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|04-10-2003, 11:17 PM||#1|
Join Date: Feb 25, 2003
Why The PM Is Right
Allan Gotlieb's March 31 essay- arguing that Canada should have joined the coalition against Iraq- generated a large response, for and against. One dissenter is Adam Zimmerman, one of Canada's most distinguished business figures. Zimmerman, 76, is retired chairman and CEO of Noranda Forest Inc., a former director of many companies, and Officer of the Order of Canada. His response:
Unlike Allan Gotlieb, I was proud of Prime Minister Jean Chretien's decision on Iraq. It was a reasoned, popular move which showed Canada as its own self. It's notable that the other U.S. neighbour, Mexico, made the same decision (a fact that Canadian continentalists sweep under the rug). I could argue that my experience with and in the United States (excepting only the Washington stratosphere) is as profound as that of almost any Canadian. I know that Americans, as individuals, are fine, wonderful, generous people. But collectively, their national game is hardball- and winning is everything. Thus, notwithstanding the North American Free Trade Agreement, Canada is punished by the U.S. in trade in lumber, steel, wheat and fish, to name the big ones, because Americans won't accept our rules. These items are usually ignored when Americans think or talk of Canada. Ambassador Cellucci might address them while he is rattling his sabre.
To return to Chretien's decision, it was as reasonable as the American one, which arguably was an undemocratic action in a democratic state. Remember the September vote that gave George W. Bush approval from the U.S. Congress to disarm Saddam Hussein with force if necessary? That result was influenced by what is now known to be a falsehood: a report that Iraq was attempting to acquire a 500-ton shipment of uranium oxide from Iraq. It seems clear that Britain and the U.S. were spreading false information to influence public opinion.
One can criticize the United Nations, but the world is a better place with it than without. Canada has always been a strong player in UN affairs, particularly in humanitarian and peacekeeping roles. So it was logical that the Prime Minister would ally Canada with the UN. If the UN had sanctioned military action against Iraq, Canada would have taken part, as opposed to supporting unilateral action by a minority. And Canada does have as many as 2000 troops committed to relieve International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan, as well as three ships operating in the Persian Gulf.
Those people to whom trade, growth and profit count most make the point that economic reprisals are inevitable. Yes, economic security is vitally important, but the reverse is also true: perhaps we should put a value on what we mean to the U.S. Our power, hydrocarbons, auto-parts manufacturing and materials like lumber, steel, newsprint and aluminum are as vital to the U.S. economy as their market is to ours. We just haven't played that card.
For a proper perspective, one has only to leave Canada and look at how we're perceived by others. If noticed at all, we're seen to be miniscule and nice. By standing up for what we believe in, our image is, it anything, strengthened. Being our own self cannot diminish us in Washington or elsewhere. As for influencing Washington, we do so best if we stand firmly behind our interests and beliefs. If we avoid twisted PR and country-bashing, we're more likely to be admired, and even emualted. It isn't worth adjusting our beliefs in the naive notion that we really will influence the U.S.- against its will.
-p. 32, MacLean's Magazine, April 14th 2003
There is no such thing as revenge
You will not give as good as you got
There is no such thing as an eye for an eye
If you think you're the giver, you're not
There is no such thing as regret
There is no point in placing the blame
Hate destroys the one who hates
And everyone suffers the same
There is only love and respect
To thine own self be true
When you point the finger
There are three fingers pointing back at you
|04-10-2003, 11:24 PM||#2|
I want Serenity back
Join Date: Apr 30, 2001
I will get things done for America – to make our
people safer, smarter, & healthier.
I will bring Americans together to strengthen our communities.
Faced with apathy, I will take action.
Faced with conflict, I will seek common ground.
Faced with adversity, I will persevere.
I will carry this commitment with me this year and beyond.
I am an AmeriCorps member, and I will get things done.
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