Something new on Galloway


I direct you to Terry Glavin’s blog, where he has a long piece arguing that the real story behind the Galloway affair is not about national security versus free speech, or even left versus right, but, rather, a colonisation of the left but something new and more sinister. He blames the media for not noticing, but I’ll link to him anyway. After all, he manages to wring a bit of a climb-down from Hitchens along the way:

Something wholly new is emerging in Canada, in all the spaces where the Left used to be, in its activist constituencies, its traditional institutions, and its lexicon. Whatever name you want to give the thing, its noticeable features include a betrayal of progressive internationalism, a pathetic weakness for conspiracy theories, and a routine apologetics for antisemitism and terror. Its outlook is generally parochial, but its global engagements tend to align with fascism’s contemporary Islamist variants, even to the point of objective support for the Taliban.


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Something new on Galloway

  1. Noticed this at the end of Hitchen’s piece in Slate today. Was kinda hoping Wherry would have noted it.

  2. That dude needs help. And I don’t mean just like a pat on the back, I mean serious, round-the-clock psychiatric assistance.

    Actually it’s hilarious that he’s warring with his commenters about something that , apparently, didn’t happen. Yeesh.

  3. You’re paying attention to a pesudo-leftist blogger who’s been ranting about the left he supposedly was once part of for quite awhile.

    • It’s interesting to see Glavin so firmly stress the ‘courtesy’ and ‘politeness’ of Galloway’s treatment by the Canadian government.

      I don’t recall when it became a polite act to accuse someone of wanting to “pee on our carpet” by coming here to talk about the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza, but then I don’t have the most recent edition of Emily Post owned by Messrs. Kenney and Velshi.

  4. Glavin is exaggerating but there is at least some truth in what he says.

  5. That was good thanks. And he was on a righteous tear in the comment section.

  6. What is happening, on both the far right and the far left, is reaction. Neither side has a coherent position; every opinion is inspired by, though not necessarily framed by, the opposite stance. So the far left is willing to embrace anything anti-Zionist, for example, because the far right supports militant Zionism; but the far right supports militant Zionism because the far left rejects it; and vice versa ad infinitum.

    • Nailed it Jack.

    • Yes, this more or less sums it up, although there is a religious element to the organized part that the far right connects to – and I think this also plays a role, and is not simply reactionary. Israel is open about this and states that their connection to the Canadian government’s Israel Allies caucus is a connection to Christian leaders.

    • Respectfully, I disagree somewhat. Your descriptions are accurate, but only describe the most vocal aspect of each large, nebulous umbrella of political leanings. I’m not going to venture a guess at the proportional sizes of those vocal aspects, or even whether they’re actually *effective* at anything besides drawing attention, but there it is.

      • “Respectfully, I disagree somewhat. Your descriptions are accurate, but only describe the most vocal aspect of each large, nebulous umbrella of political leanings. ”

        Couldn’t have said it better.

      • Isn’t that what Jack means in using the “far” qualifier? The fringe does, as you suggest, get all the attention — because they are vocal and behave in more extreme and therefor notable ways. That amplifies, not diminishes the one-upmanship of their relationship to their polar opposites.

        • You could be right; I can’t speak for Jack, obviously. But I don’t think the proposition that the “far” left and right, if we could all agree on what that is, lacks coherent positions. Again, I think that some people would most would throw into those camps have coherent positions. Unpopular positions, but coherent.

          And for what it’s worth, I don’t think a lack of coherent opinions displaced by reactionary wailing is exclusive to the “far” left and right. I think it’s all over the political spectrum(s) to some degree.

          • By “lack of coherent positions,” I meant that the extremists make no allowance for reasonable objections. E.g., on Palestine, the far right allows its anti-semitism (genus anti-Arabum) to blind it to the horrors of the Gaza invasion, while the far left allows its anti-Zionism to blind it to the fact that, when all is said and done, Hamas is completely insane and quite indifferent to peace. They are both drawn to black-and-white positions by loathing of their opposites’ blindness. The result is incoherent in both cases because a rational version of their positions would be utterly unpalatable not only to the middle but to themselves, i.e. the far right can’t advocate expulsion/extermination of the Palestinians and the far left can’t say that the ends (a free Palestine) justifies the means (killing innocent Israelis). I don’t think it’s amorality in either case, or even stupidity; it’s just a fear of the real world, in which things are rather complicated, on this issue as on so many others.

