Here’s your torch

I hope this is one of the last postings I will make on the issue of passports, dual citizenship, Canadians of convenience and how much you and I as taxpayers should fork out to rescue people who do not live here. It is with happy hands that I am passing on the torch to others.

For example, the big guy. Prime Minister Stephen Harper is now taking the thing over. Here’s what he said last week: “The government has taken the view on this particular occasion that, given the circumstances, given how suddenly it came upon us, that we would spare no expense to protect and to secure the safety of any Canadians who wanted to come to Canada,’ Mr. Harper told reporters. ’I will tell you that we will review this. We will review lessons learned in this and we will make an assessment for future: what we believe we can credibly do and what we cannot credibly do. But, in this case, our objective was to get as many people who wanted, out as quickly as possible and, obviously, to give precedence to residents, but we didn’t restrict it to residents.”

Good. Canada as global Boy Scout must be reviewed. Go rescue Canadians who have walked into a firefight or in the way of a volcano, but let’s hold the line at hiring ships to evacuate locals from the whole countryside who may once have lived in Sudbury.

And, while we’re at it, let’s review what we will do for free. After all (as I said earlier), if you get lost in the woods in the Rockies, expect to pay big bucks to have the SAR boys haul your butt out of there. So why are we rescuing non-residents half way around the world and bringing them here for nothing? In the States rescuees have to sign a promissory note. The amount billed may be nominal, but the principle is large. It’s called fair and equal treatment of all people receiving a benefit. It’s also a matter of taxpayer respect.

And then there is Kevin Sorenson. He’s the Conservative MP from Crowfoot, Alberta (would you believe the guy got 80.2% of the vote in the last election??), who’s chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs committee. Good on Kev, because he’s called his committee together for Tuesday to chew a while on this whole thing.

Kevin Sorenson “The crisis in the Middle East has raised many questions in the minds of Canadians,” says Kevin in a media release. “ How can there be 40,000 Canadian citizens in Lebanon? How many Canadians were in Lebanon as tourists? Do other nations have similar numbers of citizens in Lebanon? What could the Canadian government have done earlier, if anything, in the evacuation process to ensure it went faster and easier? When did we first learn that so many of our citizens requested to be evacuated? “

Hey, man, good questions! We have been asking them here now for a couple of weeks and I am delighted that machinery of government is now in gear. Damn quick, too, I might add.

So I will be seeing Kevin this week at our national caucus. The big guy, too.

More importantly, I saw a whole mess of voters when I was in the Home Hardware (paint) and the Home Depot (flooring) this afternoon. The Canadians-of-convenience issue was on the lips of every one of them, unprompted. And the opinion was unanimous. We was had.

So, here’s your torch.

65 comments ↓

#1 Robert McClelland on 07.30.06 at 2:44 am

The Lebanese Canadians who have gone back to Lebanon to stay are Canada’s investment in a better Middle East. They came to Canada, learned about the benefits of living in a free and democratic country and then went back to spread that idea to all the people of Lebanon. If we abandoned them or others like them in the future just because they decided not to live in Canada any longer we would be abandoning a valuable asset in the battle for peace and stability in the Middle East and other third world nations.

#2 Mr. H in Barrie on 07.30.06 at 9:20 am

My only hope that when this debate does start is that “ALL” duel Citzenship is discussed than outrightly forbidden with possibly the only exception being a Canadain/American duel citizenship mainly do to our geography.

But lets make sure and not turn this debate about and point the finger only at the Lebanese Canadains because they are not the only people that should have there loyalty to Canada questioned. It still pisses me off when I hear that there are soldiers in the Israel Defense Force with Candain citizenship fighting for Isreal just as it pisses me off that the same can be said about Hezbollah forces and probably Hamas now there’s some real loyality to Canada. So lets make sure they get pointed at every duel citizen out there and have them make the choice, Canadain or your motherland and make no one can play the “Oh I was born here!” card.

And a good start to this would be to have all present MP’s/MPP’s who possess duel citizenship to drop there other citizenship. And failure to do this should result in them not being able to seek re-election.

#3 Frank on 07.30.06 at 9:39 am

I would imagine that if for some reason all of the Canadian citizens that are currently in Israel (and there are lots of them) had to be evacuated or requested evacuation, PMSH would ‘spare no expense’ in getting them out and I would bet that it would happen quicker than it did for the Lebanese Canadians.

#4 RHJ on 07.30.06 at 10:09 am

Good Day Mr. Turner:

Like almost everyone else I talk to, I am so pleased you have voiced your opinion on the Lebanese Issue. YOU ARE RIGHT ON!

This issue highlights what I call the “Canadian Disease” and it is rampant throughout this country- that disease is called Sense of ENTITLEMENT.

Sadly, it is prevalent not just in the “New Canadians” coming to our shores, but everywhere, and goes back to the Trudeau era, when people were told they did not have to take responsibility for their actions; Government was there to rescue them from the mismanagement of their lives and the poor decisions and choices they may have made.

Canadians have got to be told in no uncertain terms, that they are responsible for the choices and decisions they make. They cannot, and must not, turn immediately to Government and demand “Rescue me, and rescue me now, and for free”.

Your analogy to compensating the Government after being rescued while Hiking in the Rockies, was exactly and precisely correct.

Lastly, thank God the Conservatives finally got in. Keep up the good work!

Yours Truly

Robert H. J.
Oakville Ontario

#5 Vic on 07.30.06 at 10:11 am

Sat, July 29th National Post had 2 articles worth reading. Isreal being held to an impossible standard….and UN Post should have been cleared. It all boils down to one thing. Do you beleive Isreal should exist? That defines the basis of all going on now. It is the only lengthy democracy in the area and totalitarian regimes are winning the propaganda war as Germany did against France in the late 30s. As I mentioned before, will Isreal be sacrified to buy time in a terrorism campaign that may never end?
Vic,
Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta.

#6 Wesley d'Haene on 07.30.06 at 10:26 am

So that means you support the establishment of democracies in Afganistan and Iraq, right Robbie M?
:)

#7 ALW on 07.30.06 at 10:26 am

Canadian fighting Canadian in a foreign war. Can there be a better argument for eliminating dual citizenship … or multi-culturalism?

Thank you Pierre.

#8 Marc on 07.30.06 at 10:41 am

Good post Garth, I think in times like this Canada should look after its citizens. That being said though Canada should only be responsible to evacuate these Canadians to a safe country. These evacuees should have been taken to Italy or some other safe country and had to make their own way back to where they wanted to go to. I think a flight back to Canada was over the top as they were out of harms way after leaving Lebanon. Keep up the fight for the taxpayer so our money is respected and spent wisely. Regards

#9 GLEN on 07.30.06 at 11:20 am

No problem doing the “morale” thing in doing what we can do help our fellow canadians( regardless of the nature of the citizenship).

HOWEVER!!! This was an incredibly difficult task. Those that complain about HOW they were evacuated should take a real hard look at themselves. No food and water etc sure beats the heck out of a guided missle on your lap…

Smarten the heck up. Especially the lady I recently heard from Halifax on the radio( I think she was a lawyer.

#10 Alex on 07.30.06 at 12:40 pm

At one time, US lawmakers wasted a lot of effort trying to outlaw pornography. The main reason pornography is still enjoying the First Amendment protection is the failure of every single attempt to give it a legal definition.
I don’t believe it is even theoretically possible to legally define terrorism.
One might try to define terrorism as deliberate targeting of innocent civilians. However, the very concept of “innocent civilians” is extremely shaky. The enemy perspective is best expressed in one of the recent letters attributed to Osama bin Laden and aired a few months ago by al Jazeera. The Western countries, along with Israel, are democracies. In a democracy, governments are supposed to carry out the will of their people. Therefore, it is precisely the “innocent civilians” that are ultimately responsible for the indignities and oppression suffered by the Moslems worldwide at the hands of Western governments. Therefore, Moslems do not have the luxury to say, like the American government does, that our enemy is not the people but the ruling regime. Their enemy is precisely the people — our “innocent civilians”. I see no flaw in their logic, even though I obviously disagree with their goals.

