Thursday, April 03, 2008

Daily Digest April 3, 2008


The DAILY DIGEST: INFORMATION and OPINION from ST. JOHN'S to VICTORIA.

EDITORIALs

ST.JOHN'S TELEGRAM -
Uh, nobody asked me
http://www.thetelegram.com/index.cfm?sid=122955&sc=80

HALIFAX CHRONICLE HERALD -
Lowest of the low
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Editorial/1047155.html

Tow tragedy needs answers
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Editorial/1047339.html

MONTREAL GAZETTE -
Don't roll those constitutional dice
http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/editorial/story.html?id=cfb7fba1-aed1-4322-a38a-2328e9b185f7

OTTAWA CITIZEN -
Protecting is not abusing
http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/editorials/story.html?id=ded6de08-1716-41e4-8c00-3a0b90c8115c

NATIONAL POST -
Mugabe must go
http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/story.html?id=418647

Fixing the Liberals' immigration mess
http://www.nationalpost.com/most_popular/story.html?id=373395

WINDSOR STAR -
Flag flap
http://www.canada.com/windsorstar/news/editorial/story.html?id=7c94b4fc-953d-44b3-9a99-b752038df634

Still no room for hate
http://www.canada.com/windsorstar/news/editorial/story.html?id=1afc5e96-dfc0-4d38-b214-37acded1043b

SUDBURY STAR -
Faux green; Climate change solutions too costly for the environment
http://www.thesudburystar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=969199&auth=Dyer%2c+Gwynne

Someone's gotta learn
http://www.thesudburystar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=969197

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS -
Foolish flag flap
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/editorial/story/4153303p-4742114c.html

SASKATOON STARPHOENIX -
Immigration policy reform serves Canada
http://www.canada.com/saskatoonstarphoenix/news/forum/story.html?id=ef0a44f8-dc02-405b-828d-bd8ce8e7a50b

GRANDE PRAIRIE DAILY HERALD TRIBUNE -
Lost in space?
What is the future of the Canadian Space Agency?
http://www.dailyheraldtribune.com/Editorial/389765.html

EDMONTON JOURNAL -
Faster immigration sound Harper goal
http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/opinion/story.html?id=a1c8ed57-77b8-43f1-b41b-62d679daccfc

LETHBRIDGE HERALD -
Best to use symbolism sparingly
http://www.lethbridgeherald.com/article_10349.php

VANCOUVER SUN -
Drop the hyphens and say it together: We're all proud Canadians
http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/editorial/story.html?id=6dd4147a-53a4-4d3b-b4db-915653a2ea2a

VANCOUVER PROVINCE -
Keeping patients on wait lists cripples our health system
http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/editorial/story.html?id=5a31b624-e6ec-43e7-818d-6badee6c85ca

VICTORIA TIMES-COLONIST -
A sad decision on Ahenakew
http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/comment/story.html?id=edbabb38-e421-4a97-9ecc-8d0094fba2f8


ISSUES

ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS      
First Nations leader turns down invite to rejoin Sask. native group
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2008/03/31/5152356-cp.html

Wait drags on for native truth-telling panel: critics
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2008/04/03/5184946-cp.html


CANADIAN FORCES
Feds to fund hurt reservists and troops equally
http://www.torontosun.com/News/Canada/2008/04/03/5180041-sun.html


CANUSA/USACAN
Ottawa could face lawsuit if it blocks MDA sale
http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=402210

Canada must protect its water from U.S.: report
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080403/water_report_080403/20080403?hub=Canada

Protect Canada's water, Ottawa urged
Groups fear exploitation of country's supplies in face of freshwater crises in U.S. and elsewhere
http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/409337

Chertoff says U.S. will be ready for passport rule next year
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/080402/national/us_cda_border


FOREIGN AFFAIRS
NATO Leaders Agree to Endorse U.S. Missile Shield Plans
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,345514,00.html

Bucharest Summit takes NATO agenda forward
http://www.nato.int/docu/update/2008/04-april/e0403f.html
\
ISAF nations affirm long-term commitment to Afghanistan
http://www.nato.int/docu/update/2008/04-april/e0403g.html

