Canada and U.S. headed towards war, I would assume

Wow, I just re-read the last few posts… they’ve been LONG. Sorry ’bout that. I’ll try to keep these more inline with the MTV generation’s preference for brief, easily digested tidbits.

Why won’t he call?
The fascination with what George W. Bush thinks carried on today. The Post actually led with a story called “BUSH WON’T CALL PM,” but in true mainstream fashion, it was a back and forth between “senior Canadian officials” and “U.S. officials.” Once again, the attributed stories played away from the spin, with White House spokesperson Scott McClellan saying that a scheduled summit with Bush, Martin and Mexico’s Fox will go ahead as planned. PMO spokesperson Melanie Gruer added that Bush has been travelling.
But you know, the “officials” say its a story, so let’s run it on A1.
There were a tonne of these stories today, in all the papers. Unnamed sources worried that Condi is mad, that the summit is off, that Washington is more upset than they are letting on.
More upset than they let on? These people just bombed the hell out of Iraq! Bush has never once hid his true feelings from anyone, much to the chagrin of rational folks everywhere. Why would his administration give Martin special treatment?
Add to that the fact that all the attributed official sources say things are fine, and you have to wonder… is the Canadian press perhaps overselling this bad boy?
Oh and in my favourite column of the day, Andew Coyne laments that Canada-U.S. relations are going down the tubes – and cited Rice’s cancelled visit and the looming collapse of NORAD as his proof.
See Feb. 28’s installment for some insight on NORAD’s collapse, and. . .

Yea, but Condi’s not coming, right?
Well, actually. . . it turns out that yesterday’s unattributed reports that Secretary of State Condoleeze Rice was cancelling her visit to Canada were premature.
Quoth the Globe and Mail on A4, it turns out that either a) Rice postponed her decision but was wooed back by a stellar presentation on the pending revitalization of the military by our very own Pierre Pettigrew or b) Rice never actually postponed her decision. Now in fairness, it was a real, live human being (Sébastien Théberge) that proposed option “a” and a bevy of “officials from both countries” that put forth “b,” but in this case, I have to wonder if the “officials” have it right.
After all, Théberge was also quoted saying “they told us they were disappointed but they respect our decision.”
Oh, by the way, McClellan was quoted here too, apparently “there was never a trip scheduled . . . so there’s nothing to postpone.” That would have been useful information for yesterday’s story, but a deadline’s a deadline right? No time to double check stuff.

If Goose Bay is sinking…
Remember yesterday’s scathing report that Paul Martin bent the poor people of Goose Bay over the table by opting out of missile defence? Sure you do, it was that vague yet daming article about how a Goose Bay radar proposal that would have saved the town was abandoned by U.S. “officials” because of Canada’s decision.
Well, it turns out that the proposal was the pet project of the Liberal senator from the area, Bill Rompkey. He had it in his head that since NORAD was expanded to share information with the missile defence people, Canada should make room for a new radar installation in Goose Bay, funded by U.S. interests.
So the proposal that was touted as “backed by the federal government” in yesterday’s story was actually the work of one senator. Again, that would have made a wonderful addition to the original story, but I guess Rompkey wasn’t available for early deadline yesterday.
Would the radar help save the Goose Bay base? Sure. Was it a government-backed proposal scuttled at the last minute by angry U.S. officials? Nope.

Freedom marches on…
Evidently I gave columnists too much credit when I suggested they’d wait until the Iraqi bodies were in the ground following the single most deadly attack since the U.S. invasion before trumpeting Bush’s Middle East policies.
The Globe’s Marcus Gee and the Washington Post’s David Ignatius (guest starring in today’s Citizen) both lauded freedom’s march in the Arab world. At least Ignatius had the decency to note that American’s should keep their hands off as much as possible and let the countries determine their own (U.S. approved) fate. Gee was less restrained, using his lead to bash any and all opponents of the Iraq war. He continued: “Much as opponents of the Iraq war may hate to admit it, overthrowing Saddam Hussein and putting a representative Arab government in his place is doing just what George Bush said it would: showing the Arab world that there is an alternative to tyranny.”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad there is movement towards change in the region. But let’s wait til Syria actually pulls out of Lebanon; until women can vote in Saudi Arabia; until fair elections are held in Egypt and until Iraqis can vote for candidates revealed publicly before we declare this revolution a success.
The U.S. has sponsored a few too many false starts for my liking.

Whew, at least the front pages are covered in ‘news,’ right?
Mostly, but there’s always room for CanWest cleavage shots. The Citizen has a photo of Uma Thurman in the top right corner teasing to a review of her new film, and a big, colourful shot of the latest Cosmo dead smack in the middle.
Apparently, one Wal-Mart in Brockville pulled the issue from its shelves because one parent complained. The actual story is buried on F3 in the City section, but Jessica Alba’s tits are plastered above the fold on A1.
Thus bumping the news of a 35% pay raise for Hydro One’s CEO to page A3.
I swear, this wasn’t supposed to be a recurring segment.


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