Let’s now take a look at “innocent civilians” from our side of the fence. An article in New York Times describes a quintessential innocent civilian — a 10-year-old boy from Tulkarim named Abdul — shot to death by an Israeli soldier. The article, among other things, tells us that Abdul was described by his friends as the smartest kid in his class and that his dream was to become a martyr. Unfortunately for everyone, Abdul wasn’t smart enough to abstain from throwing stones at Israeli soldiers, which was exactly how he became a martyr. Fortunately for us, this was not the kind of martyrdom Abdul had in mind: he did not die killing infidels. I can’t help asking an ultimately cynical question: how many Israeli, American or Canadian children would I be willing to sacrifice to allow him to grow up and fulfill his dream? Would four recent victims in Seattle, WA be enough to pay for Abdul’s 77 eternal virgins, or should it be something on the scale of September 11?
(I have to admit that it took me a long time to develop this kind of thinking. But Arabs have worked hard for it and eventually they succeeded.)
Of course, kids’ dreams mature with age, and chances are that, instead of a mass murderer, Abdul might become a brilliant scientist or a leader who would’ve taken the Arab world from its hopeless, eternal misery towards the heights of human enlightment. Hard to imagine of course, but stranger things are known to have happened. But what about the grown up “innocent civilians” who had instilled those murderous dreams in the mind of that recent victim of the uprising “intifada” and hundreds of thousands of children around him? What about his parents? What about his school teachers? What about the imam in his mosque? They are all civilians, but are they all that innocent? If we are sincere in our desire for peace, shouldn’t we admit that those people are infinitely more dangerous to us than those who are allegedly running around with AK-47s and explosives belts?
Besides, deliberate targeting of civilians does not necessarily constitute terrorism. For example, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were chosen as targets for the American bombardment in August 1945 despite the fact that there were no military objects in either of the cities. Not a single one. These cities, along with approximately 150 thousand of innocent civilians that used to live there, were destroyed in order to force Japan to surrender. It worked: Japan surrendered. Therefore, one’s assessment of that bombardment depends on one’s view on the legitimacy of the American goals. If you are on our side, you take into account the millions of lives, both American and Japanese, but mostly Japanese, spared because Japan no longer had to be taken by force. If you are a supporter of the Japanese goals in WWII, what the US did to Japan was nothing but mass murder on an unprecedented scale.
Following that logic, since Israel has no right to exist and “terrorism” is the pejorative of the day, the Arabs tailor their own definition of terrorism in such a way that everything an Israeli does, including even the breathing, becomes an act of terrorism, while every crime committed by an Arab becomes a heroic act of legitimate resistance. That approach appears disgustingly immoral to us only because we do not share their goals. In fact, theirs — unlike our own — is a perfectly reasonable approach.
From our own perspective, an Arab terrorist on his way to a martyrdom operation remains an innocent civilian up until the moment he ties the bomb belt around his waist. But even then all he has to do to remain immune to any possible attempt to prevent the planned mass murder is to make sure that the explosives are not immediately visible: as long as they remain hidden under his clothes, he is considered an innocent civilian. Arab women that led Israeli soldiers into a deadly trap in Jenin remained, according to the Geneva Convention, innocent civilians not only before and after taking part in the battle, but during it as well: at no time were they carrying arms. Muslim clerics calling for the extermination of all Jews, teachers at PA schools indoctrinating their pupils in practical ways of achieving that goal, PA ambulance drivers delivering ammunition to people we call terrorists — they are all innocent civilians and, therefore, untouchable to us.
Whose point of view is more consistent with their struggle? Obviously, our enemy’s.
The suicidal component of many terrorist acts cannot serve as a defining characteristic either. There are at least three reasons for it. First, I don’t see how one method of exterminating Jews can be more acceptable than another. Second, many terrorist acts are not designed to sacrifice the perpetrator’s life. And third, depending on one’s position, a suicide bombing can be legitimately viewed as an ultimate act of heroism. Wouldn’t you, whatever side you are on, when left no other choice, give your life willingly to defend what’s dear to you?
Finally, it might seem to be a step in the right direction to define terrorism as any act that violates the Geneva Convention, regardless of whether the perpetrator of such act signed the convention or not. However the entire historical experience of Israel proves that such an approach would only work in a much better world than ours. In our world, terrorists do not really care whether we call them terrorists or not as long as our hands remain tied by conventions that they themselves do not have to follow. Therefore, such definition would not make life any easier for the “good guys”. To prove the futility of this approach — or any attempt to build a legal basis under our struggle for survival — consider the overwhelming international support enjoyed by the PA despite all their violations of every single law of humanity, not just the Geneva Convention, which they, not being a state, have never had an opportunity to sign. Everything is in the eye of the beholder.

Consider a hypothetical example of a gunfight between two men armed with identical guns, using the same type of ammo, and possessing comparable fighting skills. For the sake of the argument, let us further assume that both are Irish Catholic males in their late twenties, that both grew up in the same area of Scarborough, ON, that both wear jeans and sweaters of the same colour with no insignia on them, and that you have no clue as to how the fight started and what each of the opponents is hoping to achieve if he wins it. By the time you arrive at the scene, the fight is going full steam, so that each of the gunmen can claim he is acting in self-defense. You will have no way to choose sides until someone explains to you that the guy on the left is an undercover cop trying to apprehend the guy on the right who had escaped from jail after serving only two weeks of his life sentence that he had received for torturing an old lady to death and brutally raping her quadriplegic grandson. Only then will you be able to choose whom to root for according to your own ideas of right and wrong.
Apparently, it’s not just what people do, but also what they are trying to achieve by doing it. In other words, it’s not just the means, it’s also the ends. And it is even theoretically impossible to assess the ends without passing a moral judgment.
To prevent a possible misunderstanding, let me emphasize that I am not saying here that ends justify the means. You may be woefully underpaid and long overdue for a promotion, but if you attempt to gain what’s rightfully due to you by abducting, raping and killing your boss’s infant daughter, your unfortunate choice of means will guarantee that gaining the well deserved promotion will never be on the list of possible outcomes of your undertaking. (By the way, isn’t that exactly what the Arabs residing in Gaza, Judea, and Samaria have been doing since the inception of the “Palestinian people” in 1967 — assuming their claims to those territories were not entirely baseless even before they resorted to terrorism? Oh, wait, they didn’t exist before resorting to terrorism.)
Arabs sincerely believe that Israel has no legitimacy and the land is rightfully theirs. That makes every crime they commit against Jews an act of heroism in their own eyes. Our views and opinions are of no concern to them, nor should they be. There is no universal concept of good and evil. They have their own ethics, we have ours.

So, what should we do in the absence of internationally recognized legal basis for our rather feeble attempts to defend ourselves? Only one thing: free ourselves of the corruption of moral relativism, ignore the irrelevant opinions of the UN and EU, and summon the necessary courage to use our superior military might to enforce our own concepts of good and evil, our own understanding of right and wrong with the maximum efficiency and minimum loss of life on our side. This is equally true for Israel in its suffering from the never ending pan-Arab war against it , the United States in its War on Terrorism and Canadian troops in Afghanistan. After all, every passing day brings new evidence that the three wars are actually one and the same.

Alex Crow, Toronto

#11 Todd, in BC on 07.30.06 at 1:17 pm

Way to go Alex! A person with a brain who uses it to form logical conclusions based on intellectual reasoning rather than biased media clips which support his/her prejudices…impressive! Keep up the good work, I look forward to reading more of your posts.

Todd

#12 Frank on 07.30.06 at 2:00 pm

I take it all back…PMSH, you were right… Israel has indeed resopnded with a ‘measured response’. And this time that ‘measure response’ has killed 60 women and children hiding in a basement shelter full of refugees in what is being called the Qana Massacre…many of the little children being carried out dead are pictured with their eyes wide open and the mouths full of dirt.

Harper, we certainly have to be thankful that it’s a measured response…if it wasn’t, who knows what kind of horrors might be occuring.

As a proud Canadian, I can only hope and pray that if and when the day comes that the mighty USA rolls their tanks into Canada on the pretext of securing oil or water or fighting world terroism or whatever happen to be their pleasure on that particular day, that we too are fortunate enough to have a Canadian version of ‘Hezbollah’ to fight for the rights of all of us, including all of the current day Harper and Bush apologists.

Almost makes one long for the good old days of the little man from Shawinigan and Mr. Dithers. At least then we didn’t have to be emabarrased by pictures of our own PM with his nose up Bush’s a**.

#13 Judy on 07.30.06 at 2:09 pm

Todd, I think if you read more of Alex’s posts you will draw a different conclusion.
He believes only in “moral absolutes”, when we all know that the history of the Middle East is full of moral ambiguities.
Alex uses the bible as a “source” of information regarding the Israeli/Arab conflict.
Alex, despite his assurances to the contrary, believes the “end justifies the means”. So, another 34 children murdered today is “on the side of right”. After all, he is not living the nightmare.

#14 Don S on 07.30.06 at 2:15 pm

It’s Muslim,Alex.Not Moslem

#15 Frank on 07.30.06 at 2:15 pm

The court of public opinion is now handing down some pretty severe sentences on the Israeli government just as it has on the Bush administration. And because of the bedfellows he has chosen, the same is happening to Harper. Wonder what PMSH thinks about the latest Canadian polls showing support for his government heading towards the toilet. If he keeps this up, it’s a pretty safe bet we won’t have the snap fall election he has been engineering. Hey Stevie, can you say ‘screw up’.

#16 Charley on 07.30.06 at 2:21 pm

Yes, once again an excellent post Alex!! Maybe if people start understanding what is at stake, the “shift” in idealogy won’t take so long..and you are doing your part to help, thanks!

We HAVE TO defend ourselves from Islamic facism, the sooner the better!! Let’s get rid of the “hug a terrorist” mentality that has been apparent in Canada for far too long and comes largely from ignorance of the “big picture” issue.

I agree with AWL, let’s tighten immigration from countries who support terrorism and get rid of duel citizenships (except for Canada/US for various logical reasons).

And don’t throw the “bigot” or “racism” label at me, I would feel exactly the same regardless of what race, creed, colour, religion these people were, it’s their hatred of others that I refuse to support/tolerate (the “kill all Jews” and/or “kill all infidels”) and, although their religion is used as a means to an end, it is not the root cause.