Progress Report on Afghanistan
http://www.nato.int/isaf/docu/epub/pdf/progress_afghanistan.pdf

NATO troop target for Afghanistan hard to pin down
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/080403/canada/canada_nato_afghan_troops_col
        
Taliban welcome back an old friend
The release of a video featuring legendary Afghan mujahideen leader Jalaluddin Haqqani, whom many believed dead since he disappeared from the public eye several years ago, is a major boost for the Taliban. http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/JD04Df02.html

ISAF "placemat" (Contributing Nations and Troop Numbers) - 1 Apr. 2008
http://www.nato.int/isaf/docu/epub/pdf/isaf_placemat.pdf

NATO delays membership offer to Ukraine, Georgia
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/World/2008/04/02/5171526-ap.html

NATO decision on open-door policy
http://www.nato.int/docu/update/2008/04-april/e0403h.html

Canada's conditions met, will remain in Afghanistan until 2011: Harper
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/080403/national/nato_cda_afghan


HEALTH CARE RELATED
Gene tied to tobacco dangers
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080402.wsmokegene0402/BNStory/Science/home


JUSTICE SYSTEM
Rights commission accused of hijacking Internet link to log on to hate sites
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080403.winternet0403/BNStory/National/home


MIGRATION
Activists rail against Ottawa's proposed changes to immigration law
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Politics/2008/04/03/5186856-cp.html


POLITICS IN THE PROVINCES
B.C. introduces Canada's first cap-and-trade law to fight emissions
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/080403/national/greenhouse_act

N.B. ombudsman to investigate controversial decision to axe French immersion
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/080403/national/nb_immersion_inquiry

Provinces and Territories Disappointed With Federal Government's Lack of Engagement
http://news.gc.ca/web/view/en/index.jsp?articleid=389729&categoryid=1&category=News+Releases


POLITICS
Grits, Tories remain deadlocked: poll
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Politics/2008/04/02/5175366-cp.html

PM happy with NATO deal
http://www.thestar.com/News/World/article/409835

PM dishonest on unity, Dion says
http://www.thestar.com/News/Canada/article/409422

Dion asks Harper to 'come clean' on Quebec
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080403.wquebec03/BNStory/National/home

'No appetite' to open Constitution to add Quebec clauses
Tories say minister who hinted this would happen wasn't speaking for government
http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=a147fc30-7c64-4774-a1ec-165256bd860f

Tories scurry away from talk of reopening Constitution
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/080402/national/constitution_reopened

Next election will be about environment, Dion says
http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/News/National/2008/04/03/5179646-sun.html

Tories reject climate pledge
http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=6c31e9b1-6bd6-416f-b2f2-9353d6182d57

Government may fall over immigration bill
http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/story.html?id=b351ec36-d634-4293-942a-5a91ae37aa05

NDP tables motion to block Tory immigration changes
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/cbc/080403/canada/canada_immigration

Democrats' attacks on NAFTA 'irrational,' says Emerson
http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/story.html?id=0922c25f-572b-468c-a961-2ea86a73eb49

Chatty Tory's loose lips have been political asset - until now
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/080403/national/lukiwski_newsmaker

Tories stand by MP Lukiwski after anti-gay remarks made on tape found by Sask NDP
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/080403/national/sask_scandal_tape

Homophobic slur hurts Tory attempts at image makeover
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/080403/national/tories_intolerance

Tory tape scandal has Opposition calling on Sask. MP to resign
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/080403/national/sask_scandal_tape

Canadian troops fire on private security vehicle, killing 1
http://www.edmontonsun.com/News/World/2008/04/03/5186691.html

Tories take advantage of separatist weakness
http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=420175

L. Ian MacDonald on the Liberals' super secret candidate list that La Presse didn't have
http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2008/04/03/l-ian-macdonald-on-the-liberals-super-secret-candidate-list-that-la-presse-didn-t-have.aspx

Liberals, consciences part ways
Party's position on immigration reform hits the skids
http://www.nationalpost.com/most_popular/story.html?id=418635


