Canada, Mexico, many other countries being snubbed/punished post Iraq by Bush & Co. - U2 Feedback

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Old 05-06-2003, 12:48 PM   #1
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Canada, Mexico, many other countries being snubbed/punished post Iraq by Bush & Co.

When the US was right in the thick of things with the war, I could maybe understand postponing the visit (which had been planned ages ago), but this is obvious petty snubbing.

It used to be that Mexico was the favoured neighbour (Bush visited them right after election instead of Canada), but I guess we're all part of the "coalition in the doghouse" (my term)....a growing list!

P.S. I have nothing against his praising Australia..that only makes sense. It's just the rest of it that bugs me.


Bush rubs salt in Canada's wound
Has time for Little Rock, not Ottawa
Pointedly praises war ally Australia



TIM HARPER
WASHINGTON BUREAU

WASHINGTON—In the end, George W. Bush chose Arkansas over Ottawa.

Instead of sitting down yesterday with Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, Bush sidled up to a retired Little Rock businessman named David Shapiro to symbolize his need to pass a key tax-cut plan he hopes he can ride to re-election.

Despite the official line from here that the U.S. president was too preoccupied with war in Iraq to make an official visit to Ottawa, Bush dropped into the Arkansas capital to talk about the domestic economy, making only passing reference to an ongoing war against terrorism.

He did, however, open his remarks to 2,000 supporters with a reference to Australian Prime Minister John Howard, a guest of the Bushes at the president's Texas ranch on the weekend, again heaping praise on him for sending his soldiers to stand side by side with Americans in Iraq.

In what may have been a first, the mention of an Australian prime minister brought prolonged cheers from an Arkansas audience.

"So, I'm on my way back from Crawford to Washington and, what the heck, I thought I'd stop in Arkansas," he said, bringing laughter from an audience likely unaware that Bush was filling a gap in his day book.

On the day that had been long-planned for the first visit to Ottawa by the president, Bush was otherwise occupied. Aboard Air Force One he called Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer to offer condolences and U.S. aid to Turkish earthquake victims. Bush also offered prayers for American tornado victims and joined a roundtable of small-business owners in Little Rock.

After flying back to the White House, Bush had a late afternoon meeting with George Robertson, secretary-general of NATO.

White House spokesperson Scott McClellan, speaking with reporters en route to Arkansas from Texas, denied that a speech focusing on tax cuts and job growth was a quantum leap from cancelling a trip because of ongoing concerns in Iraq.

Bush, in fact, declared an end to major combat in Iraq last week during a much ballyhooed address from the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln.

"Canada is a friend and ally and the trip to Canada was postponed,'' McClellan said. "That was the decision that was made in mutual consultations with Canada. So it was a mutual decision about postponing the trip.

"The president looks forward to visiting Canada in the future.''

He maintained the reason for the postponement was related to the situation in Iraq.

"Presidential visits to foreign countries aren't done in a day,'' McClellan said.

Despite the official soft sell, Bush is no longer making any secret of the chasm between those who backed his Iraqi invasion and those who did not.

In a variation on the "you're either with us, or against us'' doctrine favoured by Bush, the president was positively fawning when he mentioned Howard. That amounted to a double-edged sword for the Australian leader who faced massive protests at home where he was accused of being a Bush lapdog.

"Australia is an important ally of ours,'' Bush said. "Australia is a strong friend of the United States of America.

"The Australians fought beside our forces in Iraq. They rose to their responsibilities as a free nation.''

Bush also said he would fast-track a free-trade agreement with Australia, something Howard has been advocating.

Besides hosting Howard at the Texas ranch, an invitation the Bushes dole out to favoured allies, the White House announced yesterday the president will have dinner with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar at the White House tomorrow. Aznar was also a staunch ally of Bush on Iraq.

As well, Bush is tentatively scheduled to stop in Krakow on his way to Russia later this month to meet Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski to thank him for Poland's contribution of 200 troops in Iraq.

On the other side of the ledger, Chrétien has company.

Yesterday was Mexico's national holiday, and while Bush praised Mexican-Americans, he ignored that country's president, Vicente Fox.

