Well, as part of a day of columnists, I was going to end with an intriguing piece by Guardian columnist George Monbiot, which you’ll find below, on what a “just” war to unseat Saddam Hussein might actually involve. (Not us, as a start.) But then more important news broke like a cascade over my consciousness.
During the NATO summit in Prague, as all of you who get my emails (but few others in the United States know), the Canadian prime minister’s communications director managed to get herself quoted calling our president a “moron.” (And the prime minister came to her defense, calling her a “friend” and denying she was a moron.) It’s evidently something of a disease among our allies — first a member of the German cabinet comparing Bush’s tactics vaguely to Hitler’s, now this — and the results are more or less the same. In Germany, the miscreant resigned and the whole regime was excommunicated; here perhaps the Canadians can squeak by with a simple resignation. (As in “I wuz resigned…”). So first the news flash from the North and then the column from across the Atlantic. Tom
Ducros quits as Chrétien’s communications director
Written by CBC News Online staff, November 26, 2002, CBC News
Françoise Ducros has resigned as Prime Minister Jean Chrétien’s communications director. Ducros referred to U.S. President George Bush as “a moron” in Prague last week.
Reports say she made the remark to a radio reporter. Ducros had offered her resignation to the prime minister last week, but he refused to accept it.
Reports say Ducros, 40, decided over the weekend to resubmit her offer to resign. This time the prime minister accepted it. Despite Ducros’s resignation, Chrétien said in question period Tuesday the incident does not merit an apology to Bush.
See you in court, Tony
We should help the Iraqi people overthrow Saddam, but not by flouting international law
By George Monbiot, November 26, 2002, The Guardian
Parliament might have been denied its debate and the cabinet might have been silenced, but there are other means of holding the government to account. If, by 4pm today, his lawyers have failed to agree that he will not attack Iraq without a new UN resolution, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament will take the prime minister to court. For the first time in history, the British government may be forced to defend the legality of its war plans in front of a judge.
The case, hatched by the comedian Mark Thomas, looks straightforward. The UK and the US are preparing to invade, whether or not they receive permission from the UN. Jack Straw, the foreign secretary, has stated that the UK will “reserve our right to take military action, if that is required, within the existing body of UN security council resolutions”. But no UN resolution grants such a right.