04.20.2013 10:29 AM

Wherein the Boston Globe pays rather too much attention to “root causes”

Will Mr. Harper now be condemning the Boston newspaper – as well as Mr. Obama, who said we now need to know the “how and why”?


  1. JH says:

    Sorry WK – I agreed with you when you said this, “Harper looks bad for recklessly politicizing a terrible tragedy. Trudeau looks bad for being completely out of his depth.

    Advantage: Mulcair, for knowing when to keep his mouth shut.” after the comments on the first day or within the first couple of hours.

    I have no problem with anybody wanting to study and discuss root causes and all the ramifications of this now.
    Your take was correct then, as it is now when the terrorists have been captured/killed. Apologists aside, Trudeau did indeed look out to lunch, Mansbridge’s ‘tell’ showed that and the PM was just nasty, which folks don’t like.
    No matter what anyone says, JT needs competent help in this area and I have no doubt, you’ll get the call eventually.

  2. kitt says:

    Except that Obama’s first speech also spoke about “But make no mistake,” Obama said, “we will get to the bottom of this.” as in will look for root causes. There are many references to the accuracy and validity of Justin’s remarks. Many world leader also spoke of finding root causes for this bombing.

    Guess Mulcair shoulda opened his mouth and said something. Harper was completely out of touch.

    The world and Justin spoke on the same issue 😛

  3. dave says:

    I figured fromt he get go what JT said was reasonable, that what SH came out with was a cheap shot(as is his wont), …and I am so disappointed with Garrison on tv siding with SH.

  4. J.W. says:

    When I heard Obama’s comment I thought, Wow. the Pres. has just made the Canadian punditry look like shallow idiots. Then came the Toronto Globe editorial Saturday, to speed the downward slide in the level of Trudeau commentary.. Pathetic.

  5. Tom Gil says:

    I read this and I can’t see how this is going to help Liberals and/or hurt Conservatives. The “root” causes, gleaned from this article are:

    a) intense ethnic nationalism, both Russian and Chechen: The Trudeaus are long-time Russophiles – the younger was given the nickname “Sasha” (the Russian diminutive of Alexander) in recognition of his father’s love of Russian literature and culture. The name also is linked to former Soviet ambassador to Canada and family friend Alexander Yakovlev. Trudeau also wrote: ‘But never have I had so strong a sense of a people who belonged where they were. And while I’ve met fighters, there’s been nothing of the savagery of Beslan in the men and women I have talked to. But they are tough. The only way to defeat the Chechens is to exterminate them, and that is not to be: we humans are lucky to still come in such a fierce old mould.

    Why is there is never a critique of culture, ethnic nationalism from the Liberal Party?

    b)Bolshevism/communism: the Trudeaus’ admiration of “Uncle” Fidel is unqualified, long-standing, and well known. The Trudeaus have long supported a command economy – this family left Russia because: “America has a lot of jobs. That’s something Russia doesn’t have,” he told the newspaper. “You have a chance to make money here if you are willing to work.”

    c) Radical Islam: obviously the seduction of revenge, hate, feelings of omnipotence got to these young men. As you can see from the aunt and the father who think this is all some conspiracy of the police and the FBI, the level of denial is astronomical – as astronomical as Justin Trudeau attending “Reviving Islamic Spirit” or Alexandre Trudeau portraying the Iranian regime as benign.

    d) Multi-culturalism: despite and abundance of opportunities in the United States, they could not break free of the repression of their mother culture. Liberals are the high priests of multi-culturalism. The Boston Bombings are yet more of it’s bitter fruits.

    It is plain and obvious that the Liberal Party has no business governing anyone. You are living in a fantasy world.

  6. Bruce A says:

    Never saw what was wrong with JT’s observations but I understood what he meant. Sadly, the media has a need to fill dead air with mindless talk and no historical context. It’s just tiresome listening to Harper and his barking seals suck the life out of every conversation, situation or event. Coupled with the fact that the media is always two steps behind pointing out Conservative hypocrisy.

    Farting Liberals and NDPers do more to freshen the public discourse than the Harpainistas! and their surrogates at the National Pest.

    Everybody gets it, now try taking some course of action to engage the marginalized. Like, oh, say:

    “It’s jobs, stupid, not the debt”.

    Finally, here’s the Mother of All Whoopers until the Next Big One:


    • Swervin' Merv says:

      I too was going to cite Paul Wells’ excellent Maclean’s piece, the contents of which will undoubtedly be referenced many more times this coming week.