PROGRAMMES
Producers to help draft guidelines, minister says
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20080403.VERNER03/TPStory/TPNational/Politics/

Commons committee meetings on Taser use closed to public
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/04/03/taser-meetings.html


PRESSURE POINTS
'No Sun link' to climate change
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7327393.stm

Kyoto supporters have no idea
http://www.torontosun.com/News/Columnists/Goldstein_Lorrie/2008/04/03/5180856-sun.php

Life without transport by oil is closer than we think
http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/editorial/story.html?id=a5a37e1e-3d2c-4b11-8313-4125a1d4cd3f

Canadian researchers warn of new Arctic worries
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/080403/canada/canada_climate_col


OPINION AND INFORMATION
Dief's shining moment came 50 years ago
http://www.canada.com/saskatoonstarphoenix/news/forum/story.html?id=0dca27b5-4307-4a36-9ec1-dab2411e0df1

Lowering the flag for soldiers dilutes its importance
http://www.torontosun.com/News/Columnists/Worthington_Peter/2008/04/03/5180991-sun.php

A Mountie moment
http://www.ottawasun.com/News/Columnists/Weston_Greg/2008/04/02/5177226.html

Here's a switch: France to the rescue
http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=420171

Liberals should know better
http://www.nationalpost.com/most_popular/story.html?id=418722

Deafening silence on RCMP scandal
http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/409336

Canada missing in action as Asian economies flourish
Trade is expanding but dynamic region obviously ranks low as a foreign policy priority
http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/409337

So, my idea about marriage contracts wasn't crazy
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Opinion/1047337.html

Afghan war, defence spending betray true conservatism
http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/comment/story.html?id=02d26ab1-925b-4d82-bc05-70ef743680b8

INFOS

Sommet de l'OTAN - Le Canada recevra finalement l'aide des Américains
http://www.ledevoir.com/2008/04/03/183385.html

Un député conservateur présente des excuses pour des propos homophobes
http://info.branchez-vous.com/Nationales/080403/N0403113AU.html

Ahenakew dit non à la Fédération des nations indiennes de la Saskatchewan
http://info.branchez-vous.com/Nationales/080403/N0403167AU.html

Les amendements sur l'immigration proposés par Ottawa ont leur lot d'opposants
http://info.branchez-vous.com/Nationales/080403/N0403161AU.html

Les Canadiens comprennent encore trop peu certains déterminants de la santé
http://info.branchez-vous.com/Nationales/080403/N0403117AU.html

Volte-face et malaise au PLC
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/article/20080403/CPACTUALITES/80403009/1025/CPACTUALITES

Controverses autour des amendements sur l'immigration
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/article/20080403/CPACTUALITES/80403348/1025/CPACTUALITES

Un convoi canadien tire sur un véhicule: un mort
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/article/20080403/CPACTUALITES/80403401/5846/CPACTUALITES

Kyoto: l'opposition s'unit pour accentuer la pression
http://www.ledevoir.com/2008/04/03/183381.html


BELOW(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)

ANTI-MISSILE MISSILES

        Stratos has commented on the Ukraine and Georgia not being brought into NATO, a rebuff for President Bush.  George W. will be going to Russia with
        support for missiles being placed in Eastern Europe to prevent nuclear attacks from Iran (I think it is).

        Is the move necessary?  Should the Russians buy in? If anti-missile missiles are sauce for the European goose are they as well for the Canadian gander?

                  Joe

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From: "Real Gagne"
Subject: Re: TWO MATTERS OF CONSEQUENCE

Joe:

You asked for comment on these items. I don't plan to comment on the first but I do have something to say about the second.

But first, a word about the article by Daniel Leblanc which you provided. My initial reaction was to treat this as just another example of the Globe and Mail slagging a conservative government, something it has a long history or doing and which is, in my view, particularly ill-disposed to the Harper administration. I also briefly wondered whether Blackburn's comments might have been taken out of context. That also happens all the time, with all of the media.

