Saundrie

After much prodding by other bloggers, I set this up for my own writings. The name is in honour of the two women that mentored me throughout my life on politics and intelligence issues, as well as being wonderful family members, now alas deceased. I hope to live up to their standards at this site.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Small World Syndrome and Lebanon

I was reading this article and got a very nasty shock, I know one of the people mentioned in it who is still waiting to be evacuated from Lebanon who is in Beirut. While not a close friend she is an aquaintance and a good person, kindhearted and of good character. For her to be as upset and condemning of the situation speaks volumes to me about just how bad things are there for our citizens, and she is as Canadian as I am. One of the things that has most disturbed me in all of this is the amount of reading of comments from fellow Canadians claiming that only a certain type of Canadian should be evacuated from this war zone. As far as I have been concerned if someone holds a Canadian passport as a Canadian citizen then they deserve and are entitled to being treated as a Canadian, whether they are born elsewhere or are like myself decended from those that immigrated to this country before Canada was birthed in 1867.

I hope that Lena Diab (Amazing isn't it how the G&M managed to mispell both her first and last name, especially since neither are terribly difficult names to begin with.) and all like her are able to get safely home. I hope that she is not subjected to the racist undertones I have heard and seen from far too many of my fellow Canadians. I hope that her family are able to be reunited with her soon, and that the next time the Embassy calls her to come to be taken out she is not left out in the sun again. She is not kidding about being allergic to the sun, and given the conditions in Lebanon in that regard this is no small matter. Next time some of you that say there should be categorization of Canadian citizens based on some arbitrary idea of what is a "real" Canadian may you find out that one of those so called less than "real" Canadians turns out to be someone either you know or someone close to you knows. Perhaps then it might start sinking in just how ugly, mean spirited and arguably racist you are being. Incidentally, on that note I would commend people to this post by Meaghan Walker Williams at Somena Media, I happen to be in full agreement with her on it.

Oh yes, one other thing, this in regards to the letter MacKay sent to the Globe and Mail regarding one of it's articles, the one that showed who was really responsible for the intitial clusterfuck that was the first week of this mess. This comment in the comments section of the aforementioned article raises a very good point, given the media control the PMO has placed upon the Cabinet and the MPs of this government this letter was either written by Harper's people, desired by Harper and his people, or at the very minimum was endorsed by Harper and company. Otherwise it would never have been permitted to be released. So here we have our PM yet again trying to have it both ways where the media is concerned. When they have a message they want out they bring the media in for a carefully structured presser or spread it through media venues they consider they will get a favourable coverage from. When they are offended by a media article calling into question their words/deeds then they insist that it is unfair, that they are being unfairly attacked/hit unlike prior governments (despite the clear nonsense of this when one actually looks into it instead of simply accepting the idea of the Liberal media conspiracy against the CPC/Harper) and now even insisting upon release of sources used by the media. Now, does anyone remember Harper et al demanding anonymous governmental sources being revealed to the government when the Liberals were in power when it was a story critical of their words/deeds? I sure don't. Also, this comment says there should be no problem with the Globe and Mail releasing their sources names, after all their lives would not be in risk. True, but their livelihoods and careers most certainly would be, especially with this vindictive a grudgeholder Harper and the CPC have proven themselves to be with those that have shown them in a less than favourable light. Given the ham handed media control above and beyond the norm for our governments this government has followed to date as I ( and many others) have blogged in the past about this is a real and serious threat that these sources have every reasonable basis to be concerned with.

When the whistleblowers of government ineptitude hurt the Liberal government the CPC saw them as heros and noble people. Funny how that changed once the CPC became the government. Yet one more example of the so called moral principles and code the CPC proclaimed it believed in and followed unlike the hated Liberals proving out to be so much hypocritical male bovine excrement. Not that I find this at all a surprise since this was exactly what I said it would prove out to be well before this government came to power

**UPDATE**

Lena Diab, her husband and the four of their six children that were with them visiting the children's paternal grandmother arrived back in Canada on Saturday in Montreal and back in Halifax on Saturday night safe and sound. May all our citizens trying to get out be as fortunate. For that matter may all the civilians left behind in Lebanon also be safe and sound, although that is clearly not the most probable likelihood alas. As I noted before I have a real problem with the idea of collective punishment against civilians. This is also extended to the civilians in Israel before anyone tries to claim I don't care about them, but they are not the ones dying in large numbers in this conflict the Lebanese ones are.

6 Comments:

Blogger CathiefromCanada said...

Good post.
I hope your friend gets home OK

Mon Jul 24, 01:13:00 AM 2006  
Blogger Scotian said...

Cathie:

Thanks, she did, along with her husband and four of their six children that were with them. They had gone to visit the children's paternal grandmother. They got back into Canada later Saturday and back home to Halifax on Sunday. I will likely be speaking with her husband late in the week as I have some business to do with him then. I thank you for your consideration and your compliment on the post itself.

