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More Tory bloviation…

It sure sounds like Stephen Harper is going to govern like he has a majority if he’s talking about Constitutional change. Is that Joe Clarke I hear clearing his throat?

Talk like this in some situations could be politically dangerous, but in my mind this seems like a good move – it motivates Tory supporters at little cost because no one expects Constitutional change to be attempted until he at least has a majority. How exactly this fits in with his “big five” I’m not sure, but one thing is certain…

If anyone in this government is going to shoot his mouth off with impunity, it will be him.

Err, well, okay, except this idiot.

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So if it’s not a civil war?

The linked blog post, as useless as it is, points to an interesting article that splits the definition of civil war into (overly specific? arbitrary?) components and finds that what is happening in Iraq right now is not technically a civil war. I am not a military historian and won’t pick apart the article, if anyone wants to, please feel free. I have some issues with the arbitariness of some of the stipulations, but that is not what I’m really interested in, and I’m not really qualified to comment on anyway. Two things about this terse little post and the article do interest me, however.

First, if Iraq is not in a civil war, what the hell is it?

And two, why is it important what it is called? Is this merely a semantic argument, or is there more at stake? Is it because civil war sounds nastier than insurgency? Is it because of how the terms play in the media? Is it because Iyad Allawi has said it is a civil war? If not a civil war now, might it soon be?

Is this another case of the optimism of the right – “oh, I reallyreallyreally hope it’s not going to be a civil war.”

The poster, whose blog is linked through the Blogging Tories, didn’t explain why the article was important to him/her, and I have to wonder. Their only comment is “This is a great read for those who think Iraq is in the (sic) state of civil war”, which doesn’t say much, but implies its importance. Like “ha, I’ve won the argument and here’s proof”.

Okay, I’ll bite – what’s your point?

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And They’re Off!

Without even waiting for the body to cool off, former Reform Party Leader Preston Manning’s already shown interest in taking over Ralph Klein’s job as PC Leader in Alberta. Love the quote from leadership hopeful Ted Morton:

Morton said he suspects Manning’s interest is not that serious, noting he would have to give up the lifestyle of an academic for the “griminess of trench warfare” in politics.

After the way Stockwell Day brought in the Christian Right to shaft him for the Canadian Alliance leadership, I’m fairly certain Preston’s familiar with ‘trench warfare’, Teddy. And besides, what ‘griminess’? Being the Conservative Premier in Alberta is about as safe a job as there is in Canadian politics – after all, Ralph managed to do it with a drinking problem.

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Jill Carroll’s story is out…

Jill Carroll released a statement earlier today (linked above) through her employer, the Christian Science Monitor, explaining that statements recorded by her were made under duress and threats. That she should have to make this kind of statement at all is a testament to the defensiveness of the pro-war Right now that it is patently obvious that they were wrong in invading Iraq and that they screwed it up to boot.

No word on whether or not the bloggers that attacked her have announced any apologies, but I’m keeping my eyes opened.

[Edit – It looks like there are som apologies coming in now, which is nice. In some ways it’s too bad that some bloggers don’t self-edit a bit more.]