The Shotgun Blog
Friday, May 27, 2005
Where's Team America when you need them
WorldNetDaily reports that Iran "has completed all of the elements required for an atomic bomb." It is believed that earlier this year North Korea "transferred components to Iran to assemble a plutonium-based nuclear warhead." (Wow -- what kind of intelligence did Trey Parker and Matt Stone have when making their little puppet movie?) There is a certain irony in having North Korea, which in the 1990s struck a bargain with US President Bill Clinton to stop their nuclear weapon's program, involved in the development of Iran's weapons while Tehran was humouring members of the European Union, participating in negotiations to suspend their nuclear program.
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» Where's Team America when you need them from Hyscience
Catering to terrorist nations like North Korea and Iran will always result in a loosing situation for the nation most likely to keep it's agreement - and it's never a terrorist - supporting State that honors it's bargains or negotiates in good faith! [Read More]
Tracked on 2005-05-27 9:50:19 PM
If you will look at a map, you will see that coalition forces occupying Iraq and Afghanistan basically put Iran in the middle. We have the capacity to put as many military resources as we wish into these two countries.
Dealing with Afghanistan and Iraq is strategically a very good move if we believe that Iran can present us with a problem that must be dealt with. We don't always represent our intentions for comsuming by pop culture.
My question for Canadians is, what are you going to do if it becomes necessary to move on Iran? Is it going to be more anti-Americanism in the UN? Or will Canada's memory be jogged and recall the fact that North Americans are all in this together.
Significantly lower your tax rate to stimulate your economy and create more prosperity. Use some of the new revenues to rebuild your military into a significant force. Strategically join the United States and our allies to help us contend with dangerous possibilities around the world.
You know, in the end we're all in this together. If the US suffers some terrible fate, Canada will go down with us. Pettigrew and his fellow travellers will not save you. The world is getting smaller. Modern weaponry increases the risks. North America needs to get its act together, and we need to make sure we're all on the same page.
Posted by: Greg outside Dallas | 2005-05-27 4:10:51 PM
Nothing you said was incorrect.
But look at Voinovich, McCain, Graham, Boxer, Billary, Dean . . .
Maybe in a few years the US will be in no position to do anything either.
Posted by: Brian O'Neill | 2005-05-27 4:38:41 PM
Brian, I enjoy your posts on the Shotgun, and I think we probably see seriously eye to eye on a lot of issues. And I think this goes ditto for most of the people that post on the Shotgun.
You bring up an interesting point. And my answer would be roughly as follows:
1) the fact that we have some disaffections on the conservative spectrum is just all the more reason that Canada needs to lower taxes, become more prosperous, and rebuild your military into the significant force that we know is possible.
Right now there are far too many voices of appeasement from Europe. Some member of our population and some of our elected representatives are influenced by these voices to the extent that they manage to capture public sentiment.
If Canada reversed the Trudeaupian trend and once again became a champion for prosperity and strong defense, it would give Republican and Democratic politicians something to point to aside from our own internal initiatives. Canada could actually use its influence to reaffirm America's desire to underscore our shared values. We don't have to have your encouragement, but it would be very helpful and valuable as a counterweight to the European drumbeat.
2) While it is true we have these American disaffections, the conservative movement here is still extremely strong. We have complete domination over talk radio. More Americans listen to talk radio than turn on the TV news programs at night. We have a very large number of conservative spokesmen who publish regularly in a variety of magazines. We have conservative superstars (like Ann Coulter, for example) and we are a relentless force driving our politicians to the right.
Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if McCain wasn't around the Senate too much longer. As a fellow veteran of the war he served in, I respect his service to our country. However, he has been trading on his past history for far too long, and his popularity among conservatives diminishes as his popularity with Democrats rises.
In short, we can probably keep the music going down here, but it would be a great boost to us if Canada would begin to point out to the rest of the world that America has some ideas that we should all mutually embrace.
Posted by: Greg outside Dallas | 2005-05-27 5:18:45 PM
Greg outside Dallas,
You won't get anything but support from me. I supported the war in both Afghanistan and Iraq. I support Bush and would have vote for him if I were American. I just wish he had another 8 years.
I also note that 6 ships set off within the last few days, on very short notice, to the Middle East. And B2s and B52s have been ordered to stand by on short notice in several locations around the world.
