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Criticizing the Government's "Slow" Response to Lebanese


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Btw, can someone please explain what kind of help do these evacuees who had already arrived in Canada want and are complaining that they are not getting?
Well, Quebec is anticipating accomodating 8000 people - which may be about 80% of those returning.

What treatment will those returning receive? Quick translation below:

Des représentants d'Immigration-Québec seront déployés à l'aéroport Montréal-Trudeau où doivent arriver près d'une trentaine d'avions remplis de ressortissants canadiens afin de fournir une assistante immédiate à ceux qui la réclameraient.

Ces derniers pourront aussi bénéficier sur place des services de psychologues ainsi que d'un centre de services et d'information. Un service de transport sera notamment offert pour raccompagner les ressortissants à leur domicile, sinon chez des amis ou de la famille. Tous ceux ne disposant pas d'un logis seront pris en charge par la Croix-Rouge et hébergés à l'hôtel Hilton de l'aéroport pour un maximum de 72 heures.

Un soutien financier d'urgence sera disponible pour ceux qui seront dans l'impossibilité de subvenir à leurs besoins, pour une période d'un mois. Les citoyens rapatriés, incluant ceux qui n'habitent plus au Canada depuis un certain temps, auront accès dès leur arrivée aux services du réseau de la santé, comme le prévoient les règlements de la Régie de l'assurance-maladie.

R-C

Pyschologists will greet them. Transport to their home or three days at the Hilton. One month financial assistance if necessary. For those who have been out of province for more than six months, the normal three month waiting period to access the Quebec health system will be waived -in line with Quebec law (news to me).

The R-C article curiously notes that Quebec has yet to negotiate cost sharing with the federal government.

I think it's relevant to note that Charest is the one announcing this. I think it's fair to say that he and Harper have spoken about this.

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Warning: You can take the following for what it's worth. It's non-PC. (Thank God for the Internet.)

IMV, there is a "perfect storm" assembling in Quebec on this issue. First, there are Quebecois outside of Montreal, then Quebecois de souche in Montreal and finally allophones (primarily Lebanese) in Montreal. (My terminology.)

The Quebecois outside of Montreal are isolationists like Americans before 1935 or Argentinians today. They simply don't want to get involved in foreign adventures. I have to admire this attitude because it is so sensible. They object to Harper's position on Israel and would prefer Canada be neutral. They feel sorry for the plight of the Lebanese and are willing to help if it doesn't cost too much.

The Quebecois de souche in Montreal resemble the anti-Bush, NDP, go-go gauche. They object to Harper on several grounds not the least that he seems to take votes from the BQ in rural areas. In extreme form, these people vote for the groupuscule party Quebec solidaire.

Montreal's Lebanese community reflects Lebanon. Shia, Sunni, Orthodox, Druze - they're all here. It may be true that more Shia are francophone and more Sunni are anglophone. (But then Maronites also tend to be francophone.) Lebanese are often trilingual and their command of the three languages varies. (Imagine a bilingual NB sawmill worker.)

By and large, all things considered, their instinct is that Harper won't give them anything unless they make noise. So, the Lebanese community in Montreal -naturally vocal anyway- will make noise. Most of what I've heard seems to be from the Shia community. In their view, making all this noise got Harper to Cyprus. But that's not enough.

You put these three groups together and it appears that Quebec in polls and in the media objects to Harper. True, but for different reasons and different degrees.

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Political Analysis?

As in English-Canada, Harper has a hard slog in immigrant and urban ridings. To be honest, there ain't a seat in it - except maybe in the Jewish areas of Anglo Montreal (given excellent Jewish Tory candidates).

Rather, Harper should seriously think about how he's going to sell his activist foreign policy stance to isolationist Quebecers outside Montreal - or at least get their vote without compromising his prise de position. (Mulroney managed it by offering maintenance contracts.) Anyway, a good first easy step is helping Charest and Harper has done that. Maybe letting Quebecers decide their own involvement their own way is the right approach.

Rene Levesque went to war in the uniform of the US Army. As Levesque often said, there are Quebecers all over the world. It's not as if isolationniste means désengagé.

