Thursday, October 12, 2006

Covenanting this week in the spirit of Stephen Harper

Sometimes it's tough keeping the energy of our little group of new Canadian covenanters going. But we will meet again this Thursday in the atrium of the main branch of the Vancouver Public Library, 7-9 pm, knowing we have a national leader who is alone among the leading federal politicians of this country in having the basic moral sense to stand against terrorism and the Islamic fascist movement of Hezbollah. Yesterday, leading Liberal leadership candidate, Michael Ignatieff, called the Israeli bombing at Qana a "war crime" - an event that was so manipulated by the propaganda efforts of Hezobollah and the Main Stream Media that we just don't know how many died. Nonetheless, we still see the Qana story being reported with no mention that the story, as first and still often reported, was a creation of propaganda. Still, we see no mention of Hezbollah's chief propagandist, and transporter of dead bodies, "Green Helmet" man, whom countless blogs have exposed - just Google "Green Helmet" and "blog" for more information on this.

But despite this sign that so much of our media and political elite are willing to cave in to totalitarians' propaganda in the name of appearing "neutral" witnesses to the victims on both sides of the conflict - instead of finding the moral vision to support Israel, the clear moral good guys in the recent conflict, a nation of western values and freedoms pitted against a tyrannical opponent, a supporter of terrorism, that first attacked Israel and then used civilian lives as shields, only to flaunt the bodies as victims before the victimary troopers of the international media - we should rejoice that we have a Prime Minister who will call a spade a spade, a real leader who won't let the Liberal party's slide into an embrace of Islamic totalitarianism go unchallenged:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper waded further into the debate over Liberal leadership front-runner Michael Ignatieff's charge that Israel has committed a "war crime" in Lebanon.

When asked about the term "war crime" to describe Israel's action against Hezbollah in Lebanon, Harper told reporters at a press conference on Thursday that he found the usage inappropriate, saying "I don't support that view."

But the prime minister went one further, taking a jab not only at Ignatieff, but the entire lineup of Liberal leadership hopefuls.

"This is consistent with the anti-Israeli position that has been taken with virtually all of the candidates of the Liberal leadership, and I don't think it's helpful or useful."

But Ignatieff's leadership rivals may not agree with his choice of words.

"To use the phrase 'war crime,' I think, is most unwise," Bob Rae told CTV News on Wednesday.

Meanwhile fellow contender Joe Volpe characterized Ignatieff's comments as "a rookie error."

In an ironic twist, Ignatieff was attempting to explain a previous gaffe on the same subject when he dug himself into a deeper hole.

In an interview broadcast Sunday on Quebec talk show "Tout le monde en parle," Ignatieff apologized for telling the Toronto Star in August that he was "not losing sleep" over an Israeli air strike that killed dozens of Lebanese civilians in the village of Qana on July 30.

"I showed a lack of compassion. It was a mistake and when you make a mistake like that, you have to admit it," he said in French.

"I was a professor of human rights, and I am also a professor of the laws of war, and what happened in Qana was a war crime, and I should have said that."

Earlier in August, Ignatieff admitted that he made a "mistake" in his comments to the Star; and since then transcripts of his interview shows that he prefaced those comments by calling the Qana bombing a "tragedy" for the Lebanese people.

But the interview in Quebec on Sunday marks the first time he has characterized Israel's actions as a war crime.

Jewish leaders reacted angrily to Ignatieff's latest choice of words and demanded a retraction.

In an apparent effort to make amends, Ignatieff told reporters that while he is a friend of Israel he is a "critical friend of Israel."

He added that "where crimes were visited on Israeli civilians, they were visited on Lebanese civilians."

But the damage appeared to be done. His comments highlighted divisions not only within his inner circle but within the Liberal party itself.

The co-chair of Ignatieff's Toronto campaign, Thornhill MP Susan Kadis, announced Wednesday that she was quitting over his remarks.

Kadis said she found his comments "troubling," given that Israel was defending itself in its conflict with Hezbollah.

Ignatieff so far has the support of nearly 30 per cent of delegates in the battle for the Liberal leadership, with the less than two months to go before the Nov. 28-Dec. 3 Liberal convention in Montreal.

Harper, who has been perceived as pro-Israeli, has come under fire himself for taking sides in the Mideast conflict.

The prime minister even made waves in international waters in September, when members of the Francophonie summit agreed to a compromise on a contentious resolution after Harper blocked the original proposal.

The original wording of the resolution recognized Lebanon's suffering in this summer's 34-day conflict, but not Israel's.

Harper took a strong stance against the Egyptian-proposed resolution, which most of the 72 members supported. He urged the organization to recognize the suffering of both nations.
UPDATE: I have just seen Bob Rae, Stephane Dion, and Gerard Kennedy on tv, expressing righteous outrage that Harper has attempted to divide Canadians by categorizing the Liberals as the anti-Israel party, which they claim is an outlandish un-Canadian statement, given their and the party's professed friendship for Israel. Of course, not one of the Liberal leadership candidates attempted to explain how, in the context of the recent war between Hezbollah and Israel, it is possible to take a morally coherent position for "neutrality" and friendship for both sides which is nonetheless what they pretend to do. I do not think any such position is possible, though commenters are free to show me wrong. Sympathy for Hezbollah, however mediated by professions of sympathy for Israel, is inherently a gesture towards the antisemitic left and their hatred of Zionism, and a gesture towards voters sympathetic to Islamic self-assertion and recognition of the Umma as a political force in a global politics antagonistic to nation states. At the very least, it is a gesture towards some vague Gnostic fantasy ideology about "neutrality" and "world peace".

Bob Rae is such a smug, self-righteous man, going on about his Jewish wife as if that is a sign that guarantees his soundness on Middle East policy; I will, when I next have a moment, drag up his policy statement on the Middle East from this summer and show what a shallow propagandist he is. Stay tuned. Also note, that no one is bringing up, for public memory, the fact that Ignatieff campaign co-chair Denis Coderre participated in an anti-Israel, pro-Hezbollay rally this summer in Montreal. I will have more to say on this too.

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