America and Israel can handle anything in the Middle East right now, provided the military is given the job and left alone to do it. I think Bush is the president to do that.
I was disgusted with Canada's position on the Iraq war. We now know why. Some top Canadians were not only implicated in the Oil for Food fraud, they helped to set it up. Some of these same people support the current Liberal Party of Canada and probably give them their marching orders. Don't look for any support from Ottawa until these people are kicked out. That isn't going to happen for a long time in my opinion unless the Bloc and the Conservatives form an alliance. I predict that after the next election, whenever that will be, the Bloc and the Conservatives will hold the majority of the house and will be able to bring the Liberal/NDP coalition down whenever it wants to. Then you will see some real support from Canada.
In the meantime Ottawa has alienated Quebec and much of Western Canada, Alberta in particular. If they don't change, and the Liberal Party is not going to, you will see Alberta separate within 5 or 6 years if not sooner. When and if that happens you will have a partner you can count on up here even without a change in central government in Ottawa.
Posted by: John Crittenden | 2005-05-27 5:22:05 PM
>Then you will see some real support from Canada.
Except in that scenario, there's the slight problem that the Bloc wouldn't support such militaristic endeavours. So there would just be more political paralysis on these matters.
The only real hope is a Conservative-only majority. And that REAL conservatives, not Belinda Stronach wannabes, dominate the Conservative Party.
Posted by: Snowy | 2005-05-27 8:29:44 PM
John, your sentiments are very much appreciated, I assure you. I know that a large segment of the Canadian population felt sympathetic to America's action in Iraq and wished that the Prime Minister would have worked in concert with us.
I've been fortunate enough to exchange posts with quite a few people from Alberta here on the Shotgun and over at Kate's. And I have come to fully appreciate the great similarities that Alberta and Texas have. I've mentioned here in the past that I grew up in Midland, Texas, as did George Bush, and of course that means oil and cattle country. Do you know, as a piece of trivia, that both Alberta and Texas have wildflowers as their provincial and state flowers?
Snowy, I've seen your posts over at Kate's and I appreciate the dilemma that your political situation presents.
You know, I was surprised as I watched the Republican Convention when I switched over to PBS coverage hosted by Jim Lehrer. He was interviewing someone about Canada. This surprised me, and I wondered who he was.
The guest said that he thought Canada was roughly in the same relationship to conservatism that the US to was conservatism 50 years ago. Down here that was a period when although the federal government was a lot smaller, liberalism was seen as the superior world view by many intellectuals. Then Bill Buckley started the National Review, the first national conservative magazine, and basically from that time forward conservatism very gradually built a network of think tanks, publications, conservative ideas, and so forth.
I've been astounded to read about Canadian political dynamics. However, my hope is that the Western Standard and all of the blogs and outspoken Canadian conservatives will represent the beginnings of a powerful front that once again makes conservative ideology an important fact of Canadian life.
Posted by: Greg outside Dallas | 2005-05-27 9:42:33 PM
Re "We can probably keep the music going down here":
Yes, I agree.
That's why I talk about the importance of structural change here (an elected Senate, a judicial confirmation process etc) - because those kind of things guarantee continuity.
The US is the greatest large country in human history, not because the individual citizens are any better than other people, but becasue of the genius of the constitution, and the Founding Fathers.
It's so embarrassing to compare Canadian constitutional (and Meech Lake and Charlottetown Accord) debates with the Federalist Papers.
And I can't see how Canada can possibly continue beyond another generation (if that), with so many increasingly intensifying internal contradictions and with an unamendable (except by judicial fiat) constitution.
The US really seems to have best solved the problems of federalism, and efficient checks and balances.
(Australia though has adapted the Westminster parliamentary model to a post-colonial, federalist nation MUCH better than the Canada has - so it's possible. But as I said, Canada's constitution is practically unamendable.)
So one individual (Pierre Elliot Trudeau) continues to haunt Canada to this day with HIS absurd and rushed constitution.
And any activist or experimental Prime Minister or Supreme Court majority can wreck damages for decades to follow (or perhaps it's irreversable?), in a way that seems impossible in the US.
America's great constitution allows the U.S. to survive pure idiots like Carter, and reprobates like the Clintons, and shifty characters like Nixon, and bumblers like Bush Sr., and racist internationalists like Wilson; as well as minor buffoons like Teddy "Hic!" Kennedy, and Weepy Voinovich, "God I'm Great" McCain, and John French Kerry, and Al Nutbar Gore; and all the other felons and fools who piss up the political swimming pool.
