After Iggy drove the Liberal Party to its worst defeat in history,he gave a magnificent concession speech, hitting all the right historical notes.It really was impressive and I almost felt sorry for him. But shed no tears for Ignatieff, his friend John Fraser assured him of a soft landing at Massey College at the U of T. What an embarrassing sortie into politics. Harper and his ads utterly defined him.
Thee comes a time in every person’s life and he generally is totally unaware of it, when a key decision defines him and for Ignatieff it was his stunning acceptance of the Iraq war illegally called by the worst president in US modern history, George W Bush.Had Iggy read American history with any intelligence, had he been able to see through the pathetic hubris of a man who wanted to be a war time president, he would have come to an utter rejection of this “immoral and unjust war” as the Vatican termed it.
Was it the ugly zeitgeist in America that prompted this ultimately fatal decision? Who was he trying to please? It was bad enough that Ignatieff had begun referring to himself as an American but to bless this savage war stamped him irrevocably as an opportunist, a panderer to power, a man in the academy utterly divorced from the horror and immorality of war.
Contrast Ignatieff with another “brilliant” journalist, Chris Hedges a Pulitzer Prize winne (with a theology degree from Harvard) who as a war corespondent in fierce battle zones had seen the terrible loss of life up close.His book, War the Force that Gives Us Meaning should have been required reading for Ignatieff.
His fatal defence of torture and war indicated to me that he was not to be trusted.It was typical of the bankrupt modern Liberal Party to crown him king as a kind of magic carpet ride back to power.
Sadly for them and for the country, his Harper Lite imitation, his embrace of the Alberta Tar Sands, his cowardice around Israel cost him dearly.
For the record, I never read another column by Richard Gwyn who while he was chancellor at a Catholic university (St Jerome’s) made the same fatal choice.