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WE don't have sufficient sea lift capacity to move a short division of troopers let alone 50,000 civies.

The capacity of the HMCS Preserver could take more than many of the cruise ships to be certain. But you're right. Not even the United States could rush that many ships into the area to evacuate their 25,000 citizens.

My argument is that we *should* have had our ship headed their as early as Monday.

The Conservatives were very harsh critics of the Liberal response to the tsunami. They are now in charge. Have they learned nothing?

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The Globe and Mail reports that Harper wanted to keep the growing crisis in Lebanon under wraps. This kept people from leaving when they might have had the opportunity to do so.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/sto...y/National/home

You have to remember that the Globe collectively loathes Harper and his government. The article looks very much like a desperate attempt to come up with any reason to blame him. There wasn't even an atempt at fairness. For example, it sneers at Canada for getting small ships while "other nations were getting big ships and cruise ships". So far as I know there was only 1 cruise ship involved, which the Americans grabbed. The only other large ships were naval vessels. And thanks to the Liberals, cheered on by the likes of the Globe, Canada has no large naval vessels, and not much of a navy.

When the Globe was whining about what a rotten job we were doing, the Americans, Brits and others had not really done much better, even though they were generally much closer and/or had much more resources. As for the suggestion the PMO wanted to "keep things under wraps" that simply doesn't make sense. How do you keep a war under wraps? Especially when it's on the front page of every paper.

If the PMO was involved it was because there is a tiny embassy in Lebanon with two dozen people, and it was swamped and disorganized, and because we have no military presence in the area. BTW, Mackay has hotly denied the PMO caused any trouble, and basically told the Globe, in an open lettter, that it was full of crap, and demanded it back up its allegations.

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Sadly the government is responsible for its citizens both inside and outside of the state. That said, there is an obligation to provide timely assistance when citizens are endangered. Given our present military force structure we are incapable of providing this basic requirement. Perhaps this will give some people pause to reconsider the horrific state of our nation.

We do have a fairly modern navy though and those ships could have been enroute last week had the order been given. They are still in port in Halifax "on call."

It would have taken a few days to supply them and get their crew back, and then the trip to Lebanon is over two weeks long. It is reasonable to conclude that it would be far easier and quicker to use local vessels already in the Mediterranian to evacuate people.

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You have to remember that the Globe collectively loathes Harper and his government. The article looks very much like a desperate attempt to come up with any reason to blame him. There wasn't even an atempt at fairness. For example, it sneers at Canada for getting small ships while "other nations were getting big ships and cruise ships". So far as I know there was only 1 cruise ship involved, which the Americans grabbed. The only other large ships were naval vessels. And thanks to the Liberals, cheered on by the likes of the Globe, Canada has no large naval vessels, and not much of a navy.

When the Globe was whining about what a rotten job we were doing, the Americans, Brits and others had not really done much better, even though they were generally much closer and/or had much more resources. As for the suggestion the PMO wanted to "keep things under wraps" that simply doesn't make sense. How do you keep a war under wraps? Especially when it's on the front page of every paper.

If the PMO was involved it was because there is a tiny embassy in Lebanon with two dozen people, and it was swamped and disorganized, and because we have no military presence in the area. BTW, Mackay has hotly denied the PMO caused any trouble, and basically told the Globe, in an open lettter, that it was full of crap, and demanded it back up its allegations.

It is not unreasonable that the Globe may not have had it right. But then again their sources might have been correct. There have been quite a few cases of "shoot the messenger" from the government as diplayed in the U.S. A newspaper's sources would dry up if they revealed all their sources. However, if McKay has evidence that he or the PMO was slandered, he could go to court.

Some of the evacuations of people in Lebanon were on ships smaller than Canadian frigates. Had some of those ships been put on standby Friday and departed Monday, they would be well enroute for whatever support was needed.

And at 36 ships, the Canadian navy is considered one of the largest and most modern in the world in terms of ships but not in people. In people, the total is less the one U.S. aircraft carrier. Aside from the issue of helicopters, the Navy was capable of doing a sealift. In fact, they are on standby right now.

