September 24, 2004


Graham defends U.S. missile plan (Alexander Panetta, Ottawa Citizen, September, 24th, 2004)

Canada's possible entry into the U.S. missile-defence program still hinges on talks with the Americans, says Defence Minister Bill Graham. But he offered an indication of which way Canada is leaning by defending the project Thursday and taking a swipe at suggestions it would lead to weapons in space. "It's an important program in the context of Canada-U.S. relations," he said. "I'm continuing these negotiations with that attitude - we're partners for the defence of North America and I think we must remain partners."

To critics who dismiss the project as a Star Wars-style scheme, Graham replied that it "has nothing to do with putting weapons in space.

"It's a program that is ground-based - land-based and possibly sea-based," he said.

He defended the timing of the project against critics who dub it an elaborate Cold War relic that is outdated in the modern fight against low-budget terrorist operations.

The Americans are simply looking ahead and preparing for threats that might emerge someday from hostile nations or terrorists who get their hands on ballistic missiles, Graham said.

Graham was the Foreign Minister under Chretien and point man on Canada’s courageous no-maybe-no-maybe-no stand on Iraq. He was Mr. UN/peace/international law at the time, but when you are dealing with concrete threats to the home front rather than musing abstractly and impotently about parts faraway, you start doing Donald Rumsfeld imitations.

Posted by Peter Burnet at September 24, 2004 6:28 AM

Shouldn't Graham be worried about defending against an invasion by the Judd's Own Regiment?

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at September 24, 2004 12:20 PM


Yes, he should. I know I am.

Posted by: Peter B at September 24, 2004 12:38 PM

Mr. Graham must realize that Kim Jong Il might mistake Vancouver, B.C. for Vancouver, Wash. when it comes time to launch.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at September 24, 2004 1:11 PM

Raoul: I remember that at least 20 years ago, some of the more erudite no-nukes types were arguing that since the U.S. and Soviets had never actually tested their ICBMs with over-the-pole launches, we couldn't be certain how accurate they really were. They claimed small gravitational variations might cause them to miss by miles. I never read any more about it, but I'd be willing to bet that North Korea would have a hard time hitting any specific target outside of South Korea, unless they put a bomb on a freighter and sailed into a harbor.

Posted by: PapayaSF at September 24, 2004 3:28 PM

Graham is crackers!

Posted by: Oswald Booth Czolgosz at September 24, 2004 4:32 PM