Is that comment unfair? Unfortunately I don't think so.
I'm struggling to find something endearing in these remarks, but with all honesty, Jean Chretien is flat out lying with some of these statements he's made in his book.
Now I'm not one to defend former Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin, but the truth needs to be told to lies less we loose all sense of reality in a drunken anger fest.
This first accusation at former Prime Minister Paul Martin is damning:
Chretien says when he left office, Canada was on track to meet its commitments under the Kyoto accord.
That statement is bold faced straight in the neck lie. Eddie Goldenberg, Jean Chretien's right hand man confessed in February of this year that "...the Liberals went ahead with the Kyoto Protocol on climate change even though they knew there was a good chance Canada wouldn't meet its goals for pollution reduction."
The facts are clear. Jean Chretien either intentionally, or unintentionally is lying.
Further Jean Chretien goes on to state that:
Chretien also recounts that after the Taliban government of Afghanistan was overthrown, he carefully engineered things so Canada's soldiers were stationed around the safer area of Kabul, helping to rebuild the Afghan capital.
"Later, unfortunately, when my successor took too long to make up his mind about whether Canada should extend our term with the International Security Assistance Force, our soldiers were moved out of Kabul and sent south again to battle the Taliban in the killing fields around Kandahar," Chretien writes.
It does not take an elephant to remember that Canada's original commitment around Kabul involved a military role, and not just a reconstructive one. Their role was to "maintain order" in Kabul - Not to play it safe. This is a lie of omission.
Now they may not have been in the heaviest combat area of Afghanistan, but to suggest that Kabul was some sort of safe haven is a lie of convenience. Jean Chretien should remember the funerals of soldiers that he himself attended that were on that original combat mission to "safe" Kabul. Furthermore, it was under Jean Chretien's tenure that Canadian soldiers participated in one of the harshest battles in the war outside of Kabul in Operation Anaconda. That's why I'm assuming the honorable former Prime Minister uses the word "again" to describe the movement south of Canadian forces.
To suggest that the former Prime Minister cleverly made sure Canadian soldiers were kept out of harms way is a bold faced lie.
Then comes this whopper about the sponsorship scandal:
"Of course, I expected to have to take some hits in the press for a couple of weeks, but that hadn't frightened me in the past and it didn't frighten me now. By the time Martin was to take over, the whole issue would have been history and he could have begun his mandate without that albatross around his neck."
But Pimblett challenged Chretien's memory. "Undoubtedly there are clear differences in recollection between the two men - not the least of which would appear to be Mr. Chretien's decision to prorogue Parliament, and not accept the auditor generals report on sponsorship personally," he said.
That statement by Chretien is rightly challenged by Paul Martin's spokesman. Again, I'm no elephant, but I remember when the sponsorship scandal broke, and If I'm not mistaken the former Prime Minister Jean Chretien made an appearance: to testify.
That wouldn't have taken a couple of weeks. And for Chretien to suggest things would have just blown over like his couple million dollar golfing scandal in 2000, he's either lying or in denial. $100 million dollars was sent to Liberal friendly ad agencies without proper documentation. Public money was traded between people in brown paper bags at restaurants. That isn't something that will just blow over.
So in the end why would I waste my money and time to read such a useless piece of lies and propaganda?