Fox, once a close ally of the U.S. president, now is snubbed on the Cinco de Mayo, the holiday which marks the day Mexico defeated a French army in the town of Puebla in 1862.

The American dismissal of the French and German governments over Iraq is well known, but there are other subtle and not-so-subtle punishments for smaller nations that did not support the Iraqi invasion.

Chile, an opponent of the war, has seen a free-trade agreement with Washington suddenly hit a legislative wall.

Pending free-trade talks with New Zealand, another war opponent, have stalled.

No date has been set for a new visit to Canada by Bush, but U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said last month that Bush hopes to come to Canada in the fall. Other observers have suggested the visit won't come until Chrétien has left office and has been replaced, likely by former finance minister Paul Martin.
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Old 05-06-2003, 04:26 PM   #2
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This was his style as Governor of Texas. He has and always be a "if you are not with us, you are against us" kind of guy.
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Old 05-06-2003, 04:47 PM   #3
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It is heavy-handed and arrogant.

This is the worst administration ever in diplomacy.


During the debates Bush said America needed to be less arrogant.



Canada has soldiers in Afghanistan and is cooperating with the "War on Terror" Canada is our biggest trading partner.

There were countries that opposed the war in Bosnia, Clinton got done what needed to be done and moved on. He maintained relationships and built on common ground were there was agreement.

It seems like we have troglodytes running the country now.
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Old 05-06-2003, 04:48 PM   #4
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As far as cancelling the visit to Canada, I believe it all goes back to the "you're for us or you're against us" mentality. Now that our mission has been partially accomplished in Iraq and GW is basking in his post-war glory, its payback time for all those countries that took the "against us" route. Nevermind that this attitude just perpetuates the negative stereotypes about the US...we need to teach these countries a lesson

What good is possibly going to come from snubbing our neighbors and trying to punish a small country like Chile?

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Old 05-06-2003, 05:00 PM   #5
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He's a freakin child.
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Old 05-06-2003, 05:07 PM   #6
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Diplomacy? What's that.
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Old 05-06-2003, 05:10 PM   #7
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BVS

i edited out of my post :


This administration's attitude is that of an immature, spoiled child.



i did not want to go overboard
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Old 05-06-2003, 05:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep
It seems like we have troglodytes running the country now.
No need to apologize. That is it exactly.

I feel like a teenager hating the establishment. Only I'm freaking 40 and they're 60.
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Old 05-06-2003, 05:49 PM   #9
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There should be an IQ prerequisite before crossing the border.

Bush has the mentality of a 5 year old. The fact he flaunts it around with pride is all the more amusing. He's greatly entertaining for the rest of the world.
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Old 05-06-2003, 06:25 PM   #10
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This is just plain stupid and arrogant behavior on the part of the people running my country. It's annoying and embarrassing.
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Old 05-06-2003, 08:01 PM   #11
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Canceling travel plans and the postponement of trade deals are things that happen all the time in any administration. They do not signify a major disruption in relations between countries.

I think Colin Powell has a higher IQ than me and most people posting here. But I don't think IQ jokes or assesments, and childern comments are accurate and certainly not objective.
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Old 05-06-2003, 08:15 PM   #12
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Sting,

Maybe you did not read the article,
it was intentional and punitive.

Many people, including myself have high regard for Powell's abilities. It is a shame his dipomatic skills are not allowed to be praticed. The neo-cons have control of this presidency. Their behavior deserves to be judged for what it is.
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Old 05-06-2003, 08:41 PM   #13
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Deep,

I read the article just fine. The writer decides to link things which in fact may not be happening simply because of the countries position on Iraq. His evidence is lacking.

The person the President listens to most on Foreign Policy and Iraq is Powell. The Neo Con stuff is the same as that "vast right wing conspiricy". Some media and liberals come up with interesting phrases but few of them hold any water.

"Their behavior deserves to be judged for what it is."

Ok, but I think some European countries are more deserving of these types of comments if one is to use them. They do very little comparitively on foreign policy/defense and whine about everything.
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Old 05-06-2003, 10:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
I read the article just fine. The writer decides to link things which in fact may not be happening simply because of the countries position on Iraq. His evidence is lacking.
No, I'm sorry Sting, but speaking about the Canadian part of it, you're wrong there. I have been following this story since before the war started. It always hits the front pages here, but of course Canadian news rarely ever makes it south of the border.