In any event, all airlines were booked and Canadian were trying to get out prior to the airport's destruction. There were just not enough flights.

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It would have taken a few days to supply them and get their crew back, and then the trip to Lebanon is over two weeks long. It is reasonable to conclude that it would be far easier and quicker to use local vessels already in the Mediterranian to evacuate people.

It isn't over yet and it is probably why the prime minister has got HMCS Preotecteur and HMCS Halifax ready to go.

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Some of the evacuations of people in Lebanon were on ships smaller than Canadian frigates. Had some of those ships been put on standby Friday and departed Monday, they would be well enroute for whatever support was needed.

In two weeks, maybe.

And at 36 ships, the Canadian navy is considered one of the largest and most modern in the world in terms of ships but not in people.
By whom?

We have 12 frigates which were commisioned between 10-15 years ago, and those are the most modern vessels we have. Their helicopters, those that have them, are ancient and barely fliable. We have 3 or 4 very old destroyers, 1 aging, rusting out supply ship, 4 used submarines which we haven't been able to get to work yet, and a dozen small, coastal patrol/mine clearing vessels which were bought for use by the reserves, mostly as training ships, and which the navy has identified as obsolete and incapable of handling heavy weather. In addition, the navy lacks manpower to the point its ships, when they do go out, are not fully manned. During the Liberal reign they spent a lot of time tied up at dock for lack of money to both fuel and man them.

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In two weeks, maybe.

By whom?

We have 12 frigates which were commisioned between 10-15 years ago, and those are the most modern vessels we have. Their helicopters, those that have them, are ancient and barely fliable. We have 3 or 4 very old destroyers, 1 aging, rusting out supply ship, 4 used submarines which we haven't been able to get to work yet, and a dozen small, coastal patrol/mine clearing vessels which were bought for use by the reserves, mostly as training ships, and which the navy has identified as obsolete and incapable of handling heavy weather. In addition, the navy lacks manpower to the point its ships, when they do go out, are not fully manned. During the Liberal reign they spent a lot of time tied up at dock for lack of money to both fuel and man them.

The was Jane's Defence that has Canada's fleet as one of the largest and newest. As I mentioned, it isn't largest in sailors.

The frigates and patrol boats are the backbone of the fleet, some of them still to be delivered until 2007. The destroyers were completely refitted in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Weaknesses are definitely in helicopters and newer supply ships as well as recruiting (which this week the Ombudsman lay blame on poor follow-up on from the Forces themselves). The Navy still insists that the subs will be a good investment. I think Parliament was convinced that they would be as well. Never trust the British Navy again, I say.

Canada's navy is the only navy in the world that can join U.S. fleets in operations around the world. And according to Naval spokesmen, could have been in the Med by the beginning of this week if they had gotten the go ahead on Monday.

So having said all that, even critics in the U.S. on Canada's defence usually have a fairly positive outlook on Canada's navy vessels. The Liberals has already started the process for getting replacements for the Sea Kings. The 28 Cyclones should be in place by 2008.

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One problem that I should point out that Jane's said about the Navy was that in missions to the Persion Gulf up until 2003, fifteen of Canada's eighteen warships were involved and over ninety per cent of our sailors. It left little to operate what they called a fairly decent patrol component back on Canada's coasts. And once again, I have to point out that the Ombudsman this week pointed out that the Forces were not getting back to people such as engineers, nurse and doctors who wanted to join the Forces. That is a management problem in the Forces themselves that has to be corrected.

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We have 12 frigates which were commisioned between 10-15 years ago, and those are the most modern vessels we have. Their helicopters, those that have them, are ancient and barely fliable. We have 3 or 4 very old destroyers, 1 aging, rusting out supply ship, 4 used submarines which we haven't been able to get to work yet, and a dozen small, coastal patrol/mine clearing vessels which were bought for use by the reserves, mostly as training ships, and which the navy has identified as obsolete and incapable of handling heavy weather. In addition, the navy lacks manpower to the point its ships, when they do go out, are not fully manned. During the Liberal reign they spent a lot of time tied up at dock for lack of money to both fuel and man them.

