Monday, February 28, 2005

More on Missile Defense

  • Mon, February 28, 2005
    Missile move OK with Yanks?
    By MARIA McCLINTOCK, Parliamentary Bureau


    Defence Minister Bill Graham insisted yesterday that Canada-U.S. relations won't suffer a setback over the decision not to join the controversial American missile defence program. Graham's argument came as the New York Times yesterday reported that some U.S. policy experts see Prime Minister Paul Martin's rejection of the program differently.
    "Of course they would have preferred we sign on, but I don't believe our failure or our decision not to sign on, but to work more actively in other areas, will have a disastrous consequence on our relationship with the United States," Graham said on CTV's Question Period.
    "It's a far too textured, far too multi-layered, far too mutually interdependent relationship. Just remember for 38 states of the United States, Canada is their principle trading partner."
    Last fall, Graham made public statements indicating it would be a serious mistake for the government not to be at the table with the Americans.
    "In a cabinet system where people advocate things, sometimes you win arguments and sometimes you don't. The fact of the matter is I'm very comfortable with the decision the prime minister took," he said.
    But a report in the New York Times suggested Martin's decision could tarnish the relationship that he's been attempting to mend.
    David J. Bercuson, directory of the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary told the Times that Martin's decision represents a "big departure."
    "Anytime we have had a major evolution in North American defence policy since 1940, the two countries have been together," he told the Times.

No worries about alienating our principle allies and trading partner. Hell, we've already completely alienated ourselves so what's one more screw up, right?

Friday, February 25, 2005

Norad? Too bad

  • Opting out of missile defence could alter Norad: ex-general

    Stephen Thorne

    Canadian Press
    Thursday, February 24, 2005

    OTTAWA (CP) - The federal government's decision to opt out of the contentious U.S. missile defence program will freeze Canada out of critical decision-making in its own defence, says Norad's former deputy chief.
    But retired lieutenant-general George MacDonald says while Canada's role in the North American Air Defence Command might ultimately change, it won't end.
    "Canadians will not have any participation in the actual decision-making or the rules of engagement or anything to do with ballistic missile defence," the former vice-chief of defence staff and now a consultant says.
    "We will simply be feeding the system. And the question that ultimately may be asked is whether this is still an important mission for Norad to do."
    At some point, MacDonald says, the U.S. might want to lop off Norad's role in the warning element of missile defence, thereby completely excluding Canada from the process.
    An August 2004 amendment expanded Norad's mission, allowing Canadians at Norad headquarters to interpret and transfer U.S. satellite and radar data about incoming missiles to officials at the missile defence system, the United States Northern Command.
    The two commands, located side-by-side at Cheyenne Mountain, Col., issued a two-sentence, joint statement Thursday saying Canada's Norad role has not been "diminished."
    "U.S. Northern Command will have operational control of the GMD system once the president and the U.S. secretary of defence declare a limited operational capability," said the statement.
    The current system employs no ground-based stations on Canadian soil, nor would it necessarily if Canada had signed on, said MacDonald.
    "I think over time the Norad mission in this area will atrophy, that it will become less important to the Americans and the Canadians will be gradually eased out of it," he said in an interview.
    "If Canadians can only do part of that mission, does it make sense for them to do any of it? I think that will be the ultimate question."
    Canada would have played a similar role in nuclear retaliatory decisions of U.S. presidents since the two countries first signed the Norad agreement in 1958, by furnishing information but not decisions, he noted.
    What is important for Canada at this stage, he said, is to remain engaged in other elements of defensive co-operation and collaboration - namely anti-terrorism and traditional sea and air surveillance and defence.
    "One would hope that the bilateral defence relationship will become even stronger, although the lack of our participation in ballistic missile defence does create some uncertainty."
    Informal talks have started on possibly expanding the Norad agreement to include land and sea defences.

And there is barely any talk about how we are slowly cutting our ties with Norad in the Canadian news today. What a surprise.

