03.23.2015 07:43 AM

Your morning moral relativism

If you’re like me, you form judgments based upon a number of variables. You look at the evidence, and you choose.

So, you look at the evidence unearthed by the United Nations, which has reported that ISIS is “selling abducted Iraqi children at markets as sex slaves, and killing other youth, including by crucifixion or burying them alive,” quote unquote.

And if that’s not enough to justify taking action against ISIS in the Middle East, or making it harder to promote terror in Canada – and it should be, for any moral person – then how about this?

If you oppose extending the mission against a genocidal cult, and criminalizing the promotion of terror aimed at minorities (just as we have rightly criminalized the promotion of hatred, for decades) – well, good luck with that.  You can hang with the gun nuts, and I’ll stick with the Pope.

 

54 Comments

  1. Matt says:

    Warren, you can ignore anything and everything the NFA, and specifically Sheldon Clare says. He, and that entire organization are idiots. There are currently duling lawsuits as a result of infighting at the NFA board level. Sheldon allegedly went against NFA by-laws by firing their “professional” lobbyist in Ottawa, Shawn Bevins, so 5 board members allegedly went against the by-laws and removed Sheldon as President. Sheldon and the othe board members then allegedly went against the by-laws again and removed those 5 who removed him.

    They are children. They are unreasonable. Nobody takes them seriously. The Conservatives, thankfully ignore them. Their “professional” lobbyist Bevins has been vanned from several MP’s offices including Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney because of their ridiculous “No Compromise” campaign. The only CPC MP’s who talk to them are the Rob Anders type.

  2. Matt says:

    Oops, that should read Bevins has been banned from several MP’s offices.

    And the NFA aren’t the largest guns rights group in Canada.

    Over half their members are associate members – People who we forced to become NFA members because the gun club they belong to gets their insurance via the NFA.

    • Al in Cranbrook says:

      I’m fairly confident that the vast majority of the hunting and shooting crowd would pretty much prefer to chew off their own trigger fingers than vote Liberal or NDP.

      • Matt says:

        You’d be surprised how many gun owners are Liberal voters, and these morons in the NFA are advocating either staying home on election day, or throwing their vote away on the Libertarian party to “teach the Conservatives a lesson” because the CPC won’t let them have full auto’s and functioning granade launchers.

        • Al in Cranbrook says:

          Well, I admit that voters out east remain a mystery to most of us in the west. 🙂

          The CSSA, I believe, has become the main voice for gun owners. My sense is that the hard core types are a small minority within either faction, but quite vocal nonetheless. Most hunters and shooters I’ve known are fairly satisfied with the CPC’s efforts on their behalf. The one thing most are assured of is that neither of the other two parties can be trusted on anything related to firearms laws and regulations. The moderates, who make up the large majority of owners, I think understand to one degree or another that Harper et al have to find a happy medium that serves the most interests.

          Keep in mind that, given there are probably at least 5 to 7,000,000 firearms owners in Canada, the membership in either organization is a very small fraction of that number.

  3. smelter rat says:

    Scott Taylor’s views on the mess we’re involved in make a lot more sense to me than cheerleading some sort of ill defined mission that has no end in sight.

    • Warren says:

      I think the whole debate has been a great one – citizen engagement, good Parliamentary debate, lots of passion. Whatever side you’re on, we can all be proud of how civil the C51 debate has been.

      • Africon says:

        No kidding, heck I even agree with Smelter Rat on this one.

        Neither this or any other Pope has favored any military action in a very long time and personally, I think that he is wrong on this one.

        The “west” had no business drawing national boundaries without any reference to cultural, tribal or linguistic realities on the ground – the real cause of virtually all of these endless wars all over the place. No amount of bombs will have the slightest effect of this reality except of course creating another generation ( or two) of traumatized people with zero morality and a willingness to themselves be brutal – see the effects of Saddam’s brutality over 30 years. Hardly a good formula for creating a civilized democracy.

  4. doconnor says:

    If only there where more options then gun nuts and the Pope… I guess there are always Nazis.

