March 06, 2003



How lazy and lobotomized do you have to be to be a Canadian "media" columnist? I don't know, but Ms. Zerbisias is pushing boldly into new ground in this area.

I'll leave her comments about the "brave and brilliant" Robert Fisk, whose two recent, almost completely incoherent columns have also graced the Star's pages, to speak for themselves. But this is just pathetic:

"...doubts have been cast on the arrest of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who has been mysteriously promoted from a minor scowling face on the FBI's terrorist list to, as MSNBC put it the other day, "Al Qaeda's CEO."

Oh, come on. Mohammed was identified as the main planner behind the Sept. 11 operation early, early on. What does Antonia think the bounty on his head was for? He was on that famous "America's Most Wanted" FBI list of the 22 most wanted terrorists released back in October, 2001, which was based on crimes previous to Sept. 11. In December of 2001, when Osama bin Laden, also on that list, had the bounty on his head raised from $5 million to $25 million, only three others on that list were elevated with him: Mohammed, right hand man Ayman al-Zawahiri and Al Qaeda security chief Saif al-Adel. A quick look at the current list would have confirmed that for the ludicrous Ms. Z. And did she not know that of the four, Mohammed was the only senior al Qaeda member who has broken cover since Afghanistan, to give that infamous interview (along with the bucktoothed Binalshibh) where he himself claimed he was the mastermind, back last September?

I mean, is she really that unaware and ignorant? The media columnist? Yes, I know all she covered before a couple months ago when she was an entertainment reporter were casting changes on sitcoms, but does she not at least have the brains god gave a goose?

Posted by BruceR at 11:50 PM



CBC is planning yet another interminable multi-hour news "debate" on Iraq tonight. I may be the only one, but I actually think our news personalities' focus is way off. Yes, it's an issue, and the biggest, but Canada has already made its decision. Militarily speaking, we're not going: the government has been quite clear that Afghanistan is where we're going instead, with the largest foreign Canadian troop deployment since the Korean War (not counting Germany). It's an "every swinging dick" deployment... everyone, over the next year and a half, including yours truly, is going to be involved supporting the Afghan mission in one way or another, from home or abroad.

Rebuilding Afghanistan, this government has decided for some reason, is going to be this country's major foreign affairs and defence focus for at least the next two years. So the die is cast, right? So wouldn't it be nice if once in a while there was a story in the Canadian media now ABOUT Afghanistan? So we have a clue what we're getting into? Something MUST have happened there in the last week: it's a big country. But I haven't seen anything. Do we even have any Canadian journalists in Kabul? What is the other point of another televised debate, in this country, on the war we've said we're staying out of, other than to uphold the government's position as a sideline player? What are the options to discuss? Do nothing and hate the Americans, or do nothing and not hate them as much? Either suits the PMO just fine... so is the CBC that far in the PM's pocket? What kind of national "debate" can it be if the Canadian government is happy either way with the outcome?

So far, I have heard two of our most experienced senior Canadian officers, in frank moments, tell groups of soldiers that they fully expect our heading up the Kabul mission for the UN is going to expose Canadian troops to far more danger than anything the Americans would have let us do in Iraq. Our people are simply not confident they're going to be bringing everyone home safe from this one. It's hard to see at the moment how our soldiers won't end up dying, whether in accidents or battle, at rates we're simply not accustomed to in this country. The ISAF force has had a fatality rate of about 1 KIA a month... mostly in helicopter accidents, mind you. Still, in a few months those are going to be Canadian lives... how exactly are we preparing the country for that level of commitment?

At times, I can't help but wonder if its not our media, particularly the CBC, and their blatant careerism, that leads us as much as anyone down the path of creeping sovereignty loss, and holding us back from any independent display of foreign policy as a country. The Really Big Show for the U.S. is in Iraq now... that's where all the Americans, with their big lucrative contracts and Hollywood deals, like Canadian Arthur "Scud Stud" Kent got the last time, are going to be. Therefore they must follow. Who would possibly be willing to risk their great chance to break into the U.S. market by missing the war, even if Canada itself has nothing to do with it? What kind of an anchor would you be if while all that was going on in Baghdad, you did your live standup from Kabul or Bagram instead? A patriotic one, as it turns out. Too bad there aren't any of those around.

Posted by BruceR at 01:11 PM



"The principles for which I went, I still stand beside," Mr. McRae said, adding that he still hopes war can be avoided. "But I sort of resigned myself to leaving before the bombs fell." --Globe and Mail, today

Oh, spare me. Young master McRae may have opinions on buying stuff and malls and stuff, but don't go pretending he has anything in his makeup that remotely resembles a "principle." When it came down to probably the first ever hard choice in his life, he chickened out, and cut and run. He's a pathetic figure and a laughingstock, and thanks to his front page photo on Canada's newspaper today, that's how he will be ever remembered to history.

Look, there are a couple ways to be opposed to war, and be opposed to Saddam Hussein, and still not be a complete hypocrite here. You could run off and join the remaining peshmerga, whereever they are, and pick up an AK for Kurdish autonomy. You'll die fast, but you'll have had principles. Or you could do what so many people my age did when the Berlin Wall fell, and start planning now to drop your life where it lies and head to Iraq as soon as the shooting stops to muckle in and help rebuild the place, the way the principled people in my age cohort did with Eastern Europe (Matt Welch, call your office). If I was still 20, I'd even be considering it: if Baghdad needed an English language daily or a news website, I might even have some useful skills to apply. But this pathetic kicking of young conservatives for peace, undressing for peace (but also not having sex for peace), pre-war tourism for peace crap is demeaning to these people's cause, their country, and themselves.

Posted by BruceR at 12:00 PM



Since you asked, yes, I'm very happy, young Coulby. Not at the recent appalling behaviour at that other Toronto university, mind you. See, this is what you get when you kick all the army recruiters off campus... the meatheads still have to pick on someone, so the Canadian equivalent of Young Republicans gets to be the next in line for Whacking Day. (PS: Not sure if the Billy Joel reference makes contextual sense, though, guy.)

Posted by BruceR at 11:00 AM

SORRY, SORRY Canadian treasure Rick


Canadian treasure Rick Mercer's "apology to the United States" is making the email rounds up here. I used to work with a schoolmate of his... hope he won't mind the homage:


On behalf of Canadians everywhere I'd like to offer an apology to the United States of America. We haven't been getting along very well recently and for that, I am truly sorry.

I'm sorry we called George Bush a moron. He is a moron but, it wasn't nice of us to point it out. If it's any consolation, the fact that he's a moron shouldn't reflect poorly on the people of America. After all it's not like you actually elected him.

I'm sorry about our softwood lumber. Just because we have more trees than you doesn't give us the right to sell you lumber that's cheaper and better than your own.

I'm sorry we beat you in Olympic hockey. In our defense I guess our excuse would be that our team was much, much, much, much better than yours.

I'm sorry we burnt down your white house during the War of 1812. I notice you've rebuilt it! It's Very Nice.

I'm sorry about your beer. I know we had nothing to do with your beer but, we feel your pain. We drink ours, wash our clothes with yours.

I'm sorry about our waffling on Iraq. I mean, when you're going up against a crazed dictator, you wanna have your friends by your side. I realize it took more than two years before you guys pitched in against Hitler, but that was different. Everyone knew he had weapons.

And finally on behalf of all Canadians, I'm sorry that we're constantly apologizing for things in a passive-aggressive way, which is really a thinly veiled criticism. I sincerely hope that you're not upset over this. We've seen what you do to countries you get upset with. Thank you.

Posted by BruceR at 10:36 AM