The whole trip was planned, it was his official first state visit to Canada (can you believe he STILL hasn't been here after all this time??) and the minute Canada said they would only go to war with the UN, the US officials started telling us that he could not visit Canada while being a "wartime President" and dealing with an Iraq crisis. That I can swallow, (although I bet if we were in his coalition he would have made the effort) but there is NO crisis now, and no excuse for this rudeness. Lounging around Arkensas for lunch for the "heck" of it, is NOT being a "wartime President", it's a slap in the face, plain and simple.

The irony of ironies, is that American officials all through the war were saying that even though Canada was not officially in the war, we did more to help the US, especially in the area of border security checks than any of the other coalition countries (that weren't in the battlefield) put together! (Thanks Deep for the comment on Afghanistan, I don't think very many people in the US are aware that we have always been there and will continue to help with the war on terrorism).

According to the American Ambassador to Canada (who scolded us vigorously and publicly for not participating in the war...something an Ambassador isn't really supposed to do!) the two countries are starting to heal the rift (see below) but apparently the news hasn't hit Bush. So this is an acknowledgement of the rift, and proof that this is an official snubbing.

Canada offers to send police, legal advisers
U.S. ambassador hails contribution

Cellucci: Relations `back to normal'



ALLAN THOMPSON
OTTAWA BUREAU

OTTAWA—Canada's decision to contribute military aircraft, RCMP officers and legal experts to post-war Iraq signals that relations between Ottawa and Washington have pretty much returned to normal, U.S. Ambassador Paul Cellucci said yesterday.

"We think that's terrific,'' Cellucci said in an interview after Prime Minister Jean Chrétien announced that Canada would contribute three CC-130 Hercules transport aircraft, police trainers, and corrections and legal officers to the U.S.-led reconstruction efforts in Iraq.

Chrétien also offered to provide elements of the military's Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), if needed.

Defence Minister John McCallum said the government is prepared to provide 150 DART personnel. "I think there is a shortage of running water and pure water in Iraq, so I hope we can put the two together because we definitely want to provide that service," he said.

Cellucci said the Canadian offer will help smooth relations damaged by Canada's refusal to join the U.S.-led war on Iraq.

"It's a very positive step by the Canadian government. I think that if things weren't already back to normal, we could pretty much say they are back to normal. I know we had some strains, but I think things are going quite well now,'' Cellucci said. While the U.S. had also requested that Canada contribute some troops to the post-war stabilization force in Iraq, Cellucci said the U.S. understands that Canada's military is stretched to the limit, particularly in light of the decision to send between 1,500 and 2,000 troops to Afghanistan this August.

"We understand that in terms of the military there has been a substantial commitment made to the stabilization force in Afghanistan this summer,'' Cellucci said. "And we know there is a significant number of Canadian military in the Persian Gulf. So we understand there really is a strain on the resources of the Canadian military.''

Chrétien told reporters Canada would make the three Hercules aircraft — already in the region as part of the war on terrorism — available to transport humanitarian supplies to Iraq.

"We have offered to help them in policing and training judges. There are engineers that will be available to help restore water and electricity," Chrétien said.

Canadian Alliance Leader Stephen Harper said he was glad to see the government finally doing something to support allied efforts in Iraq.

Canada has already pledged $106 million to short-term humanitarian relief efforts.

With files from Richard Brennan and Les Whittington
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Old 05-06-2003, 10:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
Deep,

I read the article just fine. The writer decides to link things which in fact may not be happening simply because of the countries position on Iraq. His evidence is lacking.

The person the President listens to most on Foreign Policy and Iraq is Powell. The Neo Con stuff is the same as that "vast right wing conspiricy". Some media and liberals come up with interesting phrases but few of them hold any water.
One could say the same for those elusive WMD's and Iraq-Bin Laden.

I don't think Dubyah listens to Powell at all. Otherwise the State Dept. would be running the post war Iraq. If you think the NeoCons aren't controlling the admin., your in need of an awakening.
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