Archive for the ‘MICHAEL IGNATIEFF’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: MICHAEL IGNATIEFF’S PATHETIC PLEA OVER WESTERN INACTION IN SYRIA: THE OLD CRYPTO-NEOCON TRIES NEW WAYS TO PROMOTE IMPERIALISM WHILE PRETENDING CONCERN FOR PEOPLE   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY MICHAEL IGNATIEFF IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

Ignatieff yet again proves what a remarkably thoughtless person he is for someone who enjoyed the status of an intellectual concerned with human rights.

But then, even in his old sinecure at Harvard, Ignatieff frequently defended American imperial interests and displayed no concern for America’s increasing violence and authoritarianism in the world.

The horrors in Syria exist for one reason only, and that is America’s effort to determine the future of most of the countries of the Middle East for the benefit of its imperial satrapy in the region, Israel, itself a country which regularly kills, tortures, kidnaps, imprisons, and steals.

Turkey’s behavior in offering the “rebels” refuge and border access and its threats against Syria are all at the behind-the scenes behest of the U.S.

The American Ambassador recently killed in Libya – another American disaster – was involved in smuggling weapons and Islamic fighters into Syria. That’s why no one in Obama’s government can give an honest accounting of the event.

Some of the thugs fighting in Syria are the kind of people the U.S. wouldn’t even admit through its own border, yet it seems perfectly okay for them to go to Syria and murder and destroy.

The hypocrisy and lack of ethics are stunning.

Israel’s murderous thug of a prime minister of course just chuckles at Syria being tied down in such a bloody mess.

The aim here is to destabilize Syria, perhaps dividing it into parts, and removing the Syrian army as a piece on the Middle East chessboard.

The fact is that Assad, like Hussein, provides a secular government in a region torn with religious hostilities. That’s why Islamists hate him. Treatment of women too is better than in many parts of the Middle East.

But none of that counts when the U.S. decides in private that it is time for change in your region of the world.

The country which has killed millions over recent decades now feels entitled to control events anywhere its fancy takes it.

And flacks like Ignatieff – for that is what he is – help form the chorus of support for evil.

He’s trying desperately, I think, to reclaim his sinecure at Harvard.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: AN EDITORIAL PRAISES SOME WORDS ABOUT GOVERNMENT IN CANADA BY MICHAEL IGNATIEFF AS WISE – WISE? IGNATIEFF? – AND PRAISE FROM THE GLOBE THESE DAYS IS DAMNING INDEED   Leave a comment

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSES TO AN EDITORIAL IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

When a Globe and Mail editorial of the Stackhouse Era bestows the word “wise’” upon anything or anyone, it must be taken as prima facie evidence of nonsense being praised.

Of course, in the case of Ignatieff, the more thoughtful and critical have long known him as a rather foolish man.

His record of supporting America’s war and torture made nonsense of his supposed position as a defender of human rights.

But that kind of thing is common enough: great wealthy American institutions often bestow titles and awards and positions – dressed up to sound meaningful in terms of human rights and democratic values – to those who really serve the imperial interest, as Ignatieff very much did.

And Ignatieff’s “political career” is one long painful episode of arrogance and poor judgment, an effort which left the country far worse off than it had been when he returned.

It truly is ridiculous to attribute wisdom to a man like this.

But then so is it to call Tony Blair a man of honor or peace, as the huge stream of awards and sinecures flowing to him all claim.

Ignatieff were best not heard from again and left forgotten, but the man’s bulging ego will not let that be so.

And it is the job of Globe editorials in almost all things these days to make a silk purse of a sow’s ear.
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As to the decline in democracy in the country, what can you say of a man who accepted being parachuted into a riding and refused even to live there?

And a man who was parachuted into the leadership itself by the efforts of a group of party insiders?

Of a man who didn’t face the democratic test in either case?

But I’m not arguing that Ignatieff is worse than Harper.

Harper is an instinctive petty tyrant with no genuine respect for democratic values, as he has demonstrated time and time again.

He is, simply, the nastiest piece of work we’ve had as prime minister.

