Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Ignatieff takes flak on pro Iraq war stance

The NDP have been jumping all over the fact that Michael Ignatieff, one of the highest profile Liberal candidates for the coming election, supported the Iraq War and, despite WMD's not being found, still does.

What I found harder to respect was how indifferent my antiwar friends seemed to be to the costs of allowing Hussein to remain in power. The costs -- of doing what they saw as the right, prudent, nonviolent thing -- would be borne by the Iraqis alone. It was Iraqis who would remain locked inside a police state. What this meant was no abstraction to anyone who had actually been in the country. So when people said, ''I know he's a dictator, but . . . ,'' the ''but'' seemed like a moral evasion. And when people said, ''He was a genocidal killer, but that was yesterday,'' I thought, Since when do crimes against humanity have a statute of limitations? And when people said, finally, ''There are a lot of dictators, and the U.S. supports most of them,'' this sounded to me like a suave alibi for doing nothing. Now, a year later, I hear the same people tell methey're glad Hussein is gone, but. . . .

Ignatieff is also a supporter of the emerging democracy in Iraq and wants it to succeed.

Establishing free institutions in Iraq was the best reason to support the war - now it is the only reason - and for that very reason democracy there has ceased to be a respectable cause.

He has also skewered the flawed morality of the left (from the same article as above):

Liberals can't bring themselves to support freedom in Iraq lest they seem to collude with neo-conservative bombast. Anti-war ideologues can't support the Iraqis because that would require admitting that positive outcomes can result from bad policies. And then there are the ideological fools in the Arab world, and even a few in the West, who think the 'insurgents' are fighting a just war against US imperialism. This makes you wonder when the left forgot the proper name for people who bomb polling stations, kill election workers and assassinate candidates - fascists.

And now Ignatieff is one of the highest profile candidates, and a possible future leader, of a party whose current leader, just today, said

"Let me be unequivocal - we did not support the war in Iraq, we did not support military intervention in any way, shape or form."
Jack Layton is trying to make political hay over this, today saying that the Prime Minister "had some explaining to do" and suggesting that he firmly repudiate Ignatieff's position. In response Martin stated that members were "entitled to express their opinions" (somewhat ironic, that, for anyone who knows Canadian politics).

Personally, I hope that Mr Ignatieff wins in his riding, at the same time hoping that his party loses the election. With new blood such as Ignatieff in Parliament, Canada may reverse its recent slide into international irrelevance and European style mediocrity.


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