#17 GL on 07.30.06 at 3:38 pm

Hello Garth,

The first thing I do each and every time that I log on, is to check your blog.
For what it’s worth, you have my admiration.

Before passing the torch, there is something you might wish to address, that if true, causes me some concern. Heresay had it years ago, that for some considerable time, pregnant Chinese have been visiting Canada toward the end of term. Giving birth here, they allgedly returned to Hong Kong with their pseudo-Canadian new born. I sincerely hope this is just an ugly rumour. Still, it would be interesting to learn just how many Canadians reside in China.

Haven’t heard a peep from Paul Martin about the Canadian exodus from Lebanon. Would have thought the CSL could come steaming to the rescue.
Either he’s still dithering or his desire to serve Canadians has evaporated,
along with his political career.

See, liberals are not the only ones capable of taking cheap shots.

#18 Val & Barry on 07.30.06 at 3:39 pm

Dear Garth:
We agree with you that our rights are being eroded.
We feel that property rights should have been included in the Charter of Rights.
Without these rights, we could lose our home at the whim of government, local, provicial or federal.

On the subject of Dual Citizenship, we feel that the Canadian government should charge for evacuation of people who are not residents or taxpayers. These people hold Canadian passports for convience, they are not true citizens.
Why are we paying for Mexicans or Chinese to study in Canada. Ordinary Canadians are struggling to pay the education costs for their children. University fees are over the top. Who is going to help them?
Good luck on your efforts on our behalf.

#19 Louis on 07.30.06 at 3:40 pm

When will the Harper government condemn the murdering killers (the Israeli people)???????

L. Li-Ying

#20 CLC on 07.30.06 at 4:59 pm

Monsieur le Premier Ministre,

Depuis notre lettre que nous vous avons adressé le 21 juillet 2006, beaucoup de sang innocent au Liban a coulé, parmi sa population civile tant hommes que femmes, mais surtout parmi les enfants.

Attristé par les derniers évènements, notamment le massacre horrible perpétué à cana aujourd’hui même, le Congrès Libano Canadien réitère sa demande au gouvernement du Canada de :

1. Appuyer le Liban dans ses démarches afin d’obtenir un cessez-le-feu immédiat.

2. Adopter une position canadienne claire contre les bombardements du Liban et la guerre menée contre ses civils innocents et leurs villages, son infrastructure et son économie.

3. Exercer les efforts nécessaires auprès des pays alliés du Canada afin d’adopter cette même attitude à l’égard du Liban.

Comme vous le savez, Monsieur le Premier ministre, et dans les moments critiques, on peut fauter par action ou par omission. Nous sommes confiants que le Canada ne restera point inactif ni silencieux, face aux tragédies qui se produisent quotidiennement au Liban.

Nous sommes confiants aussi que le Canada élaborera une position cohérente avec ses valeurs traditionnelles et ses principes humanitaires ainsi que son dévouement pour la paix mondiale.

Veuillez agréer, Monsieur le Premier Ministre, l’expression de nos sentiments les plus distingués.

Le Congrès Libano-Canadien
Alexandre Salameh, ing.
Secrétaire Général

#21 Andrew in Oakville on 07.30.06 at 5:15 pm

Frank:

You say that you hope that Canada has a made in Canada version of Hezbollah to protect us in case of a hypothetical U.S. invasion. To this I respond that:

a) I would hope that U.S. invasion would not be a response (“measured” or not) to our version of Hezbollah insecently launching rockets at Buffalo and/or Seattle. and…
b) When the retaliation begins, I hope that they’re not launching the rockets from next door to you or I, using us and our families as human sheilds.

Charley:

After reading many of your posts here, I would never dream of labelling you a bigot or a racist. It also frustrates me people use these harsh terms in a most liberal and inaccurate manner.

I do, however, think that you tend to turn a blind eye to many of the injustices perpertrated by the Israeli government.

It’s quite apparrent (to me) that the Israeli command has shown little concern in regards to avoiding civilian casualties. Charley, the UN asked them more than a dozen times to stop the bombing near their HQ’s.

L. Li-Ying/Louis:

What?

So am I some sad and impotent version of the UN here on Garth’s blog. Maybe? Maybe not? I said here a week ago that this conflict reminds me of two drunks fighting at the bar…I think they’re both idiots!

I hold the Commanders from both sides personally responsible for the deaths of 34 children today. I do hope that their nightmares are particulary grotesque as they suffer a life devoid of a good night’s sleep.

#22 Wesley d'Haene on 07.30.06 at 5:43 pm

That’s right Frank, Judy and Ying.. Keep on apologizing for those terrorists and condemn Israel.. That’ll show those extremists, eh? It’s a big hullabaloo when Israel defends itself and there is some civilian casualties — but who is there hiding amongst the civilians in the first place, firing rockets? Get a freakin’ grip. ;)

#23 John G on 07.30.06 at 6:31 pm

Garth…you identified a problem and created awareness..very well done…now it needs to be actioned…..thanks for keeping us informed..the PM will respond

#24 John G on 07.30.06 at 6:35 pm

Wesley…why waste your time with people who are obviously clueless…Frank now has the US invading Canada!

Frank..I say again…why do you continue to embarrASS yourself?

#25 Wesley d'Haene on 07.30.06 at 7:20 pm

John G,

Good point. But hey — it’s my summer entertainment! It’s cheaper than flying off to a resort somewhere! :D

#26 Catherine on 07.30.06 at 7:34 pm

While this morning’s deaths were horrific, I rest these deaths at the feet of Lebanese Hezbollah and their terrorist members.

Think about it folks, why would a father or husband not evacuate his family to a safer place? Why would a father or husband allow his family to live right amoung the ammunition and rockets? I can only come to the conclusion is that the father or husband is a Hezbollah member who would sacrifice his family for his cause!

Do you not think that the Hezbollah in that area did not know that the Israelis would attack – especially when they announced early this week? They knew exactly how the western world react! This Hezbollah is nothing more than phycopaths that will do anything to achieve their goals. No amount of ceasefires or negotiation will achieve everlasting peace. And that is the sad truth.

#27 Frank on 07.30.06 at 8:53 pm

Mr. Turner, as one of, if not the only, Members of Parliament that seems prepared and willing to listen to the Canadian voter I’m writing this note to you. It is done so with considerable thought and pride in my country.

My concern is about dual citizenship. I am totaly opposed to new Canadians [those that become citizens] maintaining their former country’s citizenship and passport. Our country is the one they [including my family] elected to come to and should make the selection to become Canadian or not.

It appears to me that too many come here to get the citizenship because of what it means and only for that and then retreat to their former home knowing that they can, at any time, use our passport to return.

It may mean that we have to grandfather those already granted the right to hold dual citizenship, but at least it should be mandatory going forward that the individual make a choice Canadian or that of his/her former homeland.

I also believe that we should:

a) make it a 5 year waiting period, as it once was, before eligibilty
b) make deportation of criminals [prior to becoming citizens] much easier

Please do what you can to take a strong stand on this issue. Canada is more than just a DORMOTORY.

Sure wish you were not a member of the Conservative Party.

Thanks and keep up your good work
Frank R.

#28 John G on 07.30.06 at 8:55 pm

Wesley…lol…… fair enough….it certainly can be comical….

#29 Judy on 07.30.06 at 10:02 pm

And just think, if a ceasefire had been in place, endorsed by the U.S., the U.K. and Canada (the only 3 countries to veto an immediate ceasefire), these civilians would not have been killed.
Our Prime Minister stole something from all Canadians with three words “a measured response”. He stole our historic ability as a nation to have a reasoned voice in the global community-a voice that was respected by most-a voice that showed care, concern, and empathy for all victims not just a select few. His desire for personal and political popularity with Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair matters more to him than Canada’s traditional place in the global community.
I just hope the future weekend at the Crawford ranch will be worth the sellout.

#30 Charley on 07.30.06 at 10:39 pm

I am sick to death of hearing about Mr. Harper’s “Measured response” statement!!! For heaven’s sake, it was made at the very beginning of all of this before the Canadians were even killed, at that time things were certainly measured!! Isreal has the capacity to wipe out Lebanon in its entirety at the push of a button if it really wanted to, I would say Isreal is definately taking a “measured response” when placed in context.

Andrew, I think many Canadians are similar in views to yourself…wanting to sit on the fence seems to be the “Canadian way”. However, I believe, if we do not stand up with our western allies, we are inadvertently helping the terrorists with our “neutrality”, that is exactly what they count on!! They follow western news/blogs, they know exactly how to fight the propoganda war so by either supporting them or doing nothing, you’re helping to make this war longer than necessary.

I firmly believe that Isreal is doing exactly what we would do if we were in the exact same situation. We would have no choice but to defend ourselves and we would take every precaution to avoid killing innocent people. If fighting Hezbollah, we would likely have the exact same results as the Isrealis – innocent people dying because of the way THEY fight, not us!! I don’t believe for a minute that Isreal isn’t taking the utmost care in targeting, they have even gone so far as to drop flyers and send text messages out advising where they will be hitting next..what else can they do? Ceasefire? That only works if BOTH sides actually cease firing!