The closest Canadian-style parallel in the US is probably Roe vs Wade, which (I believe) was very flawed, unscientific, unconstitutional, and has been therefore very daging to the fabric of democracy in the U.S.
It dealt that with a question which should have been the concern of the Legislative branch.
But even Roe vs Wafe could be overturned by a future court (it could even be replaced with a more liberal interpretation). It's not written in stone, and you didn't have a President Chretien going around saying crap like, "Well, dat was a very controversial ting, you know, and now it 'ave been settled an' da court 'ave spoken an' we 'ave constitutional peace on dat matter, so let's not us keep to make da trouble about dat, 'coz it 'ave been settled," and you don't have a President Martin spouting crap like, "Well, I...uh...well...uh...I...uh...I don't neccesarily you know support, neccesarily, you know a uhhh...a uhhh...gnage in you know marriage, and I guess you could say I...uh....could, uh might be ...uhhh...you know...guided...by my ...uh...spiritual...you know...background, but THE COURTS HAVE SPOKEN and uh...we must...you know...all of us....go forth and implement each in his or her own fashion the...uhhh...THE CHARTER!"
Imagine if all of the justices were simply appointed by the President without any "advise and consent" from anyone.
And imagine if every single Senator was simply appointed for life at the whim of the President of the day.
And then imagine if the entire cabinet was limited only to congressmen.
And then imagine if the President simply appointed every ambassador, without any oversight (including to the UN).
And imagine if election victories were determined and governments were formed by a Governor General, who had been appointed by the President.
And then imagine if every contentious social issue was left up to the presidentially-appointed courts to decide, with the combined Executive-Legislative Branch pretending to pass the buck and just spouting platitudes.
Sound like a recipe for disaster? Welcome to Trudeaupian Canada.
Posted by: Brian O'Neill | 2005-05-27 10:06:33 PM
"very daging to the fabric of democracy in the U.S."
= very damaging...
Posted by: Brian O'Neill | 2005-05-27 10:11:43 PM
I have said in many comments to several blogs over the last few months that the people of Quebec and the people of Alberta and Western Canada can work together for the betterment of Canada. Just today it was reported that Quebec has given thumbs down to Shariah law.
The fact that Quebec has said 'NO' to Sharia law in Quebec says volumes and is a story in itself. Ontario has indicated that they will allow it. The Conservative party will never go for it and neither will Alberta.
Quebec has 75 seats total and the Bloc holds 54 with the Liberals holding 21 in the present government. The Conservatives hold 99 seats.
My prediction is that the Liberals will lose most or all of their seats from Quebec and that Quebec will elect a full slate of Bloc seats (at least 70). I think the Conservatives (CPC) will hang on to about 95. Total will be about 170 seats. The Liberals will probably hold a minority position with about 112 seats and the NDP could pick up a few and hold about 26 seats. This is the main reason the Liberals do not want an election right now. There is nowhere for them to pick up enough seats to form a majority.
The result will be:
With the Liberals holding a minority position after the next election but not enough votes to get anything done, the CPC/Bloc can effectively control the House and shut it down any time they want. Further elections will solve nothing as these votes are pretty secure and won't change much. So the CPC can go to the Governor General and ask to form the government, in fact they can demand it.
Sooo, I want to see the CPC drop their attempts to secure more seats in Ontario and the Maritimes. I want them to cement their hold over their stronghold of Western Canada and perhaps even pick up a few more seats where it matters. Forget the rest of Canada for now and make a commitment to work with the Bloc. The Bloc will return the favour. The Bloc is the CPC's avenue to forming a government. The CPC will not form a majority government on their own, ever, in my opinion. So it's time to recognize this and deal with it. Time to quit playing politics and work to save Canada.