      As one of 1,828 people surveyed in the latest EKOS poll, I’m not at all surprised that Harper’s most recent attempts at bomb-making are blowing up in his face:


      • Bruce A says:

        We’ll have to see if this a long term trend, and if it is, then the Harpainistas! are going to have to change gears to Plan B. Provided they have a viable Plan B but I wonder if they can change. They’re so used to the mealymouthed approach.

        I’ve noticed on P&P that the female spin doctors sometimes start shaking their heads and muttering under their breath, when the Opposition starts getting the better of them. Used to be they’d just talk over the Opposition or interrupt them. It looks to me as though they are starting to show signs of frustration but we’ll see.

        I think that Tom Mulcair is the guy Trudeau has to be wary of because we all know what Harper is about and I don’t think Mulcair has hit his stride yet, regardless of what polls say about his personal appeal. It would be foolish to discount the NDP, as the media seems to be doing. Mulcair might not be flashy but he strikes me as being steady and consistent. I would not underestimate him in the least.

        It’s going to interesting given the finicky and fickle nature of Quebec. I suspect that the next election is going to be won and lost in the Golden Horseshoe.

        Just out of curiosity, does EKOS or other polling firms, phone people out of the blue or do they have set lists they rely on?

        • Swervin' Merv says:

          You can get the longer iPolitics report (for subscribers) on this EKOS poll by going through http://www.nationalnewswatch.com (or see a similar report in the Toronto Star):

          “The poll of 1,828 English-speaking respondents was conducted April 17-19 via Ekos’s Probit online/telephone research panel.”

          I was invited to join the online “panel” some time ago and they tap me when I fit the demographic they are looking for. (Not sure whether other firms use this type of proxy to replace the more costly practice of repeated randomn sampling.)

  7. Elizabeth says:

    I was worried about this, that he’d talked too much about societal problems, but listening to 20-somethings talking about it; they said “this is what most Canadians want to hear”, they’re not interested in listening to Harper’s tough-guy stance at all. Trudeau is more nuanced, more conversational, more intelligent than Harper – I’m not used to this. It will take time. Now I’m glad he did speak the way he did – and it looks like Harper isn’t getting that much traction out of it, as in the attack ads.
    Have faith and back to square one – JT does not do things he hasn’t carefully thought out in advance, and he doesn’t embark on anything that he doesn’t realistically think he can win. Long-range planner, and when it comes to being a “chess master” I think Harper has more than met his match.

    Love the way he looks just like Pierre, when he’s waiting for a media question; gets the look of a fencer taking up his position.

    • Ottawa civil servant says:

      ‘…carefully thought out in advance…Are you freaking serious? He looked like a dear in the headlights and stumbled through a response. Go to the link posted in an earlier conversation and watch it. His dad must be spinning in his grave. Who offers Canadian EMTs to a major US city when it is clear ‘material support’ is not what America needs?

      What Canadians learned this week: Americans are resilient and resourceful; Justin in not only incapable of handling an equally serious event (think Toronto 17) but is also incapable of handling the media demands it would create.

      Picture him in the governor of Massachusetts’ seat having generals, chiefs-of-police and security forces all demanding an action. Because the PM in Canada would be involved up to his neck in a similar situation. Did you see the grace, poise and professionalism of the Governor? Boston was comforted. JT would be a disaster: both in trying to comfort a city in crisis and in determining the proper course of action. My neighbourhood was searched by cops and soldiers during the October Crisis, and I know this Trudeau lacks the brain and stomach for it.

  8. MCBellecourt says:

    I read somewhere that Peter McKay said something about finding out the root problems. And the UK’s David Cameron, too. If I can find the links again, I’ll post them, but in the meantime, if someone else finds them before me, then have at ‘er.

    What’s going to happen next is that Peter Van Loon, with his anti-terrorism bill, will be trying to regain some poltical capital with Trudeau’s statement in the House on Monday and Tuesday.

    Should be interesting.

  9. Barb Valecourt says:

    Root Causes

    This week, supporters of the four boys allegedly involved in the Rehtaeh Parsons case have taken their voice to the streets: bright, multi-coloured posters with the words: “Speak the truth. There’s two sides to every story. Listen before you judge. The truth will come out. Stay strong and support the boys” have gone up in neighbourhoods around Halifax, including in the area around Rehtaeh’s mother’s house.

    Also this week, the aunt and father of the young men allegedly involved in the Boston Bombing protested that they were being “framed” and that this was some kind of vast conspiracy of the FBI and the police. “My son is a true angel,” said the father of Anzor Tsarnaev.

