Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Ooops! Green Party's Elizabeth May does it again! Embarrassing comments on troops in Afghanistan

National Green Party leader Elizabeth May has done it again, issuing an embarrassing news release on the John Manley Afghanistan report that raises serious questions about her political judgement.

May says sending more troops from a "Christian/Crusader heritage" could fuel an insurgency that has been "framed as a Jihad" in Afghanistan.

The Conservative Party is calling for May to apologize for her remarks, which it says insult Canadian and NATO troops by categorizing them as "Christian crusaders".

Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre also managed to draw federal Liberal leader Stephane Dion into the fracas, calling on Dion to end his electoral cooperation agreement with May, who Poilievre calls: " a leader so out of the mainstream to smear the reputation of our soldiers, diplomats and aid workers." May and Dion have a deal not to run candidates from their party in each other's riding in the next federal election.

May has fired back, demanding Poilievre himself apologize for an "irresponsible distortion of the party's views on Afghanistan."

The May gaffe recalls her comments last year that got her in hot water when she compared the Conservatives' climate policies to appeasement of the Nazis by British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain.

The Canadian Jewish Congress was not amused with May's strange comparisons.

"Whatever the Earth is doing, warming up, it has nothing to do with what the Nazis did to the Jews of Europe," said Congress spokesperson Ed Morgan.

Interestingly, May and the Greens don't actually say whether or not they support extending the Canadian troops mission in Afghanistan beyond 2009. The Conservatives do, the NDP and Bloc Quebecois don't and the Liberals are pondering what to do.

So you be the judge on who's crusading - here is the Green Party's original news release. Comments most welcome!


Green Party rejects Manley Report conclusions

OTTAWA – The federal Green Party shares a vision of a stable and secure Afghanistan, but today challenged the newly-released Manley Report’s premise that Canada’s troops must remain in Khandahar beyond February of 2009 to achieve this objective.

“The Manley Report fails to consider that the recommendation of more ISAF forces from a Christian/Crusader heritage will continue to fuel an insurgency that has been framed as a ‘Jihad’. This, in turn, may feed the recruitment of suicide bombers and other insurgents,” said Green Party leader Elizabeth May.

“Better human security is certainly needed in the South but it should be provided by a different cultural mix of UN countries as well as the Afghan army and police. Even if this proves challenging to accomplish, this key objective should have been included.”

The Green Party also questioned the Report’s recommended indefinite exit date for the Canadian Forces from Kandahar, citing concern that an open-ended departure date could significantly prolong the training time of the Afghan military and police. The continuous availability of external personnel and logistical support in a poor country like Afghanistan risks creating a structural disincentive to rapid military preparedness, especially in an ongoing conflict situation.

Green Party International Affairs critic Eric Walton also raised concern about the Report’s cursory reference to poppy plant cultivation, which helps fund the insurgency and worsens government corruption.

“It was critical that the Manley Report strongly advanced the Poppies For Medicine (P4M) program, but what we saw was little more than a lukewarm endorsement,” said Mr. Walton.

“The Green Party would advance the P4M plan while strongly rejecting US proposals for widespread chemical spraying of poppy fields this spring. This pivotal choice could very soon determine the ultimate success or failure of the mission. It should also be a factor when determining if Canada stays in Afghanistan at all.”


Anonymous said...

All I can say is " Thank God May was not a part of that panel" - Joey

Anonymous said...

Hi Bill,

I do find it amusing that the Cons will whip out pots of indignation when it suits them and they love to dump it on Elizabeth. Gee what are they afraid of? The truth maybe?

Did you know that just last November she was quoted "Ms. May is once again back to her old tricks. Writing on her personal election blog Ms. May repeated the accusation that the Harper government’s made-in-Canada climate change plan represented “a moral failure more culpable than that of Neville Chamberlain.”

I've misplaced the original but like the original comment, not once did she use the word nazi. The kid who writes for the Cons used it 5 times.

But in looking for it I ran into two separete Maclean's articles (including links to hansard) of everyone else, NPD, Lib, Bloc and oh yes CON, bringing old Neville to life in our HoC time and time again. And they are MP's. Ms. May is not...yet.

