1. Given that the Tories were relentless in criticizing the Liberals for perceived slow response on everything from the Tsunami to the NHL lockout, I certainly believe it's fair to say that the Conservative Government's response to this has been pretty lethargic. Canadians are dying in Lebanon and there's no excuse for Canada trailing behind every other Western country's evacuation timeline.
2. Harper's response has been a lot more pro-Israel than I'd like to see from our Prime Minister. I know Steve wants to look decisive but a position slightly more nuanced than all out support for Israel would likely have been better under the circumstances.
3. There will certainly be some political fallout from Harper's handling of this.
4. With respect to the Liberal leadership race, Warren Kinsella will be filing a column on that topic tonight. He says he's heard back from Brison, Rae, Volpe, Dion, and Findlay. We certainly all heard from Rae and Brison yesterday as they clashed hard, prompting Lloyd Axworthy to say Brison "doesn't really understand what Liberal foreign policy is about."
Gerard Kennedy also released a very sound statement today. I think he stakes out a very reasonable middle ground on the conflict and there's actually some meat in there, unlike other candidates who have just expressed regret over the death of the Canadians.
Surprisingly quiet on this topic has been Michael Ignatieff. I know there are aprons to sell but I would expect the Liberal leadership frontrunner who is a world renowned expert on international conflict, ethnic relations, and war, and who has visited the Middle East on many occasions, to have some sort of opinion on this topic.