And he sits there as “majority” prime minister owing to Ignatieff’s inept leadership and Ignatieff’s elevated idea of himself and his abilities.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: A HATCHET PIECE ON BOB RAE BY ADAM GOLDENBERG, FORMER MICHAEL IGNATIEFF SPEECHWRITER – SO THE WRITER FOR ONE OF THE MOST INEPT POLITICIANS IN HISTORY QUESTIONS THE ACTIVITIES OF ONE OF THE MOST POLISHED   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

I do not even understand why Adam Goldenberg has written this hatchet-job piece.

And I do not understand his qualification to do so, since having been a chief speechwriter to Michael ignatieff is pretty much an overblown claim to nothing.

Ignatieff plainly is the most terribly failed politician of our time, and his poor judgment and lack of skills have given us a legacy of a national government bent on copying the right wing of the Republican Party down to almost every detail.

Many of us knew that it would be so: Ignatieff is by nature a standoffish man and his spoken words have always been considerably less than dazzling. Mr Goldenberg’s efforts appear to have no spice to a dull dish.

Of course, there was Ignatieff’s past service to the worst war crime of this generation, the invasion of Iraq, an event in which a million or so perished. his claims to being a genuine liberal (small “l”) were always tenuous.

He proved himself a much overrated person in a dozen more ways when he took on the Liberal leadership.

He made a dumb speech at the convention attacking his own party which then became useful attack-material for the Harperites.

He accepted being parachuted into a riding, and then arrogantly chose not to live there, after having promised he would.

He accepted being parachuted into the leadership, an act which starkly cast doubt on Ignatieff’s democratic values.

Ignatieff went on that ludicrous Ma and Pa Kettle Cross Country Bus Trip when it became obvious to Party leaders he had no ability to communicate and empathize with people.

Since when does a bus trip change one’s character? It only made him look ridiculous on top of all his other shortcomings.

He always raged and blubbered against a coalition when it was clear to many – given the Liberal Party’s weakened status – that that was the only way to wrest power from Harper’s minority.

And Ignatieff chose when to call an election – he didn’t have to do so, but he did – and it was the most destructive election call in my lifetime.

Compared to Ignatieff’s fumbling, preachiness, lackluster speechmaking, poorly chosen issues, lack of organizational skills, and just plain boring personality, Bob Rae still looks remarkably good.

“Then he ran and lost, then ran again…”

That is subtly but definitely dishonest. There was no second-time race. Ignatieff was handed the leadership by a small group of Liberal Party insiders.

I and many others believe Bob Rae could have beaten Ignatieff, Rae being one of the most eloquent politicians of our generation, rising to levels of clever observation and well-chosen words Mr ignatieff could only dream of.

Of course, the genuine question is not why the talented Bob Rae ran and is running but why the inept Michael Ignatieff ever thought he had something to offer, other than some kind of legacy claim to crown his family’s achievements. Pure arrogance.
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“Liberals are now in third place and electing a man with a track record of failing to run provinces well during a recession (which is exactly the situation we are in now) will do nothing to fix that.”

You have it precisely wrong: he ran it well under the circumstances.

There were hard choices to make, and he made them.

“Rae Days” were a thoughtful and decent option to large dismissals.

Union leaders and cheap columnists have never forgiven him.

And that doesn’t say a lot for their speaking in an informed manner or displaying effective intelligence.

For completely different reasons however I think Bob Rae’s day may have passed. I do not see the Liberal Party regaining its position any time soon.

Harper’s potential for growth is exhausted, 39.6% certainly being his high-water mark, a number interestingly which is close to the highest number achieved by the National Socialists when they ran as a democratic party in the early 1930s.

There is a dazzling new star on the political scene, and his name is Thomas Mulcair.

I do believe he has a serious chance of making the NDP Canada’s other major party and of rising above the old sort-of Boy Scout image from which the Party long has suffered.

I don’t see anyone else in the Liberals remotely up to the challenge. Talk of Justin Trudeau is pathetic. He has more of his mother’s genes than his father’s.

Dalton McGuinty is sickening and tiresome to almost everyone in Ontario, and it is only the PC’s stupid moves that have kept him going – first, John Tory’s insistence on committing political suicide and then the Party’s electing the current nasty gnome, Hudak, as leader.

Dominic LeBlanc is an intelligent and attractive candidate, but he never seems to have caught fire in the Party.

While intelligence is important, politics is far from a rational process, many emotional and lucky factors playing roles.

