By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday October 7, 2014
ISIS mission reveals Liberal divide
When Justin Trudeau leads the Liberal Party of Canada Monday in opposing a Canadian military mission against ISIS in Iraq, he will do so against the better judgment of many of his party’s grandees, who between them have influenced Canada’s military response to global conflicts, from Rwanda and Kosovo to Afghanistan and previous wars in Iraq.
The genocidal jihadists, including Canadians and other Westerners, who fight under the banner of ISIS “have to be whacked, and whacked good,” Lloyd Axworthy, a former Liberal foreign affairs minister who aimed to put “human security” at the heart of foreign affairs, said on CTV last week.
“If you really want to stop them, you’re going to have to give a full-court press.”
He was not alone in supporting the action Mr. Trudeau has vowed to reject, or in undermining the leader’s rhetoric before he used it. Former interim Liberal leader Bob Rae, for example, rejected the comparison, later made by Mr. Trudeau, to the “fiasco” of the 2003 Iraq War. Former Liberal Senator Roméo Dallaire dismissed a campaign of air strikes without ground troops as pointless, and former Liberal cabinet minister Ujjal Dosanjh calling for “robust” Canadian military action.
All these comments were made before Mr. Trudeau vowed to oppose the government motion for the ISIS mission. But by accusing Prime Minister Stephen Harper of using “overheated and moralistic rhetoric … to justify a war,” Mr. Trudeau has chosen a strategy that is likely to colour his political fortunes for months to come.
And by favouring purely humanitarian action over military force, Mr. Trudeau seems to have broken with many of the party’s eminences — if such a rift is already apparent, it could well go deeper. (Source: National Post)
Earlier in the week Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said Harper should be doing more in Iraq than just trying to “whip out our CF-18s and show them how big they are.” (Source: CBC News)
LETTERS to the EDITOR
It seems lately that cartoonist Graeme MacKay is crossing the line of poor judgment more often than not. Tuesday’s editorial “cartoon” is a prime example.
Canada’s reputation of being a nation of peacekeepers is something that should be held in respect. The men and women who represent Canada while acting as peacekeepers should be honoured. Having peace doves come out of the fly of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s pants disrespects and cheapens the image of these peacekeepers. — Lynn Timson, Hamilton
Tuesday’s editorial cartoon featuring doves flying from Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s pants zipper is way off base. This cartoon is both offensive and lacks taste. An apology to Trudeau and your readers is due. — Dave Hutton, Burlington
Why are some of your readers presenting dissenting comments as to the Graeme MacKay editorial cartoon highlighting Justin Trudeau’s comments? Is it not the mandate of a news publication to present fact and comment to its readers?
The comment Trudeau made in parliament was somewhat juvenile and The Spectator, in keeping with their mandate, commented in form of a cartoon as to such.
To any of your readers who have had any interest in past and present politics can certainly grasp the fact that in young Trudeau, the apple did not fall from the tree. Keep up the good work Mr. MacKay. — Arthur A. Alkerton, Oakville
— Annie Desrochers (@NieDesrochers) October 7, 2014
So the above cartoon attracted more negative feedback than usual. My editor thought it would be unclear to those completely unaware of the gaffe Justin Trudeau made at last week’s 2020 Conference in Ottawa. Unless some kind of a reference was made of what Trudeau actually said with regard to the macho attitude he believes drives Prime Minister Harper to send fighter jets to combat ISIS terrorists in Iraq, some people simply won’t get it. So I added the caption bubble, and some people still didn’t seem to find humour in it.
For the record, when I saw the clip of Trudeau doing his whip out your CF-18s quip I actually chuckled to myself. It’s a pretty funny line that seemed to work well in an interview setting before a live audience, and coming from the hip Justin, not at odds with what his younger followers would say or write. Then, once the right leaning fogies heard, out came the bile and the charges of disrespect for our military, immaturity, and unstatesmanlike behaviour.
I spoke to a few readers upset enough that they felt compelled to call me personally. I pleaded to read to them what Trudeau actually said to give some context. Even after explaining the quote that was the actual motive behind drawing the cartoon, published on the very day Parliament voted on Canada’s combat role in the Iraq mission, Trudeau was given the pass and my cartoon was labelled disgusting, and offensive, and how dare Spectator editors allow such an obscenity be printed in such a wholesome family newspaper!
So what I thought would be a slam dunk of a cartoon sure to get lots of LOLs and social media shares and likes turned out to be a bit of a satirical dud. A reader registering their delight with the cartoon aptly described the cartoon as “naughty”, in full understanding of the sexy status Justin Trudeau enjoys as a popularity advantage over his political opponents, and how it can backfire against him.
“Naughty” is the ideal word in this case because Canadians aren’t used to mild sexual innuendo on their mainstream newspaper editorial page, I suppose.
“Offensive” has become the new word given that momentarily sways someones mood to a bit of agitation when they see something they don’t agree with and immediately it becomes branded as: Lacking taste! Or, beyond obscene! Cancel my subscription! And while you’re at it, print a full apology and shackle that wretched cartoonist! This coming after they gloss over the previous few pages leading to the Editorial section with news stories peppered with violent crime, and all kinds of horrible human behaviour that one can rightfully declare as “obscene.”
I don’t expect everyone to understand or appreciate my cartoons or what can be described as a sense of humour. It’s an impossible task to achieve. Even to my loyal fans any given cartoon might be a home run or a complete dud. I think this applies to anyone working in any field – ones work simply can’t be all good things to all people.
Article posted in Metro Toronto newspaper