Sugar Daddy has got the cheque - again


PM draws fire over missiles

  • He won't sign on, but wants to be consulted before launches; U.S. ambassador says no.
  • By BRIAN LAGHI AND DANIEL LEBLANC
  • Friday, February 25, 2005 - Page A1


    OTTAWA -- Prime Minister Paul Martin said yesterday that Canada has to be involved in any U.S. decision to shoot down an enemy missile in Canadian airspace, but the American ambassador said the country had given up its right to be involved in any such decision.
    Paul Cellucci, the U.S. ambassador, made the remarks just after Mr. Martin officially announced Canada would not join the controversial missile-defence shield.
    "We will deploy," Mr. Cellucci said. "We will defend North America.
    "We simply cannot understand why Canada would in effect give up its sovereignty, its seat at the table, to decide what to do about a missile that might be coming towards Canada."
    Moments earlier, Mr. Martin had told reporters he expected the United States to consult with Canada.
    "Canada is a sovereign nation and we would expect and insist on being consulted on any intrusion into our space," Mr. Martin said.
    He did not explain what kind of consultation he expects out of the Americans in the event of a missile attack, and federal officials refused to expand on the scenario.

So lets get this straight. The US will pay to defend us but we want to be consulted before missiles are used? Apart from the obvious pandering to a constituency of small L liberals who want to make granola and not war this is a classic example of the Canadian world "vision". The United States is under nuclear attack but they have to phone us for permission to defend themselves. Maybe we'll convene a bipartisan panel to study the idea. By the time the missiles start slamming home, we might even have a mission statement.

Nevermind that it is a complete given that any force capable of attacking the US with missiles would automatically take out most of Canada to prevent the US using it as a safe haven. Ottawa is just as surely targeted as Washington.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Governor General's Moonbattery

  • Stanley Cup should be awarded in women's hockey: Governor General


    Canadian Press
    February 22, 2005

    OTTAWA (CP) -- Gov. Gen. Adrienne Clarkson says the Stanley Cup is important to all Canadians and if the National Hockey League won't award it this year, it should be the top prize in women's hockey.
    She thinks the trophy should be awarded to the winner of a showdown between the national women's teams from Canada and the United States, and the winners would get to parade the cup in their hometowns.
    "Why not?" she told the Globe and Mail in an interview. "Women's hockey has come along so far in the last few years."
    Clarkson holds the office that created the Stanley Cup in 1892, by then governor general Lord Stanley of Preston.
    The NHL cancelled the 2004-05 season last week after failing to reach a collection bargaining agreement with its players.
    However, under current rules, the Stanley Cup can only be awarded to an NHL team.
    Brian O'Neill, one of the two trustees in charge of the Stanley Cup, said there's no legal way the trophy could be awarded for another competition "under the present terms of the agreement we have with the National Hockey League."
    "It's really sad not to see it competed for," he said, "but under the terms of our agreement, there's no basis under which we could take it back and say that someone else is going to compete for it.
    "The only way it would (happen) was if the league decided it didn't want to compete for it any more -- or the league went defunct," he said.
    "Then the Stanley Cup would revert to the trustees and they would have to decide how to deal with it at that point."
    Still, Clarkson says the Cup belongs to Canada.
    She has already made tentative contact with the cabinet of Prime Minister Paul Martin, although it's hoped her plan would go ahead with good will and not politics.

If there is any possible way to undermine Canadian traditions, you can bet a liberal will bring it up. It takes a minimum of 4 best of 7 playoff series to win the Stanley Cup, the most storied trophy in pro sports history. At best, you'd have to play 16 bone-jarring, high intensity games. At the most, 28. And people want to award the Stanley Cup to the winner of a two team, one shot women's hockey tournament? Disgusting. While women's hockey has made leaps and bounds, our Olympic champion gold medalists were recently shown the door 5-2 against a men's AA midget team made up of 17 year olds.

Purest insanity.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The State of the Nation