The Liberals cannot succeed without Quebec, and they are now far out-shown there by Mr Mulcair.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: MARGARET WENTE AGAIN DEFENDING THE INDEFENSIBLE – THIS TIME MICHAEL IGNATIEFF ON QUEBEC – TWO PEOPLE WITH PUBLIC POSITIONS DEMONSRATE REMARKABLE IGNORANCE   Leave a comment

 

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

Quebec is not leaving Confederation.

There is not the tiniest bit of evidence for saying that.

So why do people keep saying it?

Because it’s such an emotionally charged statement it gets people’s attention, quickly.

Ergo, Ignatieff pathetic comments: words from a man who has proven, over and over, he is not all that perceptive, and a man who sure wants attention.

The man spent most of his life writing books – and as any good professional writer will tell you – that is a lonely business. Indeed Graham Greene wrote of the writer having a splinter of ice in his heart.

Further still, writing books is not necessarily the same thing as either having genuine new ideas or of being a perceptive analyst of current affairs.

The Toronto Liberal Party insiders who lured Ignatieff back to Canada with the promise of his leading the Party never understood these facts.

And, clearly, Ignatieff did not understand them either. He does not truly know even himself.

He has proved a remarkably unperceptive and narrow academic with little ability to relate to society.

It is only natural that Margaret Wente would choose to defend his empty observations. That’s the kind of thing she specializes in.

After all, they are pretty well cut from the same cloth, only Wente has no academic standing.

Two streams of humid air blowing against the realities and subtleties of their time.
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“Get off it Cons, Iggy is not really anti-Canadian in any sense. It is only your stupidity (based on Harper’s 15 sec. talking points) that makes it seem so in your own minds only.”

That would be a laughable comment were it not so sad.

You totally confuse the Right Wing with critics of Ignatieff.

Sorry, but there are many, many genuinely liberal-minded people in this world who do not think well of Ignatieff.

Indeed, there is a strong argument for consigning Ignatieff to the softer wing of the neo-conservatives.

His record during his time at Harvard is quite unpleasant, including, of course, writing in support of our generation’s biggest war crime, the invasion of Iraq, which killed about a million people, destroyed a promising society for a generation, and left about 2 million refugees. He also supported “torture-lite.”

Ignatieff has never qualified as a genuine liberal. He is a special interest man, and his aura of being a significant voice in human rights is just that an aura. His record is a poor one if you scrutinize the details.

Ms Wente’s entire background in writing of world affairs reflects the neo-con position, from endless apologies for Israel’s savagery to her almost putrid embrace of the same invasion of Iraq.

Again, here is a near-demented Ms Wente some years ago on all that death and destruction in Iraq:

http://chuckmanwords.wordpress.com/2009/05/28/the-iraq-wars-trashiest-piece-of-propaganda/
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“He is entitled to his opinion, but its clear he was never a great choice for Liberal leader.”

But he never was a choice, was he, in the sense of the word choice we assume in a democracy?

He was parachuted into the role by a group of Party bosses.

Just as he was parachuted into his West End riding when he first showed up on stage playing his return-of-the-native act.

Now, what kind of a principled politician, or would-be politician in this case – principled in democratic and human values – accepts such gifts from a group of insiders?

To answer the question is to summarize Ignatieff’s credentials as a principled politician.
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“To be honest, in travelling across Canada, I have found far more of a sense of separation and even hostility in Western Canada. I have rarely heard from a Quebecker the kind of vitriol towards other Canadians as some of the comments/attitudes I’ ve encountered In B.C. & Alberta in recent years.”

Well said.

Your observation confirms my own over some years.

I’ve never heard such genuine low-life comments as I’ve heard in Alberta.

Stephen Harper serves as a kind of bellows blowing on hot coals in this matter.

Wente’s ignorance here is little short of phenomenal, exceeded only by the man of proven poor judgment she’s defending.

Again, here’s what a woman of genuine perceptive intelligence – one of Canada’s best political columnists – has to say:

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1167952–michael-ignatieff-s-bbc-comments-on-shaky-ground?bn=1
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The following two postings are mine from the original column by Michael Ignatieff:

Please, go away, boring man.

You were a complete flop as a political leader.

And in your previous efforts to get some attention in the Globe, you’ve demonstrated less-than-Sterling abilities as an idea man.

Indeed, it was your poor judgment and blind ambition which are responsible for the Harper’s licence to act against much of what Canada has represented in my adult lifetime.

