Former Canadian Minister and Jew Admits Afghan War is All About the Drug Trade

National Post

From Julie Couillard’s

My Couillard, Geroge W. Bush and Maxime Bernier pose for a photograph in September, 2007.

Maxime Bernier saw himself more as a movie star than a politician. His haircut, his skin tone, the neatness of his necktie knot and the pleats of his trousers — in other words, the image he projected — ranked much higher on his list of priorities than the fate of Darfur or the war in Iraq. He was more vain than 10 Hollywood actors put together. Image was an obsession with him. I remember at one point, an Ottawa daily newspaper — or a magazine, I forget which — drew up a list of the best-dressed federal Cabinet ministers. Peter MacKay topped the poll. Maxime was deeply upset by this. He went straight to his good friend Eric Boyko for fashion advice, which included wearing a pocket square and similar affectations. Boyko even gave him the address of his tailor.

All in all, Maxime was quite full of himself, and extremely superficial. He didn’t seem particularly conscious of his responsibilities, and I never saw him deeply absorbed in his dossiers. He wasn’t interested in such things; in fact, I think that apathy in large part explains the gaffes he committed during his time as minister of foreign affairs. He displayed a surprising degree of intellectual laziness for a politician in a position such as his.

There are people in politics — too few of them, mind you, but they do exist — whose positions are well founded. They ascribe to a vision, to a specific worldview, to clear-cut principles. Maxime Bernier was decidedly not one of them. To him, politics was essentially about charm. Countless times, I heard him say to me, just before an assembly, meeting or other event, “It’s going to be fine, just watch. I’m about to turn on the charm.”

Maxime said things in private that were surprising, coming from the mouth of the minister of foreign affairs of a country so committed, as Canada is, to the fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan. For one thing, he was personally opposed to the posting of Canadian troops in that country. And, in his opinion, the war in Afghanistan had nothing to do with the struggle to replace dictatorship with democracy, nor was it a conflict pitting the values of freedom against those of religious fanaticism; in his mind, it was purely and simply a battle for control of the worldwide heroin trade. Nothing more. He said this to me on numerous occasions.

So it should come as no surprise that he regarded his trip to Afghanistan in the fall of 2007 (when he infamously handed out Jos. Louis cakes to Canadian soldiers) so frivolously. Maxime had told me that a Beauce-born soldier in the Royal 22e Regiment had written to his riding office and asked whether some of the cream-filled chocolate cakes, which are made in Sainte-Marie de Beauce, could be sent to his unit. But there is a world of difference between shipping a crate of cakes to the front and handing them out one by one to soldiers, as Maxime did. He later explained to me that it hadn’t been his idea; according to him, a young communications consultant from the Prime Minister’s Office who had accompanied him to Afghanistan had thought of it, and told him, “You should pass the Jos. Louis round to the soldiers; it’ll look good on TV.”

Right. You’re standing before a group of soldiers who every day run the risk of being caught in a firefight or blowing themselves up on a mine, and all you do to show them compassion and encouragement is hand out a bunch of chocolate cakes. It came off as a tacky backwoods politician move. You’d think he would have seen that one coming.

The one thing that completely flabbergasted me, and that I still can’t quite believe, was the day he expressed his opinion on Quebec and the Constitution. It was one of the last times we saw each other. We were sitting together one evening at Cafe Ferreira in downtown Montreal. The tables there are so close to each other that even the most mildly curious of patrons can easily hear any number of conversations. Maxime had waved to and briefly chatted with a man he knew, who was seated four or five tables away.

Then he started going on about how an independent Quebec was inevitable, and that he was getting ready for it.

“What?” I said. “Hold on, I’m not sure I heard you right. You, a federal minister?”

“Of course, it doesn’t frighten me at all, that’s where we’re headed. It’s obvious. And I have no problem with that. I’m ready. I’m expecting it.”

The people at the next table, who had recognized him and heard every word he’d just said, nearly choked on their soup. – From My Story by Julie Couillard. In stores now. Published by McClelland & Stewart Ltd. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

TOMORROW

Couillard explains how Bernier’s confidential documents ended up in her house

Close

Presented by

Get the National Post newspaper delivered to your home
More From National Post

Pentagon doctrine pushes nation-building
National Post – Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008

Soldier suffers serious injuries in blast
National Post – Monday, Oct. 6, 2008

Canadians to investigate alleged rapes
National Post – Saturday, Oct. 4, 2008

Sask. Premier joins call to change medal requirements
National Post – Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008

Raging at daybreak
National Post – Saturday, Sept. 20, 2008
More From the Web

Tribute in works to Monroe servicemen
Connecticut Post – Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008

Seven Czech soldiers wounded in Afghanistan
Xinhua News Agency – Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008

Family Mourns Death Of Queens Soldier
NY1 News – Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008