  5. wsam says:

    Our Shia allies specialize in using electric drills for torture and Assad has bombed, gased, tortured and outright murdered more people than Islamic State ever will. Ex-Foriegn Minister Baird has called Iran the greatest threat to global security today and Canada has closed our Tehran embassy. Qassam Suliman, the head of Iran’s el Quds force, charged with exporting the Islamic revolution and considered by many as a terrrorist organization, is at present considered the most powerful man in Iraq and is celebrated by Iraqi Shias for saving that country from ISIL.One of the main groups fighting ISIL in Syria and Iraq is Hezbullah.

    The only reson we are in Iraq is because a Republican Congress and CNN pressured Obama to ‘do something’. So Obama is ‘doing something’ (as opposed to the covert stuff the US was doing before).

    The Harperites are pursuing Canada’s traditional foriegn policy of “going along, to get along” which Harper had so often derided when in opposition.

    I find it weird that neo-Conservatives such as Stephen Harper, who spend so much time demonizing and attacking Iran, end up fighting Iran’s enemies. First, the Taliban. Then Saddam Hussien. Now ISIL. This is evidence of neo-conservatism’s strategic incompentance

  6. wsam says:

    A bunch of US-based experts recently war-gamed ISIL (it must have been fun to play ISIL’s leadership) and found Washington’s present strategy (which Canada is ‘going along, to get along’) of muddling along, is probably the best one. If this kind of intellectual blue-skying play had taken place in Ottawa we would never hear of it and the participants would be under a PM-mandated cone of silence.

    But, of course, that is indicative of Canada under Harper. Not a leader. A follower. We take orders. Even if the guy we are taking orders from does not really have a plan. Moral clarity!

    http://www.foreignaffairs.com/discussions/news-and-events/gaming-isis

    • Ray says:

      Oh please. “Going along to get along” might accurately describe all of Canada’s military deployments since WW2, regardless of who was in power.

      • wsam says:

        No. They haven’t. But that was what Harper claimed was going to change with him in charge, no more going along to get along’. Canada would find her moral compass and steer her own path, blah blah blah … Except he hasn’t. The sole reason we are involved in Iraq is the same reason we were involved in Libya. The Americans would prefer if we were involved.

        • Ray says:

          As they did with Korea.
          As they did with Kosovo.
          As they did with Afghanistan.

          Sub JT in for Harper and I suspect you’d be praising Canada’s involvement.

  7. EB says:

    Warren,

    Can I be opposed to the WAY the mission is proceeding?

    For more than a dozen years, we have been playing Whack-A-Mole in the Middle East. The only discernible effect that I can see, is the problem just keeps getting worse. The US, by itself, has more than enough firepower to annihilate these bastards ten times over. When do we admit, that what we are doing isn’t working?

    I suppose the moral debate then becomes the risk of collateral damage. But then, who wants to start the debate whether bombing Hiroshima and Nagaski saved lives by shortening the war?

    I am willing to support a mission that has a chance of success. I am just not sure what that is, though.

    • doconnor says:

      Success in Iraq would be reestablishment of Iraqi sovereignty over what is supposed to be Iraq. Just doing that would do a lot to reduce ISILs prestige and attraction to foreigners. (Currently Canada is only involved in the Iraq front.)

      Success in Syria would, of course, be an end to the civil war and a transition to democracy, but ISIL is just one layer of the problems. The opportunity to end the war quickly seems to have passed. The Lebanese Civil War took 15 years and didn’t end until Syria invaded.

  8. MgS says:

    I don’t think anybody disagrees that ISIS/ISIL/IS … whatever they are calling themselves today … are a pretty nasty bunch of people who are doing some horrific things.

    One of the questions we have to ask is whether or not there is any legitimate intervention that can be led by the western powers in the region?

    The rise of ISIS as a power is a consequence of two ill-considered interventions in the region starting in 2002. The ongoing upheaval arguably results from a geopolitical experiment at the end of the colonial era which created nation-states which suited the political and economic aims of colonial powers rather than the people who live there.

