Hatrack River Forum   
my profile login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » An open letter to Condi Rice from former Canadian politico

Author Topic: An open letter to Condi Rice from former Canadian politico
Chris Bridges
Member # 1138

 - posted      Profile for Chris Bridges   Email Chris Bridges         Edit/Delete Post 
Missile Counter-Attack

"I know it seems improbable to your divinely guided master in the White House that mere mortals might disagree with participating in a missile-defence system that has failed in its last three tests, even though the tests themselves were carefully rigged to show results.

"But, gosh, we folks above the 49th parallel are somewhat cautious types who can't quite see laying down billions of dollars in a three-dud poker game.


"Sure, that doesn't match the gargantuan, multi-billion-dollar deficits that your government blithely runs up fighting a "liberation war" in Iraq, laying out more than half of all weapons expenditures in the world, and giving massive tax breaks to the top one per cent of your population while cutting food programs for poor children."

Gotta love Canadians...

[ March 04, 2005, 03:08 PM: Message edited by: Chris Bridges ]

Posts: 7790 | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 3148

 - posted      Profile for solo   Email solo         Edit/Delete Post 
Hear that? Chris loves me [Big Grin]
Posts: 1336 | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 3043

 - posted      Profile for Foust   Email Foust         Edit/Delete Post 
*thunderous applause*

The missile defense plan was a key electoral issue for me.

Posts: 1515 | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 4014

 - posted      Profile for Taberah           Edit/Delete Post 
Despite the fact that he ends the letter with "in friendship," the letter is rather insultingly patronizing. He has some good points, but his self-righteous chiding tone made me rather less inclined to listen.

Most of the letter deals with legitimate SecState issues, but Missile Defense is pretty much out of Rice's hands. There are certainly diplomatic implictions, but I doubt that she could kill or downsize the program even if she wanted to.

Posts: 224 | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Bob the Lawyer
Member # 3278

 - posted      Profile for Bob the Lawyer   Email Bob the Lawyer         Edit/Delete Post 
My, Axworthy wasn't a happy man when he wrote that.

These points, though, I'm quite fond of:

If you want to have us consider your proposals and positions, present them in a proper way, through serious discussion across the table in our cabinet room, as your previous president did when he visited Ottawa. And don't embarrass our prime minister by lobbing a verbal missile at him while he sits on a public stage, with no chance to respond.

Now, I understand that there may have been some miscalculations in Washington based on faulty advice from your resident governor of the "northern territories," Ambassador Cellucci. But you should know by now that he hasn't really won the hearts and minds of most Canadians through his attempts to browbeat and command our allegiance to U.S. policies.

edit: I agree with you, Taberah. While there may be some good points the letter reads as something to rile up Canadians rather than stimulate any real discourse.

[ March 04, 2005, 06:38 PM: Message edited by: Bob the Lawyer ]

Posts: 3243 | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 2199

 - posted      Profile for Kwea   Email Kwea         Edit/Delete Post 
I think his point was that there really wasn't any real discourse about these issues...the US just acted like there had been and assumed Canada's acceptance of their policies.


[ March 04, 2005, 06:43 PM: Message edited by: Kwea ]

Posts: 15082 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 2859

 - posted      Profile for fugu13   Email fugu13         Edit/Delete Post 
Taberah, one of the reasons his letter was insultingly patronizing is that US stances towards Canada of late have been insultingly patronizing.

While it is not always worthwhile to reply in kind, it is understandable.

Posts: 15770 | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 6320

 - posted      Profile for Mabus   Email Mabus         Edit/Delete Post 
My, that was inflammatory. I agreed with it, and I still couldn't manage to agree because the fellow was so angry.
Posts: 1114 | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 7440

 - posted      Profile for Astaril   Email Astaril         Edit/Delete Post 
Above all, ignore the Cassandras who deride the state of our relations because of one missile-defence decision
Okay, forgive me my rant. I just have to get picky on this. I'm in Classics. Assuming he's referring to the famous mythological Cassandra, a prophet, he should read the story before using it. Cassandra always prophesied truth, but Apollo cursed her so that no one would ever believe her. So he's telling him to ignore people who tell the truth. Which isn't what he means, I don't think.

(And, if this is an allusion to some other Cassandra, in politics or something, that I'm not getting, I'm going to feel silly. [Blushing] Hmm. These emoticon things are fun!)

Posts: 624 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Eaquae Legit
Member # 3063

 - posted      Profile for Eaquae Legit   Email Eaquae Legit         Edit/Delete Post 
I thought this was a pretty reasonable column. Not quite as inflammatory as Axworthy's. (Again, registration required)
Editorial: Frank McKenna tells it like it is

It is refreshing to have a Canadian ambassador to the United States who hasn't yet learned the diplomatic art of leaden, elliptical speech. Frank McKenna told it like it is this week, as he took up his new post.

Washington has adopted a punitive approach to key Canadian trade issues that has bred grassroots resentment here, McKenna warned. The unnecessary American ban on imports of Canadian cattle has cost us $7 billion, and outrageous U.S. tariffs on softwood lumber have cost us $4.5 billion more. That's a lot of lost Canadian jobs.

"The temperature in Canada has been at a pretty high level because of these irritants," McKenna told reporters. "And so, the logical extension of that is that if you could turn down the temperature, then you would have a different political environment." Well, it couldn't hurt.

Prime Minister Paul Martin's government would not — and should not — shun military co-operation in areas like missile defence because of trade frictions. Not after 9/11. Not ever. The Americans are our closest allies and friends. We have to do our part to protect the continent we share. It was good to see Martin boost defence and foreign aid in the budget.

Still, U.S. President George Bush found himself pressing missiles on an audience whose reservoir of goodwill wasn't what it might have been.

McKenna deserves credit for pointing this out to Americans in language they understand. Bush is not popular in Canada, as he is not popular in many other countries. We have good reason to be irked over cattle and lumber. And most of us opposed the Iraq invasion. Selling missile defence here was never going to be easy. This clutch of irritants didn't help.

Effectively, McKenna reminded Americans that Canadian politics works much like their own. Washington can't take Canada for granted, walk all over our interests, and then expect a groundswell of public support for whatever the U.S. administration of the day proposes.

Bush, who prides himself on McKenna-style straight talk, is sure to understand this message, even if he doesn't like it. And McKenna's candour is refreshing for Canadians, too, who have had to listen to the unrealistically rosy spin that Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew seems to bring to almost every contentious issue.

McKenna skewered the predatory practices of U.S. lumber interests. He likened the U.S. lumber producers who stand unlawfully to profit from $4.5 billion in tariffs collected by the U.S. from Canadian producers to "someone standing on street corners, turning in jaywalkers, and then getting the fine money." He's right. And we weren't even jaywalking!

This week's U.S. court injunction keeping the border closed to our cattle, and yesterday's Senate vote to do the same, are just the latest insults. They left U.S. cattlemen grinning from ear to ear, even as they told the TV cameras that of course they would eat Canadian beef. Health isn't the issue, one all but admitted. It's the money.

In that spirit of frank exchange, McKenna should cultivate his innate candour. Americans stand up for their point of view, and they respect others who do the same. Sometimes, they even listen.

Posts: 2849 | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

   Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2