Thursday, October 12, 2006

University of Toronto Professor: "Ignatieff denies what he said meant what it means"

I was reading the Globe and Mail when I ran across this story. On reading it I thought it had good points, but would have no real significance as it was probably like my blog, just one voice, no matter how articulate it is. But on reaching the bottom, I was quite surprised to see who it was by, it read:
Clifford Orwin is a professor of political science at the University of Toronto and director of the Munk Centre's program in political philosophy and international affairs.
I was quite flabbergasted for many reasons. First, a Professor of a major University in Canada wrote this about Michael Ignatieff:
Michael Ignatieff? What is it with the guy? He's so intelligent, so articulate, so capable of writing books that impress even me, a hard sell -- and so prone to making an ass of himself. This is nobody's recipe for success as prime minister.
This is interesting in that a high academic was motivated in speaking out against Ignatieff.

This brings on the second point of interest; the fact that the writer is such a academic. Often Ignatieff supporters boast of Ignatieff's education and position, I must admit this seems to indicate that Ignatieffs acclaim is not all that correct.

But of all, this Professor brings up a very good point about Ignatieff's Orwellian style of talking:
Speaking on a Quebec radio show, he addressed the question of the Israeli air raid in Qana, Lebanon, on July 30 during the war with Hezbollah, in the aftermath of which 28 civilian deaths occurred. (Note my careful phrasing; we'll return to it.) "What happened in Qana was a war crime, and I should have said that. That's clear."

Clear that it was a war crime, or clear that he should have said it? Well, actually, neither. When contacted by a reporter, an aide said that, while Mr. Ignatieff would not retract his use of the term "war crime," that use had been misunderstood.

So rather than retract his statement, Mr. Ignatieff retracted our understanding of it. What he had meant, according to aide Leslie Church, was that "this was a tragedy of war, that this was a deplorable act of war, that this was a terrible consequence of war." He would never have been so irresponsible as to declare a finding in international law on a talk show.

So as you see it is fascinating, instead of having to apologize, which most jewish groups want, Ignatieff pretty much denies what he said meant what it means; so any need to apologize evaporates.

I find this ridiculous, and troubling that a scholar could make such a claim without knowing or grasping he is double-speaking. And if he is doing it on purpose, I would rather have a leader who is clear and tries not to mislead.

Clifford Orwin finishes with the last paragraph:
Is Mr. Ignatieff condemned to lurch from one wrong to another, hoping that somehow the two will make a right? Is this his sorry version of even-handedness? The usual likenings of him to George Bush are partisan, malicious and unfair. But, to quote the late Ann Richards's great line, Mr. Bush was born with a silver foot in his mouth. Will this prove Mr. Ignatieff's epitaph as well?


Blogger Devon said...

Dan, Where is your five things Feminism has done for You?

Don't be lazy and do it.

Do IT!

1:59 PM  
Blogger Daniel Mosely said...

By the end of the day, devon.

2:02 PM  

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