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Cool Blue





Joined: 21 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 6:55 pm    Post subject: Ignatieff loses Campaign co-chair over "War-Crime" Reply with quote

Ignatieff loses Toronto co-chair over remark

Updated Wed. Oct. 11 2006 5:36 PM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

The co-chair of Liberal leadership hopeful Michael Ignatieff's Toronto campaign has quit over his accusation that Israel committed a war crime this summer.

"Michael is an intelligent person and I would think that he would have a better handle on the Middle East given his years of experience on human rights and international law,'' Susan Kadis said Wednesday in a written statement.

The MP for Thornhill said she found Ignatieff's comments "troubling," given that Israel was defending itself in its conflict with Hezbollah.

In an interview broadcast Sunday on Quebec talk show "Tout le monde en parle", the Liberal leadership frontrunner apologized for telling the Toronto Star in August that he was "not losing sleep" over an Israeli air strike that killed dozens of Lebanese civilians in the village of Qana on July 30.

"I showed a lack of compassion. It was a mistake and when you make a mistake like that, you have to admit it," he said in French.

"I was a professor of human rights, and I am also a professor of the laws of war, and what happened in Qana was a war crime, and I should have said that."

Jewish leaders, who learned of the interview on Tuesday, reacted angrily to Ignatieff's choice of words. They are calling for a retraction.

"I'm concerned that somebody who claims expertise in this particular area would characterize events there as war crimes," Shimon Fogel, chief executive of the Canada-Israel Committee, told CTV.ca on Wednesday.

"He ought to know better and I'm sure he does. So it raises questions about what his motivation was and what his real agenda in going on record in that way is."

Frank Dimant, executive vice-president of B'nai Brith Canada, said he believes Ignatieff's statement was meant to target Quebec voters.

Nationwide polls in the summer showed support for Israel's actions in Lebanon fell dramatically in Quebec, where nearly 60 per cent said the Israeli response was "not at all justified."

"It was a very regrettable statement that obviously was meant for internal Liberal politicking," Dimant told CTV.ca, "and it was specifically addressed to a francophone audience where I think he felt he could perhaps get more sympathy for an outrageous claim that has no validity."

Ignatieff admitted in August that he made a "mistake" in his comments to the Star; and since then transcripts of his interview shows that he prefaced those comments by calling the Qana bombing a "tragedy" for the Lebanese people.

But the interview in Quebec on Sunday marks the first time he has characterized Israel's actions as a war crime.

"One can say it was a tragedy without talking about it being a war crime -- there is a fundamental difference," said Dimant.

A spokesperson for Ignatieff's camp is quoted in a report Wednesday saying the Liberal candidate is not retracting the use of the term "war crime," and that the term was his way of describing a tragic consequence of war -- not a pronouncement relating to international law.

Other controversies

Ignatieff isn't the first politician to spark controversy with statements on the Middle East conflict.

Toronto Liberal MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj was forced to resign from his post as foreign affairs critic after he accused Israel's summer offensive against Lebanon as being nothing less than "state terrorism."

In August, Bloc Quebecois MP Maria Mourani backtracked from accusing Israel of committing war crimes during its assault on Hezbollah. In an interview with Le Devoir on Aug. 30, Mourani said she was troubled by the destruction she saw during a visit to Lebanon.

"It's clear to me, what I saw, what Amnesty International saw, what (United Nations high commissioner for human rights) Louise Arbour saw, is that there were war crimes in Lebanon," she is quoted as saying. When asked who committed these war crimes, she responded "the Israelis."

Mourani issued a statement the next day saying: "It's up to the duly mandated international authorities to define what constitutes a war crime and to describe one or the other of the parties involved a war criminal in an armed conflict."

Under international law, a war crime is an offence in violation of international treaties, for which criminal liability is imposed by a domestic or international tribunal.

Fogel said his organization has also registered concerns about comments and actions by organizers in Ignatieff's Quebec camp, including Denis Coderre, who attended an August pro-Lebanon march in Montreal, where some people were seen carrying the flag of the militant Hezbollah.

A clarification, said Fogel, would "go a long way towards providing clarity on his position. And I would hope that he takes advantage of that opportunity fairly quickly so that people can focus on other issues of the leadership campaign in the Liberal party and the issues on the public agenda."

Ignatieff's comments in August sparked outrage by Islamic groups in Canada, including the Canadian Islamic Congress and the Muslim Canadian Congress, which demanded the Liberal leadership hopeful apologize to all Lebanese.

Mohamed Elmasry, president of the Canadian Islamic Congress, said he was heartened by Ignatieff's description of Israel's actions as a "war crime."