Now, you play the old “look out for Quebec” card.

Tiresome and inaccurate.
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“This is what this guy does best. Babble. Of course in their little world he is known as a deep thinker.”

His reputation as a thinker is immensely overblown, as all thoughtful people came to understand from most of what has come out of his mouth since accepting as an inheritance, as it were, the promise of leadership of the Liberal Party.

I cannot believe how trivial and unperceptive he has proven himself.

But, then, he did support criminal invasion and torture when still doing his blubbering in the United States, didn’t he?

Globe, you do readers no service giving this guy free space for advertising himself.

Indeed, there is almost a touch of black comedy here with a man proven to be so out of touch, and not just concerning Canada, still coming back repeatedly to offer views and advice.

The term “idiot-savant” comes to mind here, but I’m not so sure about the “savant’ half of the phrase.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: MICHAEL IGNATIEFF WRITES ABOUT SYRIA AND ASSAD – DISPLAYING CLOSE TO A TOTAL LACK OF UNDERSTANDING – HOW DID ANYONE EVER SEE ANYTHING SPECIAL IN IGNATIEFF?   Leave a comment

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

Mr. Ignatieff proves as dull a writer on this topic as he was a speaker in politics.

Cliches, unoriginal imagery, and uninspired establishment analysis – just about sums it up.

Speaking of parallel universes (a truly dull cliche of Ignatieff’s choosing), isn’t Ignatieff living in one himself if he thinks this contributes to anyone’s understanding?

Some of the truths in this matter include:

1) The United States and Israel wouldn’t know what to do without Assad. He’s almost a silent partner in keeping extremists quiet, just as the House of Saud is and just as Mubarak was.

2) The United States – in its typically blundering way in contemporary foreign affairs, not even understanding its own genuine long-term interests – secretly helped instigate this uprising, and Israel is supplying weapons.

3) A militant and more Islamic-focused Syria represents the same kind of idiot situation created in Libya – a long-term source of militants raging with resentment against American interference.

4) Does anyone remember the American race riots of 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, and 1992/ Police and National Guard (bayonets fixed on rifles) killed rioters by the scores in the streets of major American cities.

One can only imagine how brutally the American establishment would react to the kind of political provocation seen in Syria. America has the greatest mass of troops and weapons on the planet ready to suppress any civil disturbance.

5) And need I remind anyone of Israel’s response to the least provocation? Assad, in putting down a genuine civil disturbance, hasn’t managed to kill the number of people Israel has killed in recent years, and these were people just trying to seek relief from occupation and constant oppression.

This piece seriously raises the question of what anyone ever saw as special in Ignatieff?

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‘I will start by saying the violence and the number of dead in Iraq is a lot higher for the same period as is in Syria. Having said this I have to say the mantra of : “Assad killing his own people” is tiresome.’

Good point.

America left somewhere between a half and one million corpses in Iraq.

The inept politician writing this piece helped praise the effort.

Even today – once the Arab world’s most advanced country, well on its way to eventually graduating to more democratic government –it is an awful place to live.

There is no dependable water and electricity for many.

There are no decent jobs for an entire generation.

Depleted uranium dust is slowly poisoning thousands of kids.

And America’s brutal stupidity created at least two million refugees. Imagine two million out of a population of maybe twenty-five – a huge disruption.

And who took in those refugees?

You’d be wrong if you guessed the United States who created their plight.

You win the prize if you said Assad’s Syria.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: MICHAEL IGNATIEFF SAYS WE NEED A POLITICS OF FAIRNESS: DOES THE MAN RECOLLECT ONE DETAIL OF HIS OWN MISERABLE POLITICAL CAREER?   Leave a comment

 

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY MICHAEL IGNATIEFF IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

Mr Ignatieff, here’s what I consider serious unfairness in our politics.

A few Liberal Party insiders go down to Harvard to lure a boring academic to return to Canada with the promise of likely leading the party about which he knew nothing.

The boring academic got parachuted into a riding about which he also knew nothing, and he refused to live in the riding, even though he once said that he would.

The boring academic made some speeches, in the course of pursuing the party’s leadership, undeserving of it as he was, with thoughtless statements ready-made for exploitation later by Conservatives in attack ads.

The boring academic later, after the political demise of the politician who beat him out for the leadership, accepts being parachuted into the party’s leadership without being tested by any meaningfully democratic process.

