Axworthy on the coalition against ISIS

He speaks for quite a few of us, I think:

“I was concerned, and I was surprised at the [Liberal] decision to be honest, because traditions and the history and the principles I think of the party were very much centred I think on this idea that part of our mandate, nationally, is to help protect innocent people,” he said. “And I’m surprised that was not given the kind of weight that it should have been.”

I’ll make a prediction, however, and I said this on Sun News this afternoon: this is where I think Justin Trudeau will end up, too.


New Daisy Group web site!

Thanks to the prodding and design work of Bjorn, and the work of Lala and Babs, the new Daisy Group web site is up! Below, some screenshots from the new web site, which is right here.

daisygroup

Jump on it and click around and let us know what you think. Comments below are welcome, too.


John Tory “summoned” by Harper

Only @JohnTory2014 would think being “summoned” by a very unpopular Conservative leader is worth promoting.  This is going to make you really popular with Ontario Liberals and the vote you most covet (women, youth, folks in the Old City).

What a bunch of idiots.

 

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In Tuesday’s Sun: war – what is it good for?

War, what is it good for?

Remember that lyric? For Edwin Starr, war – and the song “War” – was good enough to represent a number one hit in the spring of 1970. Released at Vietnam’s nadir, “War” was the biggest hit of Starr’s career, and held the top spot on the Billboard charts for weeks. In the intervening years, it has been covered by everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

In the intervening years, too, the sentiment at the centre of “War” has been mooted plenty of times in legislatures and parliaments. War, what is it good for? Anything?

As Canada hovers on the brink in Iraq and Syria, it’s a question that will be debated ad infinitum. Is war good for anyone, politically?

For the prime minister, it is obvious that participation in the international coalition against ISIS is a matter of great principle. Only a cynic would characterize Harper’s position as a total fraud.

Only a fool, however, would believe that politics has not entered into Harper’s calculations. As he prepares for an election next year, the Conservative leader is well aware – as Jimmy Carter learned – that unsuccessful military escapades in foreign lands can have unhelpful electoral consequences back home.

Conversely, ISIS’ defeat could provide Harper’s Conservatives with what they most desire: re-election. To understand why, one need only review the respective positions of Messrs. Mulcair and Trudeau.

For the NDP leader, it is parliamentary business as usual. In respect of virtually every military conflict in which this nation has rightly involved itself in recent decades – Afghanistan, Kosovo – the CCF/NDP have always said “no.”

Their military policy is not to have one. Forever sitting on the sidelines, making chirpy speeches about humanitarian measures, doing little — that is the NDP.

It hasn’t hurt them, arguably, in places like Quebec (although the province’s new premier favours military intervention). But, when one considers ISIS’ campaign of murder and torture and enslavement – when one considers that ISIS’ barbarism has even been condemned by al-Qaida as too extreme – is not the NDP’s indifference to genocide tantamount to complicity?

Mulcair will argue, and has, that Canada is better equipped to deliver humanitarian aid, not military support. But that is sophistry: humanitarian and military efforts are not mutually exclusive. Canada can do, and has done, both.

So, we know where Harper and Mulcair stand – one is for war, one against. But what of Justin Trudeau’s Liberals?

In recent days, Lloyd Axworthy has stated his unequivocal support for action against ISIS. “[ISIS] have to be whacked, and whacked good,” says Axworthy, who is on the party’s progressive left, and who is still regarded by Grits as its most effective foreign affairs minister in modern times.

Former Liberal leader Bob Rae, similarly no hawk, has taken a similar view. In an op-ed dismissing comparisons to George W. Bush’s misadventure in Iraq, he wrote: “Islamic State represents a clear and present danger to the people over whom it rules, to any minorities around the area, to the region and potentially to the world.”

Revered former lieutenant-general Romeo Dallaire said likewise: “I don’t see how it’s possible to contain ISIS without having boots on the ground.”

For now, however, Trudeau has disregarded the advice of the likes of Axworthy, Rae and Dallaire. For now, he has aped the NDP’s position. It hasn’t hurt him.

Says Trudeau: “The Liberal Party of Canada cannot and will not support this prime minister’s motion to go to war in Iraq.”

Understood. But Trudeau would do well to occasionally heed the wisdom of the likes of Axworthy, Rae and Dallaire.

And to recall that “War,” in the end, was just a song.


I need some cherry pie

You have no idea, none, how huge this is for me. What I own should give you a small clue:

  • Two (not one) Twin Peaks boxed sets
  • Maps of Twins Peaks
  • Laura Palmer’s diary
  • Twin Peaks cookbook
  • Tape of Agent Cooper’s dictations
  • Several other Twin Peaks books
  • Framed picture of Laura Palmer which I kept in my bedroom

Funny story about the Laura Palmer picture.  Upon seeing it, a girl I dated asked me:  “Is that your ex?”  Me: “Yes.  Yes, it is.”

Anyway.  Twenty-five years after my world-famous Twin Peaks theme parties, this.  God, this is so awesome.


Media talking about media

I hate doing that, as you folks well know. Nothing more boring than the media gazing fixedly at its own navel.

However, this morning’s developments are actually rather, you know, newsworthy:

Quebecor has agreed to sell all 175 English-language newspapers it owns under the Sun Media banner to Postmedia, the owner of the National Post and others, for $316 million.

The properties include The Toronto Sun, The Ottawa Sun, The Winnipeg Sun, The Calgary Sun and The Edmonton Sun, as well as The London Free Press and the free 24 Hours dailies in Toronto and Vancouver.

Post-bureau review – a process that could take a long time, admittedly – will Yours Truly still be found in your morning paper, smiling up at you on Tuesdays and Fridays?

Beats me. Who knows. In the meantime, onward and upward.


Dear John: the latest

At 53,000 words. Not any good, mind you, but there’s 53,000 words of it.

Oh, and may be moving and there may be some changes about to happen, too. Other than that, all is good. Watching Son Two play field lacrosse out in Miserysauga, and things are good. Except for the Miserysauga part.

W