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Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Soon we'll be miffed

Canada today officially moved from being "disturbed" about one of its citizens being beaten to death by Iranian torturers to not ruling out sanctions.

Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew said Tuesday that Canada has not ruled out sanctions against Iran to protest the death in custody of a Quebec-based photojournalist.

Pettigrew, who was on his first visit to the European Union as Canada's new foreign affairs minister, said he discussed the case of slain Canadian journalist Zahra Kazemi with EU counterparts during two days of meetings in Brussels.

"I raised it in every one of my meetings," Pettigrew said after meeting Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht.

Pettigrew met with EU External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten, the EU's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy and NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer to discuss Iraq and Afghanistan.

Pettigrew said that he was "exchanging and comparing notes" with the EU about what Canada and Europe could do to improve human rights in Iran, including possible diplomatic action in the Kazemi case.

Right now we're mulling over sanctions. The next step in the Canadian Guide to Diplomacy is "possibly considering thinking about maybe issuing a stronger statement." Don't make Canada angry or we'll go Raffi on you.

Cross posted at ESR's Musings.

Posted by Steve Martinovich on August 31, 2004 in International Affairs | Permalink


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I was reading a news article from home last week about a curious robbery that took place at a convenience store. Now - here in Florida - it's quite common to turn on the news at night and discover via local news -- bodies strewn about the local "Quick King" (FL version of 7-11) - in attempted robbery - so my husband and friends in Florida just laughed when I told them this true story.

a few weeks ago --A man in duncan, BC, walked into a 7-11 and started a friendly conversation with clerk. At one point the guy asked the clerk "Hey... what's the policy if you get robbed". The Clerk responded "Oh - we just give the robber the money, no resistance".

The man chatted a few more minutes and then said - "Ok - this is a robbery eh."

The clerk thought it was a joke - because the guy was smiling, and friendly and polite.

The man said "no - it's no a joke sorry. I'm robbing you"

The clerk said "Do you even have a weapon?"

The man said "I've got something." but declined to show the clerk any weapon.

The clerk then took the money out of the cash drawyer and offered to count it out for the robber.

The robber got impatient and said "no - you don't need to count it - could you please just let me have it so I can leave".

He was arrested a few hours later.

Ok.. So yes - Canadians and Officials and our ever-lovin' politeness, laid back nature is sometimes a bad thing. However - I'll take robbers like this - to armed robber in the Central Florida - any day of the week.

Posted by: MWW | 2004-08-31 5:22:00 PM

My husband went and followed this story - and wanted to make sure that I included the follow-story about this incident.

Apparently - the arrest occured under the following conditions.

The robber walked up to an RCMP officer and said "I'm sorry - I just robbed a convenience store. Will you please arrest me".

The RCMP arrested him.

The man apologized again - for robbing the store.

"Only in Canada" eh?

Posted by: MWW | 2004-08-31 5:51:29 PM

"possibly considering thinking about maybe issuing a stronger statement."

My wife likes a science fiction writer by the name of C.J. Cherryh. In one series, a species has so expunged aggressive thinking and language from its cognition it can't even bring itself to discuss constructive options while it is actually in the process of being attacked by a deadly enemy.

Frankly, it appears to me that Ottawa couldn't find its behind with a roadmap and a flashlight.

Posted by: Greg in Dallas | 2004-08-31 9:48:29 PM

As usual: this is the diplomatic equivalent of yelling "Car!" in a street hockey game. About the best we can muster. Sigh.

Posted by: Kathy Shaidle | 2004-09-01 7:01:33 AM

As a military veteran who has spent time in the boxing ring, perhaps I have some small, painful insight into what this woman went through.

At what point did her weeping become screams, at what point did her screams turn to begging? At what point did pain, shock and terror drag her into death? Did she have last thoughts of her loved ones? Or did she simply regress into childhood, screaming for her mother while the inhuman monsters killed her?

Everyone of the barbarians who murdered her should be tracked down and shot to death where they are found. If they are not accessible, they should be stalked until a target acquisition is possible. If they are difficult to locate, one of their number should be tortured until he reveals a way to get to the others. The decision makers should also be killed as soon as they are located.

Pierre Pettigrew, you and your indifferent, impotent government have a sacred responsibility to protect the citizens of your country. You and your entire government are contempible beyond words.

Posted by: Greg in Dallas | 2004-09-01 11:21:37 AM

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