whatistrue.com - What Is True?
February 2, 2003
Edited: March 24, 2009

Liberty, War & Politics

On Some Rhetorical Devices of the War Party by Joseph R. Stromberg

  • "The sole acceptable causal explanation of what those with Authoritarian Personalities might call "blowback" is a dreaded mental disorder known as "anti-Americanism.""
  • Hits at interventionist libertarians also: "If libertarianism is just another word for classical liberalism and if every 19th-century liberal is a proto-libertarian, then, sure, you can quickly assemble a bunch of warmongers and interventionists and announce that they are the ancestors of liberventionism."
  • "...libertarianism carried forward part of the heritage of classical liberalism while repudiating the mistakes and sell-outs of historical liberals ..." (1)

Jack Layton Now Leader of Canadian New Democratic Party

NDP set to take over as Opposition: Layton
"His top four issues? Stopping a war with Iraq, promoting public - not private - health care, improving the environment and strengthening municipal infrastructure." (2)

Well, the first position is correct, and if you want to keep the State empowered and "responsible" for the other three areas, the NDP might "manage" them better - since Canadians want the State to have god-like powers anyway. At least the NDP is clear on its beliefs and main policies.

And if there was some sort of contest going on about which party is more fiscally conservative, then the provincial NDP leaders seem to have done as well as anyone from what I've heard, and I remember Bob Rae of Ontario trying to be more fiscally responsible because of his conscience. Maybe the NDP are the real "conservatives" in Canada now. The Canadian Alliance tends to advocate that Canada should take its orders from Washington, which the Liberal government seems to do anyway. Why is that "conservative"?

In the U.S., the Democrats have failed to oppose the Republicans on critical issues, but Republicans like Limbaugh still maintain a phoney ideological war with them. In the same way, the Canadian Liberal government and Canadian Alliance "opposition" seem to be only divided by superficial ideological posturing over which party believes more in following the U.S. Although it is hoped that the conservative parties will get themselves in order, maybe the NDP will provide a real opposition that will fight to preserve Canada as a nation.

Also, since there are these false arbitrary differences between the big parties - the Liberals are holding ground on both the left and right, and their leadership has way too much power - it's time for Members of Parliament to start thinking for themselves and vote based on issues rather than party loyalty. M.P.'s should be elected individually based on their personal policy beliefs and how well they represent their constituencies. Their party affiliation should be secondary.

Jack's being nimble: NDP leader on offensive
Jack Layton promised to "...elevate his party to official opposition status in the next federal election."(3)

Perhaps he has a chance. Jack Layton was also interviewed on CBC Radio Sunday morning (Jan 26/03), and he comes across as extremely intelligent. In Toronto he is very well known as an experienced and energetic local politician. He is certainly more than a match for the federal Liberal leadership in terms of focusing on clear policies and principles, and probably a challenge also to Stephen Harper - the very sharp leader of the Canadian Alliance.

The bad side: "Layton said Canadians don't like the Liberals' focus on tax cuts, because taxes are a "way to share what we have."" (3) The word "share" should imply something voluntary, but taxes are not voluntary.

The good side: Jack Layton clearly stated on CBC Radio's As It Happens (Jan 27/03) that the NDP will oppose war with Iraq even if the United Nations security council votes for it. This is the best possible stance to take. The Canadian Alliance however doesn't see that encouraging the U.S. to maintain its interventionist policies is a dead-end for Canada as an independent sovereign nation. Hopefully they will wake up.

Stop the Planned Iraq War

However, the other political party to be considered, considering Joe Clark's recent comments against possible war with Iraq, is the Progressive Conservative Party:

Jan 27/03: Canada needs firm stance on Iraq: Clark

  • "... NATO allies such as France and Germany have taken the lead in voicing opposition to a war"...
  • "The prime minister is being dangerously ambiguous as to what Canada's position would be"...
  • "Canada should only support military action if it is sanctioned by the United Nations."(4) But "sanctioned by the United Nations" is not a good enough reason for war.

Jan 27/03: Waffling plays key role in PM's policy by Peter Worthington
Although he actually thinks there is a good reason for war with Iraq, Peter Worthington makes a good point about the Canadian Liberal government: "Frankly, it's a poor reason to go to war just because the Security Council approves." (5)

That's very true. The United Nations should not be making our decisions for us. If it's wrong to go to war against Iraq, United Nations approval would not make it right. This whole focus on United Nations approval clouds the arguments against war. We should not be killing innocent people or violating the sovereignty of nations unless they violate ours.

