Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Brison tells his familiar story

Despite being Canada's first openly gay cabinet minister, leadership candidate, Progressive Conservative, and Liberal MP, Scott Brison has been mum about his sexual orientation, especially when compared with, say, Svend Robinson. It's refreshing that he's so non-challant about it, but it's also good to hear him talk about his experiences as a gay man in Linda Diebel's profile of him.

I don't want to say he (and other gay MPs and public figures) have an obligation to talk about these things, but certainly it falls to them first and foremost to act as representatives of their particular constituency. Just like it falls to Muslim figures first and foremost to denounce extremism in the name of Islam, so too does it fall to gay MPs and public figures to speak about their experiences, fight for gay rights, and try to make the world a better place for people like themselves.

Identity politics may be unwholesome, unproductive and unfair, but in a world where not everything is fair, they are sometimes necessary. Barack Obama is the only black member of the US Senate. By no means should that be what defines him, but he most certainly is the leading voice for the concerns of black people in that body, and it's just naive to say otherwise.

So it's good to hear Brison talking about these issues. Incidentally, despite the fact that I will no longer be voting for him next month, I still wish him well in this race. If he wins, I won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Ontario back in a surplus

It took them a good three years, but the Ontario Liberals have finally undone the damage inflicted by the Tories and their $5.6 billion deficit. Sooner than expected, too!

Now they can get to work fixing the damage the Tories did to Ontario's social safety net. I wish them as much success with that as with the elimination of the deficit.

For anyone who forgets the story of what happened, basically, the Tories cooked the books in 2003 to make it seem like Ontario was in a surplus. When the Liberals won, they opened up the books and found a huge deficit. The Tories basically lied, and then had the nerve to blame the deficit on the newly-elected Liberals (who hadn't even presented a budget yet).

This is what I think happened - in one of the biggest political dirty tricks ever, the Tories figured they could cook the books, with one of two outcomes. The first would be they'd win on their "sound" economic record (by hiding, of course, a $5.6 billion dirty little secret) and the second would be that they'd lose and the Liberals would find a nasty surprise waiting to cripple them and all of their promises. The latter happened, and their game worked pretty well for a while there, with McGuinty pulling in approval ratings in the teens as he was forced to make some unfortunate and painful but nevertheless necessary decisions to fix the Tories' mess. But he seems to have bounced back, which gives me hope that the voters of Ontario are smart enough to realize it wasn't McGuinty's fault, and he and his government have done an admirable job of coping with the knee-capping the Tories gave them. Here's hoping.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


I saw someone buy a bong tonight at San Diego (a chain store that's constantly going out of business for some reason, so you get lots of clearance sales). It amused me so much, buying paraphernalia designed, in most cases, to be used with substances which are apparently illegal because, apparently, they are capable of destroying this country and the morals of its upstanding, hardworking citizens and their white, heterosexual families.

Come on, people. You're never going to stop the evil scourge of drugs like that!

In fact, if drugs are that much of a plague upon our society, I think it's time to get serious. I mean, if we really want to stop illegal drugs from reaching the pure-as-the-driven-snow hands of our young, innocent, and oh-so-naive children (won't somebody think of them for once!) we'd better stop pretending that we can stop this ever-encroaching darkness with the kinds of weak penalties we afford. Ten years in prison is simply not enough for someone evil enough to sell a product to willing customers for an agreed upon price! We need real deterrents!

That's why I, here, now, am officially advocating the use of the restoration of the death penalty, and its application to some of the worst people in our society - drug users and their dealers!
These people are single-handedly responsible for 73.2% of the evil festering in Canadian communities, and it's time we started treating them accordingly. (They are also responsible for 90% of the puppy stranglings, and 50% of child molestations... whoops, sorry, that last one's the Catholic Church.) If we want to fight drugs, let's get serious!

(More on the drug war later...)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The (not so) New Democratic Party

There's been a lot of animosity in Liberal blogging circles towards the NDP lately. The Liberal leadership candidates (some of them at least) are starting to display a little of their own:

"As Liberals, we know those guys all the way down: high moral principles, and they fight like alley cats,” says Iggy of the NDP's hypocritical pomposity. He continues, "I mean it's the worst combination. We have to go out and say, this high moral principle stuff – give me a break, here. You fight elections in the dirtiest way anybody's ever seen in Canada. Number two is we have to say that we are the progressive social conscience of this country, always have been, always will."