Philippe Gohier, | May 2, 2007
"I hear the echo of Neville Chamberlain in everything he says," Day said of Chr├ętien. "He's saying 'peace in our time' while terrorists are planning nuclear and chemical attacks on innocent populations. I don't know what it's going to take for him to wake up. He's exposing Canada as being vulnerable."

Of course, on Wednesday, Day condemned May's "horrific" statements."

"That's the type of statement Chamberlain made before World War II." -Conservative MP Leon Benoit on the Liberal government's reluctance to back U.S. invasion of Iraq, August 2002
more HoC Neville Chamberlain current MP's
2nd nazi con page. Was only up for 2 or 3 days.

Pots. Kettles. Black. Black. Black.

And of course Ms. May makes three points and young Pierre Polliver speakes to one. The boy has no sense of history at all. I mean real history, thousands of years history. Not just 20, 40 years before he was born.

There is something to what Liz says in this Christian/Crusader/Jihad thing. We get the religious overtones to the Jihad. We all heard infidel on tv often enough, and fatwa and bits and pieces but for many of these men Jihad is their life, their religion, their hobby, their job, their all. Their culture is so very different than ours. It's one of an oral tradition and other than the Koran other histories are kept word of mouth still. Liz's one line can encompass so much. Of course the Cons crapped all over it. It's too different an idea for them to consider.

All soldiers are "Americans", all Americans are infidels, all infidels must die. Simple. Then they get rewarded, after they are dead from killing infidels. They don't see the patch on the arm and think, OH, Canadian infidel, my cousin Mohammad has a falafal joint in Toronto. Or, Dutch infidel, great chocolate. Got to find me a stars and strips infidel.

There may have been papers signed with the duly elected officialls of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and some of them such as with Dutch Shell and (can't remember the other two really big guys) will probably not be to the people's benefit overall. But there it is. So long as Billions of dollars in aid continues to roll in Karsia would be a fool to say thanks so much have a nice trip home.

In the meantime the Bush admin drops Billions on Mushareef in Pakistan, and nothing gets done in the north.

Oh, The Green's policy for Afghanistan and just about everything else is on their website. Easy to find. Not loaded down with pics of just Liz but introduces you to someone new in each top corner. Nice. And they remind me of the NDP of several years ago but much more organised. Regarding A'stan, policy is much in line with the Liberals but for some details. Actually they have a lot of detail.

Not the comic book the Cons are running with snaps of Steve throttling a cat, steve looking at a pic of himself in a window, Steve shaking his hand, Steve holding in his gut, Steve holding something in front of his gut. And that's just the press page. The tabs above do not work if you are on a Mac.

OK, I'm catty, but I like cats.

One last one from Peter MacKay, from Nova Scotia. Elizabeth May will be running against him come the election. This will be such fun.

"I do not expect members of the NDP to understand this. I fully expect that the Neville Chamberlains of the 21st century in the NDP do not want to be part of an effort that is aimed at elevating the lives of the people of Afghanistan. It is unfortunate that they would take this off track and try to debase the real activity, the important quality of life changes that are taking place because of our forces being in Afghanistan."

Peter MacKay May 17, 2006

Can you image what she'll be like in the House?!!


Ian King said...

Well, there goes any chance there was that I'd vote Green. May is spouting a slightly more deranged version of the drivel we get from the so-called peace movement.

There's another party that's down with that movement. Hell, it's even endorsed the Canadian "Peace" Alliance and other "anti-war" groups, and sends their MPs and candidates down to support their rallies and marches. Oh, right! The NDP! Lizzie's just sayin' what too many of your co-partisans are thinkin'. (Nanaimo-Cowichan riding association, anyone?)

Speaking of the NDP, I loved this whopper from Smarmy Jack from their news release:

"For six years, the Liberals and Conservatives have had Canada involved in a counter-insurgency combat mission in southern Afghanistan,"

Six years? Southern Afghanistan? Really?