Army Surgeon General: Army looks outside its ranks for help in reducing alarming suicide rate
ABC 26 New Orleans (WGNO) – Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008

Conflicting reports about US warplane’s forced landing over Iran
DEBKA – Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008

Marine Corps sets up Afghan ‘village’ at Calif. post to teach cultural customs to troops
ABC 26 New Orleans (WGNO) – Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008

Jury selection starts in Fort Dix plot case; judge hopes to find 18 jurors from pool of 1,500
ABC 26 New Orleans (WGNO) – Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008

Top US commander in Afghanistan says more troops are needed “as quickly as possible.”
ABC 26 New Orleans (WGNO) – Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008

The Afghan Front
The Daily Dish – Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008

On Patrol With Soldiers in Afghanistan
ABC News Video: The Blotter – Sunday, Oct. 5, 2008

Powered by Inform

Global News

What you should do

Mon, Oct 06 – Canwest News Service reporter David Akin talks about what you should do to protect your finances.

Plunging markets

Mon, Oct 06 – Mike Drolet reports on another catastrophic day on the markets.

Global National – Oct 05

Global National News for Oct. 05, 2008. Hosted by Kevin Newman.

Newsbreak – Oct 06

Global National – Newsbreak headlines (10/6/2008).

Newsbreak – Oct 05

Global National – Newsbreak headlines (10/5/2008).
Most Popular

National Post

Financial Post

E-Mailed NP

Subscribe to Feed

Dion’s recovery from the English debate

Canada’s Do Not Call list to launch Sept. 30

Formula One drops Montreal race

Serial pedophile charged in abduction of Edmonton girl

Harper says Conservatives would consider ‘secondary’ help for financial sector

NP Network Blogs

National Post

Financial Post

News for your mobile device | Subscribe to Feed
Posted
Going Postal: Naked tourist lets loose in Japan, monkeys waiters in pants, school bus driver freaks

Tue, Oct. 7, 2008 · 3:00 PM ET by Karen Hawthorne

More

Filed under: Going Postal | Read More | Comments (0)
Posted
Tory economic plan ‘completely misses the mark’: Layton

Tue, Oct. 7, 2008 · 2:53 PM ET by Chris Boutet

More

Filed under: Canadian Election, NDP | Read More | Comments (0)
Posted
Harper would ruin Quebec economy, Duceppe charges

Tue, Oct. 7, 2008 · 2:46 PM ET by Chris Boutet

More

Filed under: Canadian Election, Conservatives, Bloc | Read More | Comments (0)
Posted Toronto
My Toronto: Tamara Podemski

Tue, Oct. 7, 2008 · 2:31 PM ET by Rob Roberts

More

Filed under: My Toronto | Read More | Comments (0)
Posted Sports
NHL: Biron steals Ward’s mask designer

Tue, Oct. 7, 2008 · 2:30 PM ET by Noah Love

More

Filed under: Hockey, NHL | Read More | Comments (0)
Full Comment
Yoni Goldstein: Liberals come up short with bushharper.com

Tue, Oct. 7, 2008 · 2:21 PM ET by Kelly McParland

More

Filed under: Yoni Goldstein, Full Comment, canadian election | Read More | Comments (2)
Posted
Tories abandon plans to deny tax breaks to ‘offensive’ films

Tue, Oct. 7, 2008 · 2:19 PM ET by Chris Boutet

More

Filed under: Canadian Election, Conservatives | Read More | Comments (1)
The Appetizer
Watch What You Eat: Monkey Waiters

Tue, Oct. 7, 2008 · 2:11 PM ET by Brad Frenette

More

Filed under: Video, Watch What You Eat | Read More | Comments (0)
Full Comment
Neil Hrab: A nation on the brink of a nervous breakdown

Tue, Oct. 7, 2008 · 2:06 PM ET by Kelly McParland

More

Filed under: Full Comment, canadian election, Neil Hrab | Read More | Comments (0)
Full Comment
More taxes? Gee, thanks, Mayor Miller

Tue, Oct. 7, 2008 · 2:03 PM ET by Marni Soupcoff

More

Filed under: Marni Soupcoff | Read More | Comments (0)
The Ampersand
Tokyo Police Club to appear on Desperate Housewives

Tue, Oct. 7, 2008 · 1:51 PM ET by Rebecca Tucker

More

Filed under: Music, Television, Randomness | Read More | Comments (0)
Posted
When the economy crashes, somehow, Tim Hortons will survive

Tue, Oct. 7, 2008 · 1:39 PM ET by Karen Hawthorne

More

Filed under: World, Economics | Read More | Comments (0)
Posted
Palin ‘a disgrace to women’: Bardot

Tue, Oct. 7, 2008 · 1:28 PM ET by Karen Hawthorne

More

Filed under: U.S. Politics | Read More | Comments (0)
Posted
Harper vows balanced budget as Tory platform unveiled

Tue, Oct. 7, 2008 · 1:26 PM ET by Chris Boutet

More

Filed under: Canadian Election, Conservatives | Read More | Comments (12)
The Ampersand
Macca returns to his Youth: Download Sir Paul’s new single

Tue, Oct. 7, 2008 · 1:18 PM ET by Brad Frenette

More

Filed under: Music | Read More | Comments (0)
The Ampersand
Sarah Palin on Tina Fey on Sarah Palin?