There were some differences and some similarities in the platforms of the CPC and the Bloc in the 2004 election. These differences in areas of the economy, health care, social services, defence and foreign policy could be handled thusly:
• There can be general agreement on federal transfers to the provinces (negotiable)
• Elimination of the GST (general agreement)
• 25% tax cut for middle-income earners (general agreement)
• Lower business and capital-gains taxes (general agreement)
• National debt repayment legislation (general agreement)
• Maintain the Canada Health Act's guarantee for public funding of necessary services (general agreement)
• Private delivery of some medicare services (general agreement)
• Scrap the federal gun registry (general agreement)
• Kill Kyoto (the Bloc will have to move a bit on this one)
• More affordable housing (general agreement)
• More international aid (general agreement)
• Buildup of Canada's armed forces (general agreement)
• Missile defence participation (the Bloc will have to give on this one)
When you look at the planks for each party in the last election it isn't all that difficult to see how they can work together. In my opinion the people of Quebec will not vote for separation if they see the CPC and Bloc working together effectively. Alberta and Western Canada can both benefit from this so it will sell.
If this does not happen look for Alberta to separate first and then Quebec.
Posted by: John Crittenden | 2005-05-27 10:31:03 PM
Just want to add that Canada is a very good friend of America. Witness our help with the planes in the air during 9-11. If there is ever a major problem in North America Canada will be there, either with or without our government.
There are just a few very bad people in government in Ottawa right now, and also in the cartel supporting the present governing party. My previous point about the Bloc and CPC (in other words Quebec and Alberta/Western Canada) working together is the best option I see right now. And it's not all that bad when you take a really good look at it. I believe the people of Quebec and Alberta want to remain in a strong and healthy Canada. But there are other options. And a lot of people are losing patience.
Posted by: John Crittenden | 2005-05-27 10:40:36 PM
Your previous post is awesome, John. I think Quebec will come along for the ride if the Conservatives emphasize their policy of de-centralizing government. It is the best thing they can get right now, short of a "yes" on the next referendum (which may or may not happen). In my opinion it is a step down the right path.
Posted by: Mallard | 2005-05-27 11:38:18 PM
I completely agree with you that the Conservative/Bloc scenario is advantageous and fully possible. However, there is no way that the Conservatives can be seen to be joining forces with the Bloc before an election. Here in Ontario that's the big complaint against the CPC--"They're siding with the separatists". It would nail them. In the end the partnership would actually be good for Canadian unity, but you can't explain that in a soundbite and the Liberals will spend the entire campaign saying "they're willing to gamble with Canada." So Harper has to stay as far away from Duceppe as he can now. After the election it's a different story.
Posted by: Belleville Tory | 2005-05-28 6:42:22 AM
I agree - your post and thoughts are awesome, John.
Canada is in serious trouble. We are operating within a cartel corruption - a cartel that uses the Liberals as their political 'first level' agents. We are not operating as a democracy. Then, there is our refusal to acknowledge problems and our refusal to examine ourselves. These internal problems include our patronage style of gov't, as pointed out so well by Brian - which enables corruption and provides no checks and balances. The US and Australia have done what Canada has refused to do - provide a governance that is checked and accountable.
The electorate has lost control of the government.
What I find so interesting and vital about your suggestions, John, is your tactics. You are rejecting the 'normal' tactic of changing direction - which would be to take majority control of a government...
Instead, you are proposing moving into power by the sidelines, by a grounds-up approach. I think you are 100% correct.
Yes, the CPC will not, for a long time, form a majority government, because we've had a generation of brainwashing within the Trudeau-style socialism, centralism and passivity of population. In any other country, the massive corruption of our current gov't would see mass protests in the streets. Not in Canada. We are effectively permitting corruption and permitting the loss of our democratic rights.
We've developed an economy based around copying products developed elsewhere, which we produce cheaply - and ship to the USA. We've ignored the dev't of innovation and business here (that's why Greg is so right when he suggests reducing taxes).
The problem with our US-dependent economy is the security it provides for us; we can be utter idiots..and still have a decent life. We can be arrogant peaceniks..and still feel secure that the US military will protect us from the results of terrorism elsewhere in the world, while we pontificate about how morally superior we are.
I think your tactic, John, of alignment with the Bloc is excellent. I've a few points..
.Remember that the Quebecois mindset is really very akin to that of Trudeau, regardless of his being hated there. It is centralist, top down governance, socialist, unionist. So - they want everything done for them, and paid for, by the gov't. They are very anti-American. As francophones, their allegiance is to, and only to, people who speak French. This 'definition of humanity by language' is not something to be ignored. They are isolationist and ignore all non-francophone parts of the world.
