Skip to content

Liberal Lies

Given that “Liar! Liar! Pants on Fire!” is inappropriate, The Ruxted Group wonders how to respond to long time Liberal mouthpiece Scott Reid’s recent piece in the Toronto Star.

Mr. Reid says: “the unmistakable truth is that this is Harper's war and he alone is responsible for our current predicament.”

That is not true.
Mr. Reid is a skilled political operator – a master ‘spin doctor.’ He is an insider - he served in Paul Martin's PMO (Prime Minister's Office); now he is a ‘communications’ consultant, advising politicians. He knows what happened in Ottawa, in the cabinet room and in the PMO during the Chrétien and Martin administrations. He knows that Prime Minister Chrétien initiated Canadian combat operations in Afghanistan in early 2002, doing “the right thing, the honourable thing,” as Ruxted said about a year ago. We were less kind, in the same article, about Prime Minister Chrétien’s later decision to rejoin the Afghan mission, as part of ISAF, and we were downright disdainful of Prime Minister Martin’s dithering which landed us in Kandahar. Many Canadians will remember seeing Mr. Reid on TV political talk shows defending Prime Minister Martin’s decisions to send our troops to fight and die in Kandahar. Now he has changed his tune to try to paint a different picture.

Ruxted may have doubted some of the Chrétien and Martin rationale for sending Canadians to fight and die in Afghanistan, but we - clearly, correctly and honestly - stated who made the decisions: the leaders of the governments Mr. Reid served. What is not in doubt, not by any single informed Canadian, is that Afghanistan is Canada’s War – initiated by a prime minister representing the Liberal Party of Canada, continued by a second Liberal prime minister, and, according to the wishes of the elected Parliament of Canada, faithfully prosecuted by the current, Conservative prime minister. To suggest otherwise is to be untruthful.

Mr. Reid is clearly not telling the truth.

Mr. Reid says Afghanistan may become a defining issue in the next election campaign. Indeed, his aim is to mislead Canadians into thinking it is “Harper’s war.” Ruxted hopes Afghanistan is an issue – a major issue – in the next election campaign. Ruxted hopes that the Afghanistan issue will:

• Force Canadians – a large minority, at least, of whom are clearly uncomfortable with the mission, with how it is being conducted and with how it is changing the Canadian Forces – to confront reality. Reality is that the world is not a nice, safe place where ’peacekeepers’ in baby-blue berets can feed little children so that Canadians can feel good about themselves, while other countries do the heavy lifting;

• Force politicians of all stripes to face up to the decisions they made – especially in the case of politicians who served in the Chrétien and Martin regimes - decisions made in many cases for base and dishonourable reasons; and

• Force the ‘cheering section’ stalwarts, back-room apparatchiks and spin doctors like Mr. Reid to be honest about who did what to whom.

The Ruxted Group sees this bit of ‘spin’ as being just part of a partisan political campaign tactic aimed at convincing Canadians that the current government is wholly responsible for the Afghanistan situation. It is an article of faith amongst the spin doctors that any lie, repeated often enough and loudly enough, becomes the truth. The campaign also involves acts of political irresponsibility such as blaming the federal Conservatives for traumatic stress in small children, and abandoning rather than repairing important provisions of the anti-terrorism laws – laws which were put on the books, in the first place, by a Liberal government. Perhaps it will work. Perhaps Mr. Reid’s unstated assumption is correct; perhaps Canadians will believe the lies – if they are repeated often enough.

To be honest, Mr. Reid, the truth is the opposite of what you wrote, and you must know it. Shame on you, sir!


The Ruxted Group on : A new political narrative

Show preview
A new political narrative is emerging in Canada. It suggests that, somehow or other, Prime Ministers Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin let go of the levers of power over foreign and defence policy and General Rick Hillier seized control. Ruxted understands


Display comments as Linear | Threaded

No comments

Add Comment

Enclosing asterisks marks text as bold (*word*), underscore are made via _word_.
E-Mail addresses will not be displayed and will only be used for E-Mail notifications.

To prevent automated Bots from commentspamming, please enter the string you see in the image below in the appropriate input box. Your comment will only be submitted if the strings match. Please ensure that your browser supports and accepts cookies, or your comment cannot be verified correctly.

Form options