However, on reflection, and given Harper's predilection for controlling his administration, I have concluded that Blackburn wouldn't have been flapping his gums in that vein unless he had been given the green light to fly that particular kite.

For the life of me, I don't understand why Harper appears to have chosen to follow in the footsteps of Lester Pearson, Robert Stanfield, Pierre Trudeau, Brian Mulroney and Jean Chretien in cosying up to Quebec nationalists, unless, of course, there is an electoral calculus involved. But this gambit appears to me to be fraught with potential difficulties for him in the future.

I know that Harper is interested in reforming the Senate and in reducing the foot-print of the national government in the affairs of the nation, both of which I could support. The record of the Kremlin-on-the-Rideau in fostering national unity over the past couple of generations is a dismal one; the country has never been more fractured than it is now. However, a move to reform the federation ought not to come at the price of pandering to the interests of Quebec nationalists only.

If anything ever comes out of this, the devil will be in the details, which we have not yet seen, in particular, what sort of definition will be attached to the term "nation." My _Larousse_ dictionary interprets it in a manner quite different than that which I find in my unabridged _Webster's_. And that, I suspect, will be the source of no end of difficulties.

We do live in interesting times.

Real

===================================
From: Keith Coghlan
Subject: RE: Daily Digest April 2, 2008

HI Joe:
 
                Some interesting news in the paper over the last few days.

I would like to start with the news regarding a majority conservative government
look to make changes in the Canadian constitution for Quebec.

Well the only comment related to this issue it the fact that it would be done
to try and attract move votes for Conservative candidates in the next election in Quebec.

However this is not a valid reason to make suggests of some changes for Quebec within
Canada. Having a long memory in Canadian politics some Canadians may think this issue
was handled with a vote on Meech Lake.

Are we talking about "special Status" in some different form. Such talk by the Harper conservatives
is very narrow thinking. Sure it looks good in light of current conditions in Quebec. However can
we be certain those conditions will continue. At present we have a Liberal provincial government
in Quebec with seems to be supportive of the federal cause. However governments can change and
what will a Parti Quebecois government do with a constitutional acceptance of the "Quebec nation"

Or what will a Mario Dumont and ADQ government do with that power?

Handing over a veto to Quebec sure seems to give them some more power than other provinces within
the confederation. My reasoning for being against "Meech Lake" was based on who determines what
"special status" means for Quebec. Is it the Supreme Court of Canada, is it the National Assembly
in Quebec. Is it the government of Quebec or just the Premier of that Province.

I dont accept handing that much power of the future of Canada over.

Looking back on Brian Mulroney's Meech lake accord it gave birth to the Bloc, is there a
Lucien Bouchard in Steven Harper's small band of Quebec Conservatives.

This issue needs to be discussed not after an election, Mr Harper, but during a election, if
you really intend to make these changes.
 
One Canada , two founding peoples,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, or two nations existing together until
Quebec leaves outright or leaves in small pieces,,,,,,,,,
 
Thanks Joe and I hope Canadians will think about this very carefully
 
Keith Coghlan
Belleville Ontario

===================================
From: "Rose Dyson"

Please note the coverage in the Globe and Mail today on Heritage Minister, Josee Verner's excellent address to the Standing Senate Committee on Banking yesterday on the subject of Bill C10.

Rose Anne Dyson Ed.D.
Consultant in Media Education

Producers to help draft guidelines, minister says
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20080403.VERNER03/TPStory/TPNational/Politics/

===================================
From: "Suan H.Booiman"
Subject: To be Canadian among Canadians


THIS MESSAGE SHOULD BE ON ALL NEWSPAPERS
FRONT PAGES - BECOME A CANADIAN AMONG CANADIANS
 ___________________
Thursday » April 3 » 2008
 
Drop the hyphens and say it together: We're all proud Canadians
 
Vancouver Sun

Thursday, April 03, 2008
http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/editorial/story.html?id=6dd4147a-53a4-4d3b-b4db-915653a2ea2a

===================================
From: "Jacob Rempel"

National Post, Thursday, April 03, 2008
http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/story.html?id=418722
* Liberals should know better *
Chief Marcel Head, National Post

I am a third-term Chief of the Shoal Lake First Nation, a long time
Liberal party member and the recently elected president of the federal
Liberal riding association in Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River,
Saskatchewan.