I would urge anyone to watch this documentary created by Honest Reporting – “Obsession, What the War on Terror is Really About”: Link here

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6162397493278181614&q=Obsession%3A+What+The+War+on+Terror+Is+Really+About&hl=en

#31 Truth on 07.30.06 at 10:49 pm

Catherine:
“While this morning’s deaths were horrific, I rest these deaths at the feet of Lebanese Hezbollah and their terrorist members”

Yeah cause it si Hiziballah with the precision planes!

“Think about it folks, why would a father or husband not evacuate his family to a safer place? Why would a father or husband allow his family to live right amoung the ammunition and rockets?”

What part of THEY BOMBED ALL THE INFRASTRUCTURE

#32 Truth on 07.30.06 at 10:49 pm

Catherine:
“While this morning’s deaths were horrific, I rest these deaths at the feet of Lebanese Hezbollah and their terrorist members”

Yeah cause it si Hiziballah with the precision planes!

“Think about it folks, why would a father or husband not evacuate his family to a safer place? Why would a father or husband allow his family to live right amoung the ammunition and rockets?”

What part of THEY BOMBED ALL THE INFRASTRUCTURE

#33 Don S on 07.30.06 at 10:49 pm

Judy,you would have been Neville Chamberlain’s strongest ally.

As far as Harper is concerned,I don’t think he gives a rat’s ass about Bush.He likes to speak his mind and doesn’t care what other’s think.

You may not like what he is saying,but Steve just doesn’t stike me as an ass kisser.

#34 Truth on 07.30.06 at 10:58 pm

APPOLOGIES, FOR SOME REASON MY POST WAS ENTERED WHILE I WAS STILL TYPING…ANYWAYS, CONTINUING ON TO CATHERINE’S POST:

Catherine:
“While this morning’s deaths were horrific, I rest these deaths at the feet of Lebanese Hezbollah and their terrorist members”

Yeah cause it is Hiziballah with the precision planes!

“Think about it folks, why would a father or husband not evacuate his family to a safer place? Why would a father or husband allow his family to live right amoung the ammunition and rockets?”

What part of THEY BOMBED ALL THE INFRASTRUCTURE do you not understand? There are no means for these people to leave, the roads and bridges are all up in smoke.

“I can only come to the conclusion is that the father or husband is a Hezbollah member who would sacrifice his family for his cause!”

And what a conclusion that is…yeah, I think the US has you right where they want you…to JUSTIFY the killing of innocent children. The fact that you are actually ATTEMPTING to justify it sickens me. You need to get your head out of your ass and you need to do it quick, for the sake of all humanity!!!

#35 Alex on 07.30.06 at 10:59 pm

I am asking myself why Israel’s image is so bad in the eyes of Judy, Frank, Andrew and alike, what is wrong with Israel’s information efforts?
The real question is, I believe, somewhat different. Why should Israel have to explain that suicide bombing, men and women blowing themselves up in kindergartens, buses, restaurants, is a bad thing?
Someone having to explain to Judy, Frank and Andrew that indelible image of a mother screaming at the television cameras that she wants all 10 of her children to be shaheeds – martyrs. In most societies, mothers would be throwing themselves at the enemy to protect their children.

Think back to the picture of 12-year old Palestinian boy killed in the opening hours of Palestinian Uprising (Intifada) 2000 (The boy was killed by Palestinian bullet as German ballistic experts confirmed later). The boy was huddled beside his father, desperately seeking safety in the cross fire of bullets. His father was crouching behind the barrel, the boy clinching to his back. Wouldn’t you have placed your son between the barrel and yourself?

Saddam bought himself a suicide bomber for $15,000 and Qadhafi got one for $10, 000. Palestinian Arabs sell their children to them and it’s the Jews who have to explain their values?
Judy, Frank and Andrew have never suffered from living under the constant threat of terror, a situation where a child cannot go to the birthday party, or even to school, without fear of being killed or maimed. You never know where and when terror will strike. It’s victims are indiscriminate. Not soldiers, but men, women and disproportionate number of children and young people, considering the targets that have been chosen.

When the NATO allies, including Canada went to war against the former Yugoslavia, they pounded the country in to the ground. They left hardly a bridge or building standing. The Chinese embassy, radio and TV stations, electricity grids, water supplies, roads, trains, infrastructure were all reduced to rubble in order to rid Europe of Slobodan Milosevic. And then, only then, when the war had been won from the air, did the ground troops go in, mainly in a role of peacekeepers.
In Bint Jibail, South Lebanon, last week Thursday 8 Israeli special forces soldiers (Green Beret Grade) were killed in hand-to-hand combat in the narrow alleys; there were more than two dozen Hezbollah fighters dead, armed men. Israel could have learned from NATO in Yugoslavia, but she didn’t. Bint Jibal was a rocket launch site. Hundreds of rockets were launched from there to North Israel cities where more than 1 million Israeli citizens are have been sitting in bomb shelters for last three weeks . The Israeli Army had every right, in fact duty, to go in there and stop the murder. They did so without the excess of NATO and at great personal cost.

In the meantime, however, it may help Judy, Frank, Andrew and alike in implementing their democratic ideals if they stopped their the facto support of terror and the message they are sending the Lebanese and Palestinian Arabs that launching rockets, capture of hostages and suicide bombing is a good thing.

It would be useful too, if some of the bleeding hearts in this country would say something about
tens of thousand of Israelis that have been killed and maimed during six decades of Pan Arab war and terror against the Jewish state.

Alex Crow, Toronto

#36 Catherine on 07.30.06 at 11:06 pm

I watched a report on the CBC’s CBC News, Sunday Night tonight. This report went into the bomb shelter in Hezbollah territory. The reporter interviewed a woman, who praised Hezbollah for taking care of her. She was asked what she would do for them (Hezbollah). She said that she has 3 sons and that she is freely giving them to Hezbollah. She said this smiling and with admiration. She knows that this could mean her son(s) could be suicide bombers. Now I ask you, would a western mother ever encourage her sons to be suicide bombers? Of course not!

My parents and their friends recalled how the Nazis were prior to WWII and during. Germany was suffering economically and many young people bought into the Nazi vision. The young were brainwashed with hatred and distorted values. They truly believed that the Nazis would take care of them and make their country a strong nation and eliminating those who they believed threatened them. They even turned in their parents, if the parents questioned the Nazi actions.

If this is any indication of the current Hezbollah-Lebanese society, then, any negotiations or cease fires will not work – because these people don’t want it! Not if they don’t respect life to begin with, and are brainwashed by that maniac leader.

Please let’s not have another repeat of 30’s and 40’s.

#37 Truth on 07.30.06 at 11:18 pm

Wesley:

“That’s right Frank, Judy and Ying.. Keep on apologizing for those terrorists and condemn Israel.. That’ll show those extremists, eh? It’s a big hullabaloo when Israel defends itself and there is some civilian casualties — but who is there hiding amongst the civilians in the first place, firing rockets? Get a freakin’ grip”

I have a few problems with this post. First of all, just because you do not agree with Judy and frank’s posts does not make them supporters of terrorists, because then the same would apply to you for supporting the terrorist state of Israel. The state of Israel came about through terrorism, people did NOT just say okay come in and take all the land. Please read about the history, PLEASE! This is Israeli propaganda that has been recognized by Historians. Palestinians fled due to the many massacres of Arabs that were occurring such as the Deir Yassin Massacre. As you may recall ethnic cleansing of the Arab inhabitants took place over the years by Jewish terrorist groups such as the Irgun and Hagganah, recognized as such by the books of History. Please remember that over 400 Palestinian towns and villages were systematically destroyed and evacuated forcefully that no longer today. Today the Israeli state is actively working to cover these war crimes by planting artificial forests and parks to hide whatever remains of the ruins of these villages.

“some civilian casualties”
I’m disturbed at how you take more than 500 innocent Lebanese civilians as lightly. Not to mention the vast number of Palestinians that have been murdered.

“who is there hiding amongst the civilians in the first place, firing rockets?”

Until you show me a picture of a Hiziballah soldier hading behind a child will I beleive you. Until then, please watch something other than CNN. I know it is EASIER to watch TV, but

#38 Truth on 07.30.06 at 11:22 pm

Wesley:

Con’t from “Truth on 07.30.06 11:18 pm”
“who is there hiding amongst the civilians in the first place, firing rockets?”

Until you show me a picture of a Hiziballah soldier hiding behind a child will I beleive you. Until then, please watch something other than CNN. I know it is EASIER to watch TV, but I highly recommend you pick up a credible book.

#39 Frank on 07.31.06 at 12:21 am

Geez Catherine…wasn’t that Harper’s line…of course it was the Lebanese children and women’s fault for getting killed…after all they shouldn’t have been there…just like the Canadian UN peacekeeper should have know better than to be just where the 14 bombs were going to land.

#40 Todd, in BC on 07.31.06 at 2:25 am

Dear Mr. Salameh,

I’m not sure why you felt a pasted letter (in French) would be of great interest to the audience of this particular blog, but even for those of us who can read it, it just doesn’t say much, other than you want the PM to support you against Israel. Perhaps I can offer some advice. The first rule of getting someone to cooperate is show appreciation for what they’ve already done. For example, “Dear PM Harper, I agree that Hezbollah is a terrorist group that initiated the current crisis and that they should both return the kidnapped soldiers and cease firing rockets into Israel, but I’d ALSO request that you….” This would go a long way to show that you are reasonable and able to see the situation from more than one perspective. That is unless you don’t agree with what the PM has said about Hezbollah. So please tell us, what is your organizations official position on Hezbollah, the tactics it uses, and the role its played the crisis so far. Now that’s something I think would be of interest to readers. (It’s probably better to respond in English, but I can interpret if you want so don’t let that stop you.)

