Michael Ignatieff pops up at a Toronto synagogue to, as the headline says, Apologize for Israeli War Crime Comment. Which is odd, because at the time, he was adamant that it was a Random, Perpetrator-Unspecific War Crime Comment.
Clearly the dauphin is putting down markers with an eye toward future, purely hypothetical political contests in which he may, entirely hypothetically, be a candidate. First he apologized for getting Iraq wrong in a piece with the helpful title Getting Iraq Wrong. Reviews of that one were mixed, gusting to really, really funny. But it matters not: for when we are laying markers, the important thing is that we have put down some markers. So that in some future, quite hypothetical race for the leadership of… of… of something hypothetical, we can respond to criticism of our past missteps by throwing our hands up and saying, “But Bob” — name of hypothetical opponent entirely hypothetical — “I dealt with that in the New York Times Magazine!” Or “But Justin” — to pick a name purely off the top of my head — “I dealt with that at Holy Blossom Temple!” The goal here is not to win an argument now, it’s to cut one short in the future.
There is no truth to the rumour that Michael Ignatieff will be the lunchtime speaker at next week’s meeting of Narcolepsy Canada to address his unfortunate comments about not losing sleep over Qana.