The Vancouver Scrum

On the move!

Agh! You’re still here? My new site and weblog, is now up and running; new posts are building up over there, never to be mirrored here. Go! What are you waiting for? All the stuff worth keeping has been migrated over to the new server, and I don’t anticipate making any more posts here.

Bloggers and webmasters: Update your links! Simply replace with in your blogrolls or bookmarks to point to the new site. Old posts will remain on this server for as long as the people at Blogger/Google allow them to remain; unfortunately, I’m not going to bother to come up with any way of converting permalinks on this blog to their corresponding posts on the new site. Yes, I plead laziness. I also realize the irony of switching away from Blogger just it starts to add features that the demanding blog nerds insist upon.

Thanks for reading and linking, and see you over at!

—Ian King, December 13, 2004

Saturday, March 22, 2003

You should be embarrassed, Mike

Fraser Institute founder, right-wing stooge, and long-time political parasite Mike Walker proclaims his embarrassment in being Canadian because of the government's handling of the Iraq crisis in a National Post opinion piece. Well, Mike, you should be embarrassed about something, all right. You should be embarrassed that you have resorted to the truth-twisting and msinformation that you have in your writing.

Today, I am embarrassed to be a Canadian... I am embarrassed that the Prime Minister was accorded a standing ovation in Parliament by his party for having decided to let others take up Canada's cudgel in the war against terror.

You should be embarrassed that you actually believe that this action against Iraq has anything to do with the 'war against terror' that began on September 11, 2001. It was clear that when this war against terror was launched, that it would be against terrorist organizations of global reach such as al-Qaida. The Bush administration is using September 11th as a pretext for the invasion of Iraq and the removal of Saddam Hussein; however, they have failed to provide a link between Saddam Hussein's regime and the likes of al-Qaida in the way that they did with the former Taliban government of Afghanistan. You should be embarrassed that you have effectively thrown in your lot with the 51% of Americans who mistakenly believe that Saddam was behind the attacks of September 11, 2001.

I am embarrassed that my countrymen evidently believe more in the preservation of the UN than they do in the values the UN was created to preserve.

You should be embarrassed, Mike, for your silly, naive belief that the Canadian government places process at the UN above Pearsonian liberal values. Canadians have okayed the use of force without Security Council approval when the case has been compelling, and when the Security Council was not being responsive. Canada has not been shy to intervene when one state unilaterally invades another. Look at when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. Or the invasion of Korea. Canada would go to the defence of those countries with or without the UN -- because the evidence was there.

I am embarrassed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation which wears its antipathy for the war effort as a badge of honour.

The CBC has had the guts to show, and allow its audience to consider, differing points of view. The journalism at the CBC has been the sort of critical, impartial work that networks such as FOX News refuse to show. If not being a cheerleader is the same as antipathy, you must be taking your "philosophy" lessons from George W. Bush. Quite embarrassing to resprt to such intellectual duplicity.

I am embarrassed by Member of Parliament Carolyn Parrish who noted, "Damn Americans: Hate those bastards," and by the fact that while she was roundly criticized by even the left-wing Toronto Star, under our electoral system there isn't a "damn" thing we can do about her.

You can do exactly what any American displeased with his or her representative does: vote said embarrassing representative out of office. That is what the voters of Mississauga Centre can do come the next election if they so choose. I would like to rid the Canadian Parliament of the intellectually lazy Canadian Alliance MPs, whose stance to follow Washington's dictum without any consideration of whether to do so is in Canada's best interest, or whether or not the desires of the Bushies are compatible with Canadian values, is, to put it mildly, a source of embarrassment.

That, however, is not for me to decide. Stockwell Day, Jason Kenney, and Myron Thompson cannot even purport to speak for me, but I do from time to time feel a twinge of shame that some of my fellow Canadians would vote for them tomorrow.

I am embarrassed that MP Parrish is a moderate by comparison with left-wing MP Bill Blaikie who accused President Bush of "planning every minute of his life to kill as many Iraqi children as he can in the name of oil or whatever it is that's really on the agenda." I am embarrassed that I live in a country where such a tiny, spite-encrusted intellect could be elected to the nation's Parliament.

I'm embarassed that Canadians elected in 2000 over five dozen MPs whose leader, conservative ideologue Stephen Harper, screams "[I]f the Liberals are going to be cheering for Saddam Hussein then they should have the guts to say so." Is this babbling fool, relegated to using schoolyard insults in his attempts to criticize the government, really the best that Alberta, the nexus of Caandian neo-conservatism, has to offer? However, I'm pleased that a goodly number of the 25.5% of Canadian voters who voted for his party have switched preferences since that time. Warms me heart, that it does.

Like a very large and growing number of Canadian families, some of our children now reside in the United States. They are there because of the mutual interest reflected in the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement and its provision for easy migration. I am embarrassed for them that their new neighbours might associate them with the Canada of Jean Chr├ętien.

Half of my family lives in the United States and can trace back its roots in America to the seventeenth century. I do not associate them with automatically with the ravings of the columnists on, nor do I automatically assume that they are on the same page as Geroge W. Bush's plans for a world where American dominance is unchallenged and unchallengeable. I extend this same courtesy to Americans who live in Canada, and to the people whom I meet on my trips to the United States. Walker should be embarrassed that he should characterize Americans as willing to automatically categorize their neighbours instead of dealing with them individually. How very prejudiced of him.

I am embarrassed that my U.S.-born grandson, and hundreds of thousands of grandchildren of other Canadians, will one day say: "Why did Canada take Saddam Hussein's side in the war against terror,"

This is not part of the war against terror. This is a war against Saddam Hussein, prosecuted by the Americans with the help a few friends-for-the-moment, the sort of coalition that those in charge of the United States want to have -- ones that come and go, and don't develop rules for the use of force that restrain member states.

Walker's argument is embarrassingly weak. Was the United States on the side of Hitler until December 7, 1941? Does anyone in Canada or the United Kingdom claim that? Well?

Walker should be embarrassed that he has written a poorly thought out and logic-twisting column. However, I have a solution for him: Leave your life in Canada, where you have earned a healthy living thanks to the generosity of your think-tank's patrons, and where the loose rules for charitable status allow your group, one that stinks of rank political advocacy, to offer tax receipts in return for political donations. Go find work as a mouthpiece for free-market fundamentalism in the country to the south, and put your money where your mouth is. You will not be missed outside the editorial boards of conservative media organs.
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