From Ken Dryden: "I would love to get at the NDP. All of those things that are essentially the central components and themes of the NDP beliefs, whether it is Kelowna, or child care, or the environment, all of those things absolutely essential – now we have a government that believes in none of them. Well, thanks a lot, Jack." (Thanks indeed!) He didn't stop there. "And in terms of the next election, when it's clear that one party or the other, the Liberals or the Conservatives, are going to win – how do you explain to a potential NDP voter, how do you persuade one to vote for the NDP when all of those things are central to your beliefs and it's only going to move you in the opposite direction."

I for one got sick of the NDP long ago. Who are these people kidding? They're never going to win power - that's for the Liberals to do. The NDP's purpose has always been forcing the Liberals (and occassionally the Conservatives) to implement at least part of their agenda. And they were enormously successful in this regard. But then they got power-hungry. The much-lauded Ed Broadbent, whom so many lionize as some sort of do-no-wrong saint (Jack Layton most prominently among them), was the most popular leader in 1988. But he blew his chances when he arrogantly stated, flat-out, that his goal was to replace the Liberal Party as the left-of-centre party in Canadian politics. That has been the NDP's raison d'etre ever since. Of course, they haven't come close to this goal since the 80's, and in particular since 1984, when they came within ten seats of surpassing the Liberals in the House of Commons (only because of the Liberals' extraordinarily bad campaign that year.) With their seat count of 29 this past election, (or 74 less than the Liberals) the NDP brass were celebrating... in conjunction with the election of a government that is diametrically opposed to everything they believe. Good work, guys!

The NDP will never surpass the Liberals as Canada's main left-of-centre party, barring some sort of catastrophic blunder by the Liberals (and no, that quite obviously doesn't include some criminals laundering money to themselves.) So it's quite unsurprising to see the kind of sour grapes routinely displayed by, oh, say, Pat Martin. Martin, who has seemingly made it his goal to hammer the Liberals (while never taking similar shots at the Tories - curious, when you consider they are the party most opposed to what his party stands for) has earned my ire, and that of the Liberals, for his Tory-friendly behaviour before.

Reports the Post today, "NDP MP Pat Martin sided with the Conservatives." There's a surprise:

"The Liberals are famous for trying to impregnate every aspect of the country with Liberal brand reminders. I've just about had it with the beatification of Pierre Elliott Trudeau." This coming from the party of Ed "The Second Coming" Broadbent.

Martin is a perfect embodiment of what the official NDP stands for - they have no interest in passing a progressive agenda anymore, they just want to replace the Liberals and gain their own glory. And they don't care how many Conservative governments have to be elected in their vainglorious crusade.

For once he's right...

I'd just like to point out that just because Jason Kenney is an idiot doesn't mean he's wrong 100% of the time. This case is a good example.

I'd also like to point out, again, that the Liberal party does not support Hezbollah, and any who claim that it does are fools, rabid partisans, or both. As stated by Bill Graham, current leader of the party:

"Hezbollah is committed to the overthrow of the state of Israel and has demonstrated in both words and actions that it is committed to a policy of violent anti-Semitism. We still strongly support keeping Hezbollah on that list. Any suggestion to the contrary does not reflect the official position of our party."

Monday, August 21, 2006

What are they thinking?

Well, I know what Peggy Nash is thinking - she is, after all, a leftist, and those types have a notorious tendency to engage in the kind of risible moral comparisons that would, for example, place Israel and Hezbollah in the same moral category. Borys Wrzesnewskyj is apparently on the same page.

Let's be clear about this - by calling for the recognition of Hezbollah as a legitimate power, Borys (I refuse to type out that name more than once) and Nash are calling for the complete and utter capitulation to Hezbollah, the abandonment of everything the west has ever stood for with regards to terrorists - that is, that we do not, under any condition, consider them, their tactics, or their existence legitimate in any way.

This is just shameful. When I saw the papers this morning, I felt embarassed to be a Liberal - similar to the feeling of hearing Carolyn Parrish's unhinged rants, only worse. Thank god Bill Graham maintained the party position that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization and we will continue to recognize them as such.

It is possible for intelligent people to have a disagreement about the legitimacy of Israeli actions in this war. It is not possible for intelligent people to disagree on a key point, however, and that is that Hezbollah is an organization of murderers. You do not treat a gang of thugs as if they are legitimate.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Garth Turner

Still my favourite Conservative MP.