Someone, anyone, please, smack that odious little twerp upside the head and remind him that we've been in Kandahar Province for just over two years, and have been leading the PRT for slightly less than two. The rest of the NDP response is a rehash of their bizarre belief that they can do diplomacy and development in a battlefield.

May's hysterical. Layton is a liar and a fool. Dion's incoherent. Harper is reticent.

What a frigging choice.

G West said...

Hard to tell with Ian and Co. isn't it Budd. You have to think they're all on the same kool-ade. Oh well scratch another vote we never had anyway!

Although, truth to tell, I think geo's comment here is - all told - pretty fair and even handed.

Not that that matters.

I see Terry's spinning the straw into straw again at Tyee.

Anonymous said...

Canada having spent decades lowering the qualitative bar on leadership is now just getting what it elects or more accurately ... PAYS FOR !

From Stephene Harper, the National Manager of the West Edmonton Mall, to Howdie-DoDee Dion, to Jack the Car Salesman Layton and Am I On Planet Earth? Elizabeth May . . . Canadians are getting their return on their quality investments.

Anonymous said...

Ian doesn't seem to like most political leaders. OOps he missed the BLOC Leader!

In case he forgot. Layton was a professor at University, and a long time Municipal Politician in Toronto, prior to federal politics. He gets elected and represents a large number of Canadians, so does harper and Dion. Calling such guys an Idiot only lowers others interest in what you write. You don't like three elected leaders and one in waiting. Just whom do you support? (Are you one who talks about politics but doesn't go vote? )The Rhinos, or maybe the party that used to claim they can levitate.

All of the folks who run for politics do so for assorted reasons. Calling them fools is sort of sad.
As for the peace movement, while in Vvancouver we often walked in the big parades, along with many thousands of other folk.Maybe we all just liked to walk? Let's attempt to stay on the subject which started out on the new Green leader comments.

Bill Tieleman said...

Looks like more internal fall-out from Elizabeth May's poor choice of language.

A former Green Party candidate who is also the mother of a Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan is critizing May.

These excerpts come from a story in today's Halifax Chronicle Herald:

Former Green party candidate Beverley Woodfield is leaving the fold in disgust....

She criticized federal party leader Elizabeth May on Wednesday for her comments after the release of a report on Canada’s role in Afghanistan.

She said she’d already let her party membership lapse and doesn’t intend to renew it.

Ms. Woodfield, who has unsuccessfully run for office provincially and municipally, said the federal Greens disrespected Canada’s troops when Ms. May said Tuesday that "the (report’s) recommendation of more ISAF forces from a Christian/Crusader heritage will continue to fuel an insurgency that has been framed as a jihad. This, in turn, may feed the recruitment of suicide bombers and other insurgents." ...

Ms. Woodfield, mother of Pte. Braun Scott Woodfield, 24, who died in Afghanistan in 2005, said the initial release from the Greens was offensive.

"I fear that with the words (Ms. May) used, that she’s painted a target on the back of every uniformed member of NATO that’s over" in Afghanistan.

Ms. Woodfield said the Greens let her down, but a party spokesman said the initial release was misinterpreted, adding the Conservatives dropped the word "heritage" in their release to score political points.

Anonymous said...

You have to love it. The Greens no longer can be considered "fringe" even tho they have yet to land a seat. That's just a matter of time.

Liz has all the "legit" parties in fantods yet again.

Even a long time ex-party member is over-reacting. You have to read just a little bit slower Bill.

Beverly Mayfield was just looking for an excuse to go out with a bang. She never read what Liz actually wrote, just what was in the papers.

She had already let her membership with the provincial Greens lapse (she was deputy leader). She resigned over a disagreement centred on the party’s constitution.

She couldn't be bothered to contact the federal Greens to voice her displeasure. Now she says she's a person without a party.*sob*

(Wow, they really must have p***ed her off. I bet I can guess why but it wouldn't be "christian/(crusader) of me to say, if she is not going to. Besides I'm jewish.)

I wonder why the Halifax Chronicle Herald bothered to interview her. She sure had noting to offer. It's all such sour grapes yet again.

hehe...the related article is: The Green Party of Nova Scotia must put a lid on infighting if it hopes to attract quality candidates in the future, a political scientist says.

