Monday, December 12, 2005

Our "Disappointing" Neighbour

The best that can be said of the recently concluded meeting on climate change in Montreal is that the countries that care about global warming did not allow the United States delegation to blow the whole conference to smithereens...

So begins the NY Times editorial that caught my eye with a link titled: "Shame in Montreal". The shame seen by the Times is heeped rather forcefully on the Bush administration, for its continuing recalitrance in facing up to its responsibilities on Global Warming. A good read.

Another good read is Stephen Harper's letter to the Moonie-owned Washington Times. In it, you will find some nice diplomatic language explaining his thoughts on such topics as whether Canadian troops should now be commited to the cause in Iraq:
On Iraq, while I support the removal of Saddam Hussein and applaud the efforts to establish democracy and freedom in Iraq, I would not commit Canadian troops to that country. I must admit great disappointment at the failure to substantiate pre-war intelligence information regarding Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction.

Oh dear! So very... disappointing. Disappointing? I'm sure that word sums up the feelings of the dearly departed Iraqis quite nicely. For me disappointing is missing the bus, or not being able to find the DVD I'd hoped to rent. No doubt a good deal of thought went into the choice of that particular word (we don't want to ruffle any feathers now). But it's so achingly bending over to be diplomatic that it ends up being callously insulting.

Beyond that, Harper states his wish for the United States to respect NAFTA; his desire to revisit the gay marriage issue; his assessment of Kyoto as being "deeply flawed"; and a fairly strong-sounding statement about not initiating or supporting any legislation that would "restrict abortion" (although I wonder if he would be kind enough to qualify whether that is any different from restricting access to abortion).

But what I wonder most of all is when you were planning on making these thoughts clear to your own countrymen, Stephen? Or were you just going to refer us to this American rag to find that out?

- 30 -

Update: More disappointing news from the Washington Post. It seems another Iraqi Interior Ministry detention center has turned up evidence of torture that "appeared to have been more severe" than what was found last month in Baghdad. The line that sticks out for me:
Lt. Col. Guy Rudisill, a spokesman for U.S. military detention issues, said American authorities had already been aware that the prison searched Thursday existed.

'Nuff said.


DazzlinDino said...

C'mon Scott, you can't compare Harper to Bush in any way shape or form. Our parties here are far more centerist than almost anywhere else on the planet.

I think Harpers statement was better than Martins slamming their eviromental issues, when our record is far worse than theirs, I would be pretty insulted too....

Scott in Montreal said...

Bush defies comparison. As for what Martin said, lacking a "global conscience" sounds like an apt description by all accounts.