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McKenna

Frank McKenna demonstates another reason why I’m really happy he didn’t accept coronation as Liberal heir: Canada should rethink missile defense with the US to better our chances of at least a reach-around or a kiss on the neck. His logic is almost Bushian. He says:

We must never forget that another 9/11, or a major event of a similar nature that resulted from a laxness with respect to Canadian security, would have a profound impact on trade between the two countries and, consequently, our national wealth.

Did you catch that? Apparently 9/11 would have been prevented with a working missile defense system! He’s got Bush 911itis! Certainly we should protect ourselves against terrorists, but really, where does missile defense fit into this? Blow the billions on defending our goddamned ports and I’m sure our neighbours to the south would be far more pleased. Oh, except the greedheads at Boeing, but I bet even they could get a piece of the port pie, too. Anyway, he goes on:

Americans on this one just never understood our position. They thought it was poorly communicated and they couldn’t understand why, when they weren’t asking for anything from us, why we were so hostile to participating even in a dialogue about the defence of North America, including Canada.

Sooooo, maybe the problem Frank, is that we have to better communicate our position rather than change it? Nah, you’re right, let’s change it.

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7 thoughts on “McKenna

  1. As a (somewhat reluctant) New Brunswicker, I bow my head in shame. Its worse than you say… He’s got “soviet Canuckistan”-itis; he is one step away from saying that lax canadian border security contributed to 911. The implication is there for the dimwitted to seize upon. I’d just like to re-iterate what Chretien said on Larry King Live: It is the AMERICAN border gaurds who are responsible for who gets into the US, not the canadian ones, and all the hijackers travelled through other ports of entry on legitimate SAUDI passports.

    Never mind that a missile shield wouldn’t have been aimed at a hand-full of AMERICAN airliners, which, incidently, were the weapons of choice for 911. Franky, Franky, Franky… It looks as though someone is putting their own stock options/ portfolio in front of serving the public good (Note: tongue in cheek). This is such blatant brown-nosing the chicken-hawks, that I think Frank may actually have contracted “Harper-itis”. Far worse illness, with much more sickening symptoms.

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  2. The fact that he doesn’t remember the environmental disaster which resulted from the last American-led northern defence initiative (The Dew Line) doesn’t inspire confidence in his position. Which I assume resembles picking up a bar of soap in the shower.

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  3. Apparently 9/11 would have been prevented with a working missile defense system!

    There is nothing in the CBC article to suggest that McKenna’s 9/11 comment was related to missile defense. When I saw him on CBC News, he said that participating in missile defense was only one of something like 40 recommendations in his paper (which, unfortunately, I can’t find online yet). It is likely that the quotation was taken from a section not related to missile defense. He certainly made no such claim in the interview which presumably served as the basis for this CBC article.

    Blow the billions on defending our goddamned ports and I’m sure our neighbours to the south would be far more pleased.

    McKenna told CBC that Canada should participate in missile defense if we are not asked to make a major financial contribution or allow American missile batteries on Canadian soil. McKenna does not suggest “blow[ing] bilions” on BMD. If the Americans want Canada to participate in the program and ask nothing more than, say, permission to install a radar station in the North in return, McKenna believes that we should participate. There is a considerable upside: potential protection from ICBMs, improved defense cooperation with our main ally, and the opportunity for Canadian suppliers to bid on the lucrative contracts. If McKenna is correct in thinking that the Americans do not expect a major financial contribution, he makes a fairly convincing argument, in my opinion.

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  4. The problem here is that you dismiss McKenna’s argument without actually addressing it.

    I’m not “for” missile defence, but I can’t take this kind of posting seriously – if there’s no argument rebuttal, there’s nothing there.

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  5. Ed,
    Thanks for the comments. I’m still looking for his paper, too, if you find it, would you mind posting a link? I saw elements of his interview on the news last night, but only at the gym and it was pretty badly sub-titled. I have to think that the deaf would be pretty out of touch if not for the internet.

    Canadian resistance to participating in BMD rests partly in the fact that for several generations we have lived with international agreements to not allow them, as they were determined to be destabilizing. Simply because the Soviet Union has dissolved does not make them any less destabilizing. China is very likely going to be the next super-power with which the US will compete on the international stage. Do we really want either of them thinking that they are protected against a counter-strike?

    You’re right, McKenna did not say that BMD would have prevented 911, that was my gloss, but he did connect the two in his argument. This is the Bush tactic. Sadam, 911, Sadam, 911, BMD, 911, BMD, 911.

    The problem that I have, and perhaps others, is that the security of the United States is the job of the United States, not Canada. The US does not need land-based radar stations to detect missiles – satelites will be able to do a far better job. This is about getting another country to pony up moral support for tearing up an agreement that was the mainstay of the Cold War, indeed one that kept the Cold War cool. This is about international politics, nothing more.

    As a good neighbour, there are things that we can do that would benefit both countries – I mentioned port security, but there are many others. Strengthening our military to better participate in UN missions and strengthening our Arctic capabilities are two more.

    jason bo green: I just saw your comment as I previewed my response. You’re right, I did not in detail refute McKenna’s argument, I haven’t had time yet. I will. I put this post out to act as a placeholder as much as anything else in the hope that a conversation would develop. And it has! Hopefully my response here is a bit more meaty. Once I get a hold of McKenna’s paper I will dig in.

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  6. You’re right, McKenna did not say that BMD would have prevented 911, that was my gloss, but he did connect the two in his argument.

    Did he, or did the CBC? Or did you? When he talked about BMD in the CBC interview, he did not make a link between 9/11 or terrorism and BMD. He focused on the threat from countries like Iran and especially North Korea, which is willing to sell missile technology to practically anyone. The article does not indicate that the 9/11 comment taken from the paper, which deals with a whole range of Canada-US issues, was related to BMD. It is possible, and in my opinion likely, that the comment was taken from a different section of the paper. I think it is premature to accuse McKenna of “Bush 911itis” for this comment because the context is ambiguous. I think we should wait for the paper to be posted on the Liberal Party website’s renewal commission section before condemning the man.

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  7. Ed,
    I believe I already claimed responsibility for connecting McKenna’s quote and 911, however, the CBC article, and several others I’ve since read, make the same link. Or at least make the link real easy…

    To me, BMD is a red herring. It is the Republicans’ way to feed the war machine another fat morsel and maybe create a few jobs. There are better ways to both stimulate the economy and to protect ourselves. If we are actually concerned about terrorism there are several things we can do. First, stop fucking around in the politics of countries overseas. Second, improve our physical security by beefing up our armed forces and border security. Third, and this one connects with the first, stop making enemies of countries that don’t already hate us.

    As for North Korea, I dunno. My gut reaction is that if a military strike was the answer, now is the time, however with China not onside, that’s out. If they sell nuclear technology to others, unless they are a major power already, the greatest likelihood is that they will create short-range weaponry for more localized conflicts rather than attempt to develop ocean-spanning missiles for targetting the US. Unless, of course, the US continues to break suggestion number 3 above.

    Maybe we best be building that defense system after all.

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