Sunday, October 31, 2010

Let's Put French Resistance Fighters on Trial. . . .

CanadianSense, one of the great thinkers and logicians of our age, or indeed any age, has deigned to comment on one of my Blog postings. Oh, with what pride I look upon my efforts now that someone of such reason and consistency has stooped to talk to me! Imagine my disappointment at the fact that I am compelled to disagree with CanadianSense, that paragon of . . . . well, sense. But I know that CanadianSense is so devoted to truth, logic, and consistency that he/she would want his/her admirers to point to the inconsistencies to which her/his mind, which usually operates like a steel-trap, has given birth. So here I go, in all humility, to point out the logical conclusion of the thoughts of this great Canadian mind.

CanadianSense, like so many, believe that it is perfectly legitimate to put Omar Khadr on trial based on the fact that he was not, in fact, as they say a "soldier." Presumably this definition of a 'soldier' is based in some sort of institutional legitimacy. In other words, a person, by this definition, is not a soldier if he or she is not a member of some nationally organized armed force with the power of a state apparatus behind it.

Now putting aside that many of the so-called non-combatants (a designation invented by the pentagon to de-legitimize their opponents) in Afghanistan would in fact qualify as soldiers under this very definition, let us look at some other people who might qualify as illegitimate soldiers.

-George Washington. Washington was appointed not by a legitimate government but by a group of self-appointed wealthy landowners to pursue their interests against England. The English, in fact, referred to Washington on more than one occasion as nothing but a terrorist. And if the English had been victorious in the war they surely would have hanged Washington as a non-combatant. (But of course the victor has written history here)

- All the so-called irregulars in the War of American Independence - including Ethan Allen. The self-appointed government of the thirteen colonies knew that they could not afford to muster a large enough regular, paid fighting force against the Crown. They therefore encouraged the use of irregular forces - that is non-paid, non-uniformed fighters who fought for the cause out of devotion rather than institutional legitimacy or money. It is interesting to keep in mind that there were quite a few French irregulars who fought for US independence because of their hatred for the British. Far from being put on trial, these French irregulars were lauded as heroes after the war.

The French Resistance - Thousands of French and non-French people fought in France against the German occupiers. These people had no uniforms, no payment, and usually no central direction. These people were responsible for the deaths of thousands of German soldiers. On the principle of consistency, CanadainSense surely believes that these individuals should be put on trial in Germany and these trials should include 'victim impact statements' from the living German relatives of the victims.

Blackwater Mercenaries - The US fought in the Iraq with the help of thousands of Mercenaries from the Blackwater corporation. They used these fighters specifically because they wanted many fighters who were not subject to US military rules.

I am sure that in the name of sense and consistency, Canadiansense and he/her compatriots would like to see all of these people brought to justice for killing individuals without military and institutional legitimacy.

It is interesting to note that Canadiansense and others attempt to legitimize the trial of Khadr by denying that he was in fact a child soldier. This is based on two claims - one, that since Khadr was not, in fact, a soldier, he could not be, therefore, ipso facto be counted as a "child-soldier." Two, they claim that Khadr was a willing participant. However, both of these claims are problematic. First, the vast majority of child-soldiers are part of irregular forces and international agreements are designed to make no distinction between 'regular' and 'irregular' child-soldiers. Second, international agreements do not distinguish between willing and unwilling participants when it comes to child-soldiers. This is because the global community recognizes that minors are not fit to make the requisite rational decisions concerning war situations.

Of course, the real difference at stake here is that the above individuals and groups represent "our" cause, the Western cause, the "good" cause. But Khadr represents what we believe is the 'wrong' cause, the evil cause, the 'bad' cause. As I said, the victor writes history, and unless we can live by our principles in war as well as in peace then we are the very enemy that we claim to despise. 
How are we to condemn others, in this case a child-soldier, for things that we are deeply guilty of on a grand scale? The US can kill hundreds of thousands of civilians and that is simply a statistic, while Khadr is guilty of killing one and is condemned to prison and torture. This is the very essence of hypocrisy.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Khadr and Hypocrisy. . . . .

