everyone loves the king of the sea
ever so kind and gentle is he
tricks he will do when children appear
and how they laugh when he's near!
Prime Minister Paul Martin said Thursday that Canada would not join the contentious U.S. missile defense program, a decision that will further strain brittle relations between the neighbors but please Canadians who fear it could lead to an international arms race.
Mainly the moronic Liberal Women's Caucus and whining Quebecers who aren't going to vote for him no matter how much he plays the anti-American card.
The Bush administration has tried to make a public show of understanding that Martin heads up a minority government that could fall over such a contentious debate. But after the announcement, U.S. Ambassador Paul Cellucci told reporters he was perplexed over Canada's decision, which he said effectively allows Washington to decide what to do if a missile was headed toward Canada.
"We simply cannot understand why Canada would in effect give up its sovereignty — its seat at the table — to decide what to do about a missile that might be coming towards Canada," said the outgoing ambassador, who had vigorously urged Canada to sign on the plan.
Martin, ending nearly two years of debate over whether Canada should participate in the development or operation of the multibillion-dollar program, insisted his decision had not relinquished Canada's sovereignty over its airspace and that Ottawa would expect to be consulted what to do about any missile passing over Canada.
"We are certainly intending to defend our sovereignty and our air space and if anything develops in our air space, we expect, as a sovereign state, to be notified and have influence on any decisions," he said. "Canada's a sovereign nation and we would expect and insist on being consulted on any intrusion into our air space."
Listen up, Flipper. I'll speak slowly. Clap your fins together and make occasional oik-oik chitchit! noises. Now, where's Timmy and what have you done with him?
If a missile enters Canadian airspace it'll be travelling a polar route. I haven't worked out the distances, but a North Korean missile shot at the western US would likely be on a flatter trans-Pacific trajectory. (And given the likely accuracy of it, I wouldn't feel too comfortable in Vancouver or Victoria if they aimed it at Seattle, or San Francisco, for that matter.) If the Norks do come across the pole, that missile will be at terminal velocity about 100km over Canada as it enters its ballistic phase.
At that point it is about 2 to 3 minutes from target. If you think the Americans are going to be phoning around the world trying to figure out which dictator's behind you're smooching on your next "Soft Power" tour you are freaking kidding yourself. They will order the shootdown and if they are wringing their hands about not getting your permission, they might drop you a letter in the next diplomatic pouch apologizing for it.
Or maybe not.
What makes this exceptionally idiotic, even for you, is that we've already signed on to missile defence at least insofar in that we've agreed to forward all relevant targeting information from our assets in NORAD to NORTHCOM, charged with running the ABM program. See this exchange of letters in August, 2004 from Canadian ambassador Michael Kergin to then-US Sec. of State Colin Powell confiming the agreement.
That's all the Americans were asking for. That's what we gave them. And now you want to run around waving your hands and yelling about your new-found virginity, to placate some of the stupidest people in this country.
They must be shaking their heads in Washington. They thought they were dealing with adults and instead they found a pack of petulant, sulky teenagers on the other end of the line.
Robert Fulford, in a piece in the National Post some years ago, put it best:
Dean Acheson, the designer of American strategy in the Cold War, tried hard to give Canada the respect we yearned for, but he wrote an essay ("Canada: Stern Daughter of the Voice of God") to let it be known that our role as broker made us no better than a footnote and our habit of scolding the Americans was annoying if occasionally amusing.
Except now we can no longer invoke the presumptive moral authority of God; and so must make do with the collective braintrust of the Liberal Party. Not a good exchange, all things considered.