The was Jane's Defence that has Canada's fleet as one of the largest and newest. As I mentioned, it isn't largest in sailors.

The frigates and patrol boats are the backbone of the fleet, some of them still to be delivered until 2007.

There are no frigates on order, and the navy has declared the patrol boats, which were supposed to be used for years, basically worthless, due to their slow speed (almost anything can outrun them) and lack of power.
The destroyers were completely refitted in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Oh please. These are forty year old ships, okay? You can try to "modernize" them somewhat, but it's like painting a very old house. It might look fresh and clean on the surface, but underneath, it's rotting away.

Canada's navy is the only navy in the world that can join U.S. fleets in operations around the world.
Where do you get this? It's not true, you know. Many NATO ships join US ships in operations.
And according to Naval spokesmen, could have been in the Med by the beginning of this week if they had gotten the go ahead on Monday.

What navy spokesman? I'd like to see a cite. You're talking six weeks to two months away from port. This is not the family car. You don't just get in it and drive off. It takes days of preparation and planning and loading supplies before something like that, plus you have to recall sailors on leave, and, given the staff shortages, have to make good manpower shortages by canibalizing other commands. Even after that it's a two week minimum sail to get there.

So having said all that, even critics in the U.S. on Canada's defence usually have a fairly positive outlook on Canada's navy vessels.
The only ones they see are the Halifax frigates, and they aren't yet obsolete.
The Liberals has already started the process for getting replacements for the Sea Kings. The 28 Cyclones should be in place by 2008.
The Liberals spent years delaying the very obvious requirement for new helicopters, then spent more years fighting tooth and nail to twist around the SOR for the beast so that it would be the helicopter they wanted and not the one the Navy wanted. The only sure thing about this is that the subsequent lawsuits, when they come to fruition, will cost us hundreds of millions in penalties, just like the last ones did.

We paid half a million for NOTHING so the Liberals could get ouf of the original contract. And we'll probably pay the same again because of how they broke all the rules on the last one.

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There are no frigates on order, and the navy has declared the patrol boats, which were supposed to be used for years, basically worthless, due to their slow speed (almost anything can outrun them) and lack of power.

Oh please. These are forty year old ships, okay? You can try to "modernize" them somewhat, but it's like painting a very old house. It might look fresh and clean on the surface, but underneath, it's rotting away.

Where do you get this? It's not true, you know. Many NATO ships join US ships in operations.

What navy spokesman? I'd like to see a cite. You're talking six weeks to two months away from port. This is not the family car. You don't just get in it and drive off. It takes days of preparation and planning and loading supplies before something like that, plus you have to recall sailors on leave, and, given the staff shortages, have to make good manpower shortages by canibalizing other commands. Even after that it's a two week minimum sail to get there.

The Liberals spent years delaying the very obvious requirement for new helicopters, then spent more years fighting tooth and nail to twist around the SOR for the beast so that it would be the helicopter they wanted and not the one the Navy wanted. The only sure thing about this is that the subsequent lawsuits, when they come to fruition, will cost us hundreds of millions in penalties, just like the last ones did.

We paid half a million for NOTHING so the Liberals could get ouf of the original contract. And we'll probably pay the same again because of how they broke all the rules on the last one.

I was referring to the 8 Orca patrol boats which have their last delivery days in 2007.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_navy

And working within the American fleet is the "interoperability" program that Canada has with the United States. No other nation, not even in NATO, can join a U.S. carrier fleet and be considered part of that fleet except Canada's navy.

http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/Newsroom/view_news_e.asp?id=836

As for the Kingston-class ships, they are what you would expect from a minesweeper ship. The problem is that it has patrol boat status as well. The two roles are something that Canada has found to be incompatible. This is why the Kingston-clas vessels are to be replaced in 2020. According to the Canada American Strategic Review, you can thank Mulroney for settling on the wrong type of design for a patrol boat. The decision was made in 1993. Can't blame the Liberals for that one.

http://www.sfu.ca/casr/id-mcdv-midlife2.htm

Overall though, the ships are identified as good in their class, just not as good as Canada needs. You can read the comparisons on the link.

