Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Quote

Here you are, Cerberus: Ignatieff on missile defense.
The government has recently announced its decision about ballistic-missile defence. The decision will be popular in the party. But we need clarity in our national defence policy. We need to balance a principled opposition to the future weaponization of space with an equally principled commitment to participate in North American defence right now. We don't want our decisions to fracture the command system of North American defence, and we don't want a principled decision to result in us having less control over our national sovereignty. We must be there, at the table, defending what only we can defend.
Now, nobody in the Liberal leadership was talking about withdrawing from NORAD. Nobody in the Liberal party was talking about dividing NORAD's command structure. Nobody in the Liberal leadership was talking about "leaving the table". Rather, these were all Republican government talking points.

Most importantly, the idea that NORAD would be splintered, or that Canada would lose a voice in it's own air defense, weren't Canadian positions - they were American threats. Ignatieff heard petulant American threats, and decided that the government of Canada should surrender.

Does Ignatieff come out and say "I support missile defense"? No, because the man is incapable or unwilling to make any statement that can be construed as a rational thought. The day Ignatieff makes an unequivocal statement that he doesn't contradict 48 hours later will be the day hell freezes over. But his remarks were clearly interpreted at the time as support for missile defense, and he never - until now - contradicted those interpretations.

Ignatieff, with his remarks on Qana and his statements about missile defense, is clearly pandering for, well, my vote and the vote of other centre-left Canadians. Except that he has a record, and my memory is still intact. He isn't appealing - he's insulting.


Cerberus said...

He clearly says that opposition to BMD is principled and needs to be balanced with a commitment to other means of North American defence.

Where on earth do you get that he supported ballistic missile defence out of that? or that it is just about NORAD (which, by the way, was indeed being opposed by many in the Liberal Party at the time)?

So on the one hand we have a statement where he calls BMD opposition principled and needs to be balanced with other commitments to defence and on the other hand we have a clear statement explicitly saying he opposes BMD. How are these even inconsistent?

As I've said before, I would think that you would have enough to attack Ignatieff on without having to make things up.

john said...

Well, you've totally ignored his endorsement-by-silence of the popular reception of his remarks - as I said, they were widely interpreted as pro-BMD, and he's only opposing that now, almost two years later.

The comparison with Qana is apt - make one statement with sufficiently vague language, then claim that you were saying something completely different from what you obviously were saying.

I would think Ignatieff would have enough things to be attacked on, without his own efforts to make things up.

Next thing you know, he'll be saying he doesn't support the war in Iraq...

Cerberus said...

Next you'll be claiming he likes Canadian white supremecists because, while he talks about terrorism and fascism I don't think he has ever condemned Canadian white supremecist groups. For shame, Iggy!

Come on, you are just egging me on now aren't you DW? This is just a ruse, right?

I'm in too good a mood today, sorry.

Look, if you want to claim someone supports something even though they said opposition to it is principled, even though they never said anything favourable to it, even though now that the issue has come up and they say clearly no when other leaders have equivocated, well, then, I guess I'm just never going to get passed your filters and your determination.

So I think I'll just leave it, and this site, at that.

david sandford said...

It's pretty clear " a principled opposition to the future weaponization of space". hardly vague. This is like stretching what he said into the twilight zone...

john said...

"Next you'll be claiming he likes Canadian white supremecists because, while he talks about terrorism and fascism I don't think he has ever condemned Canadian white supremecist groups."

Well, he's never said anything one way or the other that I've heard, so no, I wouldn't say that.

But if he talked about how we needed to protect the purity of the white race, and how Canada needed to protect itself from a conspiracy of international bankers, then I'd call him a racist even if he never explicitly said that he believed whites were superior to other races.

And you, of course, would call me insane for doing so.

CuriosityCat said...

Let's be fair.

If Harper can have his kittens, then we can at least allow Ignatieff to have his straw dogs (men) ....