===================================
From: "Rory J. Koopmans"
To: <joe.hueglin@bellnet.ca>
Subject: Disgust

Rory J. Koopmans, B. Admin.
#203, 8912-156 Street NW
Edmonton, AB. T5R 5Z2
 
April IIIrd, MMVIII
 
The Right Honourable Stephen J. Harper, PC, MP
Conservative, Calgary Southwest
The Office of the Prime Minister, Remote Transfer
Bucharest, Romania, Europe
 
Dear Steve:
 
     To say that I am disgusted by the words of the Honourable Gentleman IV Regina-Lumsden Lake Centre in regards to gay personages would be an understatement. I do not begrudge him the right to think what he wants, but to openly say that gay people are trash , and then to let himself be recorded, I mean how stupid is this man?
 
     Therefore, while what he said is stupid, it is not suable. I therefore request that you suspend him from the Conservative caucus immediately for a period of 1 year. Everyone must serve a penalty and he can do his penance by having zero affiliation at all. Maybe working with Saskatchewan gay & transgender groups. Perhaps helping in an anti hatred campaign on his own time.
 
     As a person who is more of the Progressive mould socially, I can see no room for sexually bigoted persons in my party. True conservatives should be in favour of gay marriage on a fiscal basis as married couples pay more in tax than common law.
 
Always A Gentleman,
 
Rory J. Koopmans
 
===================================
STRATOS
===================================

MONTREAL GAZETTE -
Muslim immigrants are getting a raw deal
http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/editorial/story.html?id=8f3ff4b8-31d9-4526-96b4-fb510150458d
Not just Muslim immigrants, I'd say, but immigrants in general. I can't tell you how many professionals of various nationalities whom I've seen reduced to work as unqualified labour. I was first made aware of this when I made a not-too-bright remark in 1984 about Haitian taxi drivers not knowing their way around town here in Montreal. (In the early 80s, a wave of Haitian immigration unfurled on Montreal. Many who wound up here, being stranded very little or no institutional support for their integration, went for the first jobs they could get their hands on. Back then, like now, driving taxis was one of those).
 
I had the good luck to muse about this out loud at my university (<< I'm NOT being ironic .. I really was lucky), with my best buddy (a Haitian) right beside me. He instantly said to me, casually: "You know, Strat, many of those drivers are doctors, engineers, and physicists". Blang! Life-lesson learned .. and I'm better off for it.
 
What's particularly frustrating to immigrants (and I've known Tunisians, Algerians, Egyptians, Moroccans, French (!), Romanians, et al who've been through this) is that Canada's immigrant-selection criteria strongly favour professionals, scientists, etc. When this self-appointed elite from overseas (<< again, no irony ... they ARE often the best from where they come and can look at our home-grown talent eye-to-eye), they're plopped onto the street with no assistance of any sort (well, to a large degree, not beyond "how to write a good resume and cover letter" and "how to present oneself at a job interview"). The result: this cream-of-the-cream has to scramble to find lodging, employment, etc., without guidance. And the employment they find is largely in the low-level service industries (telephone-based customer service, big-box retail stores (Future Shop, Best Buy, Costco, department stores, grocery stores and supermarkets, banks, etc. ... readers from Montreal will be familiar with this given that customer-service reps for Bell Canada, banks, credit-card services, et al are 90% non-Quebecois (my brother in law works for Bell Canada .. he's confirmed this to me; also, almost all reps have foreign accents ... interestingly, their French is most often BETTER than that of Quebecois).
 
After that, immigrants get ghettoized in those kinds of jobs because they find it hard to grow roots in the face of institutional resistance. Employers often won't take them because "they lack Canadian experience", and professional associations don't recognize their credentials and demand that they take courses and exams followed by work under the supervision of a senior professional before they're recognized as full-fledged engineers, accountants, doctors, etc. For Heaven's sake, I've spoken to doctor who'd worked in the field for 20 years under circumstances much more trying than those here in Canada and who've been told that they have to re-start their university education FROM SCRATCH (as in the whole seven years!).
 
