Tuesday, March 15, 2005

"Dear Condi, . . . "

Lloyd Axworthy, president of the University of Winnipeg and former Canadian foreign minister, is a bit miffed by the reaction of the current American regime to the sensible decision of the Canadian Finance Ministry to refuse that nation's participation in our wacky missile defense programs.

In an article in the form of an open-letter to Secretary of State Rice, published by the Winnipeg Free Press, Axworthy says (not without quite a bit of humor):

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.

But, gosh, we folks above the 49th parallel are somewhat cautious types who can't quite see laying down billions of dollars in a three-dud poker game.

As our erstwhile Prairie-born and bred (and therefore prudent) finance minister pointed out in presenting his recent budget, we've had eight years of balanced or surplus financial accounts. If we're going to spend money, Mr. Goodale added, it will be on day-care and health programs, and even on more foreign aid and improved defence.

Even though American republicans lose the wars they start, or fail to complete the job once they see a positive public relations blip, they still expect everyone to get behind their bizarre defense-spending schemes. These multi-billion dollar projects are started only to funnel tax dollars to wealthy friends who own military production facilities making devices that have a near-zero success rate.

This happens time and again and has nothing to do with protecting freedom or defending the people of the world.

Still, we are all supposed to just shut-up and let them waste our money while tens of millions of American citizens go without health care, housing, education, and jobs. Leaders like the current American president also expect other nations to spend big in their efforts to get rich. It's refreshing to read Axworthy's refusal to capitulate and his desire to fund unAmerican programs like healthcare and education.

Read the original Winnipeg Free Press article here.

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