Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Beyond the Beyond

He really went and did it this time!

So. Okay. Okay, so. Oh god. Look people, I just want you to know that Peter Mackay is a complete shithead. He is irrational and quick to judge, making him picture perfect for the role of foreign affairs minister. I would like for any international readers to understand that the opinions expressed by Peter Mackay in special sessions of the Foreign Affairs Committee are those of the Ministers’ and do not reflect those of the people of Canada.

Here’s the thing: Harper’s cozying even further under the Bush blanket in this enormous heat. It must be sweaty under there, but Stevie’s a trouper. Without fully respecting or even understanding the long-term and indeed historical conflict occurring in Southern Lebanon/Northern Israel, he has jumped into the polarized photo shoot to pick one black hat, one white hat and run with it. Peter for his part, is playing along nicely. It was one thing to step in personally and get that family out of Lebanon. It scored some points and no-one could possibly attack him for it. I would have preferred if the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Right, Honourable Peter Mackay would have gotten more Canadians out sooner rather than bartering at the last minute with a Turkish broker, but hey, it’s a rough gig and I’m glad I don’t have it. Now today he’s decided that Hezbollah is a “cancer”. In some of the harshest language yet used on the schoolyard playground that is the Parliamentary floor, he decreed that they are terrorists and cold-blooded killers. Here’s the thing: the government of Lebanon is now backing them. We are no longer talking about a well-armed privately funded militia which is a huge nightmare on its own. We are now talking about a government sanctioned military action. This alone has upped the ante and of course everyone except our two fuckheads is playing it very cool. The U.N. is talking about sanctions, an American diplomatic team is talking about talking, this is escalating quickly and needs to be handled with care and respect. Enter Peter Mackay, the man who held a press-conference in an unforgettable wet raincoat in a field shortly after Belinda buggered off. It was stunning. He was less coherent than the cow standing behind him and I can’t say I would be averse to hearing the bovine opinion on Canada’s participation in the Middle East.

The people of Israel have had a rough ride. The people of Lebanon have not had it any easier. And Peter’s contribution to a mounting death toll, more rockets than have yet been seen to date and an Israeli occupation force is, “They started it.”

Again, anyone out there who is curious about these apple-cheeked morons appearing on Canada’s behalf everywhere, please bear in mind that most of us did not vote for these people. They got around 30% of the votes cast, but a small percentage of eligible voters went to the polls at all. This brings their real standing to around 17%, so honest to god people, do not take them as a sample of Canada’s culture. He’s the Minister of Foreign Relations for god’s sake and the only real relation he has ever had is now in fact Foreign. She crossed his heart and the floor of the House of Commons in a stunning attention grab to get the media again to ignore more pressing issues and left Peter lost in a field to look only ahead to a crisis again beyond his comprehension. Couldn’t he just go home for a bit and regroup? I know it’s hard when things get out of hand. But we must all remember that name-calling won’t get us anywhere, at least when the people we’re talking about can bomb the shit out of us and our friends.

Perhaps there is a simple solution. Perhaps all the intelligence that doesn’t make it to the airwaves can indeed identify a single catalyst brought on intentionally by one side. The fact remains now that we are in it and calling any side a “cancer” in public will not be a balm or cooling salve to the wretchedness occurring. It will not present a calm face and it will not suggest to the people we are trying to convince that we understand and wish to alleviate their crisis. It will not show Foreign countries that we Relate to them. I have an idea: let’s get a title for minister of Out-of-our-Depth. God knows we’ve been there before, and it’s not unreasonable to imagine some elective energy and a parliamentary staff looking into affairs for which we are woefully unprepared to even prepare for. I would have said Minister of Saying The Quiet Stuff Loud And The Loud Stuff Quiet, but I doubt it would float.

We are known as the peace-keepers, the good neighbors, the ones who don’t piss people off. This has worked in our favour, just look at how often terrorists and other threatening countries have left us alone. Even when they made that shitty Independence Day movie, Canada was left out of it completely. Even aliens aren’t interested. They just knocked the shit out of everything else and moved on.

Whether Red-Cheeks and Stevie like it or not, we have some heavyweights. They’re not the type of people you send in to not ask questions and just clean house, but Pierre Pettigrew could get those people to sit down. Think any of them might remember Lloyd Axworthy? Andre Ouellet wouldn’t say no I don’t think, and I think John Manley has some time on his hands nowadays. Even Henry Beatty could probably wrangle some butts into seats. Peter Mackay is going to make an ugly situation worse. He is polarizing sides already beyond the limits of black and white. He is provoking further attacks and he is encouraging ill-informed reaction. Canada at the moment is not a target country. We don’t get baited. We don’t get unnecessarily brought into things. We pay for this in many ways that are often difficult and unpleasant. We don’t always agree on military action or reaction. We don’t have a lot of history getting into international calamities on a whim. An unfortunate result has been issues of friendly-fire, loss of the rights of our citizens and questions of sovereignty. We will not get further with these issues by barking out opinions in the worst possible example of unskilled rhetoric.

It is beyond me how baiting Hezbollah will aid the situation for Lebanon, Israel or anyone else. It is beyond me how siding wholeheartedly with a country currently occupying its aggressor will help calm the crisis. It is beyond me how calling out “they started it” will give any depth or weight to the opinion of Canada in the eyes of the international community and the two countries involved. I think just maybe it’s beyond Peter too.


Craig Sauvé said...

word. Harper government has made a grave error. Honestly, what in god's name motivated Harper and Mackay to side with Israel? There was no need to say anything, except for something vapid like, "the situation is tragic." Just trying to cosy up to Washington. Let's get these motherfuckers out of parliament. stat.

orangelina said...

aahhhh! I've been back from America (fuck yeah!) for 2 days, and it seems as though the Bush administration has followed me, donned ridiculous masks, and taken over the house.
A cancer huh? Well, I guess Pete's thesaurus is a bit dated.
At a time like this I (wrongly) expected objective diplomacy, rather than name-calling and bickering from our "elected" representatives.
My theory is terrifying, and it is that Mel Gibson and his anti-Semitic conspiracy theories are behind the feds.
Get ready to duck and cover. Remember kids, stop, drop and roll.