Judy, thanks for the warning about Alex’s other posts, but I’ll take my chances. I might not agree with everything but at least he’s articulate and intelligent. As for the Bible as a source of useful information I’m sure it can be considered at least a secondary source.

Todd

#41 Todd, in BC on 07.31.06 at 3:48 am

Charley,

Thanks for the link you pasted in your message. That video is a real eye-opener, I urge everyone to watch it. The images of children packing guns and spouting such hate really gets to me, but it helps to put the terrorism situation into perspective. Frank, Judy, Louis… have you watched the video? What do you think?

Todd

#42 JF on 07.31.06 at 8:08 am

This PM’s reaction to the crisis in the Middle East demonstrates his lack of knowledge, compassion, fairness – utterly deplorable. For the first time, I am embarrassed for my country’s performance in world affairs, and then this minority PM blames the victim of a direct and questionable bombing of a UN bunker (a ‘measured’ response??) by his heroes the Israelis – this victim having given 20 years of distinguished service in the armed forces and the UN for our country – more than Harper has or will ever give to Canada.

Shame on this man for the shame he has brought on our country!!!!

J. F.
Burlington

#43 Don on 07.31.06 at 9:12 am

It sickened me to see the protesters in Montreal criticizing Canada and Mr. Harper. These are some of the same people that we rescued from Lebanon. We should revoke their Canadian citizenship. I am a born again believer and I have learned to be thankful. Especially for such a country like Canada. They are not so thankful. They support the Hezzbollah, the terrorists. Mr. Harper was the first to take a stand not to support the Hezbollah this year. The Liberal government did last year with Martin & Chrietian. Israel has the right to defend themselves. We would if this happened to us. The Hezzbollah hide among their own people as they launch the rockets and people wonder why civilians get hurt.

These people protesting in Montreal are a minority, but there should be something we can do with these people that want to support the terrorists. I would like to send them back to their own country. See if they still want to live with the Hezzbollah who loves violence and wants only to destroy Israel.

The freedom that we have in Canada is what we fought for, but the hatred that these protestors have is disturbing, not only for Canadian, but for our Country.

A thankful Canadian

Don S.
Milton, Ontario

#44 Truth on 07.31.06 at 10:20 am

People, is this what you call defending yourself??

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article14258.htm

Catherine:
“Now I ask you, would a western mother ever encourage her sons to be suicide bombers? Of course not!”

could you PLEASE define Western mother? Your generalizations do not make your point credible.

And I truly encourage you to go to the Middle East and SEE with your own eyes what is happening there. Did you ever stop to think that that Arab woman had seen many of her friends and family killed, that she has been through intra state and inter state war, that she has possibly been through occupation, check points, not to mention a blind eye from the world. So when no one stops to HELP, she sees no other alternative. You are very one sided and you make it seem like it is only the Arabs that are committing violence. You should stop and be greatful that when you go to bed you know that you will wake up ALIVE the next morning. Think oh naive one!

#45 Norm on 07.31.06 at 11:00 am

I agree with you Garth – “we was had”.

To me, it smacks of oil tankers flying flags of convenience. In this case, it’s a passport of convenience and the only time the convenience comes to play is when the guns start firing and the bombs start falling.

If you love Canada and want to live here, then live HERE not elsewhere. I include among that our “snowbirds” who head south every winter and then scoot back home just in time to ensure that their medical benefits don’t expire.

The rest of us are here, slogging through the ice and snow and buying our services here, ensuring that local people are employed. Canadians of convenience should make a decision.

Garth, I appreciate you taking the lead on this issue. It’s of enormous importance and something the government must speak clearly about, without concern for whatever lobby groups boasts of the most “numbers”.

Thanks!

#46 Alex on 07.31.06 at 11:12 am

Israel, the 100th smallest country, with less than 1/1000th of the world’s population, can lay claim to the following:

The Middle East has been growing date palms for centuries. The average tree is about 18-20 feet tall and yields about 38 pounds of dates a year. Israeli date trees are now yielding 400 pounds/year and are short enough to be harvested from the ground or a short ladder.

The cell phone was developed in Israel by Israelis working in the Israeli branch of Motorola, which has its largest development center in Israel.

Most of the Windows NT and XP operating systems were developed by Microsoft-Israel.

The Pentium MMX Chip technology was designed in Israel at Intel.

Both the Pentium-4 microprocessor and the Centrino processor were entirely designed, developed and produced in Israel.

The Pentium microprocessor in your computer was most likely made in Israel.

Voice mail technology was developed in Israel.

Both Microsoft and Cisco built their only R&D facilities outside the US in Israel.

The technology for the AOL Instant Messenger ICQ was developed in 1996 by four young Israelis.

Israel has the fourth largest air force in the world (after the U.S, Russia and China). In addition to a large variety of other aircraft, Israel’s air force has an aerial arsenal of over 250 F-16’s. This is the largest fleet of F-16 aircraft outside of the U. S.

Israel’s $100 billion economy is larger than all of immediate neighbors combined.

Israel has the highest percentage in the world of home computers per capita.

According to industry officials, Israel designed the airline industry’s most impenetrable flight security. US officials now look (finally) to Israel for advice on how to handle airborne security threats.

Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees to the population in the world.

Israel produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation by a large margin – 109 per 10,000 people –as well as one of the highest per capita rates of patents filed.

In proportion to its population, Israel has the largest number of startup companies in the world. In absolute terms, Israel has the largest number of startup companies than any other country in the world, except the U.S. (3,500 companies mostly in hi-tech).

Israel is ranked #2 in the world for venture Capital funds right behind the U.S.

Outside the United States and Canada, Israel has the largest number of NASDAQ listed companies.

Israel has the highest average living standards in the Middle East.

On a per capita basis, Israel has the largest number of biotech startups.

Twenty-four per cent of Israel’s workforce holds university degrees, ranking third in the industrialized world, after the United States and Holland and 12 per cent hold advanced degrees.

Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East.

When Golda Meir was elected Prime Minister of Israel in 1969, she became the world’s second elected female leader in modern times.

When the U. S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya was bombed in 1998, Israeli rescue teams were on the scene within a day — and saved three victims from the rubble.

Israel has the third highest rate of entrepreneurship — and the highest rate among women and among people over 55 – in the world.

Relative to its population, Israel is the largest immigrant-absorbing nation on earth. Immigrants come in search of democracy, religious freedom, and economic opportunity. (Hundreds of thousands from the former Soviet Union)

Israel was the first nation in the world to adopt the Kimberly process, an international standard that certifies diamonds as “conflict free.”

Israel has the world’s second highest per capita of new books.

Israel is the only country in the world that entered the 21st century with a net gain in its number of trees, made more remarkable because this was achieved in an area considered mainly desert.

Israel has more museums per capita than any other country.

Medicine… Israeli scientists developed the first fully computerized, no-radiation, diagnostic instrumentation for breast cancer.

An Israeli company developed a computerized system for ensuring proper administration of medications, thus removing human error from medical treatment. Every year in U.S. hospitals 7,000 patients die from treatment mistakes.

Israel’s “Givun” Imaging developed the first ingestible video camera, so all it fits inside a pill. Used to view the small intestine from the inside, cancer and digestive disorders.

Researchers in Israel developed a new device that directly helps the heart pump blood, an innovation with the potential to save lives among those with heart failure. The new device is synchronized with the camera helps doctors diagnose heart’s mechanical operations through a sophisticated system of sensors.

Israel leads the world in the number of scientists and technicians in the workforce, with 145 per 10,000, as opposed to 85 in the U. S., over 70 in Japan, and less than 60 in Germany. With over 25% of its work force employed in technical professions, Israel places first in this category as well.

A new acne treatment developed in Israel, the clear Light device, produces a high-intensity, ultraviolet-light-free, narrow-band blue light that causes acne bacteria to self-destruct — all without damaging surrounding skin or tissue.

An Israeli company was the first to develop and install a large-scale solar-powered and fully functional electricity generating plant, in southern California’s Mojave Desert.

All the above while engaged in regular wars with an implacable enemy that seeks its destruction and an economy continuously under strain by having to spend more per capita on its own protection than any other county on earth.

AND THE FRENCH AMBASSADOR IN ENGLAND SAYS: “ISRAEL IS NOTHING BUT A SHITTY LITTLE COUNTRY”

Alex Crow, Toronto

#47 Wesley d'Haene on 07.31.06 at 1:00 pm

Truth,

Sorry to hear you have problems with posts critical of terrorists. You’ll note that I didn’t call anyone a terrorist supporter — but terrorist apologists. There is a big difference. However, I agree it is sometimes hard to tell — since these people spend more time criticizing israel than the terrorist groups that surround and continually attack israel.