    While, obviously, and technically these six young males are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, the evidence in both cases seems overwhelming.

    What is disquieting in both cases is the level of denial. In the Parson’s case, the boys and their supporters argue that the gang rape was consensual; further they argue that the fact that parson’s was intoxicated doesn’t enter into it. These boys are innocent! Comment should be superfluous.

    In the Boston bombing case, already the apologists and supporters are out. “Conversations” about “root” causes are already piling up in the press and the blogosphere. These young men were the victims of marginalization (this is the Jan Wong line). Islamophobia drove them to it. Predictably, in the same vein as the aunt and the father, this is some vast Zionist conspiracy. These boys are innocent! Again, comment should be superfluous.

    But for the dense, including Liberals and Conservatives who feel the need for more committees, more fact-finding initiatives, the truth is self evident in an Occam’s razor kind of way. These “angels” are in fact just plain, bad, mean, vicious, hellions. Those that wish to be willfully blind, remain in total denial, ostrich like, are little better.

    One of the few people I have respect for in our houses of assembly is Romeo Dallaire. He wrote a book titled, “Shake Hands with the Devil.” I feel that this week I have shaken that hand six times.

  10. I dunno, I think that Justin Trudeau got lucky this time. He spoke too quickly when the facts were not clear. With the passage of time, he might as easily have been shown up as a callous apologist for some utterly beastly shits, or who knows what. Basically, if you are not clear what happened, then keep it simple. That is not just true for politicians, but when you are dead certain that your words are going to be distilled into headlines, and 30 second clips, it is doubly, triply true. He isn`t stupid, just relatively inexperienced. I bet (hope..) that he thought long and hard about what might have happened to him…

  11. dave says:

    I am trying to remember what the root cause was when those two immigrants, Sacco and Vanzetti, who had been in USA about ten years, in the Boston area, and had been got after by the FBI predecessor, the US Justice Dept, for their politics, and were found guilty of committing a robbery and murder, were executed anyway just a few months after some other guy confessed to being part of the gang that had committed the robbery and murder.

    I think some foreign ideology, anarchism, or some such, was the root cause back in those 1920’s.

  12. Jamie says:

    The problem was not JT’s use of the phrase “root causes”, it was the tone of his comments. People look for strength in their leaders in times of crisis, not complexity. When the crisis has passed, then comes the time for reflection.

    Look, this was a single moment and not overly important in the long-term of JT’s leadership, but he has to learn that the time has passed for him to think out loud. Every word he speaks from here on in will be parsed and weighed and critiqued. He needs his head fully in the game.

    That’s the point and that’s the lesson he needs to take away from this.

    And for my fellow Liberals, let’s avoid the temptation to roll a turd in sugar and call it a candy bar. There is more than a hint of desperation in the tone of many of the comments here to treat everything that JT says as genius. He is new. He will make plenty of mistakes. He is better served by acknowledging and learning from them.

    • Neil says:

      So not to be a Pollyanna or to roll a turd in sugar, fair comment by the way, but I have to think maybe we are ALL wrong on this and JT is right. Politics in full sentences, JT is a thoughtfully positive guy and he played it as who he is. Maybe this is right. We are all saying that JT needed to be a more traditional sound bite politician but ultimately people like authenticity? People don’t vote for Harper because they like him but they understand him, they are comfortable that he will be who they think he is, same with Ralph Klein, same with George Bush jr. Warren always contends people know authenticity when they feel it and if JT turns into a sound bite tested politician maybe people will turn off and think he is not authentic. Just maybe JT is right here and he is being himself and people will respect and accept someone trying to have an adult comversation, maybe the best way to fight the Tory attack ads is to be positive, be authentic and be strong and ignore the back seat advisors and media, maybe they read Warrens books and are paying attention to that aspect. So then when he fights back by framing himself with positivity, optimism and authenticity it will work! Course I could be just enjoying that oh Henry.

      • Graham says:

        The Liberals MUST get him to pull back from the media spotlight.

        But more importantly, they need to have a chat with his wife abot the need for her to fade into the background for the time being.

        If she keeps giving interviews like the useless fluff piece to Yahoo news about how Justin asked her out for their first date, people are going to get sick of him real fast.

  13. kre8tv says:

    Either he didn’t get briefed properly or decided to wing the answer. I agreed with the substance of his point, albeit inarticulate. But he looked bush league in his delivery, and that’s what his Con opponents are really going after. They’re going to be on an election footing from here on in and the goal is to define the leader and demoralize the party’s collective ability to respond when the shitake hits the fan.

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