    If this intervention was being led by the powers in the region, rather than by western powers (and in Canada, a PM who seems bound and determined to style himself a “war leader”), I might be more enthusiastic. Instead, the major powers in the region are taking a “hands-off” stance. We don’t see Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other large, powerful states in the region engaging to lead an intervention to stop ISIS. In fact it is only states under direct threat from ISIS which are engaged, and they are relatively weak powers.

    So, if we do engage, under what legitimacy do we do so, or is this just another colonial intervention which preserves a political status quo that has not worked for the last hundred years?

    It is one thing to be enraged by the horrific acts of ISIS, it is another to take considered steps which will address the very real issue of the long term organization of the Middle East. If this turns into another “Western Intervention”, the government and nation state structures which arise will bear no more validity than the current failed system, and will inevitably give rise to the next band of violent extremists.

    As for our “Dear Leader” Prime Minister, his simplistic, pugilistic approach to foreign affairs is offensive. It lacks both consideration as well as introspection, and leads to foolhardy engagement in actions which are at best to be used for political jingoism in an anticipated election.

    • doconnor says:

      As bad as the Americans can be, having Middle East counties lead the military action may be worse, with less technology, less discipline and more religious discrimination between Sunnis and Shea.

      The main difference would be less news coverage of what they are doing and perhaps fewer domestic terror attacks, although I’m sure the terrorists would come up with another justification.

      • wsam says:

        Iran is right now leading the military campaign against the Islamic State in both Iraq and to a lesser degree in Syria. That is but one reason why claims of moral clarity on this front are ridiculous. Additionally, Assad is considered by many in the Middle East to be as bad or worse than the Islamic State. Harper’s moral clarity on this issue must be like his moral clarity on climate change or the Palestineans, believe what you like and ignore anything that unsettles you.

      • MgS says:

        @doconnor:

        I don’t disagree with you that it might not be as coherent, but my point is that the Western powers are not the people who live there. In the wake of multiple failed interventions in the region (and I consider anything that has happened in my lifetime in that category – no military intervention has resulted in any meaningful peace).

        Frankly, as long as an intervention is seen to be led by the US / NATO / whomever, it will serve as nothing more than a point of galvanization for the next bunch of rabid crazies. If the action is not actively led by those whom they would consider their peers, it will be perceived as invalid.

        Harper’s pugilistic approach is not beneficial to Canada or the peoples he claims to be helping. It only plays into the hands of ISIS/ISIL/IS or whatever will follow it.

    • Africon says:

      Bang on – the Mujahadeen got their start plus weapons and training to “free” Muslim majority Kashmir from the Hindu minority with support from Pakistan. Then when the Russians invaded Afghanistan they were the best trained and equipped force to resist the Russians with (naturally) US training and equipment. The result – nobody won – not the Russians, not the Americans, the Pakistanis or the Afghans or the people of Kashmir.

  9. davie says:

    I am wondering who the customers are for child slaves from Islamic State. I also wonder how Islamic State keeps going so successfully; they have to be getting outside support. (I am limited by seeing things as primarily economic, bread and butter, at the bottom of it all.) I always suspected that the occupation tactic in Iraq in the past decade was to exacerbate religious divisions, and this seems to be continuing. I think that all reports and opinion pieces on the fighting across the Middle East should be accompanied by maps of present and proposed pipeline routes.
    If Islamic State is so bad, such a monstrous threat, then why are we and our allies doing so little to defeat them…but rather, doing just enough to keep the atrocities happening?

    I mentioned here , before, that I thought the Bill C 51 had more to do with Rexton and Burnaby Mountain than with any Islamic terrorists. Today’s reports suggesting that the bill is, like its predecessor in 2001, a James Bond-y wish list that was taken off the shelf. After the House of C committee listened (way too deferentially) to the apologists for the recently failed, USA sponsored, coup attempt in Venezuala, and the orations from our MP’s, it struck me that our intell people in the new billion dollar building in Ottawa are not only spying and reporting on the citizens of our allies in the 5 eyes countries, but are keen to be involved in some bigger international games. This bill, our panopticon bill, is a good start for us to be a really big player in world of cyber aggression of one kind or another.