While civilian casualties are regrettable, don’t think for a second that the numbers wouldn’t be much larger if israel was seriously targetting civilians. Israel sends warnings, they use GPS and 3D maps of the terrain, intelligence of dwelling locations for hezzbolahs, etc etc. If they didn’t make use of all these methods, there would be many many more dead civilians.

As for your little history lesson — why not list some credible book suggestions for all?

BTW, I don’t watch CNN.

You might want to watch the video where hezzbolah members ride UN ambulances for cover. I think it was up on http://www.stephentaylor.ca

P.S. Great post Alex Crow. What’s your response to that one, Truth? ;)

#48 Richard on 07.31.06 at 1:50 pm

Re: Robert McLellan’s input – I am sorry, but that whole statement is naive and, not to put too fine a point on it, insulting. I am of Lebanese descent and I know a number of newly-minted Canadians who came from Lebanon. They are more tied to Lebanon than they are to Canada. They do not return to Lebanon to spread the word of Canada’s wonderful way of life.

Lebanon, for anybody who would be interested, is a democracy and has been for decades. The country was once a French protectorate and is one of the most modern and western countries in the Middle East. It is not some backward kingdom which needs to learn from Canada. The fact that anybody thinks that Lebanon needs Lebanese-Canadians to “teach” the rest of the Lebanese people how to run their country is highly insulting. The Lebanese, in Lebanon, are educated, multi-lingual, forward-thinking and worldly people.

I really do not believe that those Lebanese immigrants who gain Canadian citizenship and then return to Lebanon are doing so for altruistic reasons. It is naive to believe that they will have an impact on Middle East peace and it is ridiculous to accuse our country of abandoning them. They came here and then abandoned Canada. Let’s see the reality for what it is.

#49 Judy on 07.31.06 at 2:27 pm

Wesley: Your logic does not compute.
Recent history has proven that there is no such thing as “precision bombing”.
Perhaps “kind of precision-like” or “almost precision” would be more accurate names.
This war is in its early stages and we have already heard too many “oops, sorry” from the Israelis.
The lobbing of WW2 technology bombs into Israel has killed 18 civilians. I guess they should have heeded their own calls to evacuate at-risk areas.
The precision-like, high tech, we- don’t -hit- what- we -don’t -want-to- hit because our intelligence is foolproof weapons of the IDF have killed over 600 civilians.
Perhaps they should revert to the low-tech weapons if they sincerely wish to avoid civilian deaths.

#50 John C. on 07.31.06 at 6:56 pm

Maybe the Iraeli’s are saying so many “ooops sorry’s” because they know that any hit on a non-combatant is a bad thing. When are Hezbollah going to say “ooops, sorry” for lobbing missles at towns, and sending suicide bombers into cafe’s and onto busses. Israel at least expresses regrets for the loss of civilian life…does Hezbollah?

#51 Charley on 07.31.06 at 7:36 pm

Judy, I just gotta ask…what is it that makes you support these terrorists? Are you Middle Eastern, do you have ties to Hezbollah or Hamas? Why do you hate western democracy? Do you not want the people of Lebanon to have true democratic freedom (yes, it comes at a price..ALL FREEDOM DOES)? What do you have against the Lebanese? How can you possibly support Hezbollah, I just really can’t begin to understand it!

You repeat the same NDP rhetoric over and over…can you not think on your own? You are aware of the facts and you surely understand that it is Hezbollah who are responsible for the killing of innocents (just as all Islamic militants are responsible for killing innocents all over the world over right now..just look at what is happening in Somalia!!). Do you not understand the meaning of Jihad? Did you get a chance to watch the video “Obsession” that I linked to earlier? I strongly urge you to do so as it may make things a little clearer for you. There really is NO MORAL EQUIVALENCE here between Isreal and these terrorists! Isreal are NOT terrorists and NEVER will be, they are exactly like us in the basic morals and values of society!!

Do I care about the innocent civilians being killed? Yes I do and very, very deeply, being a mother my heart goes out especially for the children lost. And I think that is exactly why I support Isreal…so that another generation of Lebanese children don’t grow up in a culture of extreme hatred and violence, being encouraged to become suicide bombers or are used as human shields by their own “protectors”!

#52 Wesley d'Haene on 07.31.06 at 7:40 pm

Judy,

I did not say they used ‘precision bombing’. I simply listed methods that are used to guide the bombs to the correct general areas. No technology is perfect. But if you read up on your GPS theory you’d find that it is accurate to within metres under the right conditions. Even my car GPS seems to be about that accurate (using triagulation from at least 3 satellites, as well as accelerometer, velocity meter, and slope sensor).

Would you rather have them carpet bomb the whole country using jets WW2 style and give no warnings whatsoever? I’m pretty sure that would do more damage. I’m also pretty sure there were bombing sessions in WW2 that killed a whole lot more than 600 people. But hey, I wasn’t alive during WW2 so don’t quote me on that one. Unless you happen to be a vet or something and you can fill us in. ;)

The hezzis can’t hit that far in to do too much damage I think because their rockets have limited range.

I’m still not sure what you *think* doesn’t compute.

QED

#53 Andrew in Oakville on 07.31.06 at 8:23 pm

Charley and Alex,

Please be assured that my opinions on this issue are not the result of niavety, or that of misunderstanding. I would suggest that the truth may be quite the opposite.

I fully support our war on terrorism and condemn terrorism in all it’s forms. Do you two really think that Israel’s current military actions are going to even put a dent in Hezbollah? If you do I’ve got some swampland in Florida to sell you.

These actions will only further strengthen Hezbollah’s recruitment efforts. You see, It will be them who rebuild Lebanon after the real villians in all this, Iran and Syria, pour money into the terrorist organization. They’ll be seen as champions of the people once again (that’s right, the same people that they are currently using as human shields). Sad, but true.

Now, I do understand that Israel are dropping pamphlets before they drop the bombs. Small mercies when the roads and bridges out of town were the first targets.

Alex, you suggested that Isreal’s image is so bad in my eyes. You’re wrong. I hold the State of Israel in the highest regard and that’s why I’m so harsh in my critisism (kinda like when I was a kid and my report cards would always say: “Andrew is obviously a very bright child, however…).

I can’t help but suspect that the powers that be in Israel also see this as an exercise in futility, and that this has more to do with punishment and retaliation than it does with a lasting peace.

#54 Wesley d'Haene on 07.31.06 at 8:52 pm

For Judy, Truth, and friends:

Hezzis build rocket bunkers underground and put a school on top. It’s win-win for them either way! See the whole scoop:

http://judeoscope.ca/article.php3?id_article=0429

#55 Wesley d'Haene on 07.31.06 at 9:09 pm

And someone else was asking for hezzbolah pics of how they hide amongst civilians, etc:

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,,19955774-5007220,00.html

#56 Truth on 07.31.06 at 9:54 pm

Wesley:
“As for your little history lesson — why not list some credible book suggestions for all?”

There are a number of credible sources that you may read…the list is as follows:
– Uri Davis, the Israeli Human Rights activist and philosophical anthropologist whose written an amazing book “Apartheid Israel” which apparently I recently found out is sequel to an earlier book on the subject by him. His book is mainly exposing Israel’s apartheid and racist legal infrustracture through the prism of International

– the distinguished Israeli Historian Ilan Pappe, who has been exposing Israeli war crimes for years in his attempts to correct Israeli history from its false zionist version. He has written the book: A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples. I think he teaches at Tel Aviv University.

– Michael Hoffman writer of The Israeli Holocaust Against the Palestinian People

– Noam Chomsky who has written the book The Fateful Triangle, one of the most depressing books you can ever read. Its an excellent book when it comes to the analysis of the history of the conflict through the prism of media propaganda, especially how the offical story of the 1982 invasion of Lebanon was totally distorted and massacred by the media.

As for Israeli-Palestinian Histography, the following are great:

Ibrahim Abu-Lughod, ed., Transformation of Palestine: Essays on the Origin and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 2nd ed. (Evanston: Northwestern UP, 1987).

Naseer H. Aruri, The Obstruction of Peace: The United States, Israel and the Palestinians (Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press, 1995).

Norman G. Finkelstein, Image and Reality of the IsraelBPalestine Conflict (London and New York: Verso, 1995).

Simha Flapan, The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities (London: Croon Helm, 1979).

Yehoshafat Harkabi, Israel’s Fateful Hour, trans. Lenn Schramm (New York: Harper and Row, 1988).

Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947B1949 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987).

Benny Morris, 1948 and After: Israel and the Palestinians (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990; rev. and exp. ed. 1994).

Akiva Orr, Israel: Politics, Myths and Identity Crisis (London and Boulder, CO: Pluto Press, 1994).

Ilan Pappé, Britain and the Arab Israeli Conflict, 1948B51 (London: Macmillan, 1988).

Edward Said, The Question of Palestine (New York: Vintage Books, 1980).

Avi Shlaim, Collusion Across the Jordan: King Abdullah, the Zionist Movement, and the Partition of Palestine (Oxford: Clarendon, 1988).

– The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World (New York and London: W. W. Norton, 2000).

Contemporary Analysis of the Israel-Palestine Conflict

Zachary Lochman and Joel Beinin, eds., Intifada: The Palestinian Uprising Against Israeli Occupation (Boston: South End Press, 1989).