The Canadian destroyers are to be retired in 2010. However, they are considered to good enough to act in command and control situations for NATO forces. The one major weakness, helicopters.

It was a CBC radio interview regarding deployability. I am still looking to see the link but the officer being interviewed said that 48 hours is the notice needed for a 2 ship deployment. He then went on to say the HMCS Fredericton just recently got back from Africa from a patrol off the coast there and he gave a time frame for a trans-Atlantic trip.

It should be noted that Harper has ordered two ships on 48 hour standby. Would he do that if he knew they weren't capable of it? During the Tsunami crisis in Indonesia, he cited the details of how fast Canada could deploy if the Liberals had ordered it. I am trying to find those quotes.

At any rate, there are 2 ships on standby. The Conservatives have said in the past that they can mobilize that type of force in 48 hours and the military concurs.

As far as the Liberals being totally to blame for the deterioration of the forces and for poor decision made, I think that they certainly take a large of the blame but not all. The Forces themeselves have argued for purchases that have shown they don't much about procurements. The submarimes purchase was driven by demand by the Forces. The Conservatives under Mulroney also have a few things to answer for. Selling the Chinooks and the patrol boats not meeting certain levels of performance for coastal patrol.

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As far as the Liberals being totally to blame for the deterioration of the forces and for poor decision made, I think that they certainly take a large of the blame but not all. The Forces themeselves have argued for purchases that have shown they don't much about procurements. The submarimes purchase was driven by demand by the Forces. The Conservatives under Mulroney also have a few things to answer for. Selling the Chinooks and the patrol boats not meeting certain levels of performance for coastal patrol.
Whether it was Mulroney's PCs, or Chretien/Trudeau's Liberals, we've had Quebec centred goverments for the last thirty five years who didn't give a shit about the military. When large military procurement was undertaken the primary goal was always political not military. No surprise that the new helicopters were scheduled to be built in the then defence minister's riding, for example. No surprise the Iltis are made by Bombardier. No surprise that we build ships for two to three times the cost of buying them, so they can be used as economic subsidies to Maritime Canada and Quebec shipbuilders. The Orcas, btw, are not "patrol vessels" they are training vessels to be used mostly by cadets and the reserves. And they are still too slow for patrols, though faster than the Kingstons. Orcas

We could use some decent insure and coastal patrol craft. If Harper is serious about securing our borders maybe he'll get around to buying some. Once we get enough sailors to man them, of course.

In any case, we are too far from Lebanon, and the evacuation appears to be going along nicely now, so I see no point in sending the preserver on a two week journey.

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As far as the Liberals being totally to blame for the deterioration of the forces and for poor decision made, I think that they certainly take a large of the blame but not all.

Let's go back a short time,2004 during the election.

The Conservatives propose in their campaign to purchase two hybrid carriers for quick deployment of helicopters and strategic lift.

Paul Martin mocked this idea of "aircraft carriers" as he called them(remember the aircraft carrier ads?)Layton and the media did the same.

These sure would have come in handy in the last couple of weeks.

Harper also wanted to buy 4 of those huge heavy lift airplanes.

That too was laughed off by the left.

Martin and the Liberals created this lack of equipment because they lacked the vision to understand what was happening around the word.

Watch for Canada in a few years when they get up to speed with the new equipment that is being purchased now.

We then can be peace keepers as everyone in Canada wants Canada to be.

We'll be proud then and we will then thank Harper for looking forward instead of backward.

Times they are a changin'

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Orcas

We could use some decent insure and coastal patrol craft. If Harper is serious about securing our borders maybe he'll get around to buying some. Once we get enough sailors to man them, of course.

In any case, we are too far from Lebanon, and the evacuation appears to be going along nicely now, so I see no point in sending the preserver on a two week journey.

The Orca link you gave does mention the coastal patrol function. It will free up frigates and patrol/minesweepers for other duties.

