To Canada, US Diplomacy is High Comedy

To Canada, US Diplomacy is High Comedy
Posted by CN Staff on May 06, 2003 at 06:45:18 PT
By Alex Beam, Globe Columnist
Source: Boston Globe 
Those darned Canadian hopheads! That's been the White House's reaction to the news that Premier Jean Chretien of Canada wants to decriminalize marijuana possession north of the 49th parallel. Last week, Chretien told a cheering audience that he would introduce legislation soon. (''Don't start to smoke yet,'' he warned.) But he may be preempted by Canada's Supreme Court, which plans to rule on an important marijuana test case this week.
On Friday, a Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reporter asked David Murray, assistant to White House drug czar John Walters, what he thought of all this. Murray fired off the rhetorical shot heard from Kitimat all the way to Kippokok: ''We would have to respond. We would be forced to respond,'' Murray said. Why? Because pot legalization is dangerously anti-American. Just look at the longhair maniacs who support decriminalization, wild men like financier George Soros, Nobelist Milton Friedman, and former Secretary of State George Shultz.In the short term, the Canadians don't give a fig about what the White House thinks, because the Bush administration has blown a hole a mile wide in US-Canadian relations. A few weeks ago, ambassador Paul Cellucci upbraided Canada for not joining the ''coalition of the willing,'' which apparently doesn't mean exactly what its name implies. (I am wondering, idly, what plum the current lieutenant governor, Kerry Healey, will land after faithfully serving a forceful Republican governor, as Cellucci did. Ambassador to Talbots? But I digress.)Cellucci told the Economic Club of Toronto that many Americans were ''disappointed and upset'' that Canada was not supporting the Bush-Rumsfeld improvement program for Iraq. The reaction north of the border was swift and sure. ''Yours is the only country that has ever invaded ours, and it would do so again in a wink if it thought its interests here were seriously threatened,'' thundered Halifax Chronicle-Herald columnist Silver Donald Cameron. ''We need no lectures from Americans about the defence of liberty and democracy.''Shortly after Cellucci's tirade, President George Bush canceled a state visit to Ottawa. The next day Bush invited Prime Minister John Howard of Australia for a sleepover at the Crawford, Texas, Ponderosa, a diplomatic message ''delivered with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer,'' quoth the Baltimore Sun. This is the message: Australia = good, brave, ''willing'' Commonwealth country; Canada = bad, stoner, un-''willing'' Commonwealth country. In case Canada is hard of hearing, the White House slapped a punitive tariff on its wheat exports over the weekend to make sure it's paying attention.The real problem with Canada is that it has become yet another troublesome democracy, like Germany, France, and Turkey, with each nation's elected officials answering to their constituents rather than to the voice of America. Worse yet, the prospects for regime changes in these recalcitrant countries seem bleak. The Third Infantry Division can do only so much, and securing Paris, Ankara, Ottawa, and Berlin is a tall order, even for the legendary heroes of the Marne.About last week:By way of atoning for (but not apologizing for) my tongue-in-cheek crack about poets being ''worthless malingerers,'' let me plug Spare Change News' annual poetry issue, sold by homeless men and women this week and next in front of subway stops around the city. Editor Holly Hand and poetry editor Don DiVecchio have published poems by people who, to put it gently, don't live in Lexington or Concord, and many of them are quite good. Here is an excerpt from ''Insert Name,'' by Radomir Luza Jr.:I want to forget my nameForget who I am.And just live,Just breathe,Just exist,Like water,Or oxygen.I want to ride a lawnmower for free,Across the country,And kick footballs into soccer nets.. . . I want to be somebody else,Somebody new.Somebody with a life uncomplicated,Lying on the sandAnd fighting only the air.This story ran on page D1 of the Boston Globe on 5/6/2003.Source: Boston Globe (MA)Author: Alex Beam, Globe ColumnistPublished: May 06, 2003Copyright: 2003 Globe Newspaper CompanyContact: letter globe.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Cannabis News Canadian Links's US Friendship Hits a Reefer Plan Puts U.S. Noses Out of Joint On Drugs Now Threatens America's Neighbors
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Comment #2 posted by afterburner on May 06, 2003 at 10:43:10 PT:
The Bigger Picture.
