May 31, 2003


'It will take some time' to mend this fence: In interview with Post, Rice lays bare U.S. disappointment with Canada: Divided on war, deficit (Peter Morton, May 31, 2003, National Post)
Washington has not forgotten Canada's refusal to support its campaign against Iraq and will need "some time" to heal the wounds inflicted by Ottawa's repeated criticisms, Condoleezza Rice, the U.S. national security advisor, told the National Post.

"I think there was disappointment in the United States that a friend like Canada was unable to support the United States in what we considered to be an extremely important issue for our security," Ms. Rice said in an interview before joining George W. Bush at this weekend's G8 summit in Evian, France.

"That disappointment will not go of course away easily and it will take some time [to heal].

"When friends are in a position where we say our security's at stake, we would have thought, as we got from any of our friends, that the answer would have been, 'Well, how can we help?' " she said in the most expansive expression yet of U.S. unhappiness over the Canadian position.

She said Mr. Bush is also puzzled by this week's comments by Jean Chretien, the Prime Minister, who criticized the U.S. President's economic policies and suggested he himself has done a better job.

Ms. Rice said the US$330-billion tax-cut package and other stimulus measures taken by the Bush administration will lead to greater economic growth and more jobs. "And one of the great beneficiaries of that, of course, will be Canada because it is an economy that is extremely connected to the American economy and so the President is doing what he can to stimulate economic growth.'' [...]

Ms. Rice said a "disproportionate" share of dealing with international terrorism fell on the shoulders of the United States, which looked for allies in the battle because "these are values we share with our long-time friends."

"So, yes, there was some disappointment that there seemed to be some questioning of American motives and some lack of understanding that we were simply trying to do in support of our own security and support of everyone's else security," she said.

Note the subtlety with which she makes it clear that Mr. Chretien is only in a position to criticize Mr. Bush because Canada gets to ride the gravy train of the U.S. economy without sharing the security burden that it benefits from. Posted by Orrin Judd at May 31, 2003 10:07 AM
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