While the Navy still needs improvements, it is not considered the weak area as far as Canada's military is concerned. That distinction falls to the Airforce which has seen a massive decline in operating aircraft. The Army comes next in terms of immediate need with the Navy coming last.

I still haven't heard what Harper intends with the two ships on standby. I can only speculate but they might be asked to take part in some way. I guess we'll know by tomorrow.

I won't get into the debate about where military contracts are awarded to. Winnipeg got burned on that with Mulroney.

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Let's go back a short time,2004 during the election.

The Conservatives propose in their campaign to purchase two hybrid carriers for quick deployment of helicopters and strategic lift.

Paul Martin mocked this idea of "aircraft carriers" as he called them(remember the aircraft carrier ads?)Layton and the media did the same.

These sure would have come in handy in the last couple of weeks.

Harper also wanted to buy 4 of those huge heavy lift airplanes.

That too was laughed off by the left.

Martin and the Liberals created this lack of equipment because they lacked the vision to understand what was happening around the word.

Watch for Canada in a few years when they get up to speed with the new equipment that is being purchased now.

We then can be peace keepers as everyone in Canada wants Canada to be.

We'll be proud then and we will then thank Harper for looking forward instead of backward.

Times they are a changin'

There were a lot of things said in that election. Icebreakers and an Arctic port were mentioned as well.

As I recall, while there was criticism of some of the proposals by various parties, it was some military think tanks in the States that were mostly dismissive of the carriers and Arctic port and icebreakers.

They said, quite rightly, that Canada needed heavy lift helicopters for the military to replace the ones the Conservatives sold to the Dutch. They also said Canada needed supply ships, which the Liberals had already begun the procurement process for. Likewise, the C-130s were already in progress. As far as speedy purchases go, the Liberal government quickly replaced the Conservative purchased Iltis jeeps for G-Wagons.

As I said, the Liberals under Chretien had a long period of decline but Martin's cabinet began to reverse alot of that.

Anyway, this discussion was on how fast two Navy ships could be deployed once notified. The answer is 48 hours. They are still on 48 hours notice. If the crisis is over by Tuesday then they probably weren't necessary. If there is still an evacuation issue going on, why weren't they released this past Monday?

There are a lot of people responsible for the condition of the Forces now.

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This thread is, IMO, an indicator of what is wrong with politics today.

We have armchair critics criticisizing the 'slow response', as if this evacuation provides any metric at all on the abilities of our new government. We have people defending the Foreign Affairs department, who six months ago would have been savagely attacking them as being an example of Liberal ineffectiveness. We have people on both sides attacking and defending these Lebanese Canadian diaspora, based on individual examples and impressions which are superficial at best.

The issue here is the war itself, and this evacuation is yet another example of a political sideshow that gets everyone riled up. This trend of making every situation into a novella of personal stories needs to stop, as it leads us away from the real issues and offers no opportunity for rational policy making and consensus building.

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This thread is, IMO, an indicator of what is wrong with politics today.

We have armchair critics criticisizing the 'slow response', as if this evacuation provides any metric at all on the abilities of our new government. We have people defending the Foreign Affairs department, who six months ago would have been savagely attacking them as being an example of Liberal ineffectiveness. We have people on both sides attacking and defending these Lebanese Canadian diaspora, based on individual examples and impressions which are superficial at best.

The issue here is the war itself, and this evacuation is yet another example of a political sideshow that gets everyone riled up. This trend of making every situation into a novella of personal stories needs to stop, as it leads us away from the real issues and offers no opportunity for rational policy making and consensus building.

This is the way politics has always been. There has never been a "golden period" nor is the system set up in Canada to be a consensus building effort. It is set up as a government and a opposition.

If the issue is the war itself, what can't the evacuation be part of the debate?

Part of the reason the United States is in Iraq is because there was a consensus. It was a consensus of fear, anger and misconception about who posed and immediate threat to the United States and who should be dealt with forthwith. The opposition in the United States didn't do it's job. The critics didn't make tbeir case for why Iraq might be better left encircled rather than occupied and forced with regime change.

In short, we need the armchair critics and personal stories to make the issue understandable rather than something distant as if out of a video game. It might be messy but it means the system is working.

