PM's low blow
Date: Friday, September 13 2002
Topic: International News
PM's low blow
By PETER WORTHINGTON -- Toronto Sun
Why on earth would Prime Minister Jean Chretien blame America for terrorist attacks on not only the U.S., but Western civilization in a CBC-TV interview scheduled to run on or around Sept. 11 -- a day of remembrance and dedication.
And make no mistake -- it was America he was slamming, using the euphemism of blaming "arrogant, self-satisfied, greedy" western countries for "humiliation" that provokes others to resort to terror.
This, on the anniversary of the greatest ambush attack ever on American civilians that killed similar numbers of Americans that died on D-Day or Pearl Harbour.
Why would Chretien say this now, even if it was pre-recorded? Does he truly think it, or is he simply bursting with bile that America is fighting back, and President George Bush hasn't invited Chretien to his Texas ranch, like he invites Russia's Vladimir Putin or Britain's Tony Blair?
Chretien's diatribe on this day is akin to saying that we are to blame for Hitler and WWII on the anniversary of those who died fighting Nazism.
Anger and bewilderment blend about this man. When he says, "I do think the western world is getting too rich in relation to the poor world," it's tempting to suggest he's doing his bit to make every Canadian poorer. The Canadian dollar is worth half the American dollar, and our taxes are so high that average Canadians are poorer than they were before Chretien became PM.
CAUSES ARE WRONG
What's distressing about Chretien's assertions about the causes of terrorism is that they are wrong, wrong, wrong. Poverty does not cause terrorism, nor does wealth of nations. Throughout human history there have been the rich and poor, but never before have there been so many well-off people as there are today.
For the first time in human history, and certainly in the developed world, the middle class outnumber the peasantry. And this is growing.
As for America's "arrogance" and "humiliation" of others, that's also a lib-left myth. When natural disasters strike anywhere in the world, invariably it is America that responds first. No country gives more aid to the world's poor, no nation is more resented because of its generosity.
That Chretien resents America and President Bush may well be because they make him look weak and petty.
Chretien can't inspire others, except those who depend on him for favours. He has disarmed Canada, made us utterly dependent on America for security, and resents it.
Increasingly, Canadians want Chretien gone. The longer he sticks around, the greater the likelihood that the Liberal party will suffer. Chretien has become a national embarrassment.
Americans and Canadians should be equally upset at his boorishness.
No prime minister in our history would have been so crass as to snipe at America the way Chretien has on such a poignant date in its history. It will encourage many Americans to resent Canada and wonder what warrants such hatred from a Canadian PM.
When they were prime minister, Pierre Trudeau, Lester B. Pearson and John Diefenbaker had serious differences with the U.S., but never would they have been so crude or ignorant. As for Canadians, a certain type will applaud Chretien's abuse. Most will be mortified and embarrassed. President Bush and American statesmen will be courteous -- but furious. More than unfair, it is so wrong.
One Canadian, Carmen Gallo, has launched a Web site, www.patrioticprojects.com that urges two giant flagpoles the height of the demolished twin towers on New York's "Ground Zero" site as a memorial. Not a bad idea. Look at the site and register your views.
Chretien too, if he dare. Chretien has made me even more pro-American; I wonder how many others feel this way?