I guess they were going that "winning the battle but losing the war" game.

Anonymous said...

She said that in an official press release by the Green Party? Really? Who is the director of communications there? A fawning 20 year-old who wouldn't dare challenge the leader if she insisted on walking around nude in her "new clothes"?

If the Green Party has no one to read over such a press release and see some problem with calling Canadian soldiers Christian Crusaders, then it's not really a serious political organization. It doesn't have a competent or functioning communications department and the leader is like a character out of a Hans Christian Anderson tale.

Anonymous said...

For Paul - has any astute person ever said this Green Party was a serious political organisation? Next thing you know it will merge with the new party in Alberta, go federal, and become the Green Wild Rose Alliance.

Ian King said...

To the NDP loyalists: Layton claimed Canda had been figting a counter-insurgency mission in the south of Afghanistan for six years. We have not; we've been in Kandahar since late 2005 and leading for slightly less than two years. Facts are facts. Layton is a liar. The party wants to focus on development with no mind on security. They are fools. The label fits. There are many cranks with Ph.Ds. You're led by one.

Budd: Actually, that last talking originated with my Mossad paymasters. Those guys know *everything* about *everyone*, but they're behind on their invoices, so I'm in a bit of a dilemma here.

West: One of the reasons I support a strong welfare state is so that the mentally ill have access to all the help they need. It disturbs me when people like you fall through the cracks.

Blogging Horse said...

May started off saying there was nothing wrong with her “Crusader” gaffe. Two days later when she joined the rest of us and recanted on her poor judgement, she couldn't resist the petty and unleaderlike gesture of throwing the blame at the Greens’ foreign affairs critic, Eric Walton.

“What I meant to say” is becoming May’s tagline. How pathetic is it that the Dion Liberals still consider her their secret weapon?

G West said...

Nice stuff Ian, as I said, neither you nor Terry can sustain an argument without stooping to that kind of thing. It always happens when someone tries to defend the indefensible - the only course of action left is personalization and mud-slinging. Exactly the kind of thing one expects from a thick-skulled 15-year old bully doing grade 7 for the third time.

By all means though, keep it up, makes my job a lot easier.

As for pee wee, he's so confused on this file he might do anything.
I see Sandra Buckler is now apologizing for her latest pack of lies. Too bad Terry Glavin wouldn't do the same.

Now all he has to do is convince little George to send another 1000 marines into the south and Canadians can keep dying alongside them for another 3 years. With, as in the past five years, little sign of any sort of progress outside of Kabul.

Budd Campbell said...

So Ian, with your remark about Mossad paymasters are you saying that Canada's Liberals are funded by the Israeli Govt, at least for their under-the-table slush funds? I guess you people needed someone to pick up the tab once the Sponsorship tap was cut off.

On a more serious level, why would you think that Isreali national interests are involved, or could even be imagined to be in any way involved in a debate on the NATO operation in Afganistan?

I can't say I have read the Manley report but from press reports I am getting the impression that Manley is saying that Canada should abandon its role in Kandahar and the south if a fairly substantial list of requirements aren't met. The clear implication is that Manley's panel does not see the current situation as satisfactory. Do you think it is?

You make a good point about security as a pre-requisite for development. However, from there to a conclusion that active pursuit of the insurgents is the appropriate stance is a leap that hasn't been explained. There are plenty of complications around the opium trade, the Karzai Gov'ts questionable nature, etc.

As regards the questionable nature of that administration, and what it means for the position of any Western nation sending forces to the region, do the names Diem and Vietnam ring any bells with you?

Anonymous said...

It is truly amazing to see so many "progressives" with a complete and utter lack of the damage that simple words can cause when uttered across cultures.

When GW Shrub screwed up and mentioned "crusade" once in an Address the Nation, the reverberations are still felt today in Afghanistan, and it is something that the insurgents get miles out of in propaganda campaigns.

Tho Ms May never meant her words for the Afghan market, that is where they will go, and it will cause problems. The fact that "progressives" do not understand the problem with this is deeply troubling.