Cellucci Critical Of PM's Stand On Defence

Posted on Friday, September 02 at 10:10 by jensonj
"I knew that the government's minority status in Parliament complicated the picture somewhat, but my expectation was that Prime Minister Martin and his government shared our view and were willing to face down the critics of Canadian participation in missile defence. How wrong I was." Cellucci also uses words such as "inept" and "clumsy" to describe how Martin's government handled the whole business of telling the United States and the public about the decision. "Then there was the fact that the prime minister did not tell the president himself, even though the two men were both at the NATO meeting (in Brussels) and at several points were standing side by side. But not a word was said," Cellucci writes. The Conservative and NDP opposition aren't spared in Cellucci's account. "The Conservative party was not exactly a model of clarity and principle during all of this," the former ambassador says in the book, describing how Tory Leader Stephen Harper veered from pro-U.S. to anti-U.S. pronouncements on defence matters. "Politics took precedence over policy," Cellucci writes. NDP Leader Jack Layton falls under Cellucci's criticism for allegedly misreporting a conversation he had with former secretary of state Colin Powell late last year in Ottawa. Layton told reporters afterward that Powell had admitted that the missile-defence plan would lead to weapons in space. "Either his hearing was off or he simply hears what he wants to hear," Cellucci writes. For all this criticism of the politics surrounding ballistic missile defence, however, Cellucci's book overall strikes a friendly tone about the politicians he met while serving in Canada from 2001 to this year, and he describes himself as particularly touched by the solidarity of Canadians toward the United States after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist strikes — shortly after he arrived to take up his duties. Cellucci doesn't regret being seen as an outspoken ambassador during his time here and notes that the current secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, specifically thanked him for his public candour in a note she wrote to him when his term ended earlier this year. Cellucci's successor, David Wilkins, is showing early signs of carrying on that outspoken tradition, chiding Canada for its "emotional tirades" surrounding the softwood-lumber dispute during an editorial board meeting with the Ottawa Citizen last week. http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_PrintFriendly&c=Article&cid=1125526233091&call_pageid=968332188492

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  1. Fri Sep 02, 2005 8:09 pm
    >>"I was astounded by Prime Minister Paul Martin's announcement on February 24, 2005, that Canada would not take part," Cellucci writes in the chapter titled "Perplexed."<<

    What he doesn’t mention is that as to the Missile shield program Canada has not been asked to supply any money or land to base missile defences, but it has agreed to share NORAD data to help the plan. The North American Aerospace Command is a joint U.S.-Canadian military operation, but mainly run by the U.S. Government, that dates back to the Cold War to monitor missiles, aircraft and space objects and warn of threats to the continent. NORAD was set up to protect the United States from Russian Bombers and missiles landing on American soil not Canada’s as stated by the US Commander of NORAD in the early 1970’s, Canada was not a consideration.

    >>"We think it's in Canada's sovereign interest to be in the room to decide what's going to happen when there's an incoming missile," said Ambassador Paul Cellucci. <<

    Does anyone really think that with the speed that ICBM’s fly at that they are so slow that there is going to be a discussion over whether to shoot it down? I think not! We will be lucky to get a call even if we informed about it. Be sides this program is set up to protect the Good Old USA from attack not Canad. Let’s face it, the missile, no matter how you calculate it, if detected soon enough to intercept it, the interception point would be over Canadian territory and the impact or fall out lands on Canada and the people of Canada. That’s if the system works at all. Not on the United States of America or on American citizens! So why is it important that Canada signs on or not? Every Country in the world has the right to protect its borders and territories from attack.

    Well, I remember President G. W. Bush referring to the British Government and Britain as the United States of America's greatest and most close friend and ally.

    Later on in another speech Bush spoke of Australia as "there is no truer friend and ally to the United States then Australia"

    Now David Wilkins refers to Canada as America’s closes friend and ally when he talks to the Canadian Business establishment, which I might add is owned and operated by American corporations who have invested heavily in Canada.

    "Do as you’re told not what you think you should do!"

    “Get with the program if you know what’s good for you. There are no INDIVIDUALS in TEAM”

    Uncle Sam to the Canadian Beaver;

    “I’m so happy to have our old relationship back, boy”

    Need I say more?

    Perception is two thirds of what we perceive reality to be.

    Difficult decisions are a privilege of rank.

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