I find the trial and sentencing hearing of Omar Khadr outrageous. Not only was Khadr a child soldier but he was simply fighting a foreign occupier. Even if you believe the invasion of Afghanistan completely legitimate I can't imagine how one defends putting on trial those who believed that they were defending the country against foreign occupiers. I makes no sense unless you are a total pacifist and believe that all those engaged in war should be put on trial.

I am particularly flabbergasted that they would allow people to make so-called "victim impact statements" in the sentencing portion of the trial. With no disrespect to the widow of the man Khadr supposedly killed, is this not the height of hypocrisy? The US soldiers killed at least one hundred thousand civilians in Iraq (perhaps many hundreds of thousands) and thousands in Afghanistan in the past 10 years. Civilians! The man that Khadr has been accused of killing was a soldier. The victors really do write the history, otherwise we would see tens of thousands of US soldiers on trial for killing civilians (surely a much worse crime than what Khadr is said to have done) and we would be hearing literally millions of 'victim impact statements' from Afghanis and Iraqis for their beloved family members who were guilty of nothing more than being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

For all the right-wingers out there who are ready to accuse me of 'taliban sympathies,' forget it. This is just basic stuff. If you are going to go to war against people you say are terrible, then you can't go around killing hundreds of thousands of civilians and put child soldiers on trial and then try to pretend that you are better than they. The people who have put a child soldier on trial should be put on trial. And Harper should be put on trial for making no attempt to stop it. In the words of the great Walt Kelly (who was turning the words of Captain Oliver Perry)- "We have met the enemy and he is us."

Sexual Frenzy and the GQ Shoot. . . .

I am amazed at the recent media frenzy around the photo shoot that a few Glee cast members did for GQ magazine. All week Jian Ghomeshi has been reading letters from listeners concerning this explicit shoot, and we have heard various condemnations which, among other things, have included absurd charges of 'child pornography.' The whole thing is remarkable.

Men's magazines like Maxim, GQ, and others routinely contain such photos, some of them more explicit than this. The cast members from Glee are grown adults in their mid-twenties which makes talk of child pornography more than a little bizarre. If people are upset that women in their twenties are being portrayed as sexual beings in a high-school setting I am surprised that people are not radically up in arms about the tv series Hellcats which itself verges on soft-porn. The fact is that women much younger than Lea Michele are routinely portrayed as ultra-sexualized, including many on Family Channel. Young teen girls are often seen on television and in print in a very sexualized way. Yet many of these girls are not legally responsible for their actions and arguably not mature enough to make the judgements concerning the portrayal of their sexuality.  And yet it is the Glee shoot that is causing a stir.

There is,  at the heart of this situation, something strange. A lot of vitriol has been targeted at the Glee cast members. But condemning a woman like Lea Michele  for making her own decisions concerning her sexuality is something I find kind of offensive. Here is a young talented prosperous woman who, though pretty, has actually established her singing career on her genuine artistic ability. She appeared on Broadway as a very young girl long before she was a sexual being. And now that she is in her mid-twenties and a recognized singing talent all over the world, a bunch of people want to come out of nowhere and decide for her whether her actions are proper or not.

The fact is that we certainly haven't reached anything like gender equality in the world and I understand why some people would be troubled by the objectification of women in the media. But there is a flipside of this issue too. When any group that has been historically oppressed or disadvantaged begins to become empowered they, as a group or individuals, may make decisions some of us don't like. But that is what empowerment is all about; the ability to make decisions for yourself and not have them dictated by others. Now unlike many young women in the media, Lea Michele has been genuinely exploring her talent and being recognized for it. She was in musical theatre and not making pop videos at the age of fifteen trying to exploit her sexuality like so many young women have done (or been compelled to do). Now Ms Michele is making her own decisions. You may not like her decisions but they are hers to make. She is not a victim except to the degree that we are all victims of the age and society in which we live, and she is not simply trading on her sexuality as so many people in the media do.

