Politicizing the Boston bombing - Macleans.ca

Politicizing the Boston bombing

Politics on TV: Who is saying what about Harper, Trudeau and the attack on Boston


Here are the three things you should not have missed:

  1. Harper slams Trudeau on his Boston statement
  2. Temporary foreign workers
  3. Boston bombs vs. ricin attacks in Washington

Politicizing Boston:

It all began with Peter Mansbridge’s interview with Justin Trudeau. A mere two hours after the Boston bombs went off, Mansbridge asked Trudeau how he would respond to the attacks, and after Trudeau gave his condemnation of the attacks and condolences to the victims, he said that there should be an examination of the root causes. This morning, unprompted while at the Baroness Thatcher funeral in London, Stephen Harper condemned Trudeau’s comments as “rationalizing” and “excusing” the attacks rather than simply offering a blanket condemnation. And before QP, Conservative MP Stella Ambler repeated that statement in the House, and afterward, Trudeau gave a brief statement condemning Harper’s politicizing the Boston bombing.

Fast-forward to the political shows. On Power Play, what began as an MP panel of Candice Bergen, Randall Garrison and Francis Scarpaleggia talking about the security reaction in Canada started off with Bergen saying that this incident wouldn’t affect the Beyond the Border initiative, and Garrison talking about how the government did the right thing to take precautions but not panic, when Don Martin brought up the politicization comment to Scarpaleggia. Scarpaleggia agreed that terrorism is an evil that everyone recognizes, and that he didn’t understand where the difference lies with the Prime Minister in the perception of terrorism. But that set off Bergen who declared there was “no explaining this away,” and Garrison saying that Trudeau’s comments “mystified” him. All of this was just warming up for Power & Politics, however, as Bergen and Garrison ratcheted up their outrage to eleven, Garrison adding that Trudeau should have focused his comments on the victims and the first responders. Dominic LeBlanc, the Liberal on that panel, hit back and called the politicization patently ridiculous, that Trudeau condemned the attacks in the same interview and added that any responsible society should seek to root out the kinds of extremists who would perpetrate such an attack.

Temporary foreign workers:

With temporary foreign workers in the news the past two weeks, Don Martin spoke with immigration minister Jason Kenney, who said that a lot of numbers were being conflated – of the 200,000 permits issued last year, at least 50,000 were young Australians and New Zealanders and the likes who were here on “working vacation” visas, which are critical for tourism industries in places like Whistler, a large number were American executives – as part of our free-trade agreements – and that the real number in question was closer to 30,000. Kenney said the government was raising questions about why local people aren’t applying for local work that they’re qualified for in high-unemployment areas. In response were critics Jinny Sims and Kevin Lamoureux, where Sims said there was evidence of hundreds of Canadians being thrown out of work and being replaced by these temporary foreign workers, and that while there are issues of labour mobility, there also needs to be a look at pay. Lamoureux said a more holistic approach to the issue was needed, and touted the provincial nominee program in Manitoba that is part of the landed immigrant system, meaning they require fewer temporary foreign workers.

Bombs and ricin:

­With ricin being mailed to President Obama and another US Senator, Evan Solomon spoke with former Assistant Secretary of Defence Lawrence Korb and Harvard University’s Marissa Porges to see if there was any connection with the Boston bomings. Korb was reminded of the anthrax attacks post-9/11, and pointed out that anyone would know these kinds of attacks couldn’t succeed today. Porges said the attacks were almost certainly unrelated as ricin is a different threat with a different kind of expertise needed, and the attacker reportedly took credit unlike the Boston bomber. On Power Play, Don Martin spoke with Denovo Group Security analyst Robert Barrett, who pointed out that pressure cooker bombs were featured in the English-language Islamic fundamentalist magazine Inspire, and that it points to the decentralization of al-Qaida’s tactics so that any home-grown, domestic, or “lone wolf” terrorist can access it and take action into their own hands.


Politicizing the Boston bombing

  1. Trudeau was smirking when was mentioning terrorists hating Boston. What a classless clown. Great choice ya made there Liberals.

    • If only he had said that. Speaking of clowns Omen, do you ever tire of not quite getting it right?

      • Obviously you didn’t bother to watch the interview.

        • Paste in the quote where he said the terrorists hate Boston, why don’t you.

          Like our PM you can’t even criticize without making stuff up. He too alluded to some excuses that weren’t there, while conveniently forgetting to mention that JT did condemn the bombings. It would have been enough to say now is not the time. But that’s an altogether too reasonable thing to ask of the party of the stupid, led by the leader of below the belt

          • “But we also have to monitor and encourage people to not point fingers at each other and lay blame for personal ills or societal ills on a specific group, whether it be the West or the government or Bostonians or whatever it is, because it’s that idea of dividing humans against ourselves, of pointing out that they’re not like us and, you know, in order to achieve our political goals we can kill innocents here”

            Here’s another source for you, since watching a 4 minute video seems to be too much for you:

          • I saw the interview thanks. So, that’s your evidence that he said the attacks on Boston were somehow understandable…yeesh, you’re pathetic Ricky boy. You really don’t have a clue what the word context actually means, do you?

