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noahbody

Chretien on The Hour

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Chretien must certainly have known that, at the time, our decimated military was not equipped to join operations in Iraq. Thinking back, I can't recall Chretien polling Canadians about their opinion regarding a possible commitment. Perhaps he just took a guess, just as you are.

Agreed...PM Chretien deftly played his hand, making a commitment to Iraq only if the UNSC approved. He never stated what that commitment would be / could be. He also knew that CF-18s were not interoperable for communications and strike packages having fallen too far behind. Even CENTCOM acknowledged that Canada was making more of a needed contribution in Afghanistan.

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You don't know that major political parties monitor public opinion on major issues?

How foolish of me.

I doubt that they make a point of informing you personally every time they do it.

That's what I said. I can't remember that the Liberals polled Canadians at the time.

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No. Jazzer referred to a Washington Times article. Let's see if he/she can produce it. But thanks anyway.

I referred to it, not Jazzer, and it has been produced.

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How foolish of me.

No, just uninformed. What's arguably foolish is twitting someone who simply assumes that the governing party would be monitoring Canadian public opinion about the most significant issue in the world at the time.

That's what I said.

Of course it isn't.

You said "I can't recall Chretien polling Canadians about their opinion regarding a possible commitment. Perhaps he just took a guess, just as you are."

And I pointed out that your ignorance of the commonality of internal-use polling is hardly grounds to conclude either that Chretien was guessing about public opinion, or that jdobbin is guessing about Chretien's being informed about the matter: "major political parties monitor public opinion on major issues... I doubt that they make a point of informing you personally every time they do it."

Those aren't the same claim.

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I don't think he would write a letter to anything so mainstream as the Post. It was the ultra-rightwing moonie-owned Times, and the letter is cited here: http://www.vcn.bc.ca/~dastow/harper.html

Sorry I mixed you up with jazzer's post. Thanks for the link. Here's how your linked article ends.

When Harper announced his defence platform for the current election outside the Canadian Forces' Trenton air base on December 13, he reiterated that a Conservative government would not join the US-led war in Iraq. He continued to wish the Americans success, of course, but his muse now told him "our role is in Afghanistan, it is not in Iraq".

It was a stately conclusion to a tough decision taken in tough times, and a compelling demonstration of Harper's fitness to match wits with the global power elite. Having honed his critical thinking skills on the speeches of George W. Bush and Tony Blair, he's at last in good enough shape to take on Bono.

A rather flattering conclusion in favour of Harper.

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No, just uninformed. What's arguably foolish is twitting someone who simply assumes that the governing party would be monitoring Canadian public opinion about the most significant issue in the world at the time.

Of course it isn't.

I was not making fun of anybody, or twitting as you put it, just stating that I could not recall a Liberal poll at the time Chretien made his momentous decision on Iraq. Please stop misinterpreting or finding hidden meaning in my words, especially when they are directed at another poster. I'm sure other posters can speak for themselves.

And I pointed out that your ignorance of the commonality of internal-use polling ...

Yes, I already got that.

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A rather flattering conclusion in favour of Harper.

Yeah, lots of people are conservatives. It's kind of irrelevant though, considering I only cited it because it included a link to the full text of the Washington Times letter.

But Harper's waffling on whether or not Canada should be in Iraq, and admission of his "great disappointment at the failure to substantiate pre-war intelligence information regarding Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction" only highlights his poor judgement. Those of us who in 2003 were certain that the U.S. administration was lying its way into war can't exactly be expected to put our confidence in someone who could be so easily duped.

That is exactly why Ignatieff is not currently leader of the opposition (or even PM).

Harper's failure to acknowledge learning from his poor judgement, as Iggy has, indicates we can't be sure he wouldn't make the same mistake again.

Edited by BubberMiley

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And I pointed out that your ignorance of the commonality of internal-use polling is hardly grounds to conclude either that Chretien was guessing about public opinion, or that jdobbin is guessing about Chretien's being informed about the matter: "major political parties monitor public opinion on major issues... I doubt that they make a point of informing you personally every time they do it.".

I think mean Jazzer, don't you?

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Those of us who in 2003 were certain that the U.S. administration was lying its way into war can't exactly be expected to put our confidence in someone who could be so easily duped.

You exercised your democratic right and voted against the Conservatives. You'll get another chance in the not too distant future.

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I was not making fun of anybody, or twitting as you put it, just stating that I could not recall a Liberal poll at the time Chretien made his momentous decision on Iraq.

If I've misrepresented you, I do apologize. I couldn't see any non-twitting way of understanding the line "Perhaps he just took a guess, just as you are." It's still not clear on the face of it, but I'll take your word for it.

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I didn't say anything about scary. You are just incapable of coming up with any other defence about how Harper would have included Canada in the coalition of the willing because it is indefensible.

You are incapable of coming up with any criticism of Harper's actions in his two years as PM so you drag up quotes from 4+ years ago.

Harper now would like to rewrite history and pretends that he was never for Canada joining the invasion of Iraq. Fortunately, we still remember what he said in 2003.

Harper has never revised his stand on Iraq. How about providing a quote where he has tried to 'pretend' he was never for joining Iraq.

You don't have to use the word 'scary' to make the weak argument that you did. The same lack of creativity is why the Liberals lost in 2006 and will lose the next election.

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Harper has never revised his stand on Iraq.

Harper has revised his stand from saying Canada should be there to saying Canada should not. I've provided both quotes to that effect. The remaining revisions have been CPCers attempting to revise history and change his stand in 2003.