If you don't like the GQ don't buy it. And certainly don't show it to your young daughter. I agree that such images are not healthy for young kids who don't understand the implications of them. And if Lea Michele was your daughter or friend you could engage her in a debate about the pervasiveness of such imagery and the need to change these images. And it is probably a good idea to mention that such the photo shoot was in a "Men's" magazine and the entire episode was probably dreamt up by men with little interested in women's (or anyone else's) empowerment. But let's not loose sight of the fact, as many on the left are wont to do, that freedom and empowerment are about the ability to make decisions and, as with democracy, we may not always like the decisions being made. Furthermore, I for one, can envision a time when we have gender equality and women (as well as men) may continue to play sexual games with imagery and art and yet still be equal and strong. If we can't imagine that then we are selling ourselves short.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Glen Murray apologizes for telling the truth. . . .

So this is what it has come to. MPP Glen Murray is compelled to apologize for telling the very simple, straightforward truth.

His exact words were "Ford, Hudak, and Harper - the trifecta of Republican-style, right-wing ignorance and bigotry."

Well the milquetoast Premier Dalton Mcquinty can make his cabinet ministers apologize but he has no such power over the rest of us. So let us say it in certain and uniquivical terms -

Ford, Hudak and Harper do in fact represent the Canadian version of Republican-style right-wing ignorance and bigotry. And anyone who doubts it would themselves have to be irretrievably ignorant.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Public Service pensions are investments in the future. . . .

I for one am very tired of hearing people talk about the “public-sector pension crisis.” Huge banks and brokerage houses can bring the global economy to near bankruptcy while paying their execs billions in tax-payer funded bonuses, and the right-wing still has the gall to tell us that it is public-servant’s pensions that are ruining everything. The Conservative Government in the UK is actively talking about reneging on pensions and has asked their Justice Minister about the implications of such an abrogation of legal responsibility. But it is not a handful of public sector workers who are ruining the economy, it is a handful of multinational corporations that have entirely abrogated their social responsibility and are playing one government against the other.

Right-wingers and capitalist economists keep telling us that the economy cannot afford proper pensions. But the fact is that if the economy cannot afford to ensure that people can retire with dignity and financial security, then the answer is not to get rid of pensions, the answer is to CHANGE THE ECONOMY! We are not here to service the economy, it is here to service us. The capitalists are busy embracing reification, trying to convince us that the economy is not a series of relations between people but a series of relations between things. As if those things are beyond our control. This will not do.

They may tell us that we cannot afford pensions but the truth is that we can’t afford not to have pensions. If people cannot retire at a decent age, they will continue to work and people’s health will suffer as well as many other aspects of their lives and it will cost us a great deal in other kinds of social services. Furthermore, if people cannot retire, they will not make space in the economy for younger generations and those people will be unable to properly contribute to the society both financially and culturally. This will set in motion a radical social and economic crisis in the long term. This is the kind of thinking that led Thatcher to reduce many social services and each pound that she took from the social economy cost the government two pounds in other kinds of expenditure including policing and incarceration. The elimination of pensions will cause a similar and more dramatic crisis.

Instead of looking at ways of getting rid of pensions, the UK government should be looking at ways to restructure the economy so that it serves the needs of people and not the demands of corporations and a handful of executives who earn millions and millions every year. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Dad and his stories. . . .

