More lines on the Canadian invasion of Norway 
I thought I would follow up my thoughts on Martin's error with Mark Steyn's:

"A year and a half ago, the Defence Minister, John McCallum, referred to Vimy as “Vichy”, confusing the First World War bloodbath in which Canada came of age with the Second World War collaborationist regime in southern France. A telling error? Of course not, perish the thought. Now the Prime Minister can’t even tell us what country our fighting men stormed the beaches of in the operation that marked the apogee of our military power, and indeed of our broader influence in world affairs. We’re not talking about peripheral skirmishes here, but two of the events – Vimy and Juno – central to our national story. Or they were.

It would be inconceivable for Tony Blair to stand up in public and reveal his – and his staff’s – ignorance of Trafalgar or Waterloo. But when a Canadian Prime Minister does it, somehow it’s no big deal. No doubt by the time you read this the CBC will have moved on to reruns of that encounter from four years ago when Rick Mercer persuaded Governor Bush that the Prime Minister of Canada was called “M Poutine”. Hilarious!

I'm sticking with this Norway thing because I am surprised by the lack of coverage - was there an official clarification or even an apology? Should there be? Should we just ignore it?

James said that he sometimes gets Switzerland and Sweden mixed up when talking about one of those countries or their inhabitants and I'll admit that I switch Jack Nicholson and Nicklaus' names but I know that I've used the wrong name pretty soon after I say it and correct myself and I would guess that James is conscious of his error as well.

Martin's speech started with the two references to Normandy:

"As a country, we are entering one of the most pivotal decades in our history. And as Canadians, we will have important decisions to make.

Today, in this short period of time allotted to me, I would like to talk to you about the future of Canada’s defence in a complex and changing world.

And as I do so, here at this historic base, we might just want to remember the great events that we will be commemorating later this June.

Sixty years ago, Canadians were working alongside their British and American allies planning for the invasion of Normandy and the liberation of Europe. Freedom, Justice, and democracy hung in the balance as the largest armada in history steamed toward the coast of France on the eve of D-Day.

The maple leaf was very much in evidence on June 6th, 1944 as citizen-soldiers from across Canada – farm boys, office clerks, fishermen and students – surged out of their landing craft onto Juno beach and into history. Our troops advanced further inland than any other allied force that day. And by sunset, Canadians from across our land began to grasp the scale of the initial victory and the sacrifices that lay ahead.

Today, it is every bit as important that Canada step forward – just as we did during the invasion of Normandy. For the values of freedom, justice, and democracy that inspired Canadian actions 60 years ago are just as critical now as they were then.


The more I think about it, the more I don't understand his error. The most plausible explanation is that he was just reading his speech and not paying attention to the actual content - and the visual similiarity of Norway and Normandy caused the mental switch.

So, if that is the reason - what does that say about the man?

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