Tanya Reinhart, Israel/Palestine: How to End the War of 1948 (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2002).

Tom Segev et al, eds., The Other Israel: Voices of Refusal and Dissent (New York: The New Press, 2002).

Roane Carey, ed., The New Intifada: Resisting Israel?s Apartheid (London: Verso, 2001).

Hope that helps Wesley!

“P.S. Great post Alex Crow. What’s your response to that one, Truth?”

My response to Alex’s post is that yes there is no denying that Israel is a successful economic, military, and research based state. They posses a great amount of skills…HOWEVER, the fact that they can build motorola phones (which in most cases are not the best quality, I prefer Samsung myself), does not justify the killings of innocent civilinas for decades. I hear all this talk about how “democratic” Israel is is completely distorted.

To begin with Israel cannot be said to be a democracy because democracies are based on separation of religion and state. In Israel, citizenship is granted to you on the basis of your Jewish identity, while the indigenous Arabs are not allowed to go back to their homeland, the land of their ancestors and become repatriated. This is not only discriminatory but goes against the very meaning of democracy.

Secondly, while the Palestinians are Arabs, it is indisputable that they now have a national identity due to their decades of struggle and culture. They have every right to live in their native land, which they have been cultivating for centuries. To say they would feel at home anywhere else in the Arab world is racist and denies them their identity.

As for the Partition Plan of 1947, the Arabs had every right to refuse it. The Jews were still a minority at the time, a minority that was colonizing the land of an Arab people. More importantly, this is a distortion of the facts as Israel DID NOT accept the UN Partition Plan but only verbally agreed to it. As Chomsky and other Historians note, in 1948 Menachem Begin confessed that Israel will never be divided and is all Jewish! It appears also that Ben Gurion admitted to the plan as an easy way to acquire over 50% of the territory in a quicker manner before planning to occupy the rest.

Furthermore, in terms of Lebanon, it is truly a democratic state with 18 minority groups. It is funny how people on this blog are labeling Lebanon as a state that supports terroism when only a few weeks ago and ever since this “war on terror” began, I do not recall Lebanon being one of the major countries in the media. You people are the pupets of the media, and you need to start developing your own opinion based on facts that you seek out, and not “facts” that are simply reported to you.

And on another note, Wesley, just because Israel is economically successful, DOES NOT five it the right to kill. I would love to see you in a verbal war where you regurgitate the comments made by Alex to a mother or father who has lost their child at the hands of US supported military actions by Israel…my monies on the parent!

#57 Judy on 07.31.06 at 9:55 pm

Charley: You would be hard pressed to find one statement I have made that would indicate that I support any form of terrorism.
I deplore and condemn the murders via bombings, raids, or any other form of mass homicide of innocent civilians.
The only ones really suffering here are civilians on both sides.
Israel cannot defeat Hezbollah-just as Hezbollah cannot defeat Israel.
All either side can hope to do is weaken the other.
A “sustainable” ceasefire is an empty slogan being canned by the U.S. and Canada. Perhaps the only result of a ceasefire will be a few less dead children. To wait for a “political” resolution will mean the complete decimation of Lebanaon, a democratic country. A fragile democracy after years of civil unrest, but a democracy that should have been bolstered by the billions that western countries have spent trying unsuccessfully to democratize Iraq. Perhaps if the U.S. had helped Lebanon the past two years with its growing economy and social programs instead of supplying Israel with 3 Billion dollars for military might and continuing to deliver bombs via the U.K. , maybe the Lebanese people would have had reason for hope and rejected Hezbollah.
So, please, don’t call me a supporter of terrorism.
Call me a supporter of life.

And if I hear any talk of the “sanctity of life” from those who support attacks on children, women and the elderly, no matter what side is guilty, I will throw up.

#58 J. Jack on 07.31.06 at 10:18 pm

I don’t have much hope of a gentler spirit taking over the Islamic heart, so I don’t see much hope for peace in the Middle East.

The only thing Israel can do is to keep knocking it’s enemies off their feet whenever they become too dangerous.

They will pull out of Lebanon. Hezbollah will rebuild. Hezbollah will pick another fight (and then blame Israel for it’s casualties). Hamas will continue to ignore it’s responsibilities at home in order to stick it to the Jews.

But if Israel can limit their enemies effectiveness (with barriers, checkpoints, tactical strikes, and the occasional assassination), they might be able to give an amount of safety to their own people.

A cruel reality. However, any roadmap to peace starts with the Islamists recognizing Israels right to exist…and they are not ready for that step, they prefer war to peace, and they view any truce or ceasefire as a time to re-arm, and to plan further attacks. And for at least one country (formerly two), a chance to create nuclear weapons.

Israel has to either do it this way, or mass-evacuate the entire population of Israel. These are the only choices.

And they ain’t going nowhere.

#59 Charley on 07.31.06 at 10:46 pm

A great way to sum it up J. Jack.

Judy, how can you be “a supporter of life” but “anti-terrorist”? How else do you suppose we will stop Hezbollah from murdering all the innocent people in Lebanon? Diplomacy??? Yeah, that’s worked really well for the last 60 YEARS!! “Diplomacy is what is used to prolong crisis”!

I just want to address one mroe point made where I disagree and that is the belief that by Isreal strongly fighting back at Hezbollah will only incur more backlash/stronger Hezbollah.

In the past, these terrorist organizations surge in their recruiting when they are perceived to be WINNING but as soon as they take a big blow, people are suddenly not so keen to join anymore (imagine that), I guess that they only want to be “winners” (human nature, I guess). In fact, by critically disabling Hezbollah in the next week or two, it will have the exact opposite effect but I am not saying that they won’t slowly, over time, rebuild and have to be dealt with again but maybe it will give Isreal a few years of peace (again!).

Truth, you lost me as soon as you quoted Chomsky as a reference!

#60 Judy on 07.31.06 at 11:56 pm

Charley:What you fail to mention is that Israel is responsible for the deaths of innocents in Lebanon and Palestine ,despite their claims of “tragic mistakes”.
When you support the killing of civilians , then you also, are supporting terror tactics.
It is not Hezbollah that Israel is driving out, it is the Lebanese people.

#61 Wesley d'Haene on 08.01.06 at 8:14 am

Truth,

Thanks for listing those books. I think I too will pass on the Chomsky. There look to be perhaps 2 or 3 that actually look readable and somewhat credible. I will have to dig further on the authors.

I kind of prefer motorola phones. My old samsung had several issues. Maybe they’ve gotten better. Love samsung LCD monitors and DLP TVs though! ;)

I take exception to your comment regarding being a ‘puppet of the media’. I do READ books (either science fiction, or canadian politics). I read multiple papers to get various viewpoints (i.e. torstar vs. national post, etc.). And I frequent several blogs for discussion, etc. I think the people that you should be more worried about are those who only watch the national on CBC once a week or so. :D

All kinds of irrational things happen when emotions are involved, truth. I wouldn’t expect to be able to have any rational discussion with a parent of slain kids, etc. But if it were possible, I’d tell them not only to blame Israel, but blame the hezzis which many of them seem to love (like that fellow lebanese/canadian who said hezzis are his protectors, etc.). The hezzis started this latest conflict through an act of agression towards israel. Simple.

Like it has been mentioned before, until these groups acknowledge that israel, like them, have a right to exist, only then can that be a first step towards peace.

#62 J. Jack on 08.01.06 at 3:19 pm

“To begin with Israel cannot be said to be a democracy because democracies are based on separation of religion and state.”

Where did you get that silly idea?

Seperation of church and state is a uniquely American idea.

The Queen of England is not only the head of our state, she is also head of the Anglican church. England is officially Anglican, Canada officially Anglican and Catholic – but with freedom for other faiths. I’m not saying whether this is good or bad, just pointing out that you can be a liberal democracy without seperation of church and state.

#63 charley on 08.01.06 at 3:32 pm

Charley:What you fail to mention is that Israel is responsible for the deaths of innocents in Lebanon and Palestine ,despite their claims of “tragic mistakes”.
When you support the killing of civilians , then you also, are supporting terror tactics.
It is not Hezbollah that Israel is driving out, it is the Lebanese people.

I guess this is where we will have to agree to disagree because I don’t believe Isreal is responsible for these deaths, I believe the responsibility lands squarely with Hezbollah for several reasons (starting this whole mess, using these people for cover, having no regard for human life etc..). I believe Isreal are perfectly within their rights (and I am backed up by the Geneva Convention) to drop the bombs on the rockets that are attacking them. I 100% blame Hezbollah for ALL OF THE DEATHS of the Lebanese civilians since none of these rocket attacks should have been coming from civilian areas (but, of course, that is how they fight). I suggest you read this peace entitled “The Weaponization of Children” and you will understand to what lengths the likes of Hezbollah and Hamas will go to get pictures on TV of dead children so that they can suck people like you into believing that Isreal is somehow responsible for this ultimate evil!! Link here:

http://americandigest.org/mt-archives/006433.php

#64 KG on 08.03.06 at 2:28 pm

Another perspective on the Citizenship issue!
What dual citizens bring to the table

CBC News Viewpoint | August 3, 2006 | More from Madelaine Drohan

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Madelaine Drohan is an award-winning author and journalist who has covered business, economics and politics in Canada, Europe and Africa. She is currently the Ottawa correspondent for The Economist. She spent eight years in London as the European correspondent for the Globe and Mail, a beat that gradually extended as far north as Siberia and as far south as southern Africa. Before that, she covered Parliament Hill for eight years for the Canadian Press, Maclean’s magazine, the Financial Post and the Globe and Mail. She was awarded a Reuters Fellowship at Oxford University in 1998, the Hyman Solomon Award for Excellence in Public Policy Journalism in 2001 and was a 2004-2005 Media Fellow at the Chumir Foundation for Ethics in Leadership.