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Dear Mr. Hardner,

This trend of making every situation into a novella of personal stories needs to stop, as it leads us away from the real issues and offers no opportunity for rational policy making and consensus building.
I wholeheartedly agree, but sadly, this is the trend of the media, and of society. It is all about 'getting the camera in the victim's face', because that is what sells. The 'unwashed masses' want to see "Survivor: Lebanon" than want to see truth and reality. If those producers could just add some smut, perhaps a bombing victim that was cheating on their spouse, and arrives in Canada or the US opn the same boat as the mistress, well, sales and ratings would be great!
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This is the way politics has always been. There has never been a "golden period" nor is the system set up in Canada to be a consensus building effort. It is set up as a government and a opposition.

Consensus building is part of any democratic process, isn't it ? Even majority governments take into account the recommendations of all party committees.

I agree that there has never been a 'golden period', but there have been better and worse times.

If the issue is the war itself, what can't the evacuation be part of the debate?

It's such a small part of the whole issue, and as I said doesn't indicate how competent the government is as a whole.

Part of the reason the United States is in Iraq is because there was a consensus. It was a consensus of fear, anger and misconception about who posed and immeidate threat to the United States and who should be dealt with forthwith. The opposition in the United States didn't do it's job. The critics didn't make tbeir case for why Iraq might be better left encircled rather than occupied and forced with regime change.

In short, we need the armchair critics and personal stories to make the issue understandable rather than something distant as if out of a video game. It might be messy but it means the system is working.

But personal stories don't tell us anything about the situation as a whole. A narrative-based information infrastructure is too prone to manipulation and too subjective.

To use the Iraq example, does footage of carnage and wounded soldiers help us make a decision on how things are going ? Well, we're not robots - we're humans. Surely, even a single wounded soldier represents a kind of failure.

But if one soldier were killed/wounded per day, and this is what all saw on the news - would that give us a good basis to decide on the success/failure of the mission ?

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Dear TF:

I wholeheartedly agree, but sadly, this is the trend of the media, and of society. It is all about 'getting the camera in the victim's face', because that is what sells. The 'unwashed masses' want to see "Survivor: Lebanon" than want to see truth and reality. If those producers could just add some smut, perhaps a bombing victim that was cheating on their spouse, and arrives in Canada or the US opn the same boat as the mistress, well, sales and ratings would be great!

And therein lies the problem: our information services have been married to entertainment services in the interest of profit. If it's the trend of society, then perhaps we should start talking about that instead of just accepting it. After all, information is the central nervous system of our society so shouldn't it be prioritized higher ? I would say it's the highest priority....

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Consensus building is part of any democratic process, isn't it ? Even majority governments take into account the recommendations of all party committees.

I agree that there has never been a 'golden period', but there have been better and worse times.

It's such a small part of the whole issue, and as I said doesn't indicate how competent the government is as a whole.

But personal stories don't tell us anything about the situation as a whole. A narrative-based information infrastructure is too prone to manipulation and too subjective.

To use the Iraq example, does footage of carnage and wounded soldiers help us make a decision on how things are going ? Well, we're not robots - we're humans. Surely, even a single wounded soldier represents a kind of failure.

But if one soldier were killed/wounded per day, and this is what all saw on the news - would that give us a good basis to decide on the success/failure of the mission ?

I know what point you are making about consensus but it isn't leadership. Harper made a decision. Didn't wait for consensus. Shouldn't have had to based on the speed needed for a clear reponse. It is the opposition's duty in our system to be critics of the policy and point out the flaws. This is why they call it Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. They are there to support the system and to criticize the government's policy and be ready to step in a take over when needed.

As for the evacuation, there were Canadian citizens involved. Lots of them. To Canada it wasn't a small part of the overall issue. I don't think Harper himself knew the scope of the problem until the sheer numbers were there to confront him. I don't think anyone expected it.

And yes, the government could be judged based on how they handled the new revelation and what they did in response.

