In which Rob Ford compares his adversaries to Saddam Hussein

So I am reluctant to add to the attention on Toronto’s..um…situation, but Rob Ford made a fascinating comment yesterday that put a lot of things into perspective for me. Check out this succinct summary from The Telegraph of just a fraction of the shit that went down at city hall yesterday:

“This, folks, reminds me of when, when I was watching with my brother, when Saddam attacked Kuwait,” Mr Ford said, sparking astonished laughter. “And President [George HW] Bush said, ‘I warn you, I warn you, I warn you, do not.’”

“You guys have just attacked Kuwait,” he warned, promising to do “everything in my power” to defeat the councilors who voted against him and promising “outright war in the next election”.

His brother denounced the council session as a “kangaroo court” and a “coup d’etat”.

WHAT WHAT WHAT? This is so fantastically out of control–both the Fords seem to have abandoned any hope of saving their careers and are now clearly trying to draw as much attention to themselves as possible.

While I’m grateful to them for giving me some much-needed laughs, the comparisons to Kuwait are shockingly offensive to the many who lost loved ones or their lives in the invasion. Maybe the Fords aren’t aware that there’s a world out there, and most of it is even shittier than Etobicoke.

And let’s take a critical look at this. Here is the Fords’ arch-nemesis, Coun. Adam Vaughan:

ANDREW FRANCIS WALLACE / TORONTO STAR

Here is Saddam Hussein, apparently sitting in someone’s basement after a rough night:

image: The Telegraph

Ok so that’s not his finest hour, but I think we can all agree he’s one scary motherfucker. The Fords have somehow made the logical leap that Vaughan deserves to be compared to Hussein. One is responsible for millions of deaths and the arbitrary invasion of a nation. The other supports bike lanes, more stringent gun laws, and (admittedly) has actually been accused of waging a war–on nightclubs. In fact, Vaughan unfairly blamed College Street pub Crown and Tiger for a shooting that occurred in 2012, much like Hussein blamed Kuwait for declining oil prices in 1990. Ah. that one was a thinker–I see the connection now. Thank you, Ford brothers!

And that’s not the only parallel that Rob Ford’s situation shares with the Gulf War. Much like the Iraq-Kuwait conflict, the chaos at city hall can be in part attributed to a nasty border dispute. In the case of the Gulf War, Hussein justified the invasion on the grounds that Kuwait historically belonged to Iraq, so he was just taking it back. The fact that Kuwait is an oil-rich territory had absolutely no bearing on his decision whatsoever.

Toronto’s situation is a little different. Etobicoke is not an oil-rich territory. It is a land full of rich, conservative people (and not the classy, Conrad Black/finance kind of conservative) and terrifying crack dealers. Much to the downtown liberals’ dismay, Etobicoke joined Toronto in the Great Amalgamation of 1998. The historic event was, ironically enough, an effort to save money by joining six municipalities into one MEGA-SUPER-INSANELY-POWERFUL TURBOMUNICIPALITY.

The festering resentment Torontonians have felt ever since then accounts for the uncommon bitterness with which they have treated Ford. Until he gave them a whole lot of other reasons, of course. But whether in the Middle East or in Eastern Canada, border disputes can escalate quickly when underlying tensions are brought to head.

It is often stated that Hussein invaded Kuwait as a convenient way of paying his debts from Iraq’s conflict with Iran. Here we see another parallel with Toronto’s current situation: tax-and-spend liberals are obviously attacking Ford so they can get more money for financing bike lanes and nightclub raids. Maybe they’re run up some debts they don’t want the public to know about; maybe they’ve spent just a little too much on swimming pools or whatever money-burning scheme they are funding this week. The tax-and-spenders are fed up with Ford’s tough attitude towards budgeting and want him gone so they can make Toronto into one giant bike lane. Which is, like, totally the same thing as funding a war with Iran.

All I can say to Mayor Ford is, THANK YOU FOR DRAWING OUR ATTENTION TO THIS EGREGIOUS VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS. He has allowed us all to see the many parallels between the Gulf War and the scandal that has resulted from his crack-smoking. It’s totally the same thing. In fact, I’m going to call up the UN immediately and propose a resolution. Adam Vaughan will be captured two decades later looking decidedly less clean-shaven after having spent years hiding out in Scarborough, and justice will at last be restored to Toronto.

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