Friday, August 11, 2006

"Tolerance and Love"

Is it just me, or is censoring a simple gay kiss because it might offend the sensibilities of certain puritanical weirdos in the audience a very strange way of sending a message of "tolerance and love?" It would seem to me that if you go to a musical starring Hugh Jackman as a gay man, you shouldn't be terribly surprised if you see Mr. Jackman plant one on another man. Maybe I'm crazy.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

So, Lieberman lost (did you hear?)

There are so many reasons to dislike Joe Lieberman. His support for the war in Iraq isn't sufficient to call him a "DINO." He represents to me the "soccer mom" wing of the Democratic Party - his campaign against violence in media of all kinds particularly rubs me the wrong way, and I'm honestly glad to see him go just speaking as a self-professed geek, independent of politics.

But more to the point, he has not just supported the war, he has made the claim that any and all dissent from the president during wartime is inappropriate, and THAT is why he lost his nomination - and that is why he deserved to. He was never really fighting for re-election, anyway. He's wanted to be Don Rumsfeld's replacement for a long time now, and I wouldn't be surprised if Rumsfeld "resigned" (and given a presidential medal of freedom, which is how Bush punishes rank incompetence) and Lieberman took his place.

This is a good thing for the Democrats - they need to run true blue Democrats in blue states. The Republicans run serious red Republicans in red states; they only run "moderates" in blue states, like Arlen Spectre in Pennsylvania. They only compromise when they have to, and the Democrats should do the same. That's the only way the US might join the rest of the western world in terms of social progress.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Paris Hilton, now even more useless

Big news, people - Paris Hilton has decided to give up sex.

I don't even have a comment to make.

Gay-baiting - not just for Republicans

Although Mugabe is unpopular for his economic policies, his anti-gay stance resonates with many Zimbabweans.

It's George Bush by another name...

Saturday, August 05, 2006


Is it reasonable to ask moderate Muslims to stand up to the extremists?

Robert Fulford writes in the National Post:

U.S.-based Islam expert Daniel Pipes says that radical Islam is the problem, moderate Islam the solution. But possibly the radicals are the only Muslims with a passion to shape the future. By definition, moderates take a relaxed view of religion. However fervent their beliefs, they also value families, friends, human love, and worldly satisfactions. They want peace and won't eagerly kill for Allah. If they are like most people of moderate views, they can be frightened into silence.

That's a real quandry.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Islamists and Christianists

The head of the Muslim Canadian Congress has been forced to resign his post. The reason? He's not a radical Islamist bent on imposing sharia law in Canada. He has resigned for his and his family's safety, because he has had threats on his life as a result of his views.

What are his views, exactly?

He has opposed the NDP's "faith caucus" because he fears religious radicals taking over the party. He vehemently opposed the imposition of sharia law. He supports same-sex marriage.

This does highlight an ugly truth I have been pointing out for some time now, and that is that many (as in not all, as in I recognize that not every Muslim shares these views) western Muslims have a serious problem with modernity and with western culture, to the point that they will become violent about it.

This is a real shame, as Fatah was one of the few Muslim (or religious in general) leaders in Canada I had any real respect for.

And just so I can get a knock in at some nutjob Christians as well, a pastor in Minnesota has run into trouble with the flock of his megachurch. The reason? He refuses to give official "blessings" (read: endorsements) to Republican candidates and conservative causes. Now, this pastor is anti-gay, anti-abortion, all the usual junk. The only difference is, he won't mix his religious duties with politics. And his congregation apparently doesn't like that at all.

Is there any more perfect example of the fusing of Christianity and a political ideology into Christianism? To these people, religion is politics, and politics is about religion. It's a very dangerous ideology... and it will probably win the Republicans another election in 2006.

But just going back to Islamism for one second... you've gotta admit, this is pretty ridiculous. The pinnacle of acquiescence to archaic thought.

Big Money VS Grassroots

While today's Globe and Mail story about fundraising for the Liberal leadership is apparently a bit inaccurate, it nevertheless highlights something I find a bit surprising - the princely Michael Ignatieff has a populist support base, at least when it comes to fundraising.

