April 11, 2003


Cellucci derides Ottawa's policy on war fugitives: 'Incomprehensible': Harper compares Manley to Iraq's information minister (Robert Fife and Sheldon Alberts, April 11, 2003, National Post)
The fallout from Canada's refusal to join the war in Iraq turned to heated recriminations yesterday as the Canadian Alliance compared John Manley, the Deputy Prime Minister, to the disgraced Iraqi information minister and pointed to additional criticisms from Paul Cellucci, the U.S. ambassador, as evidence of deteriorating relations between the two countries.

In a speech on Wednesday to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, Mr. Cellucci slammed the Liberal government's "incomprehensible" policy of refusing to hand over Iraqi fugitives from Saddam Hussein's regime to the U.S. forces.

Mr. Cellucci said Washington was stunned at Ottawa's order to the Canadian commander of a multinational task force in the Persian Gulf to refuse to turn over any captured Iraqi war criminals and senior members of the regime. [...]

Also in the Commons yesterday, Mr. Manley accused the Official Opposition of damaging Canada's relations with Washington by giving interviews with U.S. news outlets that publicized anti-American comments by Liberal MPs.

Mr. Manley said the Alliance appearances have had the negative effect of amplifying remarks about the United States that otherwise might have received less attention.

"Some people said some things that have been regretted and have been apologized for. Why repeat them? That is what members opposite have been doing," Mr. Manley said. "They think that there is some reason for them to go to the United States and report things to the Americans to make them angry at us. Why? ... If they would show a little discipline, we would be building a new and better relationship."

The charge prompted Stephen Harper, the leader of the Alliance, to compare Mr. Manley to Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, the Iraqi Information Minister who defiantly predicted a U.S. loss in Iraq until the day before the fall of Baghdad.

"The Canadian Alliance is the one party in this country that has stood by our American friends through all of this, at every moment. Frankly, what John Manley is doing is kind of like the Information Minister of the government of Iraq," Mr. Harper said.

"They slander our American friends. They refuse to apologize for it. They say it is free speech, and then they try and blame their internal opposition for the problem. I mean, this is a communications tactic worthy of Saddam Hussein."

You'd think, if nothing else, the Canadian Right could revive a serious conservative alternative to the Liberals out of all this, and make Canada a two party state again. Posted by Orrin Judd at April 11, 2003 12:30 PM

Agree that Canada needs some more conservative muscle.

As a MA resident it's interesting to watch Celluci who is the former MA governor. When he got the ambassadorship most felt it was a no heavy lifting position given to a Bush loyalist. Celluci certainly has some heavy lifting now and he's seems to be doing ok.

Posted by: AWW at April 11, 2003 1:42 PM

You did mean "two party (nation) state" didn't you? We don't need another California. On the other hand they do have abundant gas and oil. Hmmm!

Posted by: Genecis at April 11, 2003 1:58 PM

I say we just take the middle part. They seem sensible enough...

Posted by: Timothy at April 11, 2003 2:52 PM

The middle part? That's the rotten core. I'd even take the Atlantic provinces before Quebec and Ottawa.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at April 11, 2003 4:37 PM

Not THAT middle part! Yeesh. I meant the big oil drilling part that's already grumbling about being poorly represented.

If you think Quebec is the middle part, I take it you live on the east coast?

Posted by: Timothy at April 11, 2003 5:12 PM

Most people, I think, would say Alberta and British Columbia are in the west. Would you say Colorado is in the middle or the west of the U.S.?

Posted by: pj at April 11, 2003 5:29 PM

I say "middle" because I really don't think I want British Columbia. We have one Seattle (I happen to like it very much, politics notwithstanding). We don't need another. We don't have any Edmontons, Saskatoons or Winnipegs, though. I might be interested in those.

Posted by: Timothy at April 11, 2003 8:24 PM