Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ignatieff's Folly

Backing another country's war is one thing. Backing a stupid war doomed to failure is quite another.

Before he gave his unqualified endorsement of Israel's assault on Gaza, Michael Ignatieff ought to have given it some thought. He ought to have considered what Israel was really setting out to accomplish and he ought to have weighed whether its objectives were realistic and achievable. Mr. Ignatieff did neither.

It was obvious from the outset that this war wasn't really about some feeble rocket barrages that killed suprisingly few Israelis. It was obvious from the outset that this war had everything to do with the looming arrival of a new American president and with Israel's elections on February 10th.

It ought to have been obvious to Mr. Ignatieff that this war could not turn out well for Israel. There is no way on God's green earth that air strikes and artillery barrages will deter militants from lobbing rockets out of Gaza. The stated objective was not achievable. There is no way that a heavy-firepower campaign in a densely populated area could not inflict massive civilian carnage, further destabilizing the Middle East and drawing world anger to Israel. The blowback was utterly predictable.

What was our leader thinking?

Mr. Ignatieff rashly, pointlessly even, brought the Liberal Party of Canada hard to the right on the Gaza war, abandoning all pretence of objectivity. In the calm following the cease fire, details will begin to emerge of the brutal suffering inflicted on the civilians, particularly the children, trapped in Gaza, from the assault Michael Ignatieff wholeheartedly endorsed. Much as he may try to say these deaths are the sole responsibility of Hamas, that's an empty excuse.

This is a dark moment for the Liberal Party of Canada. It is quite possibly the darkest moment the party has endured going back four decades or more.


Chrystal Ocean said...

Iggy unquestioningly supported the US attack on Iraq too. Clearly, he has a problem with judgement. Either that or he's more USian than Canadian, since he so obviously aligns with US foreign policy.

Jennifer Smith said...

No biggie. Hey, if it turns out that Israel really did commit horrific war crimes and ended up inflaming anti-Israel and anti-Western sentiment and violence across the Muslim world - well, hell, he can always publish another one of those 'mea culpa' articles for the Times.

(damn, I am SO fired from the Riding Association...)

penlan said...

The ceasefire is unilateral. Rockets continue to be fired into Israel from Gaza (in the news this morning). How long do you think Israel will maintain the ceasefire? After all they claimed it was because of Hamas & their rockets that they did what they did in Gaza. Can they just let it go now? Wouldn't that appear a little odd on the world stage? Bloody liars.

penlan said...

For all his "intellectual" abilities this was a very dumb move on Iggy's part. Maybe not - maybe he really believes what he said. If so then we are in trouble. Touting "our" govt.'s exact same statements. Madness.