Layton gets the shiv


In which Terry Glavin rips Jack Layton’s pretenses on Afgh to shreds.

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Layton gets the shiv

  1. Layton starts out this way and then proceeds by dissembling to leave the impression that somehow the whole world, Barack Obama and Stephen Harper included, has at last come around to his way of thinking.

    He would have been a great used car salesman.

  2. There’s nothing very persuasive here.

    If Glavin had a serious case to make, he wouldn’t resort to petty name-calling (e.g. “grown-up,” “serious,” “pseudo-analysis”), practice guilt-by-association, or make up facts (e.g. there have been no such things as “critically important debates” in Canada about Afghanistan over the last few years).

    There has been the uninformed and unrealistic Manley report (a pseudo-analysis if there ever was one), and a series of “debates” in the House of Commons in which the most superficial and uninformed comments have not been coming from New Democrats, to put it mildly.

    By the way, on the question of “seriousness,” I don’t know why Glavin thinks one of the links he provides shows the NDP had become “the laughingstock” of every “serious” (whatever that means) political party in the world. Even if this hyperbole were true–it isn’t–it wouldn’t be an argument of any kind.

    Finally, it would be well to remember that many of the military officials, politicians and parties we are repeatedly told are “serious” and “grown-up” on these issues have turned out to be completely wrong, over and over again, on Afghanistan as on other issues.

    The “serious” Labour Party in Britain was wrong on Iraq, as were the serious Republican and Canadian Conservative parties (and the current, oh-so-serious and grown-up Liberal leader, too). These same people and actors have also been reliably–even monotonously–wrong on a range of questions from the Middle East to Afghanistan.

    Unfortunately, too many Canadians take them seriously, despite their record of wrongheadedness, ignorance, poor analysis and outright folly. We should stop. That would be the first step towards really “growing up.”

    • I have to agree with some of Glavin’s pts re: Layton and the left generally. However you make a very effective arguement to the contrary. While it’s true that the left has gotten somethings wrong and some are too much wedded to historical models that are not always true ie., Vietnam as a quagmire. It does not follow – as you pt out – that the right [ or indeed anyone else] got it all or even half right. And many on the right are equally wedded to discreditited concepts – such as the one the author of Afganistan and the left makes, after making some gd pts; when he finishes up, after castigating the left for holding on to the quagmire myth for too long, by dragging out that hoary old lie about why Vietnam was lost: because the war protesters emboldened the enemy. The irony was glaring. Anyway, the moral, for me at least, is do yr own thinking – don’t just swollow the party line – no matter which party!

  3. Fantastic article!
    I used to like Jack Layton, the NDP and what they stood for. But their handling of the Afghanistan issue turned me and my vote away. Its nice to know that I am not the only one that picked up on this.

  4. A Very Serious article.

    The consensus will agree with Layton in two years. Book it.

  5. Is this Terry Glavin the same BC writer i once met on a gulf island ferry? An interesting man, although our topic then was Aboriginal culture and the BC coast environmentalism generally. Looks like he’s found a new passion working in Afganistan. Committed people on the ground can’t hurt.

  6. I am sure Layton is trembling, knowing that a creative writing teacher thinks he was wrong about Afghanistan.

    • With respect, I don’t think being a creative writing teacher has anything to do with it.

      Letters after one’s name, or other officially recognized credentials, shouldn’t be the issue when it comes to the question of Canada’s role in the world.

      Glavin is wrong on Afghanistan because his attack on Layton ignores both basic facts as well as the rules of logic, full stop.

      What he does for a living–and there’s nothing to stop a creative writing teacher from having worthwhile things to say on foreign affairs–is irrelevant.

    • I’d like to see Layton debate that “creative writing teacher” on Afghanistan sometime.

      Seriously. Someone should set that up.

      (If Layton knew what was good for him, he’d decline immediately)

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