There are presently Canadian ships in the Persian Gulf, as part of the "war on terrorism". Their stated objective, according to the Edmonton Journal is "interdicting smugglers and searching for al-Qaeda terrorists". However, US Ambassador to Canada Paul Cellucci seems to think that they are there to serve the President of the United States.
His remarks at a private dinner have been reported by an Alliance MP, Jason Kenney. He says Cellucci said:
|There Goes Cellucci Again|
Take for example the story today that the Canadian navy won't stop Iraqi officials trying to flee that country but will just let them go. Frankly, we find that incomprehensible.There are two problems with this statement.
The first is the fact that Cellucci has his facts wrong. Canadian policy is not to let Iraqi officials go. It is that we will not simply turn them over to The United States. Seems like a reasonable policy since we are neither at war with Iraq, nor should we have faith in the United States' treatment of prisoners.
This leads to the second issue. How is it "incomprehensible" that the armed forces of a sovereign nation will have an independent policy? Part of being sovereign means that George W. Bush is not your Commander-in-Chief. The US Ambassador seems to have a hard time remembering that he's not actually the Governor General, here to represent the interests of King George. And, His Majesty is not happy:
According to Kenney, Cellucci reiterated the American government's "disappointment" with Canada's refusal to join the U.S.-led war on Iraq and added:"I don't think that disappointment should be underestimated.