Those who do not remember history

Further to this, astute tweeter Steve Lloyd points out that Stephen Harper was specifically addressed in the House about this matter of the CCF and World War II. “The leader of the CCF at the time, who was a pacifist on principle, voted against the declaration of war on Germany in 1939,” Bill Blaikie informed him, “but the rest of the CCF caucus at the time voted for it.” Mr. Harper responded as follows.

Mr. Speaker, I will not debate every historical point. I will just point out that the NDP’s tradition of pacifism has a tendency to go much farther than that. The NDP missed Saddam Hussein in 1991, just as it is missing him today. We all remember that. For much of the cold war, that party missed or downplayed the evil represented by the Soviet empire. As the member concedes, the NDP leader of the day did miss the threat posed by Adolf Hitler. I would concede the CCF voted for the war at the very end. I do not know what it did during the 1930s, but I do remember well my father and grandfather and relatives telling me how during the 1930s people of that persuasion ignored the evils of Adolf Hitler and told them that Adolf Hitler was just helping the German working man and this kind of thing. And it is even today. The NDP has a history of this. At these kinds of moments, it not only has a history of being on the wrong side of the issue, but as it has done in the House today, it targets all its criticisms at the good guys and all its criticisms at what they may do. I urge the NDP to reconsider, to consider how serious the threat of Saddam Hussein is for the world and for Iraq and to stand by the removal of that regime.

Mr. Harper was, that day, making the case for war with Iraq. Indeed, just moments before this exchange with Mr. Blaikie, Mr. Harper had finished delivering his famously plagiarized speech on the issue.




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Those who do not remember history

  1. Well if his pappy and his grandpappy told him, that settles that eh?

    The fact that the NDP were right about the ‘evil represented by the Soviet empire’, and Iraq, and yet voted for WWII, shouldn’t matter then.

    • Why do you say that NDP is right?

  2. . “I would concede the CCF voted for the war at the very end. I do not know what it did during the 1930s, but I do remember well my father and grandfather and relatives telling me how during the 1930s people of that persuasion ignored the evils of Adolf Hitler and told them that Adolf Hitler was just helping the German working man and this kind of thing. ”

    Harper can’t even get his facts straight even in his reminisences. During the thirties many prominent Conservatives [ and some royalty] were enamoured of Nazi Germany and thought Hitler was a force for good.He would do better to throw naivete over Stalin in their faces. What’s more i’d bet a dollar to donuts as many CCfers from that caucus went off to fight in that war, at least proportionately as liberals or conservatives.This guy is intentionally and deliberately divisive.
    And what’s with this :”at the very end”? Didn’t the CCF vote take place in 39?
    This is the most brazen liar of an PM this country has seen in many a year. Either that or he is puposefully obtuse and utterly ignorant of historical fact. Either way he is a disgrace to his office!

  3. Two words … MacKenzie and Papineau.

  4. and look at the other two facts Blaikie read into the record there to try to disabuse Harper of his, shall we say, ideological notions – and ignorance – about the CCF & NDP’s true historical record regarding conflicts Canada has had positions on:

    “The CCF also supported the government in Korea, and in fact this [NDP] caucus supported initially the actions in Kosovo. So to characterize the NDP position as being against the use of force in any circumstance is quite wrong.” (@ (1155)

    • And Libya, like last week.

  5. Hannah Arendt ~ It is in the very nature of things human that every act that has once made its appearance and has been recorded in the history of mankind stays with mankind as a potentiality long after its actuality has become a thing of the past.

  6. The NDP has consistently championed the rights of citizens against the oppressive totalitarian, anti-democratic tactics of Stephen Harper’s Conservative government. The Conservatives, when they know they are vulnerable to attack (in this case for their totalitarian tactics) lash out as a rhetorical device to label their opponents with what they themselves are most appropriately labelled (i.e. anti-democratic, for example, shutting down Parliament, the Wheat Board, and robocall scandal) which comes off as particularly bizarre when applied to the NDP. For Harper to make his historically incorrect comments about the NDP’s stance on Hitler, this suggests the Conservative internal polling must be showing people are seeing the federal Conservatives tactics as increasingly hardline, extremist, and anti-democratic. Harper’s pronouncements speak volumes about himself.

  7. Harper is, judging from his pronouncements, sliding from from pompous to merely pathetic. Time to look away, folks; for an incumbent prime minister, it’s not a very becoming performance.

  8. The famous question posed to Senator Joseph R. McCarthy should be repeated asked of the conservatives, until they understand their errors in trying to discredit anyone who does not agree with them: “You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

  9. So does Harper’s knowledge of history consist of just the stuff he remembers his relatives telling him? Somehow that just makes sense. He really is a mental midget.

  10. That such a man is actually making the calls about what passes for our foreign policy should absolutely sicken Canadians.

    • not only that….we have now arrived at the stage where John Baird is our Foreign Affairs minister… our voice to the world. Thanks to whoever let this happen.

      • Even more frightening, aren’t we glad there is a buffer (even if it is Baird) between Harper and the rest of the world!

  11. Sounds like a desperate reach, going back 80 years in an attempt to malign a political party that was actually just a precursor to the current party. Sad-assed performance Harper.

    Do you really need to waste time in your job with something like this?

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