They are ignorant about Kyoto (as are so many) and will mindlessly agree with it; they are isolationist and expect others to go to war for them - so, they won't agree to any build up of the military, and won't agree to BMD simply and only because it's American.
. However, what you are effectively setting up, is a decentralized governance - with the Bloc within Quebec, and the CPC within the West. I'm strongly in favour of decentralization.
I agree with you - Quebecers won't vote for full separation. They never have and never will; it's fiscally impossible. BUT, they will strongly vote for a new federal arrangement - a strong decentralization. Such a decentralized system will save Canada from the corruption enabled by our constitution and our centralist political system.
If the G-G continues to be Clarkson, don't look for support; she's 'one of them', and her agenda is to be G-G for life.
Remember, the cartel and Liberals will fight any move by the CPC-Bloc to form a government..to the death.
Posted by: ET | 2005-05-28 7:13:41 AM
Thanks all. This post is a bit old now but I'd like to make a final comment. Perhaps we can carry these discussions further in future posts, and maybe even end up with a workable action plan we could forward to the CPC.
Belleville Tory. Don't forget that there will also be a 'real' threat of separation by Alberta during the next election. This will be two provinces that are saying they want to leave Canada because of the policies of Ottawa. This is why I say it's very important for a separation movement to get rolling in Alberta and get some exposure. This gives the CPC some ammunition. The Conservatives can sell the idea that they are doing everything they can to 'keep both Quebec and Alberta in Canada.' The Liberals will say what they have always said but it may well ring hollow after the Gomery Commission. In any event, my figures accept the fact that the Conservatives will lose seats in Ontario but pick some up in Alberta and BC. The Conservatives can actually lose up to 10 seats in Ontario and still have enough to form the official opposition. The crucial part is for the CPC and Bloc to have enough seats to shut down Parliament at the first opportunity and then demand from the Governor General to form a government that can function. They will have enough seats to do that. A smart politician always defends the support they have first, or should, and then go after new support as the opportunities arise.
As for Clarkson, I agree. But if the opposition shuts down Parliament what is she going to do? She can't ignore it. And, if necessary, perhaps a few hundred 'loyal Canadians' will just have to move in and take it over ourselves. If that happens don't look for the RCMP to stand in the way. That's a whole other story.
Believe what I say folks. There is no way the Liberals will form a majority in the next election. Nor will the Conservatives. The very fact that the Liberals have teamed up with (bought?) the NDP leaves the door wide open for a two-party system in Canada. I predict this is what we will see. Four parties who have aligned themselves on each side of a basic set of principles, two on each side. For the first time Canadians will actually have a simple choice.
What a relief it will be to have a central government that is actually willing to work with Quebec and all the provinces, rather than threaten them.
I have relatives in all Western Provinces and also Quebec. Believe me, they all want to stay in Canada. But there are enough people who want the Liberals out that deals can be made and accepted. This coalition is the only way I see to save Canada.
Finally, the Conservatives need to get a basic truth across. They are not siding with the separatists. They are siding with Quebecers and Albertans who want to keep Canada together. That is their challenge. The number of actual separatists in Quebec is very small.
ET. I agree with what you say about Quebecers for the most part. I remember what they said during WWII about conscription. They are indeed isolationists, but this is not bad in itself. They are good people. The Bloc has already said they have some problems with Kyoto. And I agree that Quebecers will indeed vote for decentralization. Everyone wants to feel as if they are in control of their lives. No-one wants to feel powerless. So, give 'em power. Everything is negotiable between people who trust each other. There is no trust for the Liberal Party inside Quebec right now. This is a golden opportunity for the CPC. I hope they realize it.
I remember standing in a park in Ontario with my grandparents and mother and sister, in 1943 during the latter stages of the war. I was about 4 years old. We were singing songs and burning the effigy of Hitler. I had already lost two uncles and knew there could be more. There was one more. A year earlier I remember my uncle Billy, who was a bombardier in a Lancaster. I remember his squadron flying over our farm near Melita, Manitoba, on their way overseas. One of the planes tipped it's wing and grandmother said that was the plane "Bill was on." I remember all these things. I won't let the Liberal Party represent me. If I have to live in a province that has separated then so be it. My uncles did not die for what Canada has become today. Like I said before somewhere, wearing a red flower one day a year is not enough. Soon there will be no more red flowers.
Posted by: John Crittenden | 2005-05-28 1:24:45 PM
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