Those of you who knew my father were aware that one of the greatest pleasures of knowing him was the opportunity to listen to the various stories that he told concerning his rather unusual life. The truth is that Roy was actually quite a shy man and he covered up his feelings of awkwardness by talking. He had had many exceptional experiences during his life, from stories of the Second World War to Los Angeles in the 1960s, and he had been an avid reader so he rarely lacked topics on which to ruminate in social settings. He almost always had some interesting story ready at hand which he usually related to his audience in an animated manner in an effort to cover up his almost constant feelings of nervousness. Despite being shy, my dad was also somewhat vain and actually liked being the centre of attention and genuinely enjoyed entertaining people with his anecdotes. He survived his twenty years of teaching because when he stood in front of a class of students he thought of himself as an actor and the students as an audience.
Some of Roy’s best stories revolved around the time he was attempting to become a criminal. Roy had grown up during the war years in England and suffered from the instability that those years brought to the lives of many. Like many children, he had been evacuated out of the Capital to the countryside to avoid the Blitz and these evacuation experiences were not wholly pleasant. His parents brought him home for the last two years of the war and so he saw the devastation first hand during the difficult period of flying bombs and U2 rockets. His time at school was severely disrupted by the war and by the time the Allies finally gained victory in Europe my dad was a somewhat troubled young man. Despite having a natural intelligence, he couldn’t bring himself to fit back into the school system and by the time he was 14 he had dropped out entirely. Being something of a romantic and an avid movie-goer Roy’s imagination fed on one too many Hollywood narratives and by the time he was seventeen he found himself determined to pursue a life of crime. He pictured himself as a thief, imagining an exciting and prosperous life on the lam.
            But Roy was not a criminal by nature. He was nervous, easily frightened, something of a coward, and felt a natural empathy for the victims of crime. Nonetheless, Roy gradually stepped up his life of crime from shoplifting and stealing personal items to planning to knock-over small shops. One day he set his eyes on a tobacconist shop because he thought he could get cash and cigarettes which he could sell to an uncle who had a shop of his own. He thought he was clever because he figured he would rob the shop and run down the street and catch a bus that would pass by the shop he had just robbed. In his mind this was a perfect foil because, he reasoned, no criminal would be found passing the scene of the crime he had just committed.
On a bright, sunny Tuesday afternoon he put his plan into action. Wearing a large trench coat, (the kinds that he saw criminals in the movies wear) he boldly walked into the shop with the intention of convincing his would be victim that he held a gun in his pocket. As he entered the shop the opening door set off a little bell which beckoned the elderly shop owner to emerge from the back room. My dad stood in front of the cash register and the old woman waddled up to him with a friendly smile on her face.
“What can I do for you young man?” the old women asked pleasantly. 
Roy made the shape of a gun with his right hand which was shoved firmly in his pocket and readied himself for the robbery. Sweat poured down the sides of his face as grew ever more nervous.
“Well. . . . is there something I can do for you?” the woman asked again, growing somewhat impatient.
Roy desperately tried to speak but nothing would come out of his mouth.
“What’s wrong young man? Cat got your tongue?”
Roy started thinking about cats and the enormous size of a feline that could actually bite out his tongue. He pictured the orange tabby that lived in the flat next door to his home and how terrifying it would be if it suddenly grew to six or seven times it usual size.
“Are you alright young man? The old woman asked him.
The voice suddenly broke him from his reverie and he desperately wiped the sweat from his forehead which was now dripping into his eyes and causing them to sting.
Realizing that he had irretrievably lost his nerve, and was now standing here looking crazy in front of this rather pleasant elderly lady, he suddenly asked for a pack of cigarettes which he quickly paid for and left the shop.
Now he was totally dejected. He had failed. What kind of criminal was he that he couldn’t even knock-over a small tobacconist’s shop in an out of the way corner of the old city? He sat on a nearby bench smoking the cigarettes that he had just purchased and chastising himself for his abject failure. But after a half-hour or so he had worked up his nerve once again and he returned to the shop with the firm intention of completing his mission.
