Monday, July 16, 2007

As much as I'd like to hang Jack Layton...

The Sun's Peter Worthington says Jack Layton is treasonous.

These days when people such as the NDP's Jack Layton urge, in the normal course of their ideology, that Canada should quit Afghanistan, it is an acceptable political viewpoint.

But when they do so the moment Canadian troops suffer casualties, and insist their motivation is concern for the soldiers in harm's way, they are indulging in crass political opportunism. In another era, we would have called it treason.

My guess is Layton, for one, doesn't give all that much thought to the welfare of our soldiers and that he neither instinctively likes them, nor understands them. Concern for their individual welfare is mere political rhetoric. He'd send our army to Darfur, for God's sake!



  • Worthington is correct about Jacko.

    He is the type of politician who goes out of his way to march IN a gay pride parade and AVOID marching in a military one.

    'nuff said about our boy Jacko. A true progressive willing to sacrifice the women, children and gay community of Afghanistan on the altar of his no war at any cost beliefs.

    Truly sad for the leadership of the Canadian socialists and liberals to be so cavalier with other people's lives, to dismiss the United Nations Security Council and a truly noble multilateral effort to help the long suffering people of Afghanistan.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:29 p.m.  

  • Wait. Is he saying that crass political opportunism was treason in another era?

    By Blogger Leny Vilekoskytch, at 12:36 p.m.  

  • Fred :) said...

    He is the type of politician who goes out of his way to march IN a gay pride parade

    You mean he's >gasp< a TORY????

    By Blogger Reality Bites, at 12:51 p.m.  

  • The way Harper is reading polls and backtracking on Afghanistan, Deceivin' Steven will make Layton look like a war monger by next Tuesday.

    By Blogger A BCer in Toronto, at 12:54 p.m.  

  • Must be a slow news day.

    Let see - Layton holds a news conference reinterating that Canadian troops should be out of Afganistan because continuing a violent conflict will not help those that it is meant to. Later that day, the media reports that more Canadian soldiers have died.
    Worthington is not use Michael Moore-like timing to reverse those events and call in political opportunism.
    Moreover, I love how Worthington speaks against Layton for advancing his agenda, while at the same time Worthington is clearly stating his own agenda.

    By Blogger Wheatsheaf, at 1:05 p.m.  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger leonsp, at 1:25 p.m.  

  • I can't wait for the Layton attack ads to come from the Cons next.

    By Blogger Ken Chapman, at 1:47 p.m.  

  • Why do you want to hang Jack Layton, Calgary Grit? Is it because Jack is more popular than Dion?
    I can't believe that you are repeating crappy writing by Worthington, who is is a neocon. Sure must be a slow news day.
    That said, Layton's stance on Afghanistan is with the majority of Canadians. No wonder his popularity is going up in the polls.

    By Blogger janfromthebruce, at 2:06 p.m.  

  • janfromthebruce,
    Learning to lie like the cons are we?

    If you are gonna through around stats please quote the latest and the actual numbers.

    "The poll, conducted exclusively for CanWest News Service and Global National by Ipsos Reid, showed that half of Canadians — exactly 50 per cent — said they either “strongly” or “somewhat support” the use of Canada’s troops for security and combat efforts in Afghanistan.

    Almost equally planted on the other side of the debate are 45 per cent of Canadians who said they either “strongly” or “somewhat oppose” the mission in Afghanistan. The remaining five per cent said they do not have an opinion one way or the other.

    The latest numbers show a continuing drop in support for the mission since it reached a peak in the fall of 2006 at 57 per cent. In April 2007, support had slipped to 52 per cent, and now to 50, according to the polling firm’s data"

    Get your facts straight, lier. We don't see Laytons stance being the majority now do we? Seems like a tie or more support for the mission to me.

    I also think Layton's stance is way too cowardly for a country of our reputation. We can't just drop everything and leave a vacuum. Thats why Afghanistan is the way it is. Thats way to irresponsible but then again we are talking about the nativity of the NDP when it comes matters of governance, something they don't have experience with.

    By Blogger Jay, at 2:51 p.m.  

  • Thats way to irresponsible but then again we are talking about the nativity of the NDP when it comes matters of governance, something they don't have experience with.

    The "nativity" of the NDP? In any case, Layton has more actual experience in government than Harper does. What's your point?

    By Blogger Josh Gould, at 3:09 p.m.  

