November 02, 2003


Things have drastically gone south for the merger of Canada's right wing parties, as the only weighty contender for the combined leadership bowed out today.

The linked article cites a lot of reasons, but surely the big one is the political calculus. There is no statistical probability of the combined party winning the next election, or even driving the Libs into a minority... it'll be a victory if their seat total doesn't go down... and the next election after that is five years off. Whoever they elect for this election was always going to be a caretaker, to hold the party off from further erosion and plan the inevitable reconciliation with Quebec sovereigntists in the second half of this decade (possibly by wooing over premier Jean Charest or Quebec right-of-centre leader Mario Dumont). That would almost inevitably mean an election of a new, francophone-friendly leader again, as well.

Harris probably looked at the cards, realized he could not become PM this election, and would inevitably be forced out before he got a second try, and passed. Sacrificing his reputation for political unbeatability to take the Canadian right to the next plateau on its steady decade-long rebuilding plan would have been profoundly noble and selfless of him. But that's Mike Harris for you.

In other news, Harris' former party members are busy accusing the new Ontario Liberal government of naively believing their lies.

Posted by BruceR at 11:55 PM


The tragic loss of an army helicopter shows all the characteristics of a classic infantry SAM attack... the use of missiles in pairs, the choice of a transport helicopter as the most high=value target... the attack in mid-flight, which is much easier for helos than for fixed wing, due to lower speed and altitude, and the hostile ground environment. It's not particularly brilliant, but it is typical for successful SAM attacks.

The reaction in the prowar-blogosphere is, sadly, also typical. NZ Bear's current top 3 prowar voices, Instapundit, Sullivan and LGF, haven't found the words yet for the biggest success for anti-American Iraqis arguably this year, 15 hours after the story broke. Dailypundit, meanwhile, calls for the Americans to destroy the village in order to save it. Oh, wait, that's wrong. He doesn't want to save it.

UPDATE: Speaking of Instapundit, he's not having a great weekend. First there was the "The German occupation wasn't working before the Marshall Plan" revelation. Then there's his frankly bizarre conclusion that whenever the Defense Department deletes a critical internal website, that that must automatically have been the work of nameless "brass" and in no way something the political leadership could possibly have been responsible for. Facts not in evidence, I'd say.

UPDATE #2: By the 18 hour mark, the other two are still in shocked silence or at least something that looks just like it, but Instapundit has posted on the crash, to his credit... a good part of the reason why, of the Big 3, and despite anything else I or others might ever say about Glenn Reynolds, his website has remained an indispensable read.

UPDATE #3: When you're over at Dailypundit, please note commenter "Jake's" assertion that German terrorists killed "6000 allied troops" between 1945 and 1947. Complete fiction. As discussed here before, there are apparently no definitively "Werwolf"-related deaths of American troops in Germany post VE-Day at all. Zero. None. (I doubt there were 6,000 deaths among the Soviet occupiers alone, but even if there were that would be an apples-to-oranges comparison to Iraq, surely.) "Jake" even cites Perry Biddiscombe, a historian of occupation Germany who tends to give the Werwolf movement more credit than anyone else, but who has never made any claim of that kind, at least to my knowledge. (You can find some of what Biddiscombe really says here. But do note that almost all of the Werwolf activity he's talking about actually occurred before VE-Day, a point he probably doesn't make as clear as he should have in this particular essay.)

UPDATE #4: Little Green Footballs finally chimes in at the 31-hour mark, with "The media is on the side of the enemy. Their desire to see the US fail in Iraq is palpable." He's in Ann Coulter territory now. (Sullivan came in with a somewhat more sober post at the 23 hour point).

Posted by BruceR at 05:55 PM