    But, if we keep focusing only on babies in incubators and crucified individuals…oh, and them bad Russians…keeping them tied up in Ukraine keeps them out of our designs on Syria…yeah, keep those evil vids coming.

    • King Prick says:

      To answer your question about who the buyers are of child slaves… Look at your smart phone, your sneakers and your laptop. We’re the customers. We create the market.

  10. King Prick says:

    Truth is; I’m not fan of the pope nor gun nuts.

    Strange though that suddenly “evidence unearthed by The United Nations” has now come back into style, (like bell bottom jeans and and penny loafers,) and now we’re supposed to believe that all of this evidence is credible? Not so long ago, Hans Blix was called a hack by several “coalition of the willing” types. Kofi Annan was vilified for supplying food to starving children inn exchange for oil and somehow the USA is still allowed the US to remain “at the table” after Colin Powell shamelessly lied to the UN about WMD.

    Look, I get it… ISIL is terrible. Awful. Horrible. Evil. Vile. Cruel. The reality though is this: They don’t affect my life one way or another other than to take my Canadian dollars away from, oh, I don’t know, things like healthcare, infrastructure spending, Canadian R & D or from fighting frivolous NAFTA lawsuits that seem to be getting heaped on my country more and more everyday. (317 million in the past 2 weeks alone)

    We’re fighting a “concept,” not a nation. We’re bombing shepherds in the desert. We are complicit in killing 14 year old males (because according to the USA, they’re old enough to be insurgents so we might as well, kill ’em all.) Boy, I feel all warm and fuzzy about that.

    We’ve been fed bad intelligence by the UN and especially the USA in the past. From the Gulf of Tonkin to Iraq and a million places in between. There’s nothing credible here. A few grainy videos and some nutcase with a Brit accent aren’t enough to convince me that this mission is warranted. The Middle East will be just fine without us. Let them solve their own problems. In the words of George Carlin: “seal their borders and give them better weapons training.”

    To be clear; I don’t believe in one side or the other. I don’t believe that the evidence can be proven or disproven. I only believe that we ain’t makin’ a lick of difference and we should get back to minding our own affairs in this, the Conservative run shit show we call Canada.

    • smelter rat says:

      +1

    • Africon says:

      Agree on all counts – well stated.

      ” I only believe that we ain’t makin’ a lick of difference and we should get back to minding our own affairs in this, the Conservative run shit show we call Canada.”

      It’s sad isn’t it that much of our military is based on underfunded, old and broken down subs and helicopters.
      How is that gonna help us guard our coastlines especially Arctic ones?

  11. Scotian says:

    Moral clarity makes for a great emotional argument, but not for a coherent foreign policy, especially for a nation like Canada between our highly diverse multicultural society (which makes defining moral in itself more than a little tricky since that does not have simple clear objective definition for all we like to pretend it does, and it shifts from culture to culture) and our not pre-Harper robust military foreign policy (Afghanistan was after all a direct fallout of 9/11/01 and treaty obligation under NATO) and on the practical side lets be honest our military infrastructure is not in the best of shape either on the hardware or human sides as a result of that history and the decade and almost a half now of heavy use it has just been through. I get twitchy whenever ANYONE starts using the moral clarity argument, I don’t care what their politics are, in international affairs it is almost the same as within a nation the use of patriotism being the last resort argument to deflect from a critical/serious examination of an issue. I am inherently wired to be distrustful whenever emotional appeals are the forefront of an argument on major government policy, again, doesn’t matter what it is about. Comes from being a pragmatist I suppose.

    This is by no means any sort of defence of what ISIS/ISIL does, I have no doubt that everything Warren listed here is true, my problem is though this sort of horrific behaviour is far more commonplace in many places around the world, and our ability to show this kind of robust “moral clarity” seems very dependent on not just that argument, but on much more pragmatic ones, like the values of the resources of the land these people control. Lets not kid ourselves, the history of Africa with similar horror shows versus the Arab region and the actions of western powers vis-a-vis each for the same moral claims makes this point painfully clear, that nations act primarily not for reasons of “moral clarity” but for self-interest be it economic, security, etc,, and lets be honest, when foreign policy is concerned that makes a lot of practical sense.