  • Consider the source. I would drop dead if Worthington ever said anything nice about the NDP. The world got shitty for Peter around 1964 and he just keeps getting madder about it, every year.

    By Blogger Greg, at 3:26 p.m.  

  • Apart from the fact that it would reintroduce Afghanistan to the never-ending cycle of civil war, endless human rights violations, and the repression of women...If Canada were to up and leave Afghanistan like Jack wants, the word Canada would become synonymous with coward.

    And I think that would bother most Canadians. It would bother me.

    But some people really wouldn't mind being branded a coward. And those same people can't fathom that there are people in the world, like the Taliban, that would prefer to push a knife into their throats rather than engage in wholesome dialogue.

    You can't argue with those people, so don't bother.

    By Blogger le politico, at 3:33 p.m.  

  • janfromthebruce; Believe me, I do NOT agree with Worthington on this one...

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 3:42 p.m.  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Jaker, at 4:01 p.m.  

  • Oh the sensationalism...

    Using a title like that while linking to a tabloid columnist who is in the business of inflammatory headlines, without any personal thought added was just a cheap guarantee for generating some outrage and predictable comments.

    Usually expect better at this site. That was pure SDA.

    By Blogger Jaker, at 4:06 p.m.  

  • "The poll, conducted exclusively for CanWest News Service and Global National by Ipsos Reid..."

    That's the point at which I generally know not to even bother reading the poll. The rough translation is "The poll, designed to, as much as possible advance the Conservative Party spin on things..."

    By Blogger Reality Bites, at 4:14 p.m.  

  • Sean Maloney makes a strong case in this week's issue of Macleans (a short introduction to the article is available online).

    A couple additional paragraphs from that article follow:

    "Lost in all this, and in the wilful ignorance of decision-makers back home, is the fact that victories are actually piling up in Afghanistan."

    "... The only way the Taliban can succeed is to generate doubt and fear in Canada, and hope that those Canadians opposed to helping the Afghan people are able to generate a consensus for withdrawal. The only tool the Taliban have right now to accomplish this is a mass-casualty-producing attack like the one that killed six soldiers on July 4."

    By Blogger paul.obeda@, at 6:40 p.m.  

  • Jack Layton isn't a traitor, he's just irrelevant.

    He wants Canada to be more independent of the USA, and to use this sovereign voice to counter-balance American influence in the world.


    So what does he do?

    He allows the Americans to dictate his party's policy by blindly taking its opposite.

    He wants to REDUCE our military, making us more dependent on the USA for our defensive commitments.

    He wants to REDUCE Canadian presence in international affairs - thus removing our independent voice to counterbalance the USA (or anyone else for that matter).

    So he's irrelevant to Canadians. Just like how his pro-environment platform is blind to the crushing economic burden it would place on the lower income working families he claims to care most about.

    Jack Layton is irrelevant, and keeping the NDP irrelevant. Turf him.

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 7:10 p.m.  

  • I don't agree with Jack Layton's stance on Afghanistan but saying he is treasonous seems a bit extreme.

    By Blogger J@ckp1ne, at 7:27 p.m.  

  • If Canada were to up and leave Afghanistan like Jack wants, the word Canada would become synonymous with coward.

    If you're that worried about being branded a coward, I humbly suggest that you enlist with the Canadian Armed Forces.

    Really, I'm not on Layton's side here, but tough-talking keyboard commandos are just as tiresome as smilin' Jack.

    By Blogger James L., at 8:59 p.m.  

  • leonsp said...

    "I wager that Comrade Worthington is damned by his own words. He himself does not understand soldiers. He is the traitor, not the victims of his cheap shots."

    I'll wager that Worthington understands soldiers a lot better than most here. Before journalism he spent a fun-filled year as a platoon commander with 3PPCLI at a place called as "The Hook"; so named because it was surrounded on three sides by the Chinese Army. The Chinese used to break up the monotony of the stalemate in Korea by sending out patrols to attack the hook about once a week of so.

    You might have heard about Korea. It was the last war we sent our army to and then promptly forgot about them, although I don't think the media wallowed on incessantly about a several dozen casualties. Of course, back in those days, most journos had seen a real war up close just a few years prior, and so had some perspective.

    Actually Worthington is spot on with his observation. Back then they would have locked Layton and his ilk up for sedition, or deported them to Poland or Czechoslovakia. Plus ca change...