The candidates and their take have been documented, but I'll do the math for you here:

(Editor's Note: I have corrected the Globe and Mail's typo; it listed Martha Hall Findlay as having 5 donors, where she in fact has 56 listed on Elections Canada.)

Bob Rae:
$384,795 from 208 donors.
$1849.98 per donor (average)

Michael Ignatieff:
$293,896 from 525 donors.
$559.80 per donor

Joe Volpe:
$210,170 from 91 donors. (All presumably of age.)
$2309.56 per donor

Gerard Kennedy:
$103,778 from 142 donors.
$730.83 per donor

Scott Brison:
$100,674 from 112 donors.
$898.88 per donor

Carolyn Bennett:
$65,100 from 37 donors.
$1759.50 per donor

Ken Dryden:
$43,617 from 67 donors.
$651.00 per donor

Martha Hall Findlay:
$34,645 from 56 donors.
$618 per donor

Stephane Dion:
$32,250 from 65 donors.
$496.15 per donor

Maurizio Bevilacqua:
$26,650 from 9 donors.
$2961.11 per donor

Hedy Fry:
$15,150 from 15 donors.
$1010.00 per donor

From those numbers, one can infer that the "Big Money" (average donations in excess of $2000) campaigns are being run by Maurizio Bevilacqua and Joe Volpe in that order. The middle of the road (average donations between $1000 and $2000) are Bob Rae, Carolyn Bennett, and Hedy Fry. The ones who are relying more on "grassroots" fundraising (average donations below $1000) are Scott Brison, Gerard Kennedy, Ken Dryden, Martha Hall Findlay, Michael Ignatieff, and Stephane Dion. Dion is the most "populist" fundraiser, followed very closely by Ignatieff.

Of course, this is all just averages - it could easily be that Iggy has accepted huge donations from a few people, and miniscule donations from several. Only a careful analysis of the donor list on the Elections Canada website (an indispensable roadmap for which is provided here.) But nevertheless, averages can be used to tell us things, and at least on face, Ignatieff's status as elitist has to be taken with a grain of salt as a result.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Gay-Straight Alliances = Pedophile Clubs

You can't make this shit up.

On Liberty

(Title not blatantly stolen from John Stuart Mill)

Thanks to Jason Cherniak for delivering us a philosophical tract (well, okay, not a tract, but at least a few paragraphs, which is more than most of us write in a few days' time.) The philosophy of liberalism is just as important as liberalism itself, and I think we should all discuss it more.

As such, I may consider writing a reply to Jason's writing. However, it will be later, when I am much less tired.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

About bloody time

No one has been more clear about wanting more gay representation on television and in movies than me, but I've gotta say, this was a long time coming:

"Another Gay Movie” spoofs its way through a parody of teen sex comedies and equally formulaic gay coming-of-age flicks.

If you've ever seen more than one "gay coming-of-age flick," you know that once you've seen one, you've seen them all. "Gay movies" are perhaps one of the most formulaic and predictable (not to mention bad) genres out there. In fact, I think the only things more formulaic, predictable and bad are adolescent "coming-of-age" flicks about straight kids - the only reason for that being, I've seen the latter about a hundredfold as many times as I've seen the former, so the former is by default the less stale genre.

But it's so annoying. We get it! Gay youth face unique challenges, coming out is hard, having a conservative mother/father/parents doesn't help, etc. etc. YAWN. I've seen it! Stop it with shit like this! Pretty much the only redeeming quality I can see to that film is that it stars Aaron Ashmore, identical twin brother of the more successful Shawn, who is therefore guaranteed to be hot.

I mean, let's dissect this: someone actually decided to make a movie about a gay kid who, good on him, stood up to the bigots who ran his school and said "fuck you." I support him 100% in that, but come on, is it really worthy of a goddamn movie? Moving along, the title itself is offensive on its face. "Prom Queen?" Ha-fucking-ha. And the tagline is worse: "Will 'Cinderfella' make it to the prom on time?" And a line from the movie: (Emily Hall, upon Marc's coming out): "Marc. Your hair. It's blue. And you have a poster of Celine Dion on your wall. We know." Oh, just kill me. If you've seen it, and it isn't a piece of trash (or even if it is), please tell me.

Stop with the shit like this! It's been said best for me:

Vacationland [is] a generic coming-of-age movie whose arrival on the scene suggests that the audience for gay indie clunkers is inexhaustible.

