August 23rd, 2006

fashionable

Canadian Prime Minister Godwins self, needs lessons in history, geography.

"both Hezbollah and the Nazi party stand for the elimination of the Jewish nation..."

...if that's the case, then why didn't Hitler Invade Israel? Perhaps he couldn't find it on any of his maps?!

Canadian Prime Minister Harper seems to think that Hezbollah's beef isn't against Israel's occupation of other people's land, but rather, it's because Hezbollah intends to exterminate the Jews, no matter where they live. 

Obviously, if we turn a blind eye to Hezbollah, they're going to drive the Jews right into Brooklyn Harbor one day.

Indeed, prominent Canadian politicians have been putting their support behind pro-Israel events which encourage the uncritical, unquestioned support of the Israeli government, regardless of the fact that most Canadians do not support Israel's policies. 

This hapless, one-sided foriegn policy doesn't develop in a vacuum. It forms, in no small part, due to the actions of pro-Israel lobbyist groups, which have caused major Jewish community publications to question whether it's appropriate for Canadian politicians to "accept money from an entity with an undisclosed address, staff, and contributors". 

Meanwhile, the people of Canada itself seem to prefer a more balanced Mideast policy, according to a poll by CTV / The Globe and Mail. They believe that Israel has the right to defend itself, but also believe there are acceptable limits, and that the cause of the conflict isn't as black and white as much of the western media depict it.

That said, nothing supports the idea of an alliance between Canada's conservatives and pro-Israel lobbyists like the response to this poll, especially since the original poll indicated a notable lack of support for their party's leader. Shortly after its release, The Western Standard, a pro-conservative Canadian magazine, paid a polling firm to conduct a counter-poll that appears to be specifically designed to elicit responses that would contradict the previous poll.

They did this, simply enough, by adding more choices to dilute the results, and by taking several unrelated results to extrapolate support for the Canadian Prime Minister, rather than simply asking those surveyed whether they support his policies.

While the CTV poll shows only 32% of Canadians agreeing with Prime Minister Harper's support for Israel's actions, the Weekly Standard poll sidesteps this issue by asking Canadians whether Israel has the right to self-defense. That, frankly, is not the same thing. While over 80% of the Canadian respondants believe that Israel -- presumably like any state -- has the right to self-defense, the issue isn't whether they have that right, but whether Israels actions and those of P.M. Harper were justified. Clearly, most Canadians disagreed, especially with P.M. Harper's support for Israel's "measured" response to the attack.

 In fact, the Western Standard's own polling data indicated that only 38% of Canadians believed that Hezbollah started the war. (And no, that doesn't mean that 62% of Canadians believe that Israel started it. It simply means that it's a very complex issue and that both sides are to blame.)

Worst of all, they took responses to four questions -- including the one above -- that had no real bearing on actual support for Prime Minister Harper, averaged them out, and concluded that Harper had popular support on this issue.

As a polling industry insider said, in response to their methodology: 
"That's certainly stacking the deck. Those four policies can't be (averaged). That's like saying the average Canadian has only one testicle."

So, now that the Canadian Prime Minister Harper has Godwined himself, does that mean he automatically loses the argument and has to STFU until the end of his term?
fashionable

Blairzymandias, or All This Base Are Belong to Dust.

On July 30th, British and Iraqi dignitaries celebrated the turn-over of Camp Smitty near the city of Samawah to the Iraqi Army. It was the first British base to be turned over to Iraqi government control.

...but a British soldier who was witness to the transition said that as the last British soldiers drove away, they saw Iraqis with pick-up trucks, filling them with valuable equipment.

Within days, everything of any value on the base was looted, including air-conditioning units, water filtration systems, chairs, bedding, kitchen utensils, etc. When the commander of British forces in southeast Iraq, Brigadier James Everard, discussed the matter with the province's governor he was told that the camp had "largely gone."

British officers privately say they blame the local Iraqi governor for much of the looting and believe some of the air-conditioning units are now in his private office.

Fortunately, the British love building expensive monuments in the middle of the desert, I hear...







I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read,
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed,
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

-Percy Bysshe Shelley
1792-1822