Muslim immigrants getting a raw deal? Not only Muslims, my friends ...
 
 
Messages NATO needs to ponder
http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/408859
Y'know, I understand why NATO was first called to secure A-stan back in 2003, given that the place harboured a government that openly accepted the presence of an international terrorist group on its soil and that allowed it to train for major attacks worldwide (which included that of September 11th, 2001). The US had been attacked; NATO members activated Clause 5, which obliged all treaty members to mobilzie against the threat, etc.
 
However, now that A-stan's gang-land "government" has been chased away, wouldn't the UN be a more appropriate body to police and build up A-stan? Why isn't this ever brought up and discussed?
 
CANUSA/USACAN
Canada gets ready for NAFTA fight
http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=13cb0b29-9604-460f-a3cf-82c0cf99e646
Yeah .. .YEAH!!! Experience has shown us that Canada can be compelled to knuckle under US pressure when a powerful lobby really wants to have its way down there, NAFTA or no NAFTA. However, when everything's brought on the table at the same time, Canada has a lot more margin for manoeuvre that if it's faced with single issues (e.g. lumber). Want to change lumber provisiuosn? Suuuuuure .. let's talk oil too. How about agricultural products and food-inspection, too. NAFTA Superhighway, you say? Etc., etc.


U.S. attacks on NAFTA somewhat irrational: Canada
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/080402/canada/canada_nafta_col
Not so. The US political system, as established in the US Constitution, obliges US pols to kowtow to their supporters and constituencies. It also pits all pols against all other ones, including agencies, administrative departments, etc. What results is shrill auctioneering ...
 
The rationale: to get elected by attracting enough popular support and then muddle through. Makes perfect sense given the US political setup. So please, no claims of "irrationality" ... when Canada has to deal with "the US", it's NOT doing so with the country incarnated as a person. It's dealing with the 'US' POLITICIANS ... Same goes for us, of course.

Allies can't agree on Ukraine, Georgia: diplomat
http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=417671

I'll say! And it's a damn good thing, too. Of all the knuckle-headed ideas that the Bush administration has ever put forth in the past seven years, this one is the most reckless. Having Ukraine and Georgia in NATO? Do the (blunted) pointy heads in Washington not understand what that MEANS?
 
Simply put, an outside attack on a NATO country means war with all NATO members. Now, could someone in Washington PLEASE explain to us if NATO, collectively, is willing to risk total war a la WW-I whose security is vital to neither Europe nor North America? We've already rattled Russia by bringing the Baltic Republics on board ... they're VERY close to Russia's number-two nevralgic centre (St. Petersburg) instead of settling for their entering the European Union. But Ukraine ... the eastern half is very pro-Russian and Orthodox (and to a large degree, demographically Russian) while the western part is Ukraino-Polish-like Catholic ... Bringing it on board risks civil war and breaking the country in two. So far, Ukrainians have managed not to dismember their trying to bring it into NATO would be just the kind of thing to trigger that.
 
And Georgia ... no offense, but giving an unqualified security guarantee to a country in that area courts HUGE risks without necessity. It's one thing to jockey for turf down there, but risking major confrontation with Russia over it opens the door to three possibilities:
 
   - relations with Russia turn outright hostile when Russia understands that it's having sand kicked in its face; and Russia would be RIGHT in thinking so; the likely result: aggravated tensions and a potential Cold War all over again;

   - something happens down there, which activates NATO; NATO responds with vigour and things either get out of hand, which leads to war, or they cool off, which leads to a new Cold War;

   - something happens down there, but NATO backs down when faced with the consequences; thus, the "instant declaration of war on all members" threat to outsiders is crippled, that threat becomes conditional, and NATO is deeply wounded at its root.
 
No matter what happens, it's bad news across the board.
 