    So make the argument against ISIS/ISIL on those grounds, and they do exist in this case, but watch out for the moral clarity argument, it is a slippery slope in itself, and it is enforced by nations, including ours in a morally relativistic manner, no matter how much we would like to pretend otherwise. It is the ugly truth of our world, and I would be a lot happier if when we make major foreign policy decisions and policy that we are honest with ourselves than if we try to simply comfort ourselves by wrapping ourselves up in the moral clarity argument, it feels way too much like wrapping oneself in a flag to avoid a real discussion for me.

    For the record, I am in support of aiding the mission, but not in the highly combative role the Harper government chose. I believed Trudeau was right (and he really surprised me with that, I had not expected that, I had expected the more traditional Lib position, it is one of the things that made him appear to have more sense than I thought in foreign affairs for me, even though for many others it had the opposite) in that this time our best bang for buck in both money and (more importantly in my view) real world impact on the ground was to aid the surrounding nations with the resources needed to cope with the refugee problems they are having (this is a strategic interest because these countries are also our few allies in the region, having them destabilize coping with this massive influx is a real risk to our long term interests) and the potential security problems that come with them. In doing true behind the lines training of those actually having to fight on the front lines. In supplying military resources to the Kurds including weapons. The problem I had with the planes and such was that this was a highly resource intensive tool that would have a minimal impact given the much greater military air power already in use. That they sucked up many dollars and human resources better spent more broadly elsewhere for more real world impact.

    This argument that it is somehow morally wrong to let others carry that combat weight and to just help the refugees and other behind the scenes from the combat lines roles in this fight is one I find specious, there are many elements in a complex cohesive strategic action, and we have some of the best skills in the world for those roles, we would have been providing a very valuable function there and I believe we would have had a much greater real world impact on the ground in that role that the one the Harper government chose last fall and looks to be expanding in this month.

    I will close with this is MY view, not a policy view shaped by the politics of any party or leader. I am and have from the outset been more than a little troubled by how easily ISIS/ISIL manipulated the western military intervention they so clearly wanted (same as bin Laden sought) with just a few brutal executions videotaped and released of westerners to the internet. Not only did it show a high level of technical sophistication in the production values and in propaganda understanding of western society, it also showed a sophisticated strategic mindset, and it is always dangerous to do what an enemy clearly wants you to do, especially when they look like they understand what they are doing. You may have to anyways, but when you do you need to be as cautious as you can be given the circumstances, not rush in headlong, which I fear is what happened here.

    • davie says:

      Takes a minute or two to focus my ‘monkey mind ‘ on your postings here, but I always find them well worth my attention.

    • Niall says:

      Scotian,

      Rent an editor, you pompous gasbag.
      Why do I think you were a (pedantic) primary school teacher.

      Yours in Christ,

      Niall from Winnipeg

      • smelter rat says:

        Relax, Niall. The adults here can read sentences, and even paragraphs. Many of them are way longer than 140 characters.

      • Scotian says:

        Niall:

        Your piety would be far more convincing if you had actually acted in a manner consistent with Witnessing for Christ. Perhaps you should practice what he preached instead of being an aggressive name-caller with no actual substance offered to what was written. Hardly the actions that Christ would have done himself (as I am not a moneylender in a temple) nor are the the actions of a true Christian Witnessing in the service of one’s faith. I have known many true Christians of many different sects from the most mainstream to the more niche, so I have some understanding of what I speak, and you sir did not act in a manner befitting the name you so casually tossed out to close your shallow insulting and ultimately meaningless comment.

        Btw, never been a teacher a day in my life, that you would consider such an insult though does not speak well of what you consider a negative. I do actually proof-read and edit myself before I push Submit comment though, but I also am old school in that I write in essay form and not the more modern and to my mind far more shallow sound bite/Twitter brevity. I am not constitutionally able to be a pithy person, I am well aware that I write in a rather long and detailed manner, but I also know that this is, contrary to what appears to be your problem, a bad thing overall. One of the main reasons things like our politics has become so shallow is because the dialogue itself has become so. When you try for brevity and pithy in all things inevitably much real meaning gets lost, and misunderstandings become easier and easier to create, not something conducive to meaningful communication.

