You might have heard of the fatuous piece that Lloyd Axworthy, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, wrote for the Winnipeg Free Press last week. It's supposed to be an open letter to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. but it's a fair bet that she'll never see it; and if she did, she'd flick it into the nearest wastepaper basket with one of her exquisitely-manicured (one presumes) fingernails midway through the first paragraph, along with the head of the flunky who thought it was worth her time. Here's how it starts, and it's all downhill after that:
I'm glad you've decided to get over your fit of pique and venture north to visit your closest neighbour. It's a chance to learn a thing or two. Maybe more.
I know it seems improbable to your divinely guided master in the White House that mere mortals might disagree with participating in a missile-defence system that has failed in its last three tests, even though the tests themselves were carefully rigged to show results.
I was going to fisk the piece, but I've been short on time the last while, and I realized that it was so excruciatingly bad that I'd have to jump on every single line. Anyway, Bob Tarantino had already performed one of his masterly demolition jobs on it at Let It Bleed.
But lo and behold, who pops up last night on CBC's The Hour but the old gasbag himself. As I might have mentioned before, CBC, unlike real journalistic organizations like Talon News, doesn't provide transcripts (rather, they want the taxpayer to fork out $45 here for an hour-long show) so I am unable to reproduce the parts where Axworthy expounds on his bizarre sexual fetishes. Suffice it to say that they're as unpalatable as you'd think.
I did manage to hit the record button on my VCR in time to capture this exchange, though:
Interviewer: Would you have written this kind of letter if you were still the Minister of Foreign Affairs?
Axworthy: No, no, but look, I'm a liberated person, it's almost like being canonized. You can speak a little ex cathedra.
If you had written it while in office, it probably would have been classed as an act of war.
Oh, and I was unaware that the Vatican was contemplating your sainthood. That must have been why the Pope got so ill recently. And in keeping with the Papal theme, you boob, an ex cathedra pronouncement does not, as you seem to think, mean that you are speaking unofficially. When the Pope speaks ex cathedra, he is promulgating official Catholic doctrine, by virtue of his Apostolic authority (the widely misunderstood notion of Papal Infallibility).
I don't know how long the Free Press link will last, so I've taken the liberty of reprinting the piece in full in the Extended Post section. Read it if you must and marvel at its smug, smarmy arrogance. If you need editorial comment, just imagine me making loud retching noises and throwing open windows to try to clear the smell.