Here’s an excerpt from Chalmers Johnson’s book Nemesis (p. 72) that raises some relevant issues:
“During the post-9/11 period of American enthusiasm for imperialism, one of its most influential proselytizers was Michael Ignatieff, a Harvard professor and self-appointed spokeman for ‘humanitarian imperialism,’ also known as ‘Empire Lite’. As the demand for his cheerleading faded in light of the Iraq war, Ignatieff decided to return to his native Canada and become a politician. Back in Toronto, he acknowledged to a journalist that his many essays and op-eds had all been written as if he were an American, and he apologized for having used ‘we’ and ‘us’ some forty-three times throughout his essay entitled ‘Lesser Evils,’ which is a defense of offical torture.”
I finally got around to reading the Macleans interview with Iggy from last month. I was dumbfounded- even on paper his smarmy weird arrogance drips from each line. If you check it out, he manages to refer to himself in the third person consistently, without the trick of using the actual pronoun. Instead of answering a question with his thought on the subject, he constantly refers to his past thoughts, and then dissects them as if they were Talmudic maxims. “If you read what I said in X, I think what I seem to be saying is that…. and note that I used the word ….”
What a putz!
Once, referring to how he always felt like he BELONGED in Canada, and even referred to writing a book, Blood and Belonging about it. Except Whyte, the interviewer, calls BS, as Iggy had actually written in the book that he felt like an alien looking at Canada. To which Iggy responded, “Well, yes, but a funny kind of alien who actually belongs.” Or something like that.
(and by the way, I went into this wanting to like the guy, hoping for an alternative to Harper).