The boring academic proves a boring and genuinely inept political leader.

Every poll and gathering proves Liberals themselves do not like the boring academic, but he persists until he can lead the party to its degrading defeat.

And sure enough, the boring academic makes a dumb decision for an election which dooms Canadians to at least four years of Harper’s slash and burn.

After quitting in a rush and accepting a sinecure at the University of Toronto, the boring academic manages to pound out a boring article every once in a while to be published in the Globe and Mail.

Sound familiar, Mr Ignatieff?

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: MICHAEL IGNATIEFFF WHINES AND MAKES EXCUSES FOR HIS COMPLETE FAILURE AS A POLITICAL LEADER – THE “ISSUE” OF EX-PATS RETURNING TO CANADA   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN

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

The genuine issue is not ex-pats as this piece by Ignatieff would have us believe.

Indeed, the claim is a pretty putrid way to excuse your own failings.

It is self-damning when you think about it: “Gee, I didn’t do anything wrong, I was just this wonderful cosmopolitan guy attacked by horrid little people!”

Please, the unexamined life is not worth living, and Ignatieff surely has not spent five minutes examining his own, else he would never write such tripe.

You cannot, anywhere in the world, expect to return from a great long period abroad and assume leadership of a great national party almost immediately.

The very idea is preposterous.

In politics, you earn your credentials, a thoroughly appropriate demand for what is the art of the practical.

Ignatieff spent no time earning his “creds.”

And, really, and I say this as a genuinely (small “l”) liberal-minded person, Ignatieff displayed pure arrogance in thinking he could do otherwise.

And, with this column, he is only demonstrating again that he “just does not get it.”

Pretty damning stuff for a highly educated man.

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“Michael Ignatieff is a Canadian.

“In every sense of the word.”

Michael Ignatieff is a drip.

In every sense of the word.

Being a Canadian drip doesn’t make any difference.

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“Mr Harper’s constant attacks on Mr Ignatieff for his time outside of Canada reflects [sic] insularity and insecurity.”

A totally false argument.

Insularity is an issue only in the mind of Michael Ignatieff, busy spinning tales to comfort himself about his utter failure.

Ignatieff was an incompetent politician. Full stop.

He also, as one reader has correctly remarked, proved to have an unappealing personality.

Writers often have unpleasant or underdeveloped personalities: after all, they spend most of their working hours alone with a keyboard or a tablet of paper, almost the polar opposite of what politicians do, glad-handing people as soon as they’re in high school.

He also lacked the largeness of spirit of the great Liberal prime ministers: he is a surprisingly conservative and unimaginative man, considering his education and travel.

Had it been otherwise, Harper’s nasty ads would have been ignored as background noise. After all, Canadians have not embraced Harper, a man of extreme views and unethical behavior, Canada’s first genuinely creepy leader, with a meager 39.6% mandate. They only avoided the unpleasant and incompetent and almost buffoonish Ignatieff.

Ignatieff has none of the fierce intelligence and drive of a Trudeau and none of the ineffable charm of a Chretien.

He showed no judgment, time and time again, as dallying in France when Parliament was prorogued. The insiders of the party made a terrible mistake luring him back, and they soon knew it, desperately putting on silly stunts like Ignatieff’s “Ma and Pa Kettle’s Excellent Adventure Crossing Canada by Bus.”

Simply inane.

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“He has principles and stood up to serve.”

God, what complete puffery.

What principles of Ignatieff’s stand out?

I fail to see any beyond the most ordinary.

Stood to serve?

What an overly-dignified description for a man’s being offered and given leadership of a great party without doing anything to earn it.

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“…there is far more support for Mr Ignatieff then you want to believe.”

You are asserting nonsense in the face of those election results?

That is delusional.

And I wonder, had you heard the previous buzz among some in the party about Ignatieff?

Many observed that he trusted no one but his wife.

He tended to consult no one.

So tense had this situation become that we saw in some Wikileaks material that the American ambassador secretly commented on the bad blood between Ignatieff and Rae.

In the end, I count myself a pretty seasoned “reader” of people, and Ignatieff struck the wrong note with me immediately.

It had nothing to do with his having lived abroad. It had nothing to do with his education. It was just my reading of a politician who could not connect.

I never had any doubt he would lose and lose big.