Ignatieff so far has the support of nearly 30 per cent of delegates in the battle for the Liberal leadership, with the less than two months to go before the Nov. 28-Dec. 3 Liberal convention in Montreal. Results from earlier this month had Ignatieff in first place, followed by Bob Rae (19.8 per cent), Gerard Kennedy (16.9 per cent) and Stephane Dion (16.6 per cent).

With files from The Canadian Press

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/Arti.....TopStories
kwlafayette





Joined: 03 Sep 2006
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Location: Saskatoon Saskatchewan

PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I don't know exactly when you had to be pro-wipe-Israel-off-the-map to be a Liberal, but it is pretty clear that is the current Liberal party line. The people who don't agree can either sit on their hands next election, or get out.

My preference would be to abandon a party that so diverged from my core beliefs. Israel has a right to exist, they are not the cause of all the strife in the ME, and they are not the ones committing war crimes. Israel has never advocated genocide or racial cleansing. Israel has never launched 3000 unguided rockets at civilian areas. Israel does not teach hate to its children from the day of birth.
Buddy Kat





Joined: 24 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iggy did the right thing...but as was shown during the demise of the liberals, doing the right thing (fighting corruption) isn't necessarly the correct thing.

Since 911 the rule in international law is , "It's ok to commit war crimes, over a few bad apples". Israel might as well face it , what they did was a terror war crime. Will they be prosecuted for it? probably not. The UN is afraid of them and spineless as has been shown in the past where they refuse inspection by UN nuke inspectors and play there race trump card.

The double standard however is out in the open now and people have seen for them selves. I guess the name of the game now is to weed out the Israel supporters and their influence in Canadain government. Good Luck Iggy
kwlafayette





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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I rest my case.

PS. Just wondering, but I was wondering how you convince yourself that you are right? Israel is the only democracy in the area. They allow gay pride parades, have real courts, real election. You do not support this, but instead side with the terrorists, who stone gays and lesbians, persecute religious minorities, and deliberately target civilians.

Just wondering what you tell yourself so that your vaunted Liberal values and support for racist genocidal organizations in the ME can co-exist in your mind.
biggie





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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm thinking big oil has the liberals by the balls...
hehehe.

They'de rather appease the muslims, because jews don't strap bombs to their chests and walk into buildings..

Thats my guess anyway.
kwlafayette





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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iggy claims to be a big supporter of the Kurds. It is odd that he would take the side of the Muslims, who have invaded Kurdish lands about 79 times in recorded history, and continue to oppress those people to this day.

That Israel commits war crimes line is basically cribed straight from the official Hezbollah press releases. Anyone repeating the official terrorist PR message is by definition advancing the terrorist cause. I prefer to advance the cause of democracy, human rights, freedom of the press, etc., but that is just us conservatives I guess. That is why I side with Israel. Israel makes mistakes from time to time, they sometimes have bad public policy, but they do not deliberately target civilians.
CC Scott





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
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Location: Edmonton

PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even Bob Rae is chastising Iggy over this one. The Israeli air strike wasn't directly aimed at civilians like the left or muslim radicals claim it was, it was directed against Hezbollah fighters who were hiding their rocket launcher trucks amongst civilians. In fact, if Hezbollah fighters had been the militiary of a legitimate government of a nation-state then they would have in fact committed war crimes for using civilians as human shields in this manner.

Iggy was trying to show to Liberal Party members that he wasn't that right-wing when he made the "war crime" comments, but in the end he just came across sounding like an idiot.
Mac





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iggy has been a moving target since he threw his name in the hat. One thing about it... this took attention away from Volpe and the other various scandals and membership irregularities.

-Mac
biggie





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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope somebody has alerted the Press in Israel, oh, and the leaders..

I'd love a scandal like that in the liberal ranks...

Harper had some key words for these liberal leaders today... I have more and more respect for that man every time he opens his mouth.
kwlafayette





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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah Jarper is doing a fine job isn't he? I don't always agree, and sometimes think there are better ways, but the man has principles, and he stands up for them.
McGuire





Joined: 05 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

biggie rection wrote:
I hope somebody has alerted the Press in Israel, oh, and the leaders..

I'd love a scandal like that in the liberal ranks...

Harper had some key words for these liberal leaders today... I have more and more respect for that man every time he opens his mouth.


It's yet another reason why I am so grateful for having the CPC in power instead of the spineless Liberals.
biggie





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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

McGuire wrote:
biggie rection wrote:
I hope somebody has alerted the Press in Israel, oh, and the leaders..

I'd love a scandal like that in the liberal ranks...

Harper had some key words for these liberal leaders today... I have more and more respect for that man every time he opens his mouth.


It's yet another reason why I am so grateful for having the CPC in power instead of the spineless Liberals.


I'm curious what mr. Dithers would have accomplished at la francaphoni(or however its spelled... its not like anyone in the world cares hahaha)
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Ignatieff loses Campaign co-chair over "War-Crime"

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