            He walked boldly into the shop and stood proudly in front of the counter. Sweat started to once again pour down his face but he ignored it and tried to imagine what he might buy with the money from his robbery. But as he stood there with his new-found resolve completely intact he realized that the old woman was not emerging from the back room. He shuffled his feet impatiently and tapped his fingers on the counter.
“Where is that silly old bat?” he thought to himself. “I can’t stand here all day waiting to rob her!” He lifted himself on his tiptoes and tried to gaze behind the curtain that covered the doorway to the back of the store. Nothing seemed to be stirring. He cleared his throat loudly in the hope of attracting the woman’s attention but nothing happened.
His mind wandered back to the gigantic cats and a movie he had once seen about a lion hunter with one leg. “What’s so brave about hunting lions with a gun?” he thought to himself. “If you really wanted to be brave you should hunt lions with a butter-knife, now that would be something.”
He looked at his watch. It was nearly half-past five and his mother would be expecting him for dinner soon.
“People should really take better care of their shops,” he thought. “I am just standing here alone and I could do anything.”
Still nothing stirred.
Finally Roy idly looked down at the door through which he had just entered the shop. It was ajar by several inches and it began to occur to him that he had never heard the bell ring when he had come in this time. This meant that the old lady was somewhere in the back of the store and didn’t know he was there.
“Well that’s just great,” he pondered, “now how am supposed to rob her?”
But just before he called out to get her attention, the convenience of his situation dawned upon him. He looked down to where the cash draw was. It was open just enough to let him see the money that lay inside. In a moment motivated half by bravery and half by panic, Roy grabbed all the money in the cash drawer and stuffed his pockets with all the cigarettes he could. Then he bolted out the door and headed for the bus, determined to follow through on his plans to pass the shop after the robbery. He was elated with his victory.
The bus came quickly and he climbed the stairs to the upper level where one was permitted, in those days, to smoke. There was one other passenger on the top level and Roy uncharacteristically greeted him with a loud hello. The man smiled warmly.
Roy took out one of his many newly acquired packets of cigarettes and offered the man one, but he declined.
“You look happy,” the man said.
Roy grinned moronically and nodded enthusiastically.
“Did you just get a new job or something?” the man enquired.
“Sort of,” Roy replied.
Then, as he was always wont to do, Roy tried to cover his nervousness by talking.
“What do you do?” Roy asked the man casually.
“I am a police inspector.”
Roy coughed loudly and the color suddenly left his face. He felt like Bob Hope in My Favorite Brunette facing Lon Chaney for the first time. Suddenly the sweat began to trickle down his face again and felt himself go suddenly weak.
The man noticed his discomfort and inquired after his health.
Roy was barely able to mumble a response about being recently sick and experiencing a sudden relapse. He could feel the dozens of cigarette packets in his pockets and was suddenly sure that they must be obvious to his fellow passenger and that at that very moment the man was contemplating an arrest. Suddenly Roy thought that a oversized carnivorous tabby with a taste for tongue wouldn’t be so bad. Roy silently realized that he made a terrible criminal and that he better look for another line of work.
The man suddenly stood up and walked toward the seat where Roy was sitting. My dad closed his eyes and waited for the worst. He felt the man clapped him on the back and he put he hands out to await the handcuffs the way that he had seen people do in the movies. But when he opened his eyes the man had passed him by and was standing at the top of the stairs.
“You take care yourself,” the man said and suddenly disappeared down the steps.
            As the bus pulled away Roy turned and watched the man walk across the street and into the police station.
Despite the rather disastrous nature of the events, Roy sold his stolen cigarettes to his uncle and with the money he had taken he lived for several months while avoiding the terrible fate of having to look for a regular job. When he was down to his last pound he bet it on a horse, a sixty to one shot. It was the only real gambling victory he ever had and his winnings kept him for another few months.
This was not the only strange story that Roy had concerning his short life as a criminal, but he told it well, with laughter in his eyes and a genuine sense of relief that he had come from these shaky beginnings to lead a fairly prosperous and happy life. And anyone who heard him tell it would remember the gleam in his eye.
My dad is sorely missed.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Concerning Harper's Mental Illness. . . .