    The problem with Layton is that he brings his movable goalposts to the game. Back in 2003, when going to Afghanistan meant not going to Iraq, he was all for it. In 2005, when the mission shifted to Kandahar, he didn't oppose it; he didn't have a position. He didn't actually come out against the mission until last August, just before his party was about to pass resolutions calling for trials of returning soldiers for "war crimes".

    First he was for the mission, before he was opposed to it. Now he's for sending troops to Darfur to kill the "janjaweed", until he's no longer in favour, and then that too will be "unwinnable". It's a great game of pass the pickle to Jack (and Stéphane too), the only problem is that every time you play, someone else's son or daughter winds up getting killed.

    Jack and Stéphane are symptomatic of a country that has "lost its bottle". They want instant gratification and hard jobs, like rebuilding a wrecked country, are someone else's responsibility. Of course their plan, leave Afghanistan to the Afghans, led to the Taliban and Al Qaeda the last time out. Why would we ever think that might happen again?

    Leave the big jobs to the grown-ups. Jack should live out his eternal adolescence with Olivia.

    By Blogger herringchoker, at 12:12 a.m.  

  • Herringchoker, you took the words right out of my mouth.

    Worthington, who is a Canadian hero, was spot on today.

    By Blogger Brad, at 12:57 a.m.  

  • Man, can you ever smell the testosterone in here.

    By Blogger Greg, at 8:00 a.m.  

  • herringchoker

    You are right on....well stated!

    By Blogger islandconservative, at 11:56 a.m.  

  • "He didn't actually come out against the mission until last August, just before his party was about to pass resolutions calling for trials of returning soldiers for "war crimes"."

    Jesus Christ, more proof that Cons are a bunch of fucking liars. Oh, sorry, "straw man fallacy" is what I meant to say.

    The NDP was opposed to this BEFORE THE LAST ELECTION. Starting about December 8 2005, to be precise. And before that they only supported the reconstruction mission in Kabul, not the new combat mission in Khandahar. If anything Layton and the NDP were very consistent in their stance. In fact, during the surprise March vote in 2006, every NDP member save Peter Stoffer voted against the extension of the mission until 2009.

    (And FWIW, back then when I was an NDP member, I opposed that stance - I supported the mission. I no longer do, but Jack Layton and the NDP have not changed their tune one bit).

    And at no time was there EVER an NDP motion to try returning soldiers as war criminals. That's a bald faced lie.

    Not that I expect any different from the Conservatives these days...if the polls or the facts on the ground don't go your way, make shit up.

    herringchoker, you are truly pathetic.

    I suggest you visit Dave at the Galloping Beaver for a take on this from a veteran who has seen combat much more recently than 1952.

    By Blogger Mike, at 4:24 p.m.  

  • As a combat veteran of Somalia, Eritea, the Balkans, Rwanda, plus 12 international peacekeeping missions, can i be allowed to call Taliban Jack a "fucking liar"?

    Perhaps a seditionist?

    Leftists always have a penchant for advising others to get in harms way to advance their own ideology.Except, of course, when the opposition is an ideological ally.

    The reality is, people die for causes the left hold dear, but never them..those so quick to have others die for pet causes never contribute one ounce of energy or blood .

    Jack is a liar if he says he cares for the troops.Ask him if he would ever go to talk to them in the field? The chances of him doing that are even more remote than liberals giving stolen taxpayer dollars back.

    Soldiers despise him and all his ilk.Too many years of brainwashing has left Canadians without the moral compass they used to posess.

    I truly saddens me to see Canadians reject giving a life to others they so obviously take for granted.

    I challenge anyone here to join the military, (or a civilian aid group) and work in these places, and then come back and tell me they don't need us.

    Until then, words are meaningless.
    Look to yourself and really ask the question why am i against this mission? You may not like what you find..

    By Blogger kursk, at 5:33 p.m.  

  • Pathetic? Moi?

    Well, I guess it really is true. No good deed ever does go unpunished. Try to come to the defence of a veteran (that would be Worthington) being pilloried in cyberspace and they crap all over you. Ah well…

    Nice picture Mike. I think we’ve met before. You bought me a beer in Opatija, right? Or was it slivo in Lipik? I forget sometimes. It was so long ago and my mind isn’t all it once was. You know, the APS and all.

    Its always fun chatting about army stuff with someone who thinks a forward assist is part of their DVD remote. They bring such an interesting perspective to the discussion. Are you sure you’re not with the CP, or the CBC? C’mon, you can tell me. I won’t tell. Honest.