More than a thousand years afterwards, historians still argue about what caused the fall of Rome. That the Roman Empire declined and fell is not in question, but what caused the demise of one of the world’s greatest and most enduring empires is still debated. A strong case can be made that over time, the Romans became complacent and their once iron vigilance abated. The highly disciplined and lethal citizen armies of the early Republic, willing to close with their enemies in hand-to-hand combat slowly over time gave way to armies largely made up of mercenaries and allies. As their material wealth and freedoms grew, they lost the sense that the state could expect their service for the greater good. Without ever noticing the trend, the Romans grew weak and the unthinkable occurred – they were destroyed – not with a single act or event, but over time. The combination of complacency and lack of courage ended their empire. Canada is no empire. One of our country’s greatest strengths is that we seek no empire. We seek to be friends with the world and do business with the world. We have been known as honest brokers and friendly competitors. And yet in the short period of time from the end of World War II to today’s date – a mere 60 years in the course of time, we have become unrecognizable to the country we once were. If you were to tell the brave men that hit the beaches on D-Day that we would one day shun our traditional allies they would have called you mad. If the fathers of those men, who stormed Vimy Ridge were told that the day would come when we would side with France sooner than Britain, they would have said it was a lie – a damnable lie that filled their eyes with tears. And yet, this has come to pass – like the Romans, almost imperceptibly, complacently, and gradually. What man, what soldier, stepping off a troop ship in 1945 to meet his grateful family would ever, in a thousand years, dream it possible that in his grandson’s day the great issues in the public square would be gay marriage and legalizing recreational drugs? Could that man’s family even comprehend the idea of the government ladling out billions of taxpayer dollars to fund a national daycare program? These are not the sole issues of the day but they are very representative of the state of affairs in Canada. Gay marriage, legalized drugs and national daycare all have one common denominator. They are “me” first issues. They represent a society where everything is okay – nothing is wrong or questionable. If I feel a certain way about something – anything – that’s okay. I have the right to “feel” anyway I like. Step back from today’s Canada. Take a look at what we have become. When did we reach the point where we expect the government to coddle us from cradle to grave? When did it become someone else’s responsibility to take care of my children? It sounds ridiculous and it would astound your grandfather if he was told after getting off his troop ship in 1945 but the day will soon come when two gay men can smoke pot at their wedding reception while taxpayer’s dollars pay for their adopted child to be in daycare. Madness? No, sadly it is fact. Who lead us to this sorry point where Canada is now a laughing stock militarily and completely ignored on the world stage? A variety of shortsighted political characters, no doubt, but the citizens of our country shoulder the lion’s share of the blame. How could we permit this to happen? How did we become so slothful and complacent? These questions need answers, but more so, they need actions to remedy the sickness Canada has gradually fallen under. June 6th, 1944 was D-Day. The Canadian contigent on that great day was so large that we not only had our own beach, Juno beach, but also contributed to Sword beach where the British were landing. The 8th Canadian Infantry Brigade of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division landed on Juno beach. Bear that in mind – a full infantry brigade . We can now barely commit a single battalion anywhere in the world and if we do so, we have to lease the planes from a foreign country to take them to the theatre of war. Perhaps you would prefer to wave me off and shake your head, and go about your business. Suit yourself. After all, being Canadian now means looking after yourself and nobody else, and damn the future. Our grandfathers built a wonderous, free country. What are we going to leave our grandchildren?

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Thought we grew a spine there for a minute...

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

DID WE SUDDENLY WISE UP?


  • ANNE DAWSON
    CanWest News Service
    Wednesday, February 23, 2005


    The federal Liberals are poised to make the largest single investment in Canada's cash-strapped military in more than two decades today when Finance Minister Ralph Goodale announces he will boost the Armed Forces budget by more than $12 billion over the next five years.

THEN AGAIN, MAYBE NOT...

  • ALEXANDER PANETTA
    OTTAWA (CP) - Prime Minister Paul Martin will deliver a firm No to Canadian participation in the U.S. missile defence plan and break a lengthy silence that fomented confusion on both sides of the border.


    The announcement, first reported by a radio station and confirmed by federal officials Tuesday night, will come Thursday and end a streak of obfuscation where Martin refused to state Canada's position.
    News of the announcement follows a day of confusion on Parliament Hill after Frank McKenna, Martin's choice to be the next ambassador to the U.S., sparked a political firestorm by saying participation in the controversial continental missile defence system is a done deal.
    The end of Martin's silence will come as an about-face for a prime minister who had repeatedly stated his support for missile defence when he was a Liberal leadership candidate barely a year ago.

I am shocked - shocked! Prime Minister Martin truly has earned his nickname as Mr. Dithers. But its all in a day's work here in Canada. After all, why pay for expensive things like your own defense when the grow-your-own-clothes set will be livid if we co-operate with the Great Satan?
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