I don't think one needs to be very sharp to understand that Stephen Harper is pathologically narcissistic. Of course there are various forms of narcissistic personality disorders. I am obviously not a psychiatrist but I would say that Harper is a high-functioning, egomaniacal narcissist who has begun to suffer from Acquired Situational narcissism. That is to say, he started out pretty sick and lacking almost any degree of human empathy but his power has significantly exacerbated the situation. Like Stalin, Harper began as a obsessive-compulsive egoist, but power has significantly increased his symptoms and rendered his pathology dangerous.

One can determine that Harper's mental illness has reached the level of a psychosis simply by the manner in which he reacts to his surroundings. Most sane and rational individuals understand, for example, that people hold various opinions concerning the world and themselves, and that these competing opinions are discursively redeemable. That is to say, if called upon to defend our opinions we could, to varying degrees, redeem these positions through discourse. We can recognize a pathological narcissists by the fact that when questioned or challenged, this person reacts not as though someone is simply putting forward a different, and competing opinion or possible course of action, but as though the very act of intellectual challenge has its source in some personal insult and evil intention. This is because the pathological narcissist doesn't actually believe that there are competing opinions that can be redeemed through discourse. Rather, they imagine that their worldview derives from some external and absolute, unchallengeable truth. In other words, they are essentially incapable of imagining that they are wrong about anything, so all challenges begin to appear to them as motivated by some underlying evil plan. Such a narcissist gradually becomes mired in paranoia and what began as a strength (ie., confidence and commitment) becomes a weakness as their opinions become less informed by facts about the world and more motivated by a personal agenda, the sources and goals of which even they have lost sight of. In other words, the facts no longer matter and their paranoia drives them to actions that don't relate to the external world but only to their internal monologue which they usually imagine derives from some higher power. As their paranoia increases they are even less driven to actually pursue any agenda other then the destruction of those that they perceive might oppose them. Thus Stalin lost sight entirely of the original motivations for communism which inspired the overthrow of the Czarist regime and his entire political life gradually became exclusively about rooting out and destroying the forces that he imagined where arrayed against him. And like Stalin, Harper has not only begun to enter this stage of pathological narcissism but he has surrounded himself with a cadre of yes-men who are driven by their own feelings of inadequacy to follow a leader who seems driven by a higher cause.

Of course, no such scenario ends happily. Rather, the pathology, by its very nature, must continue to increase as the illness drives the victim to ever more ridiculous actions which will necessarily be opposed by a larger number of people, which only further feeds the person's paranoia as they become convinced that the opposition is a conspiracy to destroy them. We see small examples of this everyday in people who imagine that the CBC, for example, is some kind of communist conspiracy to undermine the any right-wing values. But on a larger scale the implications are grander and more dangerous as the narcissistic leader attempts ever greater escapes to cling to power.

Only time will tell where Harper's mental illness will take us next.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Soon forgotten. . . .

"He who thinks much of himself, will be in danger of being forgotten by the rest of the world."
                                                                                         -William Hazlitt

Remind you of anyone??

The Harper Dictatorship (Benevolent Warriors) . . .

When the Harpos lost the UN seat their first instinct was to blame someone else. Like little children unable to take responsibility for their own failures they turned to their nearest target. However, at some level they seemed to realize that blaming Ignatieff's rather mild and vague critique of Harper's history on the international stage has its drawbacks. There is an inherent suggestion here that Ignatieff is the most powerful man in Canada, and perhaps the world, because all he needs to do is make a few comments and the entire world pays attention.

So yesterday Lawrence Cannon framed another spin as well; this one was a suggestion that it was indeed the government's fault that the seat was lost but not because of their diplomatic failures or their childish bullying and fundamentally anti-UN stance these past years, but the world rejected Canada because the Harper Dictatorship was too (!?) principled. Cannon suggested that there were a group of countries out there that don't like Canada's values but he assured us that the Government was standing strong and wasn't going to pander to these mysterious and unnamed forces of darkness. Of course he didn't tell us what these values were or who exactly were rejecting them, he left that to our weary imaginations. If you haven't actually been paying attention over the past few years, this is pretty good spin because it is just vague enough to be contentless and plays the victim card. Canada hasn't failed diplomatically but has been the victim of an axis of evil which opposes the good work that the Harper dictatorship has been trying to do out their in the harsh world. But Harper's angels of benevolence will not be swayed from their duty to spread righteousness through the world and will not compromise their principles.

