Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Credit where it's due

Michael Ignatieff is opposed to ballistic missile defense. In all sincerity, this is good for him to say, even if it's a bit of a no-brainer. It should be easy to say it, but I imagine Ignatieff got some pressure from some corners because of the North Korean nuclear test. Good for him to ignore it.

See? I am, in fact, capable of writing something not-defamatory about Michael Ignatieff.

Of course, this does contradict - despite what his campaign will say - the clear meaning of Ignatieff's speech to the 2005 Liberal convention, where he endorsed Canada's participation in the missile defense shield. (Please, Iggy supporters, save your breath.) Bizarrely, Iggy framed his endorsement of BMD in the language of protecting Canadian sovereignty. As we all know, the best way for any country to guarantee their sovereignty is to give the Americans everything they want.

So, for Michael Ignatieff, the count is something like this:

Qana, 2006: C'est un crime de guerre, but only if there are no french-speaking Jews in Canada. [Advisor whispers in ear.] What? Aw, fuck.

Missile defense: It's popular in the Liberal party to oppose missile defense, so as long as I need the Liberal party I'll oppose missile defense.

Crap. I wasn't able to keep that up for long, was I?

(link via BigCityLib.)


Cerberus said...

Where does he say he supported BMD? You don't give the quote because there isn't any. He said - very clearly - that just because we Liberals reject BMD doesn't mean we should walk away from NORAD.

He couldn't have said it more plainly and clearly.

john said...

First off, he was hardly "plain" or "clear" until now, and even so he's contradicting previous statements. Of course, we've gotten used to that from Iggy.

Secondly, he was always only constructing a straw man - nobody in the Liberal party leadership was advocating the withdrawal from NORAD. What Ignatieff was doing was repeating pro-BMD talking points, in support of his pro-BMD beliefs.

Cerberus said...

That is simply not true, John. Many Liberals were calling for a withdrawal of NORAD or, at the very least, against threats at the time by the US to abandon NORAD, many Libs were saying so what.

The anti-Iggy crowd is quick to claim he supported BMD because that fits their image of him, but a bit slower to produce any evidence of that.

At the biennial he said we have to find balance and there was a real need for that statement because there were a lot of Parishes speaking out in the party about how "Americans are all idiots". The call for balance was about rejecting BMD but not NORAD and other joint defence initiatives, rejecting BMD but not being anti-American.

That speach and those words were what propelled many like me to start pushing for Iggy. The party of balance and moderation should have balance and moderation. The Cons want to blindly accept everything the US has to offer. The Dippers automatically reject anything approved or suggested by the US. The Libs tiptoe around a mindfield, rejecting this and that, and accepting this and that.

The fact that such contortions or bald statements without evidence are provided in an attack on Ignatieff, when Rae is now on record saying it simply is not be a priority but doesn't reject it, is more telling about the detractors and their purpose than about Ignatieff.

Stephen said...

Many Liberals were calling for a withdrawal of NORAD or, at the very least, against threats at the time by the US to abandon NORAD, many Libs were saying so what.

Can you point us to some of these 'many' Liberals, Ted?

It was the Liberals who, in 2004, arranged for NORAD information to be shared with the BMD system; it was Liberal Defence Minister David Pratt who sent a pro-BMD Memorandum of Understanding to Donald Rumsfeld; it was the Chretien/Martin Liberals who set in train the process that led to the recent NORAD renewal agreement, formalized by Harper.

John is right: antipathy to NORAD is the last thing the Liberal party leadership (or the party in general) could be accused of in February 2005, even if Martin had been forced into an anti-BMD public announcement.

Given his previous writing in 'Virtual War' that BMD was both reliable and a necessity for protecting the Continental US, there's no other way to take his March 2005 call to be 'at the table, defending what only we can defend,' except as a call to re-engage on BMD.