Thursday, August 31, 2006

Ignatieff Not Mephistopheles; Antisemitism Not OK

Two dispatches and some personal revelations from your humble correspondent this week:

1. A conversation with His Iggishness:

It would be so much easier to just be done with it and report that, really, Ignatieff is Mephistopheles, that during the hour we sat alone in conversation, in a restaurant booth in a dark corner of the cavernous tropical atrium of the Rainbow Country Inn in Chilliwack, he caused a candle on the table to burst into flames merely by staring at it intently with his famously blue eyes.

But that would be an obvious lie. So a less obvious one, then.

Ignatieff may very well appear to be a charming left-wing intellectual in an impeccably tailored blue-linen suit with a white shirt and pink silk tie. But he’s really just a right-wing thug who wants the laws changed to allow the police to force confessions out of people by pulling their fingernails out.

That’s the problem with Ignatieff. It’s just so damn easy to lie about him. And people do.

We touched on torture (he's against it), Americans (he's mostly in favour), imperialism (not a big fan), slave labour in China (against), second thoughts on Iraq (but not the thoughts you might expect), and his commitment to the defence of Afghanistan's slowly-recovering democracy (firm as ever).

He dealt with a lot of things that I didn’t have the space to report, but I've transcribed the entire conversation, and have a good mind to post the whole thing here at a later date.

2. Another conversation with a Liberal, not a big-time star, but a black sheep, Thomas Hubert. Nevermind what the National Post says. He's not an antisemite. The tragedy is much worse than that:

. . .It’s the utter ordinariness of the words Hubert wrote. All Hubert was doing was trafficking in the language of common rhetorical currency about Israel.

One is properly expected to turn out one’s cupboards for any trace evidences of sexism, Islamophobia, racism, or homophobia. But the differences between “anti-Zionism” and anti-Semitism, which were never especially clear to start with, just get painted over nowadays in the expectation that nobody will notice.

The really sad thing is, it’s working.

If you don’t believe me, pick up a copy of Canadian Dimension magazine sometime. It’s a venerable periodical, happily endorsed by NDP leader Jack Layton and by such luminaries as Maude Barlow and Linda McQuaig.

Soon enough, you’ll probably find yourself reading something by James Petras, a frequent CD contributor and a member of the magazine’s collective. His uniquely “progressive” analysis is that a shadowy group of Jewish bankers pretty much runs American foreign policy. They even tricked America into invading Iraq. They’re behind just about every crappy thing that happens in the world, apparently.

Take the recent “Mohammed cartoon” eruptions that resulted in worldwide riots, the burning of embassies, and at least 139 deaths. According to Petras, it was all orchestrated by Mossad - the Israeli secret service. They had a Ukrainian Jew working under an assumed name at the Danish newspaper where the rumpus began, just waiting for his order to set the plot in motion.

That’s how bad it’s got: you say something nice about Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, cite Noam Chomsky a couple of times, make a joke or two about George Bush, toss in words like resistance and hegemony, and you can have everyone singing “Throw The Jew Down The Well” before anyone even notices what’s happening.

3. Latest news from the compound:

I've been quiet lately. I haven't even responded to the "book tagging" I've had from heroes-of-the-people Toronto Bob and Commandante Will.

But it's like this.

After nearly 14 years, the Glavin-Guigueno cell is vacating the premises on Mayne Island alluded to on this very weblog, in the "About Me" bit on the side, viz., "Not true what they say about me living in a heavily armed compound with a 50-metre statue of Kim Jong-il on remote island off Canada's west coast." Only some of that was not true. But for the foreseeable future none of it will be.

All these years being happily up on our hill surrounded by barbed wire and human skulls on stakes, with all our upside-down Chevy pickups and everything, and now we're moving to Victoria. Cadboro Bay, specifically. No more target practice on the rifle range out back. No more road-kill deer. For the time being, anyhow.

It's mainly because the boys deserve better book-learnin.

So I've been really busy, and everything's in boxes, and here's us yokels looking perfectly unglum about it all the other day during one last sit-down together in the Sierra Madre:

But here's the really, really galling bit. The ferry hadn't even pulled away from the dock when all the islanders gathered together in a mob, and this is what happened:

Ungrateful bastards.


Blogger Nav said...

Please do post the entire transcript.

10:18 PM  
Blogger Alan Adamson said...

Another vote for the entire transcript.

2:25 AM  
Blogger double-plus-ungood said...

Uh, isn't there some kind of horrific sea creature living in that bay?

Oh well, at least there are lots of cute bunnies at UVic to balance things out.

7:59 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

Yeah, I think something called the Cadborosaurus. Keep an eye on the kids, Terry ;)

When I see the word anti-Semitism, it often raises red flags with me.

There are some people, not very many, but a few on the left who can legitimately be referred to as anti-Semetic. They are people who actually talking about Jewish conspiracies, soft-pedal Holocaust denial, etc.

On the other hand, there are many , including myself, who have falsely called anti-Semetic merely because they criticize the Israeli government or military. It is a propoganda tactic on the part of the hawks on the right to discredit the left, and unfortuantely, it seems to work.

In the case of the kid mentioned, you're right, he's just a kid, and I don't agree with his more outrageous comments. That said, I can understand his anger. I just wish he had channelled it more constructively.

8:16 PM  

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