Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ignatieff's Foreign Policy Idiocy creeping into Liberal policy

Peace keeping means what it says. It involves keeping the peace between two identifiable warring factions who want peace and have invited third party in to keep it. It really only has a hope of succeeding when those groups are separated from one another by geography. In this sense Ignatieff was always right about the Afghanistan mission and the others dead wrong. Afghanistan is and never was suited to peace keeping. Furthermore, as guerilla war supplants state on state violence as the dominant form of conflict, peace keeping missions have become less and less useful. In this sense too Ignatieff is right, albeit for the wrong reasons, and his opponents are wrong. Peace keeping has had it day; it represents a proud chapter in Canada history, but that chapter has been written; let us move on.

Where Ignatieff errs is the prescriptions he makes. He seems to not to realize that just as age of Peace keeping has come and gone so thankfully has the age of nation building. First of all, the public has no stomach for it. For Ignatieff to suggest that Canada and other Western countries should greatly reduce spending on social programs just so they do not have rely on a "Pentagon General" to police the world is such bleeding heart gibberish it hardly merits comment.

Most Canadians are interested in building up Canada, Ignatieff is alone in thinking Afghanistan and Dalfur should be higher priorities. Most Canadians would be aghast if billions of dollars were to be diverted from health budgets to pay for military hardware, but that is exactly what Ignatieff would like to do. The money quote: "we used to be peace keepers. We used to have capabilities. We gave them up. Because people wanted hospitals, schools and roads and god bless them." The man is a menace.

Second, nation building is a foul's errand. Western countries have had very little success in developing their own hinterlands let alone transforming the most backward economies in the world.

Finally, these missions only make it more likely that Canada will be attacked by terrorists home grown as in the Toronto 18 or otherwise.


Ted Betts said...

Too bad for the next minority group in the next Rwanda or, for that matter, the next Nazi Germany, I guess, right?

Back to good 'ol "not my brother's keeper" pre-WWII American-style isolationism, eh?

'Cause that worked out so well for so many minority groups.

Anonymous said...

Koby, I read what you're favourite reading material is and I've seen you come out from under the rock only periodically to attack Ignatieff.

You are not a Liberal - you are a Marxist.

Why they let you on a Liberal blog site I don't know, but you are pathetic.


Ted Betts said...

"You are not a Liberal - you are a Marxist."

Let's not start acting like Dippers or Conservatives now, just because Koby is so wrongheaded and is a knee-jerk Iggy basher.

Anonymous said...

Koby's reading material:

Crime and Punishment(Dostoevsky) On the Genealogy of Morals (Nietzsche) Philosophical Investigations (Wittgenstein) On Certainty (Wittgenstein) Rorty and his Critics Capital (Marx) the age of Revolution (Hobsbawm)


Ted Betts said...

Point well made and accepted, Lyn.

Jim said...

Yep, keep eating your own. Dissension has no place on the Liblogs.

For people that preach about free speech, you sure seem to have a hard time practicing it.

The sooner you folks understand that Ignatieff is a hawk, further to the right than Harper, the better.

And honestly, I don't believe that nation building is dead, in fact we need to finish the job here at home. So to that end, ignoring the UN and it's useless, anti-semitic debating society that caters to despots and a little military isolationism is not a bad thing in my opinion.

Canada, first, last, and always.

Ted Betts said...

Um, do battle with strawmen much, Jim?

Who exactly are you claiming is preventing anyone else from speaking freely?

Why is it that conservatives think that criticism is akin to shutting down free speech? It goes deeper than a PMO talking point.

Jim said...

Ha! Well, Ted, have you or perhaps Lyn filed a complaint to the Liblogs admin yet?

Now be honest.

And hey, how about my other point. Do you think Ignatieff is a hawk?

I am, and I know one when I see him.

Ted Betts said...

Can't speak for Lyn, but I certainly never would for a post like this which is just critique.

And if you think Ignatieff is a hawk, you completely misunderstand him and his views, which are more accurately rooted in the UN Committee on protecting failing states that Chretien appointed him to in the 1990s than in Bush/Harper like superpower war diplomacy.

Jim said...

Ummm, sure Ted, ride your delusion.

What wars has Harper and the CPC committed us to? And who is trying to commit us now?

As an side to that question, who originally committed us and sent us to a desert battlefield in green uniforms?

What government has acted quickly to sent much needed reinforcements and equipment?

Amazing to me that the Libs would choose foreign policy and A-stan as one of the hills to die on.

Libs failed in A-stan and the released documents will show this.

NATO and the UN fail in general, but at least the CPC will get us out.

Koby said...


Ignatieff, rightly, notes that with the exception of maybe the UK and I would add perhaps France no Western nation has the ability to act on a humanitarian crisis if the "Pentagon generals" will not. He says that this is a conscious choice and the Europe and Canada opted for "hospitals, schools and roads" instead.

He believes that countries such Ireland -- for Christ sakes -- could gain such a ability if only it spent less on "hospitals, schools and roads" and more on military hardware, training and logistics. I am honestly surprised someone did not burst out laughing when he spewed such clap trap. Leaving aside the importance of basing rights, Ireland has a population of 6 million and would have devout a ridiculously high portion of its overall budget to defense to gain such a capability. Of course, we are only talking about the ability to deploy such a force. Keeping such a force deployed for long, especially in face of determined guerilla campaign, would quickly drain its budget.

The notion that Canada should do likewise is also stupid. Remember while there might be 2500 Canadian troops in Afghanistan, it was the US that got them there, and it is the US that provides a wider network of support. Without the US leading the way, Canada would not have been able to send troops to Afghanistan. It is just that simple. That is Ignatieff's point and the thing he wants to change.

Ignatieff wants other countries (e.g., Canada and absurdly Ireland) to spend countless billions building up their militaries such that they are able to act independently of the US --- not to advance national interests -- oh no -- but for the greater good of humanity. The man is bat shit insane.

Koby said...


Given what I said about Ignatieff this time around, you might have called me a political realist. Given what I said last time around you might have called me a European social democrat. Calling me a Marxist though is just plain weird and makes it painfully obvious that you do not have a clue what one is.