There are some pretty good other opportunities to oppose Mr. Angry but this is one where a consensus is good and I applaud Canada’s politicians for stepping up………..Jack Layton and the bloc notwithstanding.

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          Warren says:

          Look, I have to work, so I’m not interested in getting into protracted debates with people who don’t use their real names.

          Rae, and then Ignatieff, did indeed reverse themselves months ago: that’s true. Nobody in caucus or the party actually thought Harper would, however, because (i) he had been so firm in saying no, and (ii) the Parliamentary vote, which involved Messrs. Rae and Ignatieff, had been very clear.

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            robert says:

            Now I call bullshit. You, Warren, actually believed harper the day he said out in 2011?

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            Warren says:

            Dude, he said it a hundred times. Only McKay seemed to want to flip flop, to us. Cannon and Harper were hardcore “no.”

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          Jan says:

          Is it too much to ask to know exactly what Harper is committing us to in Lisbon? It’s already gone from – don’t worry – the training will be done behind the wire in Kabul to – trainers are needed all over Afghanistan. Our guys are mostly being killed by IED’s not combat. Are they really going to be at less risk because they are not officially in a combat role.

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    Blair Shumlich says:

    1. This isn’t a combat role; it is a training role.
    2. We aren’t the only countries there. I was raised that if you decided to help people you stick with it. I’m not willing to say “someone else clean up the mess we were unable to fix.” Those are people in Afghanistan we would be failing. Just like you and I are people.
    3. There a lot of countries like this; however, we haven’t invaded them, torn them apart, then decided to abandon them because we lost resolve. If Afghanistan falls apart, thousands more will die. How do we prioritize these countries, and how do we help them all? It can’t be done, but we–for various reasons, I understand–made a choice to go into Afghanistan, and rebuild it. I think we have a moral obligation to make sure a nation we invaded doesn’t turn into even more of a failed state. If we went into the Congo, shook things up, then left so the country could fall apart again that wouldn’t accomplish much.
    4. They did oppose the government. Before Harper came out saying they may extend the mission in a non-combat role beyond 2011, the Liberals were doing it. They were opposing, and thoughtfully I might add. In fact, they opposed what was a popular position. Principle trumped politics for them; it doesn’t get more thoughful, in my humble opinion. Would you have the Liberals flip-flop because Harper realized they were right?

    This whole mess–out of the Liberal camp–stinks of politics. The Liberal caucus hasn’t been actively battling the position of the party on an extended non-combat role until it looked like it might actually happen; now they are stuck with the credit, and they don’t want that. Democracy and principle my ass.

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    Sean Cummings says:

    Meantime, PM Harper looks on from the sidelines, his thin lips curved up into a malicious looking grin. “Dance, puppets, dance,” he says, barely able to contain his glee.

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    Paul R Martin says:

    Both parties are learning that they can work with each other on various issues. The level of mutual distrust and animosity is being toned down.

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      Namesake says:

      Bullocks. The secret, ego-gratifying calls b/w Cannon & Rae were a poisoned chalice, calculated to provide cover for the gov’t while fostering disunity in the Libs & providing a wedge issue to the NDP; and meanwhile, the Cons. have apparently decided to use the ‘unelected, unaccountable’ Senate to kill anything else they couldn’t deal with in the House through collusion. There aren’t too many smoothed feathers on the Hill today: just a lot of snickering on the Gov’t side.

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        Paul R Martin says:

        LOL! For the second time in 2 days, my CAPTCHA Code contained the consecutive letters FU! An omen perhaps! Anyways “What the world needs now is love sweet love.”

        It seems as if the Senate just deep sixed an opposition bill that was designed to embarrass the Conservatives. Are you upset that the Liberals no longer control the Senate. Remember that it was the the Liberal Party somehow managed to lose two consecutive elections. To the victor belongs the spoils. If the Liberal Party stops behaving like spoiled brats, they may just win another election this century.

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    MississaugaPeter says:

    Right now, a strong NDP candidate (Peggy Nash) would have a very good chance of winning a Toronto Centre bye-election (even if Smitherman was the Liberal candidate).

