....LMB: "Foot in Mouth, Canadian Style"....

March 28, 2003

Found this amusing.

On the Common Dreams website, I found this boldly-worded headline from a Toronto Star editorial:

U.S. envoy doesn't get it: This country will not be bullied or bribed into doing something that is morally offensive

Courageous stance, Canada opposes the war and will not budge from its position.

Then, I went over to the Toronto Star website to look at the original source, and in the process, ran across this frontpage headline:

Canadian troops on the ground in Iraq, officials confirm

Whoops.

But it is a little more complicated (or at least confusing) than that. Canada still opposes the war, but has "Canadian soldiers in the British army as well as the Australian army and they may be in Iraq at this time." The Canadian soldiers have guns, but are only allowed to fire them in self-defense. They aren't allowed to attack, but they are taking part in spy and logistical efforts that will allow others to attack. Which isn't really a much more morally superior position than doing the killing yourself.

Posted by Jake at 02:54 AM | TrackBack (0)
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As a Canadian living in the U.S., this kind of hypocrisy is not surprising at all. Canadian governments have a long tradition of saying one thing to keep the public satisfied, and acting in an entirely different way privately. I'm guessing, but I would suppose that the majority of Canadians are opposed to the military participating in this particular war (or invasion, whever you prefer). So the government, after much hedging, finally comes out a couple of weeks ago and says "we won't help".

However they also have to cover themselves with the Americans, so rather than rule out any participation at all, they allow some small numbers of canadian military personnel embedded in british units to continue. And, hope no one finds out about it. The government is trying to have it both ways and pleasing no one, not the public, who rightly feel they've been lied to, nor the Americans, judging from the comments of the ambassador a couple of days ago. Canadians have every right to feel disgusted with their leaders, who apparently are afraid to take a principled stand one way or the other.

Posted by: Kevin at March 28, 2003 08:17 AM

Actually from the article it sounds like these Canadian soldiers are part of an officer exchange program. Likewise there will be British and Australian officers in Canada who will sit out the war. i don't think that takes away from the principle of the matter ...

On the matter of AWACS, those are planes that were previously being used in the "War on Terrorism". Canada should have pulled those soldiers out as soon as the assignment changed ... but didn't.

Posted by: at March 28, 2003 09:50 AM

Yes, from what I've heard up here there were exchange programs going on and some canadian soldiers are along with UK/etc troops. What the gov't is sidestepping however, is if they are actually in combat, or in fact, if they even know where they are! At this point apparently we are embedded enough into the conflict that we can't pull out without screwing things up (as in putting others in danger, or at least, what they say).

Posted by: Arcterex at March 28, 2003 05:04 PM

Kev: re the Canadian govt.'s hypocracy--isn't that universal, in all govts.? Kinda like that jalapeno jack cheese--creamy at first, then it bites back.
Everything's gonna be ok though, cuz Bush is still trying to figure out how to work the "control" and "delete" buttons on his laptop. (media & public)
But if he ever figures out how to push them both down at the same time, we're all in BIG trouble.

Posted by: Kate S. at March 30, 2003 04:55 PM
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Media News

November 16, 2004

Tales of Media Woe

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill- one of the most depressing stories of the day that didn't involve death or bombs. It's the music and movie industries' wet dream. It criminalizes peer-to-peer software makers, allows the government to file civil lawsuits on behalf of these media industries, and eliminates fair use. Fair use is the idea that I can use a snippet of a copyrighted work for educational, political, or satirical purposes, without getting permission from the copyright-holder first.

And most tellingly, the bill legalizes technology that would automatically skip over "obejctionable content" (i.e. sex and violence) in a DVD, but bans devices that would automatically skip over commericals. This is a blatant, blatant, blatant gift to the movie industry. Fuck the movie industry, fuck the music industry, fuck the Senate.

Music industry aims to send in radio cops- the recording industry says that you're not allowed to record songs off the radio, be it real radio or internet radio. And now they're working on preventing you from recording songs off internet radio through a mixture of law and technological repression (although I imagine their techno-fixes will get hacked pretty quickly).

The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few- blogger Jeff Jarvis discovers that the recent $1.2 million FCC fine against a sex scene in Fox's "Married By America" TV show was not levied because hundreds of people wrote the FCC and complained. It was not because 159 people wrote in and complained (which is the FCC's current rationale). No, thanks to Jarvis' FOIA request, we find that only 23 people (of the show's several million viewers) wrote in and complained. On top of that, he finds that 21 of those letters were just copy-and-paste email jobs that some people attached their names to. Jarvis then spins this a bit by saying that "only 3" people actually wrote letters to the FCC, which is misleading but technically true. So somewhere between 3 and 23 angry people can determine what you can't see on television. Good to know.

Reuters Union Considers Striking Over Layoffs- will a strike by such a major newswire service impact the rest of the world's media?

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet- the US military is talking about the creation of a global, wireless, satellite-aided computer network for use in battle. I think I saw a movie about this once...

Conservative host returns to the air after week suspension for using racial slur- Houston radio talk show host (and somtime Rush Limbaugh substitute) Mark Belling referred to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks" on his show. He was suspended for a couple of weeks, and then submitted a written apology for the racial slur to a local newspaper. But he seems to be using the slur and its surrounding controversy to boost his conservative cred with his listeners.

Stay Tuned for Nudes- Cleveland TV news anchor Sharon Reed aired a story about artist Spencer Tunick, who uses large numbers of naked volunteers in his installations and photographs. The news report will be unique in that it will not blur or black-out the usual naughty bits. The story will air late at night, when it's allegedly okay with the FCC if you broadcast "indecent" material. The author of this article doesn't seem to notice that Reed first claims that this report is a publicity stunt, but then claims it's a protest against FCC repression. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm not that much of a sucker.

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