Stratos

AND

Bush Accepts Putin?s Invitation for Talks in Russia
National security advisor previews NATO Summit, upcoming European tour

        "I believe that NATO benefits, and Ukraine and Georgia benefit, if and when there is membership," he (President Bush) said.

         Damned foolishness, the above. And one of the most dangerously stupid things he's ever said ... As I've explained elsewhere, Ukraine's and Georgia's joining NATO would greatly undermine it AND greatly increase the potential for confrontation with Russia.

                  Joe
 
At 04:45 PM 20/03/2008, you wrote:
 
That does not mean there is a conspiracy against Orthodox countries such as Serbia and Greece. Such an idea may be spun for political reasons, but for us here in Canada to pIck up on it is absurd.
My Dad, who happens to be Greek (he immigrated to here in Montreal in 1955) told me that he was going to vote Liberal because one always has to send a Party Leader to Parliament (we live in Stefie Dion's riding :-S) and that the CPC was supporting Macedonia in its keeping "Macedonia" as its name. Nonsense in both cases as far as I'm concerned (has the CPC said anything about Macedonia? and why would it?), but hey ... he's been good to me so sending him to the Montreal Institute for the Politically Insane just isn't right.

 
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Kyoto supporters have no idea
http://www.torontosun.com/News/Columnists/Goldstein_Lorrie/2008/04/03/5180856-sun.php

It's time for an adult discussion about our continued participation in the Kyoto Accord and it's not the one we've been having.

Our politicians have been talking to us as if we were children. It's time we put a stop to it.

Kyoto isn't about turning off the lights during Earth Hour.

It's not about buying hybrid cars, or installing solar panels on your roof or replacing your incandescent lightbulbs with fluorescents.

Those are all environmentally worthy activities on their own merits.

Click here to find out more!    

But they are insignificant compared to what is required for Canada to comply with Kyoto.

This isn't about David Suzuki making cutesy commercials with children, while calling for politicians he disagrees with to be jailed.

It's not about Liberal Leader Stephane Dion's empty boast we can make megatonnes of money by cutting megatonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

It's not about Prime Minister Stephen Harper paying lip service to Kyoto, while his actions suggest he doesn't believe a word he's saying.

It's about this. Are you willing to dramatically lower your standard of living, and that of your children and grandchildren, to comply with Kyoto?

Are you willing to pay much more, directly in carbon taxes and indirectly for almost everything you do, use or consume, to effect a sudden, dramatic drop in Canada's GHG emissions?

BILLIONS LATER

Are you willing to have Canada ship billions of dollars every year to the Third World for GHG mitigation projects, the success of which won't be known until you're dead?

Finally, if we do all that, do you trust every other country, from China to the United States, to do the same?

This isn't about vilifying Alberta for developing the oilsands -- just as every province wants to develop its natural resources.

It's about realizing if we comply with Kyoto, our standard of living will fall.

It's not going to be easy. People who suggest it is are making long-range predictions about our economy they cannot possibly know. What their studies actually suggest is that it's easy to pretend to comply with Kyoto.

Finally, if you publicly nod your head in agreement when environmentalists preach we have no choice because the alternative is the Earth's destruction -- but privately don't believe it, or don't believe we should make enormous sacrifices now for something that may or may not happen decades or centuries from now -- then get off the Kyoto train, because you won't have the stomach for it once it really gets rolling.

My view is the previous Liberal government of Jean Chretien irresponsibly ratified Kyoto in 2002, at a time when even his top aide, Eddie Goldenberg, has since acknowledged the Liberals knew Canadians weren't ready for the sacrifices it would require.

NORTHERN NATION

I'd go further. I'd argue Chretien and the Liberals had no idea what they were signing, no idea of its implications for a huge, cold, northern country like our own that relies on using fossil fuels for its standard of living.

For all their self-righteous rhetoric now, if implementing Kyoto was easy, why didn't the Liberals do it when they had the chance?

As for Harper and the Conservatives, they should stop telling us they agree with Kyoto, while doing nothing to implement it.

The adult question is: Are we in, or are we out?

My vote's out. What's yours?

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