Organization of American States of the OAS OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES
Chapter INATURE AND PURPOSESArticle 1   The American States establish by this Charter the international organization that they have developed to achieve an order of peace and justice, to promote their solidarity, to strengthen their collaboration, and to defend their sovereignty, their territorial integrity, and their independence. Within the United Nations, the Organization of American States is a regional agency.   The Organization of American States has no powers other than those expressly conferred upon it by this Charter, none of whose provisions authorizes it to intervene in matters that are within the internal jurisdiction of the Member States.Chapter IIPRINCIPLESArticle 3   The American States reaffirm the following principles:a)   International law is the standard of conduct of States in their reciprocal relations;b)   International order consists essentially of respect for the personality, sovereignty, and independence of States, and the faithful fulfillment of obligations derived from treaties and other sources of international law;c)   Good faith shall govern the relations between States;d)   The solidarity of the American States and the high aims which are sought through it require the political organization of those States on the basis of the effective exercise of representative democracy;e)   Every State has the right to choose, without external interference, its political, economic, and social system and to organize itself in the way best suited to it, and has the duty to abstain from intervening in the affairs of another State. Subject to the foregoing, the American States shall cooperate fully among themselves, independently of the nature of their political, economic, and social systems;g)   The American States condemn war of aggression: victory does not give rights;h)   An act of aggression against one American State is an act of aggression against all the other American States;i)   Controversies of an international character arising between two or more American States shall be settled by peaceful procedures;m)   The spiritual unity of the continent is based on respect for the cultural values of the American countries and requires their close cooperation for the high purposes of civilization;Chapter IIIMEMBERSArticle 4   All American States that ratify the present Charter are Members of the Organization.Article 15   The right of each State to protect itself and to live its own life does not authorize it to commit unjust acts against another State.Article 17   Each State has the right to develop its cultural, political, and economic life freely and naturally. In this free development, the State shall respect the rights of the individual and the principles of universal morality.Article 20   No State may use or encourage the use of coercive measures of an economic or political character in order to force the sovereign will of another State and obtain from it advantages of any kind.Chapter VIIINTEGRAL DEVELOPMENTArticle 45   The Member States, convinced that man can only achieve the full realization of his aspirations within a just social order, along with economic development and true peace, agree to dedicate every effort to the application of the following principles and mechanisms:a)   All human beings, without distinction as to race, sex, nationality, creed, or social condition, have a right to material well-being and to their spiritual development, under circumstances of liberty, dignity, equality of opportunity, and economic security;b)   Work is a right and a social duty, it gives dignity to the one who performs it, and it should be performed under conditions, including a system of fair wages, that ensure life, health, and a decent standard of living for the worker and his family, both during his working years and in his old age, or when any circumstance deprives him of the possibility of working;c)   Employers and workers, both rural and urban, have the right to associate themselves freely for the defense and promotion of their interests, including the right to collective bargaining and the workers' right to strike, and recognition of the juridical personality of associations and the protection of their freedom and independence, all in accordance with applicable laws;d)   Fair and efficient systems and procedures for consultation and collaboration among the sectors of production, with due regard for safeguarding the interests of the entire society;e)   The operation of systems of public administration, banking and credit, enterprise, and distribution and sales, in such a way, in harmony with the private sector, as to meet the requirements and interests of the community;f)   The incorporation and increasing participation of the marginal sectors of the population, in both rural and urban areas, in the economic, social, civic, cultural, and political life of the nation, in order to achieve the full integration of the national community, acceleration of the process of social mobility, and the consolidation of the democratic system. The encouragement of all efforts of popular promotion and cooperation that have as their purpose the development and progress of the community;g)   Recognition of the importance of the contribution of organizations such as labor unions, cooperatives, and cultural, professional, business, neighborhood, and community associations to the life of the society and to the development process;h)   Development of an efficient social security policy; andi)   Adequate provision for all persons to have due legal aid in order to secure their rights.*Signed in Bogotá in 1948 and amended by the Protocol of Buenos Aires in 1967, by the Protocol of Cartagena de Indias in 1985, by the Protocol of Washington in 1992, and by the Protocol of Managua in 1993.Signatories and Ratifications United States, Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Columbia, Venezuela, Panama, ..., even Cuba. In addition to spiritual and cultural development and individual rights, we see concern for the community at large, labor issues, limits on corporate power, and guarantee of sovereignty. This is a treaty of great importance to the American Hemisphere and to the "drug" law reform within our two continents.ego transcendence follows ego destruction, and suddenly there is no problem.
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Comment #1 posted by Dark Star on May 06, 2003 at 07:51:25 PT
Why I Oughtta!
''We would have to respond. We would be forced to respond,'' Murray said.Okay, Dr. Social Anthropologist. Just what are you going to do exactly if the Canadian Supreme Court rules that cannabis usage is a Charter right? The jig would be up, and you'll be left with nothing but threats. Go Canada!
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