As for Iraq, I think the problem isn't so much about the images of war being seen as failure but the policy that put the solders there in the first place. The United States has seen this type of carnage daily in years before such as World War 2. However, back then the messaage was clearer, the enemy more defined and the goal better understood. This isn't the case in Iraq.

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I know what point you are making about consensus but it isn't leadership. Harper made a decision. Didn't wait for consensus. Shouldn't have had to based on the speed needed for a clear reponse. It is the opposition's duty in our system to be critics of the policy and point out the flaws. This is why they call it Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. They are there to support the system and to criticize the government's policy and be ready to step in a take over when needed.

If he showed leadership every time - or, in other words, took action with consulting with anyone - he wouldn't get very far in today's environment. He isn't taking that approach, for the most part.

As for the evacuation, there were Canadian citizens involved. Lots of them. To Canada it wasn't a small part of the overall issue. I don't Harper himself knew the scope of the problem until the sheer numbers were there to confront him. I don't think anyone expected it.

Fine. The issue can and should be covered, but how can an evacuation as such be used as a guage of our government's abilities ? It's a totally unique situation, and of course there will be problems and mistakes made.

And yes, the government could be judged based on how they handled the new revelation and what they did in response.

As for Iraq, I think the problem isn't so much about the images of war being seen as failure but the policy that put the solders there in the first place. The United States has seen this type of carnage daily in years before such as World War 2. However, back then the messaage was clearer, the enemy more defined and the goal better understood. This isn't the case in Iraq.

The soldiers were put there at least partly as a reaction to 9/11. The emotionality of that period is understandable, to a degree. The arguments that led to the invasion were presented, accepted, and eventually disproven - so there is a core of a rational process that happened. Aside from that core, is a never-ending war of images, impressions, personalities and symbols. We need less emphasis on that.

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If he showed leadership every time - or, in other words, took action with consulting with anyone - he wouldn't get very far in today's environment. He isn't taking that approach, for the most part.

Fine. The issue can and should be covered, but how can an evacuation as such be used as a guage of our government's abilities ? It's a totally unique situation, and of course there will be problems and mistakes made.

The soldiers were put there at least partly as a reaction to 9/11. The emotionality of that period is understandable, to a degree. The arguments that led to the invasion were presented, accepted, and eventually disproven - so there is a core of a rational process that happened. Aside from that core, is a never-ending war of images, impressions, personalities and symbols. We need less emphasis on that.

Every situation requires a different kind of leadership. In the U.S., Bush has gotten quite a lot of support for being decisive. But that has also been his weakness. His shoot from the hip style and not admitting that he is wrong some of the time has caused problems. Moreover, once the decision have been made and has proved incorrect, he justifies it by changing what the original motivation of the decision was. Such has been the situation in Iraq.

Harper made a decisive call in supporting Israel. He spoke too soon on a "measured response" because it remained to be seen whether that was going to be the case.

The evacuation has been marked by the lack of a clear message in part because the bureacracy has been in conflict with the minister or PMO on letting Canadian citizens know how and when they will be rescued.

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/23072006/2/nati...th-lebanon.html

As to Iraq, I have no idea how one puts less emphasis on stories or images from there. It is costing a lot in lives and money. It's a legitimate story and not covering it is as much a political call as covering it is.

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I will bash any Canadian that finds themsemselves in such circunstance by their own doing.

How dare these ass-holes (and thats what they are) bitch about Canadas' lack of response to their immediate needs. No air-conditioning being inhumane? Go stick your head in a steaming pile of mannure you f'ing brat.

It's an embarrasment to have people like that as Canadian citizens. Ungratefull WIMPS!. It's disgracefull.

Why cant we get more immigrants that actually CONTRIBUTE to Canadian society (No, I dont mean the pocket book) I mean, genuine hard working people from Poland or something. Lets face it, this multiculturalism is an F'ing joke. Integration is the only sensible immigration policy. Europe is telling us now.........and we are NOT listening. Stupid idiots.

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Clearly you have not travelled and are not aware of how high temperatures in the Middle East can rise, and how threatening they can be to people's health, nor have you ever been in a situation where water was not available and not aware of how dangerous it can be to NOT have water.

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