            I took a quick look at Wolfe’s bio, oddly for a guy who claims to comment from the right and the left almost every article i saw of his had a more or less neo con slant – he doesn’t like JT or progressives…surprised, not!

          • epic fail

          • Your opinion has been noted…and disregarded. Thank you and have have a nice day. Please hang up at the sound of the beep.

    • LOL @ lame con smear. You are only preaching to the choir…

      • Watch the video, it’s clear as day.

  2. Despite their denials and bluster, the Liberals must have that sinking feeling, realizing what an airhead they’ve just crowned as their leader. This is going to be fun.

    • Actually, if one looks at responses across the social media, most people thought Trudeau’s position was thoughtful and refreshingly free from political spin. If anything, the Liberals’ faith in Justin has been reinforced.

      Liberal-minded people believe it’s better to prevent crime by scientifically examining its root causes. Conservatives are ruled by their primitive instincts and can only fathom waging a war on crime. The evidence proves the liberal approach is effective and the caveman reaction, a costly blunder.

      • Psychology Today: Conservatives Big on Fear, Brain Study Finds

        “Peering inside the brain with MRI scans, researchers at University College London found that self-described conservative students had a larger amygdala than liberals. The amygdala is an almond-shaped structure deep in the brain that is active during states of fear and anxiety. Liberals had more gray matter at least in the anterior cingulate cortex, a region of the brain that helps people cope with complexity.”


      • This was not a run-of-the-mill criminal act. This was an act of terrorism in every sense of the phrase. Innocent men, women, and children were deliberately targeted, resulting in deaths and maiming. Criminal acts and acts of terrorism are very different in nature.

        As a thought experiment, consider how a response of “let’s consider the root causes” would go over to the people of Vancouver, if it had been a Vancouver Sun Run that was attacked instead of a Boston Marathon. Does anyone really think that the people of Vancouver (who are not exactly known to be raging conservatives) would be in a mood to digest a message like that?

        • It wasn’t about excusing, but about finding solutions that will prevent that from happening in future. And before you create solutions, you have to understand what is a root cause of problem.

          • wrong, it was about towing the politically correct line and seeking not to be too strident or it might hurt some feelings

  3. Conservatives have really stooped lower than ever in trying to score points against Justin using this horrific situation. People see through their games and spin. Harper and his puppets have no respect when they use funerals and tragedies to gain political points. Harper brought this up unprompted at a funeral in London, it is an obvious outright attack on Justin nothing more. There is no story here.

    Garrison just said something about Justin worrying about the perpetrators state of mind, etc. But if someone had intervened with the perpetrator before the event…it wouldn’t have happened. Justin was suggesting something that could be preventative in the future.

    Justin did not and in no way minimized how awful this bombing was. There is no attempt to rationalize anything. His comments have been distorted for political gain.

    • seems to me that when someone, in this case the new Liberal leader,
      says something so vapid, a response is demanded.

  4. To be clear, JT’s words about root causes included describing people who might do this as feeling “completely excluded”. I don’t agree Harper is politicizing the issue by criticizing that. I think Trudeau has an interesting perspective that is probably not appropriate this near to the trauma. Terror can be seen as a reaction to injustice or however you want to put it, or
    as a tool to advance a cause by tapping into the assumption it has a rational and sympathetic cause. If it is a tool, then Justin’s take encourages it – if it has a cause then Harper’s take doesn’t properly address it.

    In other words, it’s a debate worth having.

  5. Anyone who’s interested: There is a run being organized next Monday at Point Pleasant Park in Halifax to memorialize the victims. I’m sure that other running clubs across the country are setting up similar memorials. Check for them on Facebook or at your local footwear store if you want to participate.

  6. Here’s one more you probably shouldn’t miss.

    1) Obama meets with Saudi foreign minister. Meeting was not in his public calendar for the day.

    2) That Saudi National guy who was picked up and then called “just a witness“? Suddenly being deported for “national security reasons”.

    Wonder if any journalist will even bother to ask Obama about this.

    • Are you one of the nuts behind “jihadwatch” or “therightscoop”, or are you just a fan?

    • I really should just ignore crazy conspiracy theories, but still. This one immediately made me wonder if Obama will use the same plane for this deportation as George W. Bush did when he got members of bin Laden’s family out of the country after 9/11, while American airspace was still closed to flights.

  7. Harper’s got that right – the last thing you want to do when something terrible happens is find out why.

    • Why? If you know why people are doing this, you can prevent future tragedies. If you don’t understand how it works, you can’t fight with it.

      • If you prevent future tragedies, who will there be to punish?