  7. So

    how much DID the Zionists pay for him, anyways?

    • You mean for this Glavin dude? Or how much did they pay for Galloway to be kept away from Canada? Also, does Minister Kenney accept payment in shekels?

      • 1) someone’s buttering his toast
        2) way too much stimulus up for grabs to think they won’t get their money back
        3) see #1

  8. This is news? The institutional left has chosen to root for “the other side” for years, no matter how odious whichever entity that is ought to logically be to them.

  9. When you get past the forceful blather, there are really only two elements in Glavin’s screed–first, that Galloway, the infandous streetcorner Cromwell, was not actually banned, just told he was unwelcome and likely wouldn’t be allowed to cross the border if he pitched up there; and, second, that the left are fascists, anti-Semites and likely devil-worshipers as well.

    The first is the tortuous chop-logic used by the Canadian government during the injunction hearing. Galloway was sent an official letter telling him he wouldn’t be welcome. So he wasn’t banned, exactly, just officially warned away. This strikes me, frankly, as a distinction without a difference. He remained just as out of the country.

    The second has been Terry’s pet theme of late. It’s not particularly original. You can find a lot of that sort of thing on the screechier right-wing blogsites, where “the Left” is disingenuously identified with homophobia, racism, sexism and anti-Semitism–such an outlandish series of claims that some, like those who believe that 9/11 was an inside job, might be tempted to believe it, if only because the opposite is so obvious.

    Most of the folks I hang around with think, as I do, that Galloway is a windbag with an odd taste for dictators. There are eccentrics right across the political spectrum, of course, but I like my eccentrics to be loveable, and George is not. So I didn’t lose a lot of sleep over his exclusion, even though I thought, on principle, that being barred, banned or what have you should not have occurred. And, furthermore, that delivering supplies to a besieged people in need of them should in no way be regarded as a terrorist act.

    The whole controversy became more about the government’s highhandedness of late, which is a serious threat to civil liberties, and has progressed by now to the removal of the rights of a citizen–Abousfian Abdelrazik–by ministerial fiat. Unfortunately, Terry is too busy excoriating the Left for its imaginary alliance with the burqa-and-amputations brigade to notice.

    • “Tortuous chop-logic”.. that was fully accepted by the judge, mind you.

  10. I think Glavin is being rather generous towards msm when he says they didn’t notice what had happened. I would argue that many reporters are left wing and are part of the group who “betrayal of progressive internationalism, a pathetic weakness for conspiracy theories, and a routine apologetics for antisemitism and terror”. I think Kady is a perfect example and her few posts on Kenney et al are exactly what Glavin’s writing about.

    Not sure why, but sometime in the late 60s, early 70s, the left and right started to switch positions with one another on foreign affairs. It used to be the right that didn’t want to get involved in anything abroad while the left wanted a more moral foreign policy. Now the left has decided that war is wrong in all cases while the right has started to agitate for a more activist foreign policy that deposes tyrants.

    The left has bought into their own propaganda about how all cultures are equal and there is no right/wrong, except for the Israelis and Anglos of course. Anglos and Jews are the fount of all evil, according to the left, but all other countries/cultures are tickety-boo and can do no wrong.

    I find it very odd indeed how many on the left push for progressive policies in Canada but are happy to align themselves with the gangsters and murderers who are in charge of many countries abroad.

    • And referring to ‘the left’ (aka over 60 % of Canada) in such a way is great for dialogue (if we all spoke in propaganda). All you have posted is that you think you are surrounded by a majority of people who are delusionally anti-Anglo, anti-Israel, pro-tyrant, anti-Semitic and align themselves with gangsters and murderers.

      Do you have any evidence? Anything to cite as example reflecting the feelings of the majorities of Canadians?

      This country has been lead by the left for close to a generation and in that time Canada as a nation was best friend to America (and UK, Australia), supported Israel, performed peacekeeping in the countries of gangsters and murders, and spoke against murderous regimes around the world.

      Your conspiracy theories are foolish and aren’t based in reality. You are referring to a group of people who represent less than 1 % of those who would align as ‘the left’ and applying your propaganda against the vast majority of moderate Canadians who would reject your polarized, small world view.

    • “the right has started to agitate for a more activist foreign policy that deposes tyrants”

      …in militarily weak, internationally isolated, resource-rich states.

