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Monday, February 28, 2005

Canadian Sovereignty And Missile Defense

Originally published here on 28 February 2005.

It's now clear how the Bush administration sees things: Canadian sovereignty exists only at its pleasure. If we do what Washington wants, we retain our sovereignty. If we don't, all bets are off.

This is what U.S. ambassador Paul Cellucci clarified last week in his angered response to Paul Martin's announcement that Canada won't join the U.S. missile defence scheme. Cellucci noted that Washington would simply deploy its anti-missile system over Canadian airspace anyway, and expressed puzzlement over Canada's decision to "in effect, give up its sovereignty."

No doubt the Soviets felt similar puzzlement as they rolled into Czechoslovakia in 1968. What's with these crazy Czechs? Don't they get it? All they have to do is co-operate with Moscow and they can retain their "sovereignty."

Writes Linda McQuaig in her article about the diplomatic row between Washington and Ottawa over the issue of the "missile shield". A very apt article, in my opinion. She is probably also right when she says,
...Canada's gutsy refusal to go along was the right move — and one that, incidentally, will win us higher standing in the world.

It is also interesting,- and, may I say, telling,- how many writers, seemingly independently of each other, allude to the Soviet times as they assess the Bush Administration and US foreign policy of today.

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