Jaw-jaw v. War-war


Roland Paris considers the Prime Minister’s comments on soldiers and arguments.

Turning back to Libya, it is true that Gaddafi needed to be confronted, because he had paid little heed to international demands that he stop attacking Libyan citizens. But Harper’s remarks yesterday went further. Indeed, he came close to lampooning the idea of diplomacy itself. Who needs a “mouthful of arguments” if you can land a good punch? It doesn’t take much imagination to hear the snickering behind that quotation.

Nor does it take much imagination to think of alternative quotations Harper could have used in his speech. Here’s one, for example, from a man who certainly knew how to land a punch, and whom the prime minister himself has described as “incomparable”: Winston Churchill.  The incomparable Churchill famously said this: “To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war.” That comes from someone who understood the terrible price of war.

See previously: Handful of soldiers v. mouthful of arguments and Soldiers, arguments and revolution


Jaw-jaw v. War-war

  1. Srsly? 

    No wonder Canadian university students are so soft in brain, they have Profs like Roland Paris teaching them nonsense. 

    Using Churchill – the guy who published While England Slept and took power from Chamberlain in Spring ’40 and talked about never surrendering – as example of someone who preferred diplomacy to war is moronic. 

    I wonder if Prof Paris can hear me snickering. 

    Churchill ~ An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.

    • I think we’d do better to remember whichever one of the Roosevelts said to speak softly but carry a big stick.  When the world knows one doesn’t have a big stick (I mean our army.  Really), big talk will seem like one’s compensating.

      • That was Teddy, and it was over a century ago.

    • And except for the fact that Churchill actually said “To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war.”, you’d have a point.

      • I think his point was that actions speak louder than words.

        • Well, Churchill didn’t declare war on Germany, Neville Chamberlain did.

          It fell to Churchill to get them out of the resulting mess.

          • And you’re point is?

          • That even Churchill knew it was better to jaw-jaw than war-war. 

            Something Harper apparently doesn’t know.

  2. But what’s the point of having an army if you can’t do stuff with it?

    • Maybe we could use it to stop other people from fighting, and….you know…create peace.

      • Yeah, yeah, but I mean real stuff. Big boy stuff. Masculine stuff. Man stuff. Kicking butt is always better than handing out government cheese.

        • Oh THAT stuff…well true enough ‘toys for the boys’ always have someone wanting to play with them.  LOL

  3. Board stutter.

  4. “It’s better to have a handful of soldiers than a mouthful of ideas.’

    By that logic, a fistful of anthrax or a canister of Sarin gas is better than a handful of soldiers.  Here I thought we were protecting democracy.

  5. Harper’s skills in international diplomacy rival those of his hero, George W. Bush.

  6. It could get ugly once we get to China. 

  7. So, yet again, the only criticism coming from the Left is not of the policy itself, but of the un-PC way it’s articulated. Maybe Paris would be satisfied if Harper hired a new speech writer?

    • Ha!  It’s amazing how some of these guys read so much into so little. 

      • Well at least these guys have taught Harper to schedule his washroom breaks at international sit-downs well in advance :)

  8. So is someone going to test this out by punching Harper in the mouth every time he opens it?

    • Oh! You win!

  9. I have yet to gain respect for people who find their courage in other people’s children.

  10. Harper truly makes me sick.  Right from the start he has used soldiers and the military as a political prop.  Trying to show how tough he is by proxy.

    I support the military without being militaristic.  Believeing in the necesary defence of the realm and the modern uses of a well-trained military for either peace-keeping or as the sharp end of statecraft when diplomatic efforts have failed are important.  That deson’t mean we elevate the military into some kind of fetishised upper caste as Harper seems wont to do.