      “many on the left push for progressive policies in Canada but are happy to align themselves with the gangsters and murderers who are in charge of many countries abroad.”

      Like, say, Pakistan and Uzbekistan? It seems to me it was George Bush’s administration who made those places into great friends and allies.

      Protip: assertion is different from truth.

    • Can you clarify: which of Kady’s posts demonstrate “a pathetic weakness for conspiracy theories, and a routine apologetics for antisemitism and terror?”

      Antisemitism is a pretty harsh accusation, one that’s being thrown around a lot by the right wing lately. I certainly hope you can back that accusation up.

    • I agree.

  11. If Glavin had mentioned that by law Ismail Haniyeh is still the Prime Miniister of the Palestinian Authority I’d consider is opinion to be something other than a series of apologetic straw men. If he wants to criticize others for missing the point he could at least try to get it himself. He could also stop pretending the issues involved aren’t as clearcut as he makes them out to be.

    I couldn’t care less about Galloway, but when Ottawa draws its own maps, I notice.

  12. What a load of codswallop [see Monty Python for details]!
    Menachem Begin was labelled a terrorist by the Brits.
    The PLO – which was once a terrorist organization – became the government of the Palestinians.
    Undoubtedly – Secretary Clinton is going to have to negotiate with Hamas.
    This asinine posturing by Harper’s Minions (TM) is about as productive as their perpetual pushing their heads under the sand….
    As to this labelling of the left – and this clumsy unsupportable thesis about the lefty anarchical conspiracy…I’ve read funnier in MAD magazine – but not by much!

  13. “…a routine apologetics for antisemitism and terror”

    At the risk of lowering the tone around here, f*ck you, Glavin.

    The Canadian extreme right has adopted the same offensive tactic as the US extreme right: anyone who criticizes Israel is smeared as antisemitic. The CPoC seems to have adopted this policy wholesale, never mind its destructive power in Canada’s political realm, and never mind how destructive it is to the effort to eliminate actual antisemitism worldwide.

    This tactic makes me sick and the people who employ it are unfit to serve the Canadian people.

    • Dunno about antiesmitism, but “apologetics for terror” is not uncommon on the Rabble site, if you’ve ever visited it.

      But I consider myself a lefty, and I know that most on the left who are sensible about terrorism and not given to antisemitism.

      And I agree that the “antisemite” truncheon is being swung a little too readily at any and all critics of Israel these days.

      • “And I agree that the “antisemite” truncheon is being swung a little too readily at any and all critics of Israel these days.”

        We are now way passed the “anti-semite” labels nowadays. If one dares to criticize the Israel govt, you aren’t even allowed entry into the country.

  14. Now this guy just might be on to something! I love the bit = a pathetic weakness for conspiracy theories, and a routine apologetics for antisemitism and terror … ouch! Ba Da Bing!

    • Ya i love that bit too! People trivializing terms like ‘antisemitism’ not only cheapen the meaning, but show a fortified ignorance and lack of insight.

      Let us dance around the fire and rejoice!

  15. Still primarily a freedom of speech issue and not much more can be extrapolated from it. In America despite Guantanamo they still fundamentally believe in freedom of speech. He speaks in the shadow of the Twin Towers. He speaks everywhere. He says anything he wants. He’s in America!

    Canada? Freedom of speech and expression. Not so important. So predictably not much of an outpouring of concern about the Galloway decision. Democracy and human rights etc as usual in the north. Taser first ask questions later.

    • John W, Galloway got to speak at each of the venues he wanted to, via satellite / videoconference. His comments were broadcast live.

      How, exactly, was his freedom of speech impaired in any way?

      • “How, exactly, was his freedom of speech impaired in any way?”

        john g, since I consider you to be an intelligent person, I have to ask what’s with the idiotic question?

      • They couldn’t stop those broadcasts unless they jammed the signal, knocked the satellite out of orbit, cut the wires to the TV, or called the CRTC for help! All options look really bad. Good thing they haven’t allowed Al Jazeera. These things would cause freedom of speech issues in a democratic country. But they did the best they could.

        • You did not answer the question. What you are describing is one more in a long line of leftist conspiracy theories.

    • Sorry John,

      It’s implicit in the ruling at page 10 and 11 that the Judge accepted that the CBSA official at the border would have had the ultimate decision, after Mr. Galloway had the opportunity to make submissions. Only that offical had the power to “ban” Mr. Galloway.