        So with all respects you are due, either please ignore me, respond to what I actually have said instead of critiquing the length, and above all else if you are a real Christian stop taking your Lord’s name in vain as you so clearly did here. Thank you.

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:

      Scotian,

      Thank God you are here to dish out good Canadian common sense. And thanks for always treating fellow posters with respect. You make me proud to be Canadian and lucky to be able to read your posts!

  12. Patrick says:

    Fighting an vile tactic with a stupid tactic that has no boundary, consistent target, leaders or end game seems very productive, for ISIS.
    How does Harper, talking tough from some convenient closet, make Canada anything other than a target for delusional wing nut loners following the trend of the day, I mean jeez, school shootings are so yesterday don’t you think.
    And the similar outrages of Boko Haram inspires crickets. I do so wonder why.
    And of the funny hat brigade, the leader on the side of revelations and judgement day encouraging war against a jihadist genocidal cult seems perfectly fine in an “end of times” fantasy, not really worth much as a political reality.
    C-51 – the Boogey Man Bill. Just around the corner, I’m telling you, I’m telling you. Well, sure not this time, but next time…….just around the corner, just around the corner……

  13. cgh says:

    Warren, you’ve been presenting this issue and your position on it here for about three weeks now. That’s enough time to assess what kind of responses have come back. There’s of course been the usual deflection into side issues, “Bush lied”, “Harper is a fascist”, etc. And all of these deflections are simply because the various purveyors of such cannot deal with the full scope of the horror that is unfolding.

    But much worse are the moral relativists. Such as:

    “The reality though is this: They don’t affect my life one way or another.”

    Or variations on the strain of “we’re all guilty”. The usual tired trope of hippies everywhere, it’s all the fault of “The Man”, or “Society is to blame”.

    “To answer your question about who the buyers are of child slaves… Look at your smart phone, your sneakers and your laptop. We’re the customers. We create the market.”

    They reject Churchill’s adage of “There is no neutrality between the fireman and the fire”.

    The quotations above don’t deserve refutation. The cowardice and moral relativism are transparent. And this is all you are ever going to get from them. If the evil on display now will not move them, nothing will.

    • davie says:

      Just so that I am clear…If I have doubts about the official version being sold to us by the government and the mainstream media, then I am immoral.

      • cgh says:

        No, you’re immoral if you are opposed to taking any action whatsoever against ISIS. We can reasonably debate appropriate tactics to confront them, but to be opposed to taking any action whatsoever as KP proposed, seconded by Scott, is simply obscene.

        • Africon says:

          CGH, I deeply respect your values and your desire to “do the right and moral thing” which is to stop evil men whenever and wherever they appear. But while all that is admirable, is it realistic under the circumstances?
          After all, where did the brutality that we see in all of those countries originate – Libya, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Saudi, Yemen, Sudan, Nigeria et al?
          Did not we in the west support ( morally and militarily ) brutal dictators in every single one of those countries?
          Did not those brutal dictators and the harsh cultural realities already exist long, long before we ever heard or saw live and daily on our TV’s just how horrible life was for most of the inhabitants and before we came to drop land mines and bombs to “solve” all of their problems? Just what did we do for Ruanda, where 800k were hacked to death with machetes?
          Name a single country where by military intervention we have put an end to such evil and oppression except in a few countries ( Nazi Germany, Japan) where we occupied ( and still do ) their countries for many decades.

          We simply do not have the means to clear the planet of evil dictators ( as if that can be done via military means) so in the meantime lets do what we can where we can without making things worse by foolish adventures in places we simply do not comprehend.

          Harsh, cold but realistic and practical, in my view.

          • Africon says:

            One other unintended but certain consequence of military adventurism in every single one of these messed up countries is the military hardware that so often ends up in the hands of one terrorist group or another thereby creating still more of the suffering that we’d all like see come to an end.
            Where is the Taliban, Boko Haram, ISIS etc getting their weapons from?

