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Saturday, May 29, 2004

Liberal Party blasts Churchill, supports Chamberlain

The Québec section of the Liberal Party of Canada has started an amusing feature called "Bloc Whoppers" that denounces daily the Bloc Québécois. However, in their article posted on May 29, they simply and completely lose it by titling "Preemptive attacks in Iraq - George W. Bush and Gilles Duceppe on the same wavelength" (sadly, this article is only available in the French version, is the Liberal Party engaging in two-tier bilingualism?) It is well known that Gilles Duceppe and the Bloc Québécois steadfastedly opposed a Canadian participation to the war in Iraq. But the Liberals rather want to emphasize the fact that Duceppe would have supported Bush's concept of preemptive war by the following declarations in front of the House of Commons on January 29, 2003:

However, there is the issue of pre-emptive strikes. I know that this is the issue raised by international law. International law is evolving and so it should. IF THERE HAD BEEN PRE-EMPTIVE STRIKES on Hitler, from 1933 to 1936, before Munich in 1937, before the Sudetenland crisis, before the Anschluss, before the invasion of Poland in 1939, THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN GOOD FOR ALL HUMANKIND, EVEN IF INTERNATIONAL LAW DID NOT ALLOW IT. That said, we still need evidence. We had sufficient evidence against Adolf Hitler. THE PACIFISTS WERE WRONG NOT TO ACT.

(Emphasis by "Bloc Whoppers" of the Liberal Party)

Let's try it again by putting emphasis in a different way:

However, there is the issue of pre-emptive strikes. I know that this is the issue raised by international law. International law is evolving and so it should. If there had been pre-emptive strikes on Hitler, from 1933 to 1936, before Munich in 1937, before the Sudetenland crisis, before the Anschluss, before the invasion of Poland in 1939, this would have been good for all humankind, even if international law did not allow it. That said, we still need evidence. We had sufficient evidence against Adolf Hitler. The pacifists were wrong not to act.

(Emphasis by Laurent Moss)

This sheds a whole new light on these words, don't you think?

Whether you were for or against the war in Iraq, I think we can nevertheless agree on this. First, "hawks" like Winston Churchill were right in the 1930s when they said it was necessary to adopt a hardline position toward Nazi Germany and that she must not be allowed to remilitarize herself and annex neighbouring territories in violation of peace treaties. Second, "doves" like Neville Chamberlain and Édouard Daladier were wrong to pursue a policy of appeasement, a policy viewed as enlightened and progressive at the time, in multiplying concessions toward the Hitlerian regime. The pacifists who blissfully applauded when Chamberlain came back from Munich waving his famous "piece of paper signed by Herr Hitler" promising peace were in error.

It is somewhat odd to see the Liberal Party of Canada taking the side of Neville Chamberlain against Winston Churchill more than 60 years after the Second World War.

(Crossposted at Le Blog de Polyscopique)

Posted by Laurent Moss on May 29, 2004 in Canadian Politics | Permalink

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Comments

"It is somewhat odd to see the Liberal Party of Canada taking the side of Neville Chamberlain against Winston Churchill more than 60 years after the Second World War."

Not so odd, perhaps, when you recall Trudeau's famous summary of World War II: "So there was a war. Big deal."

Posted by: Ken Davidson | 2004-05-30 3:57:48 AM


Laurent

Excellent post.

Keep up the good work in highlighting examples of politicians speaking out of both sides of their mouths, times 2.

Posted by: Norman Spector | 2004-05-30 7:00:24 AM


This sheds a whole new light on these words, don't you think?

No, because what you rubes continuously forget when you decide to sneer at the "appeasers" of that era is that WWI had ended just a mere 12 years before. Europe was extremely war weary and nobody wanted to jump into another bloody conflict if there was a chance to avoid it. From `33-`36 there was no clear indication of what was to come that could have spurred the public into accepting such a venture. Furthermore, there is no clear indication, even with hindsight, that such an action would have to a more favourable outcome. A pre-emptive strike on Germany could have just as easily led to the same amount of death and destruction as waiting for Germany to make the first strike did.

And connecting a pre-emptive strike against Germany to the one Bush did against Iraq is laughable. Saddam and any dreams he had of conquest were crushed long ago. He was a tinpot dictator who didn't even have control of all of his own country.

Posted by: Robert McClelland | 2004-05-30 4:31:21 PM



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