Tue, Oct. 7, 2008 · 1:10 PM ET by Rebecca Tucker

More

Filed under: Television | Read More | Comments (0)
Posted
Obama, McCain presidential debate live blog, round two

Tue, Oct. 7, 2008 · 1:00 PM ET by Shane Dingman

More

Filed under: World, U.S. Politics | Read More | Comments (0)
The Ampersand
‘When I stand here it makes me human’ – a literal remix of A-Ha’s Take On Me

Tue, Oct. 7, 2008 · 12:28 PM ET by Brad Frenette

More

Filed under: Lunchtime links | Read More | Comments (1)
Posted
Canadians urged to ‘vote strategically’ for the environment

Tue, Oct. 7, 2008 · 12:15 PM ET by Chris Boutet

More

Filed under: Environment, Canadian Election | Read More | Comments (1)
Full Comment
Kelly McParland: Look at these two cartoons. Spot any similiarities?

Tue, Oct. 7, 2008 · 12:09 PM ET by Kelly McParland

More

Filed under: Full Comment, Kelly McParland | Read More | Comments (1)
Video

Deadly California bus crash

Investigators are looking into what caused a bus to flip over and roll into a ditch in northern California

‘We’re not going to win this war’

Global National on Britain’s top soldier in Afghanistan saying that the war can’t be won

Palin at the podium

Sarah Palin tries to explain the status of the economy by using a soccer mom analogy during the vice-presidential debate

Monk’s words on credit crisis

Bulgarian monk who used to work as a Nasdaq broker says the current financial crisis is needed to remind people to be more reasonable

How Canadians can ease market mayhem

Global National reports on how Canadians can soften the blow of the mayhem on the stock market

Bailout bust

Global National reports on how the U.S. Congress bailout package failed

Bullets in the rafters

Brett Gundlock takes a look at the secret club hidden in the rafters of Toronto’s Union Station –- one the the mayor would like to evict

Urban fishing

Tyler Anderson takes a look at a unique way to bring a bit of the outdoor adventure to innercity children

The Talibe Children of Senegal

Tyler Anderson follows the talibe children, sent by their parents to live with and beg for their marabout’

Dusk to Dawn

National Post’s photographers explore Toronto after sunset

40-Something

Tyler Anderson takes a look at an unusual retirement home for ex-HIV test patients

Faces in the field

NP Video: An eccentric sculptor has turned his surroundings into the biggest tourist attraction in northern Ontario’s Burks Falls

A better you

NP Video: The Post and our experts show three women ways to a better you in our new series

Graffiti

From Montreal to Vancouver, their names are written in paint, marker and carved into walls, benches and windows — and all manner of public and private spaces

Little Kenadie

Kenadie Joudin Bromley is four-years-old and weighs 10 lbs. She’s a primordial dwarf

The Abaya Monologues

On the streets with Danielle Crittenden as she gets a taste of life in conservative Islamic dress
More National Post
NewsRSS

Harper vows balanced budget in Tory platform

Military patrols Bangkok following anti-government street battles

McCain camp hopes second debate will stop Obama’s momentum
Financial PostRSS

Bernanke signals rate cut to come

Harper shrugs off calls for crisis measures

Toronto stocks sinks back below 10,000
SportsRSS

F-1 drops Montreal’s grand prix

Leafs have ‘no timeline’ to start winning

Raptors kick off exhibition schedule
ArtsRSS

Halle Berry named Esquire’s Sexiest Woman Alive

Wise words from the dinner table

New rules for Oscar documentaries spark debate

Promotion
Stock Challenge

Click for a chance at your share of $150,000 in prizes
Grey Cup Contest

Win a VIP package to the Grey Cup in Montreal

Services: Privacy | Terms | Contact us | Advertise with us | FAQ | Copyright and permissions | Today’s paper | Digital paper | Newsletter | YourPost | News Feeds | Subscription services | Site map

National Post: Home | News | Opinion | Arts | Life | Sports | Cars | Multimedia| Your Post | NP Network Blogs

Financial Post: Home | Analysis | Trading Desk | Markets | Money | Small Business | Careers | Reports | FP Magazine

National Post and Financial Post are Part of the Canada.com Network

© 2008 The National Post Company. All rights reserved. Unauthorized distribution, transmission or republication strictly prohibited.

About jewterror

World's Greatest Jew Hater and Hopefully the Greatest Jew Killer!
This entry was posted in Special Ops. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s