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The debate over whether dual citizens are “real” Canadians represents the worst of Canada in that it seems at times to be both parochial and uninformed. Strong words perhaps, but it is difficult not to come to that conclusion after reading or listening to comments that ignore or overlook some basic facts.

Let’s start with the implicit assumption by many commentators that the benefits in the relationship between country and citizen flow only in one direction — from Canada to the citizen. It is an obvious conclusion to draw in the midst of the evacuation of Lebanon, when what Canada had to offer was safe transit out of a war zone. But is this the whole story? There has been little or no consideration given to the idea, startling as it may seem, that benefits also flow in the other direction — from the citizen to the country — and that these benefits should also be considered within the context of the debate.

One would think that this would be evident from the fact that Canada is busy beating the bushes around the world at the moment for new immigrants. If these new citizens, who are allowed by Canada to keep their former citizenship if they so choose, represent only a burden, why are we seeking them out?

Thinking of immigrants as penniless beggars harkens back to the time when vast numbers of people landed on our shores fleeing famine and war. My Irish ancestors were part of this group. They came with nothing and Canada offered them the opportunity to build a better life.

Canada still opens its doors to refugees. But they represent a small fraction of the 240,000 immigrants on average who arrive each year. Over the past decade, more than half of the people taking up permanent residence in Canada were economic migrants, a class that includes investors, entrepreneurs, skilled workers and those whom individual provinces selected to fill specific labour shortages.

At a minimum, they bring their skills and money to the table. Only anecdotal evidence exists of what more they contribute because the economic aspects of multiculturalism remains a neglected field of research. Yet we know from anecdotes that companies with a multicultural staff find it easier to reach out around the world for business and trade opportunities if they have employees who speak other languages, are familiar with other cultures and can travel comfortably in other countries.

Fine, you say, immigrants are a boon to Canada. But does the same hold true for dual citizens? That is, after all, what the debate is about.

It must be said that Canada collects very little information about its dual citizens. Citizenship and Immigration does not keep figures. In this, they are not much different from other countries, which focus on their own citizens and pretend that other citizenships do not exist. But since the 1981 census, Statistics Canada has been asking people to declare multiple citizenships.

In 2001, these figures showed that 560,000 of the 5.5 million people in Canada who were born elsewhere declared they were citizens of at least one other country.

Thanks to U.S. academic Irene Bloemraad we know a bit more than that. In a study done at the University of California at Berkeley, she took the StatsCan census figures and studied them to determine who claims dual citizenship. She found that dual nationals, as she calls them, are highly educated. In fact she suggested they could be considered part of an educated global elite. Professional and cosmopolitan individuals are more likely to embrace dual citizenship than people she described as marginalized.

As for why they do it, she suggested better career prospects and income benefits were one possibility. People with more than one passport could engage in transnational activities. But she also pointed to research that indicated people applied for dual citizenship because they wanted to become more politically active and more integrated into their host society. “Allowing immigrants to keep multiple citizenship could further Canadian nation building and integration efforts, reinforcing the state rather than undermining it,” she concluded.

None of this has come up in our current debate. Instead, dual citizens have been painted as semi-rapacious Canadians of convenience, who do little for the country, except demand evacuation when problems arise. And in return, we grant them the same rights as native-born Canadians. (Except that we don’t entirely. Their citizenship can be revoked if they are found guilty of certain crimes, whereas that of a Canadian-born citizen cannot.)

Also ignored is the possibility that Canadians might be responsible in part for persuading people to hang on to their other passports, just in case things don’t work out here. StatsCan surveys indicate 20 per cent of visible minorities say they encounter discrimination here and that it does not decline over time. Professional immigrants complain vociferously that their credentials are not recognized and they are forced to find jobs well below their level of education.

The final factor missing from the debate is that Canada has its own diaspora and that some of its members are almost certainly dual citizens. (And here I must say that I hold British citizenship, which I applied for during my eight years in London.) Again, this is an area where there is very little research. But one estimate by analyst Kenny Zhang of the Asia Pacific Foundation suggests there are 2.7 million Canadian citizens living abroad.

Do we feel as free to characterize these Canadian-born dual citizens as freeloaders, as some commentators have done with foreign-born dual nationals in Canada? Or is the situation somehow different when native-born Canadians are involved?

None of this is to say that we should not debate the merits of dual citizenship. But if we want to be serious about it, let’s at least consider all the facts.

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This is an excellent, well written, balanced, and emotional piece.

I support restrictions on dual citizens whipping out their passports when trouble mounts if they’ve contributed nothing to the country.

If they have not lived here, have not paid taxes here, have not run a business here, have not done anything here for years, but have done all this and maybe more for the country on their other passport, let them go to that country for help.

Embassy services should be provided first to contributing members of society and then to those who would have gladly abandoned us forever if things had gone well overseas.

Let there be two or more classes of service: one solely for Canadian citizens (whether born here or immigrants) and one for resident or semi-resident dual citizens (who contribute at least some of the time) and maybe yet one more for non-resident dual citizens who have done nothing for us for, hypothetically, for five years or more.

The standard that citizenship is ironclad dates back to a time when people did not switch their allegiances lightly. We are well off as countries go, but we’re not so rich that we can afford to finance the services for all other countries’ citizens who just happen to once-upon-a-time pass a test on Canadian history and society.

We can gain many of the benefits Madelaine Drohan cites from immigrants – especially immigrants who stay here. We get none of these from transients who have not been here in decades.

Dual citizens, if they are contributing to Canadian society, are valuable. But immigrants who become solely Canadian citizens show greater dedication to us and should gain greater support from us in return.

Let the debate begin and may Parliament adequately represent the will of Canadians!

Brett Tremblay | Toronto, ON

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Drohan’s article chastises the view of real Canadians who challenge the loyalty and commitment of dual Canadians.

She selectively chooses what she believes are the salient points of their benefit without examining the whole issue.

She attacks those who challenge the benefit of dual citizens without addressing the issues of those detractors. What is a Canadian?

I continue to believe that Canada is no longer the nation that made it special. It is a nation of special interest groups, ghettos, and media that continue to attack the very foundations that made Canada special.

Separation is the only answer.

Paul McDonald

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The problem with dual citizenship is that the holder gets to choose when to be a Canadian, and when to be something else. For example, Lebanese Canadians living in south Lebanon were happy to be Lebanese citizens when the economy was booming due to reconstructions following eighteen years of Israeli occupation and the civil wars that preceded and followed it.

However, when the Israelis again targeted southern Lebanon after Hezbollah attacked northern Israel, suddenly they were Canadians who wanted “their” country to rescue them.

Canadians with dual citizenship must accept that:

1. Maintaining citizenship of both Canada and another country has both benefits, and liabilities. The Canadian journalist who was able to work in Iran, because she was also an Iranian citizen, was therefore treated like any other Iranian citizen. When her work displeased the religious fanatics and bigots who rule that country she was tortured and beaten to death, just like they would treat any other Iranian. And because of that, there was very little that Canadian authorities could do to help her.

2. The simple fact of residing in another jurisdiction means that that country’s authorities exert certain sovereign powers and rights over the residents – including foreign nationals – and by choosing to live and work there, Canadian citizens accept the risk that Canadian authorities have only limited powers when its citizens become caught up with the foreign country’s judicial, police, military and other institutions.

3. Certain parts of this world are ruled by lunatics, criminals or both. When trying to deal with such people, there may be little or nothing that Canadian officials can do.

Anyone who is granted the privilege of Canadian citizen must also accept one of the main responsibilities of Canadian citizenship: we are not a haven for terrorists. We do not condone the religious, ethnic and national conflicts of their former homes. If they want to continue the fight, then they should renounce their Canadian citizenship and go back and fight. We want only people who want to escape that violence, not those who want to continue to engage in it from the safety of Canada.

We don’t expect immigrants to stop caring for their old countries and their citizens, and crying over their misery. They should feel free to send care packages and money to relatives, and make donations to the Red Cross and similar legitimate charitable organizations. But don’t send money to the Tamil Tigers, the Irish Republican Army, Hezbollah, or any other organization that espouses violence.

#65 KG on 08.03.06 at 5:41 pm

Alex
Those are interesting stats. Israel is an amazing nation with many achievements. Despite these achievements and it’s relative wealth in the region … it still makes war.
You don’t have to tell any of us what side you are on …we know! The measure of a great person or nation is how it handles itself among it’s enemies. Israel has a chance to change the paradigm in the region. But it is going to have to find a way to do that without killing and retaliation. It would be easy to say that the other side should also try to change, but you have implied with Israels achievments that it is a great nation. Great nations can do great things! Let’s watch how great Israel can be!