            When the US took out Saddam, who got much of his and plenty of US weaponry?
            When Libya dissolved in anarchy did Boko Haram get some of Ghaddaffy’s weapons?
            When the US supported the Mujahadeen who ended up with lots of shiny new weapons?

            Surely none of this is what any moral Canadian wishes to see but so often isn’t it exactly what happens?

          • cgh says:

            You’re arguing tactics, Africon. I’m arguing principles. What you need to consider is whether or not you are allowing tactical considerations to override a moral and ethical imperative.

    • Howard Moon says:

      Its obvious that you have very strong feelings on the matter CGH

      Which lends to my question.

      Will you sign up with the Canadian Forces to fight for what you believe in? Or, if you are too old to do so will you encourage your children or grandchildren to go and serve?

      • Africon says:

        cgh, you are correct, in principle but we as “moral” people with a conscience simply cannot police the entire planet.

        “You are allowing tactical considerations to override a moral and ethical imperative”.

        Let’s accept the realities of the situation – there are few to no “moral and ethical” people to be found in the military industrial complex or amongst the arms dealers or bankers on either side of any conflict.
        So who exactly do you plan to utilize to put into action your moral and ethical imperative ?

        “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.” – Mahatma Gandhi

        I’ll take my morality and put it to use where it is possible for me to do so in an effective manner.
        The best defense is a strong military – something we do not have.

        Thank you, Scott but no doubt we’ll disagree many times again in the future and that’s just fine with me – it’s when “we” stop debating and start using force that we both lose. I’m an opinionated and well traveled old sod so may as well get used to it.

    • King Prick says:

      Be real CGH. Someone posed the question about who the market is for child slaves… I answered logically. The west is the market. If it weren’t the market, then our enlightened governments would disallow garments and tech items from being sold here. But they don’t. Why? Because “the market” decides what’s best.

      And please, if you’re so proud to own a phone haunted by the suicidal child slave that built ii, well then bully for you. Get ab t-shirt made and let everyone know how proud you are to support slavery. I think it would be awesome. I’d certainly have more respect for your point of view.

      Let me ask you this: Would you trade your child for a cell phone if it meant you had food for an extra few weeks? Your morality, as I read it, leads me to believe that your answer is a resounding yes.

      And… Since when is stating a fact immoral? My life hasn’t changed a bit since 2001. My country is in the shits, the world is at war and nobody has the balls to admit it but MY LIFE… I still have a car, a home, a significant other, two dogs, food on my table, healthcare, insurance, clothing on my back, and of course, people like you, surrounding me with their sense of moral superiority. I just call it as I see it.

      Join the forces, travel to the middle east kill, a 14 year old boy and maybe his mother because of YOUR morals and then come back and talk to us about what’s right. In the meantime, stop trying to make your morality, my morality. I’m doing quite well without it.

  14. graham watt says:

    Have we nothing to fear but fear itself?
    Is Mr. Harper, so cunning and intelligent, really just an obsessed or troubled person to whom a major setback could possibly cause a catastrophe to himself? Is he capable of seeing himself as never wrong, yet terrified at the possibility of personal disaster? He lives enclosed from incidents not in his control. Packaged like Prozac. No one adlibs near this frightening or frightened man. Has he no blood or platelets in his veins, only votelets? Little clues begin to whisper. Tom Flanagan’s description of his emotional struggles is vivid. And last week, while answering Justin Trudeau in Question Period he addressed Trudeau as “…the Minister”, then stumbled again. Unusual. And Trudeau’s Toronto speech on the Niquab also elicited nervous, erratic replies. Why would Trudeau, inexperienced, unpredictable, startle him? Should disaster seem imminent, will the drastic reactions become more extempore, and what might they be? He has come so far. Could the impending criminal potential of Duffygate actually have helped send us to war in Iraq? So to trade one potential disaster persona for a new one, leader and defender? If so, how many of our soldiers will suffer to keep our Prime Minister from ensuing potential personal disasters?

