Odd that we get critized for merely reacting to the U.S. but now a truly insignificant
molehill is over-shadowed by a mountain, and all the [sorry, I can't finish the rest of
this. I feel a seizure coming on and will have to go to bed (in our timezone it's long
past my bedtime anywaah). IMore tommmorow, but I'm glad to see you've dropped your 
that she was a politician. Let me tell you what communications do in the Westminster
system. They are not household names like Ari Flllleischer [sp/), who hold press
conferences. But I've had direct experience withh how communications directors (I've
worked with 3 different ones within the Alberta government) work; they brief the PM,
they issue official statements to the media in the name of the minister (be prime or
merely stewing meat...) but they do not hold press confeence. They organize them, and
they research and put together mediabut they then become background figures who are 
the minister when the *minister* calls a media release. They're part of the background
people who don't say a word during the press conference.

Incidentally, the official involved, Francie Ducros, has quit several weeks before she
was going back into the general civil service pool

But sometimes what is meant as unintional becomes a kind of lightning rod, or attractor
internationaly (we [in general] claim the U.S. ignores us (Condoleeza Rice, for
instance, when asked who the US's largest trading partner is in terms of exports and
imports, said it was Mexico. It's not -- cross-border trade between the U..S and 
is the largest. I think there's a reason this has struck home, but more or lesss in a
symbolic way.

So beelow Ive posted ah article . Ironicalyy these incidents are often an expression at
the right time and space, as it wre. I don't agree with everything Paul Knox wrote, but
he basicaly makes the ppoint I'm trying to make.

And, on two ending notes: 1) Ducros resigned today. After 5 years inthe PMO she wanted
to move on and was due to quit in several weeks ayway; 2) Why don't officials have the
right to free speech? The Alberta public affairs group in the Premier's office would 
make public someone made in private -- leaks are just not our way, as a rule.

Secondly, Jim, you don't seem to have read the article you posted, just as you
misremembered what the nature of the position. The article does *not* say that any
public officials or politicians said anything. It was a private company, MediaWorks, 
made the comment about Bush being an idiot (what's next, an imbecile?). I happen to 
them because they were in my sector when I was at work at Alberta Innovation & Science.
The Premier's office has contracted MediaWorks for website-related work, and some
individual departments have also contracted out to them. So no "public official" or
"politician" called Bush an idiot, but rather a person at MediaWorks, which is a 
company. You are straining for gnats and are getting camels ;-)

And I still haven't heard a peep out of you when I pointed out that the Toronto Star,
which was actually following behind other media (it was a National Post writr who
overheard the private conversation. You again did not seem to have read what the
articles actually say, but have yet to acknowledge it. It seems you're surfing the web
trying to find out about incidents like this. For once the tables are turned; normally
Canada is simply ignored by the current US administration and feel thin-skinned when
someone satirizes us, like Jonah Goldberg did (although not me personally, but it's
common amongst Canadians).

Are you going to admit you were wrong in both instances, truly hoist by your own petard
regarding the nature of both incidents.

Jim Cobabe wrote:

> Another article worrying about Canadian political insults.
> "http://canada.com/national/story.asp?id=%7BAFC42C56-BB5F-457B-AEAF-5D58F21AB39C%7D";
> Those Canadian political officials can't seem to keep their lips
> buttoned.
> ---
> Mij Ebaboc

Marc A. Schindler
Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada -- Gateway to the Boreal Parkland

“Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick 
up and continue on” – Winston Churchill

Note: This communication represents the informal personal views of the author solely;
its contents do not necessarily reflect those of the author’s employer, nor those of 
organization with which the author may be associated.


Bush’s big-stick folly
By Paul Knox, “Worldbeat,” [Toronto] Globe and Mail, 25/09/02, pA19.

The roots of George W. Bush’s first-strike folly go back a century, to another
Republican who had a talent for marrying foreign policy and water-cooler wisdom.
Theodore Roosevelt led his country to world-power status, first as a cavalry commander
and then as its 26th president. It was he who advised the United States to speak softly
in global councils, and carry a big stick.

Seeking to end the influence of Europe in Latin America, Roosevelt claimed for the
United States the right to regulate the Western hemisphere unilaterally. It was to
assume the duty of maintaining order throughout the Americas, and intervene in the
affairs of Latin American states to ensure they stayed in line. In return, Washington
expected the rest of the world to butt out.

Roosevelt’s dictates vastly expanded the Monroe Doctrine, set out by an earlier
president in 1823. These principles, together with the Cold War doctrine of 
eventually led the United States down a sinister path. Its occupations and proxy
administrations of Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic lasted for years. Later,
combining the Monroe Doctrine with the Cold War principle of containment, it condoned
and, in some cases, helped engineer the overthrow of elected governments. It trained
armies that not only put down insurrections but brutally suppressed popular movements.

One way to read the National Security Strategy that Mr. Bush unveiled last week is as a
Monroe Doctrine for the entire planet. It proposes explicitly to maintain overwhelming
military supremacy around the globe. It asserts the right to intervene wherever it
declares that a threat of terrorism or mass destruction exists.

But the Bush document is much more than a justification of pre-emptive action. It is an
evangelical tract, a manifesto for the implementation of the American way on a global
scale. It contains strontg overtones of the French mission civilisatrice, according to
which superior civilizations had a duty to spread the lessons of success around the

There is, Mr. Bush says, “a single sustainable model for national success: freedom,
democracy and free enterprise.” He declares that “economic freedom is the only source 
national wealth.” He vows to use “this moment of opportunity…to bring the hope of
democracy, development, free markets and free trade to every corner of the world.”

Many Americans in many countries work sincerely to make such things come true. But they
are not the only ones who do so, and U.S.-style democracy is not the only kind worthy 
support. Moreover, the history of the last century suggests that the United States
cannot always be counted on to act for the common global good.

Powerful as they are, U.S. presidents operate under domestic political constraints. For
every Woodrow Wilson preaching self-interested internationalism, there’s a Jesse Helms
obstructing the United Nations. For every Franklin Roosevelt smoothing the waters with 
Good Neighbour policy, there’s an Oliver North working to subvert the democratic

The mantra of “economic freedom” is similarly unconvincing. First of all, certain
restrictions on free enterprise are demonstrably compatible with economic growth, and
sustainable over decades when sanctioned by voters in free elections. Second, in U.S.
practice, “free trade” means trade on U.S. terms. It means forcing its way onto markets
for services, cultural products and government procurement. It means protectionism for
domestic U.S. industries with political clout.

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