Monday, June 27, 2005

Why Canadian Conservatives loose.

So why are the Canadian Conservatives in so much trouble?

Not too hard to figure out for a Dutchman. Just look at some of the issues of the last few months and how Conservatives have handled them.

Remember the confidence vote? Conservatives were willing to align with the Bloc Quebecois to beat the governing parties. Yes, align themselves with "the Bloc".

And then there was Belinda. Now I have to agree with the Conservatives when they disapprove of her actions: changing parties right before an important vote (the confidence vote, can it be more important?) is immoral. Actually I believe it should be illegal. The fact that it is not, is just as astonishing as the fact that BC parties are still allowed to spend huge amounts of money on advertising (to sway political opinion); both actions are part of the Canadian democratic deficit and all Canadians should be ashamed that the buying of votes is still legal. But Conservatives gave Belinda's latest "moves" names that where unfamiliar political terms to me. I suppose that's what Conservatives "express" when "power hungry hypocrites" loose. Just another reason to find Conservatives scary.

Today more reasonto distrust Tories. Here are Harper's "wise" comments when discussing Bloc Quebecois' position on same sex marriage: "Because it's being passed with the support of the Bloc, I think it will lack legitimacy with most Canadians". So what does this say about the Conservatives? Indeed: power hungry hypocrites! Conservatives align with the Bloc when they feel they have a chance of beating the Liberals (regardless that it might "lack legitimacy with most Canadians") but, when on a different issue the Bloc aligns with the Liberals, the Bloc is suddenly considered illegitimate.

So what have we learned?
1. Conservatives think Quebec voters are not legitimate Canadian voters
2. Conservatives do not know how to make or keep friends; therefore a future minority government with Conservatives seems unlikely.
3. Conservatives use polarization to clarify their position, even if it will work against them.

Personally I can't wait to see what will happen with "Defend Marriage Canada", "a citizen based effort" that considers the same-sex legislation "a costly social experiment on the backs of our children". What's there to defend when gays have the same rights under the law?

Conservatives, with their self-destructive actions, get better and better at loosing. Reason enough for some to call this party the "Canada Stupid Party". Congrats.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Downing Street Memo (3) - Thanks to Wolfowitz and Friends

The NPR on the Downing Street Memo.

And Wolfowitz, a prime architect of the Iraq war during his service as Deputy Defense Secretary, has heard about the downing street memos, but is not going to read them (excuse: he doesn't want to be distracted by history from his new job as head of the world's leading development bank).

For Wolfowitz the War seems to have lost it's "glance" and is now just another "issue" that he chooses not to focus on;
"There will be a time and place to talk about history". It's frightening to read how Wolfowitz tries to escape history by not to talking about it while so many innocent Iraqis (and U.S. soldiers) have no other choice than live trough it. Thanks to Wolfowitz and friends.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Downing street memo(2)

A growing number of media outlets (including some in the U.S.) are picking up on the "downing street memo". Bloggers throw in their own two cents.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Downing Street memo is gaining momentum

Don't miss the latest developments in the downing street memo.

The minutes [or memo], which were published May 1 by the Sunday Times of London, paint a picture of an administration that had already committed to attacking Iraq, was manipulating intelligence and had already begun intense bombing of Iraq to prepare for the ground invasion. This was almost a year before the actual invasion officially began. The minutes are from a July 23, 2002 briefing of Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top national security advisers by British intelligence chief Richard Dearlove. The minutes contain an account of Dearlove's report that President George W. Bush had decided to bring about "regime change" in Iraq by military action; that the attack would be "justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD" (weapons of mass destruction); and that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

Listen to the interview by Democracy Now by clicking here.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Bill Graham: "Ich habe es nicht gewusst"

Minister Bill Graham's excuse in the Arar case:

"What surprises me is that this was not conveyed to me," Mr. Graham said. "I was not told."
What bothers me most is that, at the same time, he keeps defending his former officials:
"In the light of what we knew at the time, and the practices, the nature of what we were trying to achieve . . . I honestly believe that we did the best we could and for the best motives."
Of course, nobody wants to look bad when things turn ugly. But a "mistake" has been made which resulted in the deportation and torture of a Canadian citizen. Graham's "I was not told" cannot simply be excused, especially given the seriousness of the "incident". Graham was in charge and failed to help a Canadian citizen (yes, just someone like you and me). His reaction is of course not new:
When things go wrong, personal irresponsibility will eventually result in a complete denial of the impact of one's actions, and in holding others responsible. Denial was the predominant response for instance of the Nazis at the Nuremberg trials after World War II (Peter Steeghs-Center Point, TX).
Let's consider that Bill Graham is telling the truth and that he really didn't know this. A few follow-up questions immediately come to mind: "Being the minister of foreign affairs, shouldn't you have known about this?". "Did you ever ask your officials about this?"

U.S. demand was unacceptable

Indeed, the U.S. offer to "send Arar back to Canada in October 2002, but only if Canada promised to charge and imprison him" was unethical and (therefore) unacceptable. Nevertheless every possible action should have been undertaken to have the Canadian Arar returned to Canada safely. "Simply" rejecting the offer because "We have a Charter of Rights ... we don't have cause to arrest and press charges and put him in jail" is just another excuse for non-action when it was needed most. Really, why did Canadian officials not "tell" the U.S. officials that they were going to imprison him and later "simply" let him go because of the Charter of Rights? When there was a chance to get Arar back Canadian officials chose to stand up for the principle "we have a charter of rights" with the known outcome. Poor timing resulting in torture.