    The question will be: Who is Toronto Centre Liberal MPP Glen Murray going to vote for since he voted Green (against Rae) in the 2008 bye-election and supported Chris Tindal vs. Liberal Ken Chan (lost by 500 votes to the NDP candidate) and Liberal Simon Wookey in the recent municipal election?

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    Matt says:

    Do Warren’s contacts in the Grit caucus really give him any insight into the PMO political appointments for ambassadors. If you take that tip and a quarter you still don’t have enough for a phone call.

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      Matt says:

      Don’t get me wrong Warren. I like what I find here and thankfully it’s free. You’re right about things a little more often than you’re wrong about them which is rare in this business so you’re definitly worth the read. All i’m saying is that was an interesting tip coming from a grit.

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    Student501 says:

    A backroom deal,

    ROTFL…What a surprise….I am in shock…

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    robert says:

    Now everybody is on this training mantra; double bullshit!
    Here’s a bet; 10 to 1 the taliban have complete control of the country within 30 days of the last NATO (gosh, remember when it started out as a UN thing?) soldier’s departure…whether that’s tomorrow, 2014 or…2017.

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    Still Anonymous says:

    Rae called you a “calumny,” Warren. Don’t know what it is, but it sounds bad. And contagious.

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      Warren says:

      I think I ate one in a French resto, once. Tasted good.

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    MCBellecourt says:

    From what I’m getting from folks, training mission, goodwill, helping and all that–they all seem to agree that they favour Canada’s role as peacekeepers vs. being warriors and such, but the underlying factor is the COST.

    We’ve spent billions on this war, and it is becoming clearer that we have problems at home that are being overlooked in favour of the mission. People are worried about their jobs, their health care (biggie), and whether we can come out of the next big recession that will surely hit as well as we did the last go-round (relatively speaking). The tax base has suffered serious losses through the selling off of our assets and money which used to circulate in Canada is now leaving the country for good. Not to mention the interest we’re paying on our debt, which grows bigger by the minute.

    People feel that we just…can’t…AFFORD IT.

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    Michael Behiels says:

    Prime Minister Harper had the sole responsibility of putting a Resolution to the House requesting the extension of the Afghan Mission and outlining precisely what the mandate of that renewal would entail.

    It is the responsibility of the Leader of the Official Opposition and his MPs to either accept, amend, or reject the Resolution. What the other opposition parties do is up to them. Let the cookie crumble where it may.

    Parliament, which is designed to represent the will of Canadians, must decide. Not an autocratic PM with the consent of a weak leader of the Official Opposition Party.

    Both Harper and Ignatieff (with his side kick Rae) decided to make an end run around our Constitutional democracy. Canadians since 1982 are a fully sovereign people. Canadians are far less sovereign now that they were a couple of weeks ago.

    Alas our political elites, falling back upon the pre-1982 elite accommodation mode, have decided behind closed doors to make the decision to continue the Canadian Armed Forces participation in the war in Afghanistan.

    In so doing, Harper, Ignatieff and Rae have made a mockery of Parliament.

    Shame on all of them and the Conservative and Liberal MPs. And shame on the media for supporting this disgraceful violation of the democratic rights of all Canadian citizens.

    And, I adopt this position as a Canadian citizen who supports the extension of the Afghan Mission for Canada’s courageous and very effective Canadian Armed Forces.

    As a liberal democrat I accept the will of Parliament. What I can not accept, and what all Canadians can not and should not accept, is that such a momentous decision, one which puts the lives of Canada’s valiant solders at risk, should be made by Harper and a small coterie of his executive branch with the collusion of the leader of the Official Opposition and his side kick Bob Rae.

    Perhaps Bob Rae’s reward will be a Harper appointment to Israel. Good riddance to him if this rumour is true. He was a bloody disaster as Premier of Ontario, especially on the Meech Lake and Charlottetown constitutional negotiations files and on the economy of Ontario.

    Keep up your good work Warren.

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