Mon Jul 24, 02:39:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Scotian said...

Whoops that should be they arrived in Halifax Saturday evening, not Sunday. My mistake.

Mon Jul 24, 02:53:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Tim said...

Like all Nova Scotian's I'm glad Lena and her family are safe. And a simple goggle search tells us that this is a woman that is committed to family and community. Having said that, the tone of her comments, especially the part about "busting her butt for Canada and this is the thanks we get," suggest an attitude of entitlement that is entirely consistent with a member of the Liberal party. Remember Dingwall? Lena was on ATV news this evening and was given an opportunity to qualify her comments. A half hearted thanks for getting her and her family out doesn't cut it. She's done a serious disservice to all Lebanese Canadians. The backlash across Canada will only be tempered by admissions that the stress of the moment caused significant over reactions by many people. Lena was screaming at people that are still in Beirut trying to help people. Shame....

Mon Jul 24, 10:37:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Scotian said...

Tim:

That is your opinion, and you are certainly entitled to it. Me, I don't agree with you, and this linking it to the Liberal party seems a bit partisan of you. Given what most immigrants have to go through in this country to get anywhere I might tend to take that comment to be more about the hoops all immigrants tend to have to go through just to become citizens combined with seeing other western nations like the Americans get their people out on things like cruise liners. I would want to know her context for saying these things, and not just what the media may not have reported but also the environment/circumstances itself.

I've also had to spend much of the last week or so reading/listening to many Canadians talking about so called "Convenient Canadians" in terms which can only be described as xenophobic. So I guess I have far more sympathy for her perspective then I do for most of those that have been labeling people like her in a rather racist/xenophobic manner.

I would also remind you that I found a great deal of evidence to support the idea that Canada's elected officials were slow to recognize the problem coming and then initially once they did ran it in such a manner to complicate enormously the logistical nightmare involved. This can leave someone feeling like their contributions were not appreciated whereas if this had been say the evacuation of western Europeans from a disaster site/sudden war zone they would not be treated in what felt like a statement of their being second class citizens.

In any event I do not know as I have not spoken to the Diabs yet, but I do know that I would not be making the kind of comment you did in my blog linking her comments to the Liberal party and a sense of entitlement. That seems very much like trying to make partisan hay out of it. Which if she was a elected official I would not object to as that comes with the territory but she is not.

I also would keep in mind that she had four children with her as well as her husband in this nightmare and must have been quite worried for them throughout this as well as herself. Besides, anyone that does not automatically comprehend that being in the circumstances these people were for as many days as they were and with no idea what their government was going to do to help them (remember this was kept under wraps until Sunday Monday after the bombing started from everyone, including those in Lebanon itself) could leave them feeling quite unappreciated/respected is hardly going to take any apology from her as worth anything. She may well have thought the taxes she and her husband pay entitled them to better than that and to be honest with you if that was what she was motivated by I'd have to agree wholeheartedly with that sentiment and I certainly would not call it a sense of "entitlement" as you felt it was.

Tue Jul 25, 01:41:00 AM 2006  
Blogger Tim said...

Given the partisan nature of this blog, its a little rich to criticize others for drawing an obvious parallel between Lena Diab's demands and the liberal party's history of entitlement. We need look no further than the musings of Scott Brison this weekend, who like most liberals is more interested in votes than he is in encouraging honest debate and discussion. It’s also an easy thing to play the race card. For what its worth, I have no particular political affiliation, have voted for all three of Canada's main political parties on numerous occasions, would be described by most people as a small "l" liberal, I'm a supporter of more liberalized immigration policies and truly enjoy the multi-cultural mosaic of modern day Canada, and share your frustration with all the focus on so called passports of convenience. There is nothing wrong with open candid discussion on that topic, and the same can be said for an overall evaluation of Canada's response to the crisis in Lebanon. Now (imho) is not the time for either. The focus should be on stopping the violence. One death is one too many. That was and is the basis for my criticism of Lena Diab. I've no doubt that she was doing her best to deal with a remarkably stressful situation. However, no one should be surprised at the backlash that has occurred as a result of comments made by Diab and others. Unlike many folks that had their 30 seconds of fame in sound bytes, Lena was presented with an on the air opportunity to bring down the temperature of the debate after she returned home. I think she will regret not using that opportunity to play a leadership role in broadening mutual understanding. Given the strength of her words in Beirut, it would have been appropriate for her to acknowledge with some sincerity the efforts made on her behalf by so many people. In any event, I'll leave you to your political musings. It's a free world. I surfed in here as a result of a goggle search on Lena. I certainly don't question your passion, or the sincerity of your beliefs. In closing I apologize if I offended you. I believe that discussion and debate fosters growth in the human condition. Perhaps the topic was still too hot. Peace

Tue Jul 25, 01:17:00 PM 2006  

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