      Thus, the government’s logic was accepted.

  16. For an alternative opinion of what led to the “Galloway decision” (or non-decision as Mr. Glavin would hav it) check out what Linda McQuaig has written in today’s Star, http://www.thestar.com/article/614684.

    I am sure Mr. Glavin would just consider her an another leftie with “a pathetic weakness for conspiracy theories, and a routine apologetics for antisemitism and terror.”

    I believe there are may be tiny (perhaps very tiny) elements of truth in both their screeds.

    • I think that Linda McQuaig inadvertently makes Glavin’s point better than he does.

      • I think that whether any foreign government has influence at all on who can come into the country or if a bunch of soft-headed leftists are falling for conspiracy theories and becoming enamoured with Islamists then either is a troubling trend.

      • I agree, she really does. Bring on the conspiracies.

  17. Maggie’s:

    I think the next paragraph (24) is the salient one:

    The issues raised by the applicants are both factually driven and highly complex from the
    point of view of the applicable principles of law. If I were to grant the mandatory interim relief
    sought today by the applicants, this would, by necessity, imply that the applicants are likely to
    succeed on the merits. I acknowledge that serious arguments are advanced against the impugned
    decision. However, a proper factual record and the benefit of full legal argument, (notably on the
    complex issue of whether or not the grounds of inadmissibility stated in the impugned decision are
    founded), are lacking at the present time.
    Therefore, I am not ready today to exempt Mr. Galloway
    from the application of the provisions in the Act and Regulations respecting entry and examination,
    or to order the respondents’ officials to allow the applicant Galloway to come to Canada between
    March 30 and April 2, 2009, without any final decision made on his admissibility.

    As I said: he’s just as out of the country as though he’d been stopped by border security. The main point for the judge was that there was insufficient legal argument before him to justify interim relief.

    Had Galloway been stopped, we would not be dealing with a requested injunction any more, but with full-blown legal argument about a border guard’s decision. He was reluctant, as the paragraph indicates, to make a move in the absence of such argument.

    • Seems that Mr. Galloway’s tortuous chop-logic was not accepted, since it was his onus. But this grows tiresome.

      • There is a clear distinction between evidence and legal argument.

  18. Don’t take off your tin foil hats just yet Terry and Potter, something new and more sinister is brewing on the Яight…

    “…the argument for our continued presence in Afghanistan now rests solely on our own security needs. That means we should be open to a negotiated political solution in Afghanistan that would allow us to leave the country in the hands of any stable government committed to preventing the country from being used as a platform for international terrorism — even if such a government included elements from the Taliban.”
    National Post

    • To actually believe that a government with the Taliban in it would not be a platform for terror would be ignorant of history, ignorant of what happened in Afghanistan, ignorant of that happened when the international community demanded the Taliban shut down the terror camps in Afghanistan, and ignorant of what is currently happening in northern Pakistan.

      • So you would agree, then, that it is irresponsible of the Government to unilaterally announce that it is withdrawing Canadian troops from Afghanistan, and leaving it to others to prevent it being overrun by the Taliban?

        • Well, generally speaking, I would agree to withdrawal if either
          -the taliban were no longer a threat at the time of withdrawal
          -the afghanistan government had a military and police force capable of containing the taliban
          -we no longer had any support from NATO allies

          The third scenario would be extremely unfortunate.

          If none of these scenarios takes place, then I am not in favour of withdrawal.

          As for the announcement, frankly, I don’t have a strong opinion about that, I think what really matters is the state of affairs when the withdrawal takes place. I believe the announcement was an attempt to provoke increased support from NATO allies. We will see what happens between now and 2011. I don’t know what you mean by the term “responsible” – that is a meaningless term to me, what matters to me is what is accomplished in Afghanistan.

  19. I simply cannot believe that McQuaig is flaoting what can only be charitably described as an Israeli (can you say Jewish) conspiracy theory.

    As for Galloway he’s a hypocrite. This letter in today’s National Post says it all.


    • It’s a little bit scary to see these kinds of psychotic writings from McQuaig. The whole piece is one unsubstantiated conspiracy theory after another. There is some severe derangement out there. The Star is such a rag.

    • It doesn’t matter whether he’s a hypocrite or not. He’s free to speak in the US and UK etc. Of course, we’re not like them.

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