Critique of Robert Fife

Robert Fife
Ottawa Bureau Chief
National Post
bfife@nationalpost.com

Mr. Fife:

Having reviewed the two articles you have written (Sept. 20 and 25, 2002), along with the N.P. editorial from Sept. 23 and the poll question that supplemented your newspaper's coverage, I would like to set the record straight on some gross misstatements (quite frankly, deliberate distortions) found in N.P.'s trilogy and poll question.

1. Nazi war criminals are not being targeted, because none of the victims of the government's denaturalization and deportation process have ever been found, nor were they in fact, Nazis; as well, none of them have ever been found by a competent Canadian court to have committed either war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity or any atrocities of any sort. Period.

2. The target of these politically inspired witch-hunts and concomitant show trials is the Ukrainian and Baltic community in Canada.

3. The purpose of the denaturalization and deportation exercise has less than nothing to do with justice; it has everything to do with advancing the political agenda of a depraved lobby whose influence in government far outweighs either the merits of the cause it is pursuing, or the numbers of Canadians it truly represents.

4. For Canadian Jewish groups to oppose the government's proposed review is nothing short of absurd, as their primary concern (from your articles) is that this is unacceptable to them "in what they say is a worldwide climate of rising anti-Semitism". To trot out this outworn, overblown and intellectually barren slur on the part of the Jewish lobby is the height of desperation. If your newspaper, and you as a journalist, subscribe to the view that opposing any particular item the Jewish lobby is pushing constitutes "anti-semitism", then you are hopelessly dishonest.

5. For Mr. Dimant and company to talk loosely of "mass murderers walking free in this country", given his people's record presently in the Middle East, and historically as Stalin's willing executioners is nothing short of first-rate hypocrisy. It's just a matter of time before enough of the public catch on to this fact to mark the beginning of the end of the Jewish community's stranglehold on victim identity and permanent martyr status.

6. (I'll give you one where you stated that the "d & d" policy was a "back-door removal strategy". But you must have heard the baying of "the lobby" over that careless remark, accurate as it was.)

7. If you and the N.P. are going to regard the Luitjens case as an example of the "success" of the d & d process, why don't you mention that it had nothing whatsoever to do with d & d, which was introduced in 1995, 3 years after Luitjens was deported? Why don't you mention that the reason he was deported was that he had been tried in absentia in his native Holland, and found to have committed war crimes by a criminal court (unlike Canada)? Why don't you mention -- I dare you -- that Luitjens served less than two weeks in prison in Holland, and then was pardoned? Try that one on.

8. When Mr. Landy crows about the need to deport so-called Nazi's on the grounds that this bolsters the prosecution of "modern war criminals", I sure hope he's not talking about the ones coming out of the Middle East, and now taking up residence in Canada. I mean, the ones from Isreal -- and there's plenty of those.

9. On this canard about the late Mr. Justice Deschenes identifying 883 suspected "Nazi collaborators" in Canada, why don't you mention Mr. Deschenes last speech in Quebec when he stated that, if he had to do it all over again, he would not have recommended d & d, as a last resort it turns out, but would have stuck with criminal proceedings? Why don't you interview ex-MP Dr. Alex Kindy about what a top RCMP official told him at the time of the Deschenes Commission--i.e. that there was "not one iota of palpable evidence of war criminality" against a single suspect? Go ahead.

10. The N.P.'s poll question has plunged your newspaper into the lowest scum level of yellow journalism. Loaded as it is to please the Jewish lobby, and no one else, my answer is this: as long as the Canadian government uses the proper criminal trial process that would be needed to determine the guilt or innocence of a person accused of "heinous" war crimes, as long as the government directed its efforts against all suspects, regardless of ethnic background or the period their alleged offences took place, and as long as a competent Court is called upon to make the decision on revocation and deportation (instead of politicians beholden to certain lobbies for continued big-buck funding), then, sure I think the government should continue to prosecute ALL war criminals.

I don't know which journalism school you attended, sir, but the standard of gross distortion, outright dishonesty and historical falsification your articles displayed do not stand you in good stead with most Canadians.

Eugene Harasymiw, B.A.(Hon.), LL.B.
Chair
Civil Liberties Standing Committee
Alberta Ukrainian Self-Reliance League
10611 - 110 Ave.
Edmonton, AB T5H 1H7
fax: (780) 457-5170