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  1. #1
    Senior Member Doug_M's Avatar
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    Michael Den Tandt: Justin Trudeauís reaction to the Paris attacks has been oddly tone-deaf

    http://news.nationalpost.com/news/mi...ddly-tone-deaf

    Michael Den Tandt: Justin Trudeauís reaction to the Paris attacks has been oddly tone-deaf

    Justin Trudeau didnít sign up to be a wartime leader but thatís what he is. At issue now is whether he will be good or bad in the job, a rallying point or a failure. The jury, itís fair to say, is still out.

    FO1116_Paris_C_JR

    To begin: What an enormous load of hogwash Twitter has become. Friday, as the mass murder of innocents in Paris was still unfolding, U.S. President Barack Obama and French President FranÁois Hollande had addressed their respective nations, but Prime Minister Trudeau hadnít. Twitter exploded. Where was he? How could he disappear at a time like this? Then later after his statement, made at the Ottawa airport at about 8:30 p.m., before he headed to the G20, more purple-veined social-media apoplexy. How weak! How awful! Deer in the headlights!

    Over the weekend, several Conservatives who fancy themselves security savants emerged from their post-election torpor, dusted themselves off and joined the fray. It was like an episode of The Walking Dead, Canadian politics-style: Jason Kenney! Chris Alexander! Julian Fantino!

    The wiser Tories ó whose numbers would appear to include the partyís new interim leader, Rona Ambrose, as well as possible permanent leadership contenders Lisa Raitt and Tony Clement ó either kept off the interwebs, or limited their contributions to expressions of shock, outrage at the perpetrators, and solidarity with the French people. Ambroseís response has been particularly impressive: Measured, sober, critical of the Liberal pledge to pull Canadaís CF-18s out of Iraq and Syria, but constructively so. Sheís off to a good start.

    Which brings us to Trudeau, and his apparent intention, reiterated by officials on the weekend, to end the so-called ďcombat mission,Ē which is actually a modest contribution to an insufficient (so far) U.S. effort.

    Is it an outrage Trudeau didnít immediately reverse himself on the back of an envelope, while en route to Turkey? Ah, no. The CF-18s continue to fly missions in Iraq and Syria as we speak. Surely this provides a window for reflection. Any reassessment should be done carefully, after consultations with the United States, France and other allies ó not in the heat of the moment.

    That said, Trudeauís initial reaction to Paris, though it did cover the basics and was certainly not the cataclysmic botch-up it has been purported to be, has been oddly tone-deaf. And his policy of retrenchment will look increasingly untenable, as the French and American responses become more clear in the weeks ahead. Geopolitical circumstances change. Effective leadership adapts.

    First, tone: Enough passivity, already. Itís not adequate for a head of government in a G7 democracy to express worry, solidarity with the victims, but not unbending resolve to help defeat those responsible. The Liberal partyís policy, before the Oct. 19 election and now, is to contribute to the war effort, to play a greater part in the training of allied local forces, namely the Peshmerga, and to do much more to help refugees displaced by the war.

    It would be perfectly consistent for a leader with such a policy to name the enemy, denounce his barbarity in graphic terms, and declare he must be defeated. Trudeau has not yet done this explicitly that I am aware of. He should. Civilized people are not just sad when civilians in the worldís most civilized city come under attack by sociopaths. Many are also viscerally furious, as we should be. The prime ministerís tone should reflect this, as well as the rest of the range of emotions.

    Second, the CF-18s: It would be irresponsible, in the wake of these attacks, for the government of Canada not to reconsider the decision to withdraw, in consultation with allies, for reasons strategic as well as practical.

    First, the much-criticized air campaign in northern Iraq and Syria is showing signs of success, as it has allowed Kurdish forces to begin retaking territory, most recently the Iraqi city of Sinjar. Second, it is not at all clear a bigger Canadian ground contingent ó which is obviously required if training of local forces is to be ramped up ó presents less peril for Canadian forces than does the air campaign. If anything, the reverse is true. There is a reason why the Clinton administration in the late 1990s launched its campaign against Slobodan Milosevic entirely from the air. Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, a veteran of three tours in Afghanistan, likely knows this.