Another statement that's true: "Canada makes no stand for anything". (5) That has got to change.

But unfortunately, Mr. Worthington tries to discredit French and German opposition to an attack on Iraq by making the following statement: "European countries rarely fight for ideals or on behalf of others." (5)

But war should only be a last resort for defence and survival, and not for imposing "ideals". Europeans suffered plenty because of European campaigns for totalitarian "ideals". The ideals of liberty are not won by bombing campaigns.

These anti-European attacks are stale propaganda that sugarcoats American, Canadian and British Empire war history. The Boer war, World War I, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, were all partial or complete failures in terms of the unsatisfactory results or in terms of civilian deaths and abuses. World War II was only necessary because of World War I and both were filled with atrocities. War does not cause ideals. Wars lead to crimes and are to be avoided. We rightly honour the sacrifices of those who served, but to look back at these wars with rose-colored glasses as a guide for how nations should behave is childish.

Jan 20/03: Listen up, Soldier by Justin Raimondo

"..."There are hundreds of one-star generals and action officers who complain that Rumsfeld's not listening to the military." Hundreds! But why isn't he listening to them? What's up with this rush to war?

"...In the first five minutes of Gulf War II, Bin Laden will see the ranks of his underground armies swell with waves of fresh recruits." (6)

Jan 27/03: Bush to Confront Doubters
"More than half -- 53% -- responding to a poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press said the president has not yet explained clearly what is at stake to justify war. "(7)

Jan 27/03: Risk is grave for Iraqi kids
"Death, disease and starvation await Iraq's children should war break out and casualties in the thousands, or even hundreds of thousands cannot be ruled out, said a report released yesterday by a Canadian-funded and led team of international experts." "International Study Team", Canadian team leader is Eric Hoskins. (8)

Jan 26/03: Europe urges restraint, but Bush knows best by Eric Margolis
Alternate Link: Make War, Not Peace

"Europeans still have fresh memories of their brutal, futile colonial wars. America, about to embark in Iraq on its first large-scale colonial adventure since it annexed Cuba and the Philippines in 1899, has forgotten, and seems fated to relearn, the cost of empire. " ...

"The White House won't listen either to the sensible advice of Israel's far-sighted Labour party leader, Amram Mitzna, or to its Arab allies." (9)


[1] http://www.antiwar.com/stromberg/s012703.html
Antiwar.com, January 27, 2003, On Some Rhetorical Devices of the War Party, by Joseph R.Stromberg

[2] Expired link: http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Politics/2003/01/26/16592-cp.html
cnews.canoe.ca, NDP set to take over as Opposition: Layton, By Sandra Cordon

[3] Expired link: http://www.canoe.ca/TorontoNews/ts.ts-01-27-0014.html TorontoSun.com, Monday, January 27, 2003, Jack's being nimble NDP leader on offensive, By Stephanie Rubec

[4] http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2003/01/27/16602-cp.html
cnews.canoe.ca, Mon, January 27, 2003, Canada needs firm stance on Iraq: Clark

[5] Expired link: http://www.canoe.ca/TorontoNews/ts.ts-01-27-0024.html
canoe.ca (Toronto Sun), Monday, January 27, 2003, Waffling plays key role in PM's policy by Peter Worthington

[6] http://www.antiwar.com/justin/j012003.html
Antiwar.com, Jan 20, 2003 LISTEN UP, SOLDIER Your commanders oppose this war and you should, too, by Justin Raimondo

[7] Expired link: http://www.canoe.ca/TorontoNews/ts.ts-01-27-0044.html
canoe.ca (Toronto Sun), Monday, January 27, 2003, Bush to confront doubters, by AP

[8] Expired link: http://www.canoe.ca/TorontoNews/ts.ts-01-27-0045.html
canoe.ca (Toronto Sun), Mon Jan 27, 2003, Risk is grave for Iraqi kids, by AP

[9] http://www.canoe.ca/Columnists/margolis_jan26.html
canoe.ca (Toronto Sun), Jan 26/03, Eric Margolis Same article at: http://foreigncorrespondent.com/archive/make_war.html