    Much as I would like just say See Kursk’s answer (he ranks me in so many ways, even if he was RCR) in response, I’ll restrain myself. We are talking politics after all, and politics is all about giving due consideration to the other guy’s opinion. Right? (Are you laughing?) Well I think I read that somewhere.

    Anyway, as I was saying.

    Straw man fallacy? Gee, that’s a big concept. You could have called me a hyperbolic bastard and I would have agreed with you…but fallacious? Just the word sounds naughty. (And I don’t think the missus would approve).

    So fair’s fair. I went back and checked. The Dippers weren’t going to pass resolutions calling for war crimes trials for returning veterans. They were, however, going to pass resolutions stating that “Canadian troops end up acting like terrorists, destroying communities, killing and maiming innocent people”, before Jack put an end to it by caving in and coming out against the mission ( They also picked on Peter Stouffer, my favourite Dipper MP (now that Big Bill Blaikie is calling it quits), but that’s another story. So there you have it, terrorists, not war criminals. That’s so much better.

    But be honest Mike. You were spreading a bit of monkeyshine around yourself…

    “The NDP was opposed to this BEFORE THE LAST ELECTION.”

    Which NDP would that be? The NDP of MPs Peter Stouffer and Pat Martin (both of whom still support the mission, in words if not by deed)? The NDP that put out this platform ( during the last election?

    Here are three words you won’t find in the platform, Afghanistan & pull out. Well. You might find pull out somewhere. I didn’t read the family planning section that carefully. (Then again, that might be an issue solved by your straw man fallacy). In any event, there’s nothing about Afghanistan by the party that, how do you say, was OPPOSED TO THIS (war) BEFORE THE LAST ELECTION.

    As Wendy said to Peter, “wishing doesn’t make it so”. (Or was that, As Tigger said to Eeyore? I forget sometimes.)

    Anyway…here are a few choice samples of Dipper thinking on the matter from the last campaign (these were in the platform).

    Jack Layton and the NDP will:

    Reorient Canada’s defence procurement to support the priorities of peacekeeping, peacemaking, humanitarian and environmental support operations. Total defence spending would not be reduced. Good pay, family support, and good basic equipment are priorities.

    Commit Canadian troops to overseas operations only under the auspices of international peace and security organizations.

    Presumably Canadians were to infer that peacemaking didn’t actually involve anything like violence or shooting at the bad guys (which, come to think of it, happened a lot on peacekeeping missions as well). Or that, those peace and security organization didn’t include the UN or NATO. Ah well, all the world’s a stage when you’re making it up as you go along.

    Sorry to disappoint you Mike, but I stand by my statement. I know Jack from his subsidized co-op days on Toronto city council. He was a lightweight then, he’s a lightweight now. The eternal teenager in a land of grown-ups! The NDP deserve better. We all deserve better.



    By Blogger herringchoker, at 12:02 a.m.  

  • “Truly sad for the leadership of the Canadian socialists and liberals to be so cavalier with other people's lives, to dismiss the United Nations Security Council and a truly noble multilateral effort to help the long suffering people of Afghanistan.” (Fred)

    What nonsense. How is questioning and re-examining the validity of a mission being cavalier with lives? That is being responsible and should be done before anyone is told to go and risk their life. That honours soldiers by treating each life as valuable, so valuable that we should question whether the mission is worth the cost.

    Re-examining missions is necessary. If they are not effective, then continuing to send soldiers to kill and die because we buy into blind, mindless phrases (we can’t cut and run) is worse than cavalier - that is true cowardice. Refusal to accept we may have made a mistake, refusal to even examine if we made a mistake, then sending other people to keep dying because, as some supporters of extending the mission are now saying - “we can’t let the deaths of those poor soldiers who died so far be for nothing” - is extreme cowardice. Send others to die because you don’t even have the courage to examine if the situation warrants change.

    As for helping “the long suffering people of Afghanistan,” how, exactly, are we helping them? We shut down - what was it - 32 out of 35 centres for aid and rebuilding in Afghanistan? We take away their opium fields but don’t give them any other way of supporting their families? We call civilian casualties “acceptable losses?” I seriously doubt the New-Wonder-What-Empty-Label-They’ll-Give-Themselves-Next-Sitting gives a damn about Afghans. O’CONNOR, that bastion of human sensitivity has stated several reasons why we keep sending troops - retribution, war on terror, and...what was that? Oh yeah...helping those poor Afghans.

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