And get a load of the actors - honestly, they look like they were taken from the set of a porn movie. I'd say, "But I'm sure they're fine, unknown actors," but that would be a filthy lie. I'm not sure they're fine, if unknown, actors. I'm very far from sure. In fact, given the "acting" I've seen in a lot of these films (it's terribly ironic that I prefer straight actors' portrayals of gay men 99% of the time) the odds are really better that they're not good actors at all.

Come on, guys, it's 2006. The "gay genre" was stale before I even knew what it was. I find it so very hard to believe that gay people are still eating these campy, predictable movies, but then, I find it hard to believe that anybody still goes to see "horror" flicks and "teen movies," so I probably shouldn't expect much. I mean really, coming out of the closet is awkward and traumatic enough when you're doing it for the first time - why in god's name would you want to watch movie after movie of awkward, traumatized kids coming out to hateful and/or judgmental people? Isn't there something a bit masochistic about that? Don't we all hear enough "coming out" stories (that end well and not so well) as it is? This is not a story that needs to be told again and again with different Starry-Eyed Boys (TM) sitting in the protaganist's chair. (Unless they decide to make one starring him, and/or him, which I would wholeheartidly support, the former because he's a fantastic actor, and the latter because there'd probably be a sex scene - scratch that, there's always a sex scene - and I just want to see him in it.)

As I've said before, no more! I want comedies, horrors, dramas, sci-fi/fantasies, romances and action/adventure films with non-token gay characters. Even just a one or two every ten or twenty films or so I'd be happy with. Is that so much to ask? Stop feeding me garbage and telling me it's a complex exploration of the inner turmoil of youths grappling with being gay. It's not, it's just a tried and true formula that people are afraid to deviate from.

This has been an intoxicated rant by Clear Grit. Good night, and good luck.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Mea Culpa

A reader informs me that Gerard Kennedy does, in fact, have more professional education than I do. Apparently, he was in university for four years, just barely not graduating, because he dropped out to head a food bank. I don't know why, but I was under the impression that he had only one year of university.

My bad. Thanks Kyle.

I suppose then it becomes necessary to amend my endorsement of Dion with the reason why I don't endorse Kennedy instead, and that really comes down to three things:

1) Dion's French is better.
2) I feel Dion has a better grasp of policy and is more experienced, which I value.
3) I "just like him" better. I'm sorry that's vague, but that's just the way it is sometimes, that indescribable quality. The French even have a phrase for it, you know it, that "je ne sais quoi."

I endorse... (Deja Vu)

Well, it may seem like I'm flip-flopping, and I suppose kind of am. As someone who does change his mind on occassion, in the world of politics I could easily be labelled as such.

Nevertheless, I do wish to retract my previous endorsement of Scott Brison; in September, I will be voting for Stephane Dion. This has nothing to do with a dislike of Brison - I was one of the first Libloggers to endorse him, and still have the greatest respect for him. I do genuinely hope he becomes the leader of the Liberal party, and prime minister, someday. But I do not believe that now is his time. Indeed, I think next time out, he will have a great deal more success than he will this time, as I've seen a great many Liberals expressing the same opinion - that is, that next time is his time. I have a two major concerns which led me to this decision - the first is that I do not believe he can win in Quebec at a time when we desperately need to; the second is that I do not believe there is enough distance between now and his support of the Iraq war and Afghanistan extension that it won't hurt him at the ballot box.

It is specifically the first concern which led me to rule out Kennedy (one of the reasons, anyway); so given that Kennedy's French is apparently better than Brison's, it's only fair that I apply the same standard to Brison himself. Also, it is this concern which leads me to endorse Stephane Dion. Of all of the candidates, Dion is the only one positioned to make gains in Quebec. At a time when we face not one but two strong challengers in Quebec, it is vital that the Liberal party have a leader who is both popular in Quebec and has a strong grasp of the French language - strong enough to be able to match Gilles Duceppe, and exceed Stephen Harper - in the French language leaders' debate. I believe that Dion is the only candidate which fits that description.

Also, going up against someone like Harper, it would seem vital to me that the leader of the Liberal party be at least a match for Harper intellectually. This is no easy task - Harper is a smart man. He has been described as a "policy wonk." Coincidentally, so has Stephane Dion. I've always been an advocate of the idea that the smartest guy, or close to it, should get to be in charge. Dion certainly fits this bill. I also ruled out Kennedy based on this - charismatic he may be, but from what I understand, I have more professional education than he does, and that worries me. Bob Rae, Michael Ignatieff, Ken Dryden, and possibly Martha Hall Findlay are also intellectual matches for Harper, but I've ruled them out for various reasons.

