Of course people disagree. That's what we're trying to protect.
It's unfortunate how Anita Anand was sidelined during the last cabinet shuffle folly. She appears to be one of the few grown-ups left in the Liberal Party. This country needs and deserves serious politicians and policy-makers. Your commentary on Freeland's vacillation between odd and even days was a masterstroke of writing.
I’m still grappling with this line: “... hallway conversations in Halifax featured variations of the observation that Canada is increasingly close to being a failed state.” That hits hard. I know it’s bad, but I didn’t appreciate it was *that* bad.
The Halifax talk shop is just that, a complete waste of money having Blair and Eyre present. They cannot contribute to the challenges, no one listens to Canada. The PM does not care for world crisis and will not invest in our military. Freeland will stick to the demand of a billion dollar cut to military as they can do that. This is embarrassing for Canada but Trudeau is not interested, the USA are there to do all the work for us. Until they might not or look the other way. I like many Canadians feel betrayed by our government and the Opposition. What is galling is that the Turkish Gov was able to evacuate people out of Al Shifa hospital and Gaza and Canada is still involved in talks. The same thing happened when Ghaddafi fell in Lybia. Our diplomats were sitting at the airport in Rome doing nothing because we never had any contacts nor presence. Canada such an unserious country thanks to our politicians.
Sobering but necessary analysis. Keep up the great work, Paul.
A thought provoking commentary...and cogent analysis. Canada isn’t holding its end up in defence spending-- a risky stance, given global turmoil and rising authoritarianism plus---all the details that Paul Wells cites. Moving Anita Anand out of Defence looked like craziness to me-- Wells hit the nail on its head. Joe Biden’s essay on Gaza reminds us of the necessity of humanitarianism...and certainly that two rights does not necessarily right past horrors and aeons of injustice. We live in dangerous times...as the song goes...
Astute observations Mr.Wells…as so often is the case. One hopes for (but does not always get) realism in our journalists, in our politicians and in our fellow voters.
A good article. Less consultants would certainly free up $ for capital expenses.
This whole piece is admirable, comme d’habitude, but the getaway line is … perfect.
Well-written and insightful.
If defence spending was all it took to prevent a state from becoming “failed” the United States should be the most flourishing country in the world. It sure isn’t. It spends trillions on its military while its infrastructure crumbles, its homeless population soars, healthcare is unaffordable for millions, a university education results in crushing debt, and economic inequality grows more grotesque every year. Around 1803, William Blake wrote, in his Auguries of Innocence, “Naught can deform the Human Race / Like to the Armour’s iron brace.” We need only look south of the broder to see the truth of his words. In any case, our security is far more threatened by wildfires and floods, rising seas and drought than by any conceivable military threat.
I enjoy reading your analysis Paul.
Mr. W., I was reading with great interest your column when I found that you wrote, " I note that there was a robust and enduring ceasefire in Gaza as late as October 6, and that Hamas brought that ceasefire to a monstrous end. Hamas having opened hostilities, it falls to Israel to end them, by destroying Hamas’s ability to contemplate or deliver any similar attack in the future. Carrying out that task is inevitably an enterprise of horrifying violence." and I had to immediately comment.
I am a Gentile who has expressed total support for what Israel has had to do. Of course, there are (a few? some? many?) folks who feel otherwise and that is entirely their right. I, of course, feel that they miss the point of what Israel is being forced to do but that is their own blind spot. What has increasingly infuriated me is the obstinacy of our politicians and - very particularly - our media that simply calls on Israel to immediately offer up a "cease fire" without realizing two things.
First, they fail to realize that a cease fire is a mutual agreement to stop (at least temporarily) hostilities but that Hamas has stated publicly in many media around the world that they will not participate in any such cease fire.
Second, they miss entirely the point (how stupid, they) that there WAS a cease fire in place but Hamas so violently violated that cease fire in early October. Of course, Hamas was violating the cease fire with rockets, suicide bombers, etc. on an almost daily basis before that but, well, these critics of Israel have managed to ignore that as well. [You, to your credit are not blind to this.]
I therefore was so glad that you were very clear in pointing out the culpability of Hamas and the need for Israel to do what it is doing.
Now, if only the various head in the sand folks and the fellow travelers in the "let's kill the Jews" train (Oops! Sorry, that metaphor wasn't intended but, on reflection, it shouldn't come out.) would think for just a moment. But, then, thinking is not what they do; emotion is what they do.
Thank you for your column. Clearly, this is an incredibly difficult situation and there are no good "solutions" and any "solution" that anyone (including Israel) follows will have ever so much to criticize (and rightly so!) but, but, but, but ....
I offer one gratuitous comment about your business of writing this column. Please go to all the conferences that you can where the topics interest (or frighten, perhaps) you. I have been a fan of your writing for many years and, while I certainly wasn't your original subscriber, I signed up as soon as I found out about this newsletter. Simply put, I trust your instincts about what is newsworthy and what provides you with appropriate grist for your mill.
As always, Sir, thank you.
Thanks for the insight. Biden is disappointing me now.
Since it is probable that Trump will win in 2024, it would be best if Canada stopped looking like it was a radical left target in need of liberation. It would be best if our current democratic leaders start demonstrating that our democracy is capable of rooting out incompetent, publicly funded, radical leftists from our institutions.
We need to explicitly rediscover the fundamental values that built our society before Trump has a chance to be re-elected. Studying the six moral virtues described by Jonathan Haidt within his “The Righteous Mind” would be a good start. (Seriously, everyone should read this book.)
I find it interesting when (mostly) Conservative Canadians talk out of both sides of their mouth. They’ll claim that Trudeau is a lightweight on the global stage. That no world leaders take him seriously. Then out of the other side of their mouth they’ll desperately whine that Trudeau isn’t saying enough about the Israeli/Gaza conflict. That he’s taking the dubious political middle road. That he’s not calling for ceasefire. Hey, if apparently no one worthwhile is listening to him, from the outset, because he’s such a lame leader, why do you care so much now?
Excellent and concise .. as always. Like other readers, I knew we were flagging on the state of our military [largely due to our massive debt due to indiscriminate spending] ; however, the comment we are "increasingly close to being a failed state" really struck a nerve. We are now considered a failed state by multiple countries due to have been totally failed by our politicians over the past eight years.
PS .. great description regarding Ms. Freeland. Keep up the great work.
A good reminder that we humans are just like animals in the wild -- territorial! We can dress it up by organizing pseudo-rational discussions on the situation, but in the end, we are ruthless.
How are all these conflicts even logically possible, you may ask. To date the United States has contributed $75 billion to Ukraine in its efforts to defend itself from an invasion by Russia, which came about because the U.S. poked the bear when it came to NATO.
As for Israel, the US has been contributing over $3 billion annually in support of its military. Add to that, with this recent conflict they are contributing a further $14.5 billion.
Where would all these conflicts be without American assistance financially and the benefits of its industrial military complex ? Some may argue that without the assistance of the United States, Israel would not exist and Ukraine would be part of Russia. We may also wonder how many lives would not have been needlessly lost to territorial conflicts.