When Ignatieff made the initial flippant remark about the Qana bombing, it was clear that he was the victim of a horrible soundbite, intermingled with a helping of political naivete. In fairness, I didn't take Ignatieff's "losing sleep" comment as some indictment of the man's character. The comment was a mistake, that Ignatieff later admitted upon reflection. Chalk it up to a lack of understanding of the political realm, where carefully chosen words are a necessity.
However, this latest twist isn't so easily dismissed in my mind because on this occasion Ignatieff swings wildly to the other extreme, which suggests political motivation. Ignatieff's overt attempt to appease, in a region that would be sympathetic, is hardly flattering and rightfully blows up in his face. You can't go from no reaction to the most damaging language and not expect fallout. Ignatieff has now achieved the impossible, alienating both diametrically opposed sides.
The "war crime" comment represents the evolution of a political animal. Ignatieff tries to curry favor with a constituency that will likely never support him, given the history, and in so doing betrays his staunch supporters. Did Susan Kadis overreact? Possibly, but that doesn't diminish the fact that Ignatieff has lost his soul on this issue. You can't be everything to everybody, Ignatieff plays the chameleon and rightfully loses. If I could offer Ignatieff any advice, stop talking and take you lumps. The more you talk, the more the verbal gymnastics embarrass.
The "Ignatieff is a rookie" meme now finds more support. More alarming, the "anti-politico" angle to Ignatieff's campaign, that has appeal, is completely tarnished by this transparent political powerplay to win support. I must confess, this latest episode reminds me of Paul Martin circa 05/06, saying anything to anybody and in turn appearing to be nowhere. When you abandon your principles for political expediency, there is nothing left. I don't care what Ignatieff said, it's what provoked him to say it that is most troubling.