JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: IS STEPHEN HARPER’S SANITY CRUMBLING? CANADA’S AFGHANISTAN COMMITMENT – PLUS WORDS ON CANADIANS VS AMERICANS IN PRINCIPLES AND HANDLING TRUTH   Leave a comment


JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

I think there is a real possibility that Harper’s sanity is crumbling.

First, we had his troubling ramblings about fighting anti-Semitism as a defense for his abject failure at United Nations diplomacy.

Then, we had his economically-ignorant defense at the G-20 of America’s debasing its currency, truly bizarre since he has a graduate degree in economics and is known as rather a Chicago-school man.

Now, we have his claim for unilateral powers over the armed forces. I did think the Governor-General was Commander-in-Chief, and I did think Parliament always was the ultimate decision-maker in our society.

There are late-onset forms of certain serious mental illnesses from which he may be suffering, or this could just be a form of megalomania that has set in.

Whether that is the case or not, I would think he is under terrible stress, his entire political career being widely regarded as unsuccessful beyond the mechanics of holding onto office through tricks and games.

He must realize that he will never get a majority government, something I am sure he has worked tirelessly towards, and he must know most Canadians do not trust, or even particularly like, him.

He also must realize he has not managed to build a Conservative Party the population regards well, his cabinet being mainly controlled yes-men and intellectual mediocrities, each afraid of Harper’s reported ugly private rages.

And he has failed utterly to establish a Conservative brand for ethics, having been caught time and again indulging in shady and unethical and even nasty-child practices.

On the international scene, his years have sent Canada’s reputation tumbling, and even he must be aware of that.

It is an unwelcome test of the strength of our political institutions if we can survive with dignity the assault on our traditions Harper represents.
_______________________________

Erika from America:

Canadians “aren’t that principled…”?

Oh, my, Americans are so principled.

I think we saw that at Abu Ghraib, didn’t we?

And at Guantanamo?

And when General Dostum, America’s Northern Alliance friend, drove 3,000 Taleban prisoners in batches in sealed vans out onto the desert to suffocate while American soldiers watched and picked their noses?

And in all the trail of lies leading to an illegal invasion in Iraq, something which should make members of Bush cabinet subject to trial as war criminals?

Oh, and the holocaust in Vietnam reflected proudly on those principles, didn’t it?

Slaughtering 3 million. Using napalm. Torturing. Throwing men from helicopters. Sending in nightcrawler special forces to villages to cut people’s throats in their sleep: 20,000 village leaders in good old Operation Phoenix.

You sure can’t beat that for principled.

How about the toppling of the peaceful government of Cambodia, allowing the Khmer Rouge to take over and murder a million more?

How about the overthrow of many democratic governments with which the US did not agree? Guatemala, Haiti. Chile. Iran. And more.

How about America’s not speaking out one meaningful word as Israel slowly starves one and a half million in Gaza today?

“Canadians can’t handle the truth.”

I think the writer has been watching too many Jack Nicholson movies.

It is clearly, overwhelmingly Americans who cannot “handle the truth,” including of course the fact that their sense of entitlement and poor regulation have sent the world tumbling into an economic crisis.

But don’t worry, America will climb out, not by passing reasonable measures or needed new taxes, but by debasing its currency, just as it did after Vietnam, leaving the whole world “holding the bag” as it were.

“The widespread sentiment is that it’s an American war,” but dear Erika from America that’s exactly what it is, a pointless American war, one in a long string of pointless wars since WWII.

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