Jose Socrates
Angela Merkel
Of course, the first and most obvious problem with this spin is that it contains an inherent assumption that both Germany and Portugal who were victorious in their efforts to gains seats on the Security Council, DID compromise their principles and are part of this mysterious force of darkness out there. We can assume in this scenario that Germany's Prime Minister (a Conservative one with whom Harper shares much political ground) is the Evil emperor and Jose Socrates, Portugal's Prime Minister (and leader of the SOCIALIST Party! OMG!) is Darth Vader. The obviously offensive implication is that Germany's and Portugal's success is based upon their cooperation with the forces of darkness.

But the other problem with Lawrence Cannon's spin is that it is not based in any sort of fact unless we understand that the "principles" which the Harper Dictatorship is so boldly upholding are the principles of anti-democracy and fascism which they have consistently represented. This is the equivalent to Joseph Goebbels telling his citizens in 1940 that the allies are at war with Germany because they oppose all the good work that Germany has been doing. But of course, even Mr. Cannon is aware how tentative his spin is and that is why he was so vague and failed to actually name any of these 'principles' that he was upholding or any of the countries that so opposed him. In this sense Harper's clowns share much in common with Goebbels; when you lack a convincing or legitimate target - just make vaguely Nationalistic references and wait for the people to eat it up. 

So it goes. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Harper is the "I didn't do it" kid.. . . . .

So as predicted the Harper's Dictatorship is already blaming the Liberals or the international community's powerful rejection of Harperland and all that it represents.

Dimitri Soudas, the rather pathetic spokesperson for the Harper Dictatorship has said that a big factor in the loss is Mr. Ignatieff's comments that were vaguely critical of Harper's record.

This is a de facto admission that Mr. Ignatieff is already the most powerful man in the country and wields considerably more power that our present Prime Minister. In the final analysis Harper is like Bart Simpson; never take responsibility and just say "I didn't do it!"

So by all means, Commandant Harper, keep making the argument that the world decided not to give Canada a seat at the Security Council because Mr. Ignatieff made one public suggestion that Canada under the Harper Dictatorship has not served the principles of the United Nations. Each time you say it you just strengthen the point that you are not fit to run this country.

The World rejects Harper and his policies. . . .

I am glad that Canada has lost its race for the seat on the UN Security Council that the Harper Government so hypocritically sought. I am glad first of all because the UN Security Council is an absurd institution, a dinosaur that makes no sense in the modern world. The idea that a handful of countries should have a veto over the UN’s most important tactical decisions makes no sense, and this veto is even more absurd when we consider that the temporary members on the Council do no share that power that the permanent members exercise. The vast majority of UN members are very opposed to the expansionist policies of the State of Israel, for example, but these policies cannot be fought by the international community because only the Security Council’s decisions are properly binding and the US wheels and deals with the other four permanent members to ensure that the world’s will remains thwarted. This, and many other cases, demonstrates that the UN Security Council is the plaything of a small number of countries.

But I am also glad that Canada has lost its bid because it demonstrates that other countries in the world realize that Canada is in the midst of a national nightmare in which a Government that represents a minority of Canadians has run roughshod over the traditions of this country. The Harper government is a blindly ideological body that perverts the principles of justice, peace, democracy, equality, fairness, and honor, and people all over the world realize this. Harper and his childish bullies are an embarrassment to this country on the international stage, and a genuine threat to democracy and justice here at home.

I hope we will soon awake from this nightmare through which we are living. Today was one small victory. I am certain, true to their form, the Harperites will blame someone else for their failure and for the international rejection of their political style and principles, but it surely will be a hard sell. They will own this failure, and when history is written Canadians will judge this government most harshly.