Edited by BubberMiley

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Harper has revised his stand from saying Canada should be there to saying Canada should not. I've provided both quotes to that effect. The remaining revisions have been CPCers attempting to revise history and change his stand in 2003.

There's a lot not to like about Harper, IMO. But the fact that he's changed his stance in light of better information, in this case, is not something to hold against him, is it?

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There's a lot not to like about Harper, IMO. But the fact that he's changed his stance in light of better information, in this case, is not something to hold against him, is it?

That's fine. I'd rather have a PM who changes his positions with new information than one who doesn't. But it shows that his judgement is questionable. He has also failed to even acknowledge he made a mistake, as Ignatieff has, which does not inspire confidence that he wouldn't have gone along with, say, invading Iran based on the U.S. administration's recently exposed lies.

Edited by BubberMiley

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That's fine. I'd rather have a PM who changes his positions with new information than one who doesn't. But it shows that his judgement is questionable. He has also failed to even acknowledge he made a mistake, as Ignatieff has, which does not inspire confidence that he wouldn't have gone along with, say, invading Iran based on the U.S. administration's recently exposed lies.

Shows his judgment is questionable? Because he made a decision based on incorrect information? There was a problem with the intelligence provided in the buildup to the war no doubt.

Is Harper perfect? No. Are we going into Iraq? No. Why flog a dead horse?

From the CBC Web site.

On Iraq in particular, Harper said he was happy about the removal of Saddam but would not commit Canadian troops to the conflict, and he felt "great disappointment" at the breakdown in pre-war intelligence.
Link

I fail to see how this isn't admitting a mistake? Is Iggy's mea culpa much bolder or equally nuanced?

Can you come up with anything from Harper's two years as PM to go after him on?

Edited by Michael Bluth

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Shows his judgment is questionable? Because he made a decision based on incorrect information?

He made a decision based on information that was clearly false. It was clearly false because even I could recognize at the time that they were determined to go to war at all costs and that they would say anything to do so. If I can figure this out, then the PM should be able to as well.

Why flog a dead horse?

The discussion was on how history will perceive Chretien. My point was that he will be primarily remembered as the leader who saved Canada from entering Iraq, as opposed to the leader of the opposition at the time who wanted Canada to go. When you're discussing history, it's hard not to discuss dead horses.

Is Iggy's mea culpa much bolder or equally nuanced?

Yes, it's much bolder in that it is an actual mea culpa. Harper didn't express remorse for his actions or for the U.S.'s actions. He expressed regret that the lies they used to go to war weren't true. It's kind of like saying he regrets Iran doesn't have a nuclear program because now we can't bomb them too.

Can you come up with anything from Harper's two years as PM to go after him on?

Plenty, but that is for another thread.

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Provide Iggy's *much bolder* argument please. You will forgive me for not taking your word for it.

Here you go:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/05/magazine/05iraq-t.html

In his first paragraph, he takes far more responsibility for his mistakes than Harper ever would:

"The unfolding catastrophe in Iraq has condemned the political judgment of a president. But it has also condemned the judgment of many others, myself included, who as commentators supported the invasion."

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Harper has never said that he opposes the invasion, but in December 2005 he flip-flopped to a more pragmatic position given the overwhelming opposition in Canada to the war. He wrote another letter to an American newspaper--this time the Washington Times (apparently he's more interested in communicating to Americans than to Canadians through the Canadian media). He said: "While I support the removal of Saddam Hussein and applaud the efforts to establish democracy and freedom in Iraq, I would not commit Canadian troops to that country."

He made no comment on his earlier judgement in 2003.

I guess you could say he's making up time now in Afghanistan isn't he?? First its to Feb./08 now its 2011.

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Here you go:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/05/magazine/05iraq-t.html

In his first paragraph, he takes far more responsibility for his mistakes than Harper ever would:

"The unfolding catastrophe in Iraq has condemned the political judgment of a president. But it has also condemned the judgment of many others, myself included, who as commentators supported the invasion."

Fair enough.

Chretien will be remembered for a lot more than just being

the leader who saved Canada from entering Iraq.

Both good and bad.

You clearly wanted to hijack this thread for a dig on Harper and haven't proven any other point with your vain attempt at covering your veiled attack.

Edited by Michael Bluth

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You clearly wanted to hijack this thread for a dig on Harper and haven't proven any other point with your vain attempt at covering your veiled attack.

I don't veil my attacks. They're always right out in the open.

But I'm happy to continue to discuss how Chretien will also be remembered. Though I think his leadership on the Iraq issue is his crowning achievement, his legacy also includes balancing the budget and leaving Canada in much better economic shape than he received it from the Tories.

Funny I never voted for him though, isn't it?

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Here you go:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/05/magazine/05iraq-t.html

In his first paragraph, he takes far more responsibility for his mistakes than Harper ever would:

"The unfolding catastrophe in Iraq has condemned the political judgment of a president. But it has also condemned the judgment of many others, myself included, who as commentators supported the invasion."

I'm pleased to see you made use of the link I provide some posts ago. Iggy's circuitous mea culpa in an American newspaper invokes the names of the following public figures:

Isaiah Berlin

Churchill

Roosevelt

Bismarck

Samuel Beckett

De Gaulle

Machiavelli

Edmund Burke

Truman

Saddam Hussein

So I would have to agree that Iggy's mea culpa was much bolder than Harper's. It was also much murkier as he intertwined his sudden awakening with reference to great and not so great men. He even got to mention God in there. Quite a literary feat.

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