Bob Rae is too much of a risk. As much as I like him, and would gladly follow him into an election, I fear that the Tories would be too easily able to exploit his unfortunate time as premier of Ontario - and we absolutely cannot afford to lose any more ground in Ontario than we already have. I have already made a lengthy post on why I think Ignatieff should not be leader. Ken Dryden is a good choice, I feel, but his French is too weak. As for Hall Findlay, fantastic candidate, and I've no doubt that if she won against Belinda in 2004 she would be considered a serious candidate today. But lack of political experience is not something I can live with.

An incidental concern is that I honestly don't think Brison will win - which means that, as I will likely not be going to the convention (I will be moving in September, which will make it doubtful that I would be able to get elected in my new riding, AND somehow raise $500, within less than a month), I would be leaving the Brison delegate I (presumptively) helped elect would be free to vote on later ballots for any candidate, including those I don't support. (I fear, specifically, that they would vote for Ignatieff.) This is the main reason why I support Belinda Stronach's proposals on party renewal. But anyway...

So, what does Dion have that makes me support him? Aside from his high IQ and his bilingualism, he also has ten years of federal political experience behind him - more than any of the frontrunners besides Rae - and eight years of federal cabinet experience, as Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of the Environment, more cabinet experience than any of the other candidates. He has dealt with premiers and representatives of other countries, he has written letters articulating his ideas and defending the position of the federal government to the provinces in general, and Quebec in particular. He was responsible for the Clarity Act. To sum it up, he is the Jean Chretien (1984 and 1990) of the race - the experienced veteran who, while not as flashy or "new" or "fresh" as the other candidates (1984; 1990), can provide a stable, viable alternative to a Tory government that leaves much to be desired (1990). If anyone is capable of convincing Canadians that he has the experience and the record to lead, it's Stephane Dion.

He's also shown in the leadership "debates" that he's feisty. That's important when it comes to getting the message out, as well as debating Stephen Harper. While everyone is looking for the next Trudeau, really, what we should be looking for is the next Chretien, someone who combines experience and a certain comfort-level with his record, with a fighting spirit that's just as admirable as it is bankable. Really, the next Trudeau is a risky prospect - Trudeau himself was quite risky. Flashy and new, after all, are also words meaning untested and risky, and while the Trudeau gamble paid off beautifully, there's no guarantee it would net the same results again. Dion has that winning Chretien combination. Put it this way - this is a man who challenged Stephen Harper to debate him one-on-one about same-sex marriage. Not only is his smart and knowledgable enough to debate Harper, he's gutsy enough to issue the challenge in the first place. That's what we need. (For the record, Harper declined.)

Finally, and this means nothing to you (or at least it shouldn't, since one shouldn't base decisions on what other people "feel"), Stephane Dion gives me a good "feeling," the best of any of the candidates. I look at him and see a winner - not a guaranteed winner, but someone who has the best chance of winning. Over these past few weeks, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that there are, at present, two realistic outcomes to the convention - a Kennedy victory or a Dion victory. The more I thought about that, the more I realized how much I wanted it to be Dion. And the more I thought about that, the more excited I became at the prospect, to the point where I am now unable to support anyone else.

So, good luck M. Dion. I wish you victory in December!

Return of the Count

Well, given his absence, we should all have been expecting Iggy to feed us something with a bit of meat to it upon his return, and he has not disappointed. His analysis really speaks for itself, though I find this to be the most defining statement:

In this terrible struggle, Israel cannot win, Hezbollah cannot lose and Lebanon perishes.

Also, I don't want to be accused of slandering him here, but Iggy's analysis (not his proposals, though) remind me of something I read in the National Post by prince of darkness David Frum, that the wider goal of Hezbollah is to draw Israel into a region-wide conflict. Where they differ is that Iggy says it's a conflict Israel cannot possibly win, where as Frum postulated that Israel can win it, and should. Just from a historical analysis I would tend to agree with (god, no...) Frum on this one; Israel has had a lot of luck fighting Muslim countries in the past. I see no reason why they wouldn't win this one as well.