  15. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Warren,

    You know my two priorities: Ukraine and especially Syria. In my book you deal effectively with these two nation-states before moving on to ISIL. The bombing campaign is supposed to be another Kosovo but in reality it is likely to be another disaster, like Libya.

    Can anyone prove without a shadow of a doubt that Al-Qaeda has been decimated and rendered inoperable? I don’t think so.

    I view the Russian ethos under Medvedev in 2008 and Putin today as a far greater challenge to world peace. We did zip in Georgia — still not a NATO member and ditto in Ukraine.

    • wsam says:

      In Syria el Queda and the Islamic State are fighting each other. Assad’s forces had apparently cleared el Queada’s Syrian affiliate from several areas to create room for Islamic State. As always, the Syrians are cynical practioners of realpolitik.

  16. Tim White says:

    C-51 is an overreaction to a problem that can be addressed with existing legislation. The potential for abuse of its provisions are manifest and have been demonstrated by all sorts of “so called experts”.
    The present government has already used the tax code to attack its opponents so I think people are properly suspicious.

    The US support for Iraq’s war with Iran in 1981, the land wars in Iraq under the Bush administrations and the air war in Libya from the Obama administration are a big factor in the troubles from Islamic militants we are seeing now. We don’t need another ill defined mission for our troops. Did we learn nothing from Afghanistan?

  17. wsam says:

    We have learned nothing. The Obama administration does not even have a real plan (see my earlier post with a link to Foriegn Affaires). Stephen Harper’s flunkies are boasting of their moral clarity and the Liberals cannot find an effective way to demonstrate the Conservatives have no idea what is really happening, as usual. I just cannot decide whether we are in the farce part of the historical cycle or tragedy.

  18. Kelly says:

    There are lots of bad things in the world. So why this particular fight? We had nothing to do with it. The USA is. We messed up Libya so maybe we should be over there trying to reestablish order. Iraq is finished as a country. We’re basically there assisting the Kurds to hang onto territory they want for their own breakaway state. Our new ally Iran is taking over the rest of Iraq and they are supporting Assad and the conflict in Yemen. The great democrats — the Saudis — are soiling themselves (in between beading sorcerers and fornicators) and the West is over there “helping out” to make sure Iran doesn’t get control of more oil. We did nothing in Darfur and Rwanda. In short. Wrong fight for us at this particular time. The NDP is right on this just like they were about Afghanistan and Libya. They’re the real conservatives in this country.

  19. Pat O. says:

    Wrong. Send in Special Forces to root out the murderers of Aboriginal girls:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1i7dw_MgBdc&t=379

  20. Pedro says:

    Love the philosophical knots some Liberals tie themselves into so they can sleep smugly.
    On some things, anybody will choose correctly; on others, anybody will choose in error. Somewhere there is an infallible One – or not.

  21. wsam says:

    Why is the US, this time with Stephen Harper’s help, so insistent to defeat Iran’s enemies? It’s weird. It makes you think Stephen Harper and his neo-conservative fellow travellersust be uniquely incompetent. They speechify endless about how Iran is the biggest threat ever in the history of threats and then seem to do everything they can to advance Iran’s geopolitical goals. If it is the result of incompetance, that is pretty incompetent.

    • doconnor says:

      Maybe Iran isn’t a big threat, but are one of the more democratic and secular government in the region, compared to, say, Saudi Arabia.

      The Americans make a big deal about Iran, like they do Cuba, because they over-through a friendly government and they are still bitter.

  22. wsam says:

    That fails to explain anything. Stephen Harper’s bestie Netanyahu has been having a hissy over a possible nuclear deal between the so called P5 and Iran. A deal Stephen Harper and his ministers have publicly come out against. Harper closed Canada’s embassy in Tehran, much to the consternation of Canada’s diplomats and anyone really who thinks about the world outside Canada. We have a diplomatic presence in Saudi.

    What gives?

    Why is Stephen Harper helping Iran? Is he a secret Shia terrorist? Maybe Harper is a Hezbollah sympathizer?

    • doconnor says:

      All that is 100% constant with the idea that anti-Iran posturing is for domestic political purposes and has nothing to do with the reality of an Iranian threat.

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