    Beyond that, and most importantly, Paris brings home with horrifying impact that ISIL is not something with which civilized people anywhere can co-exist. It must be obliterated, divested of all territory, and its adherents killed, captured or routed. Canada is on the target list and is in this war regardless. Full-on military support for our allies on multiple fronts, as much as the country can muster, is the moral and right thing to do, and this is obvious. It is the hand Trudeau has been dealt.

    However much he might prefer to preside over peace and plenty, he should get on with it.

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  3. #2
    Moderator kennymo's Avatar
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    I love it when Liberal heads start to explode.....too bad things really have to go for #### before they start blowing though....

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  5. #3
    Senior Member Doug_M's Avatar
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    Yeah me too. This guy was a Trudeau cheerleader during the election. Now he's disappointed. Well, it won't be the last time that's for sure. Hopefully it will be over less tragic circumstances.


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  7. #4
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    It doesn't look to me like he is disappointed. Look at how he spoke of the critical reaction to Trudeau; he was openly mocking them.

    The thing that gets me is that he harps on about careful reconsideration with respect to the CF-18s. Perhaps some of that could have been done before our Prime Minister told Obama he was pulling them? As far as I can tell, other than the attack in Paris, not much else has changed. ISIS was our enemy before, and they still are.

  8. #5
    Have gun, will travel. Forbes/Hutton's Avatar
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    That's as close as Den Tandt is going to get to condemning Tardo. No one expected a instant reversal of the CF18 or 25,000 Syrian policy, but he should have at least admitted that that those policies have to be reviewed and reconsidered after Paris, take the opportunity to back away from the 25,000 by the end of the year promise that was unworkable to begin with, and say that the numbers and timeline may be revised, but we can still start taking a limited number, who have been carefully vetted, right away. He could have said that we will leave the CF18s in place if that's what our allies needed but we would offer our heavy lift transport planes as an alternative (which would also allow him to beg off the stupid timeline for the immigrants even more). But he's like the captain of the Titanic "Icebergs don't come this far south and we're unsinkable anyway so full speed ahead!", sadly there's 33 million passengers on this boat and not nearly enough life rafts...

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  10. #6
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    Considering the source, not a bad article.

  11. #7
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    Meh.
    This is just the beginning of the beginning of 4 very painful years, and who knows how many more years after that.
    Not to mention that in 4 years, when the next election is coming around, no one will care what Trudeau did or didn't do right now. Our mindless Canadian voting public will have forgotten it all.
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  12. #8
    Senior Member Foxer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJSpeller View Post
    Meh.
    This is just the beginning of the beginning of 4 very painful years, and who knows how many more years after that.
    Not to mention that in 4 years, when the next election is coming around, no one will care what Trudeau did or didn't do right now. Our mindless Canadian voting public will have forgotten it all.
    Its true, but it does leave them with a mental 'impression'. THey may not think "well i sure didn't like how he handled the french attacks', but they WILL remember that they didn't like something about him and he seemed weak and spineless.

    Especially when you consider that all the evidence points to the idea that they just held their nose and voted for him to get rid of harper, not because they liked where he was going or him personally.

    Now if it's the ONLY thing that happens then they'll long forget it and it'll be overshadowed. But - if he continues to stumble it will reinforce that message and it will cost him support.

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    I'm sure I MUST have misheard this, but it sure sounded like Lisa LaFlamme just said on CTV national news that Trudeau excused himself from the G20 talks when they began talking about how to increase efforts against ISIL.

    Can someone on the West Coast watch the broadcast and see if they hear the same thing I think I did?

  14. #10
    Senior Member Foxer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soulchaser View Post
    I'm sure I MUST have misheard this, but it sure sounded like Lisa LaFlamme just said on CTV national news that Trudeau excused himself from the G20 talks when they began talking about how to increase efforts against ISIL.

    Can someone on the West Coast watch the broadcast and see if they hear the same thing I think I did?
    They archive their broadcasts - it would be on the web a short time from now. But you must have misheard it, that's just not reasonably possible.

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