Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Alexa McNutbar

Babble on.

Can anyone think of a realistic scenario whereby the NDP would form our national government? Anyone? Bueller? Right then, protest party it is. So, as a former leader of a political protest party, Alexa McDonough should really be yesterday's news. Why, then, is she in the Halifax Herald today?

As the member for Halifax in Canada's 38th Parliament, I feel compelled to remain in Ottawa today, fulfilling my additional duties as NDP foreign affairs critic and member of the parliamentary committee on foreign affairs.

I'm still not getting it. She's in Ottawa attempting to do the job taxpayers hired her to do, but succeeding only in embarrassing herself by becoming a caricature of the modern barking lefty moonbat. This is the story of her political career. How exactly is it newsworthy?

Ohhhh. She's making a point of not being where The Cowboy is, even though he's speaking to her hometown crowd in Halifax. Got it. Protest noted. I'm sure as soon as someone explains Alexa's exalted position in the grand karmic web of the universe ("Condi, should I know this Alexis McDonut?"), GWB will feel properly chastened. Until that time, however, life for the President of the United States - not to mention the rest of us - continues.

Alexa is staying in Ottawa so she can pout for the cameras in a committee room on Parliament Hill and listen to twaddle like this:

Canada's first ambassador for disarmament, the Hon. Douglas Roche, addressed the Foreign Affairs Committee last week with these words: "The nuclear arms race has been regenerated as a result of the development and intended deployment of ballistic missiles by the U.S." As a result, he noted, the crisis the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty "is facing now is the most severe that I've ever seen."

Forgive me for being blunt here, but who the hell cares about a 'severe crisis' faced by words on a page? Every world leader could simultaneously decide to rip up the NNPT tomorrow, throw it in a bonfire and urinate on the ashes, and I wouldn't bat an eyelash - as long as the wrong countries weren't obtaining nuclear weapons technology. Only a dyed-in-the-wool socialist bureaucrat would care more about a document than about the intent of that document. And the truth is that nuclear weapons are proliferating regardless of international treaties that aren't worth the paper they're written on. By the way, Alexa, that was happening long before George W. Bush took office.

The shrill voice of the unserious left continues her little opus with this widely discredited pseudo-stat:

...War on Iraq in which 100,000 men, women and children have lost their lives...

Ms. McD should really read more POGGE. ChimpAlexa LIED! NDP credibility DIED! Or something like that - I'm really no good at protest chants.

The barking continues with this factually-challenged tidbit:

Thanks to Mr. Bush's multi-billion-dollar "Star Wars" missile defence plan, Russia and China are in the process of developing new generations of nuclear weapons...

Anyone who honestly believes China and Russia sit around on their backsides waiting to develop weapons exclusively in response to entirely defensive American initiatives isn't qualified to write a high-school current affairs paper, let alone sit on our parliamentary foreign affairs committee. This attempt to lay the blame for other countries' offensive weapons entirely at the door of the Bush administration is conveniently disconnected from reality.

But the real poisoned cherry on top of this sundae-from-hell is McDonough's conclusion:

The majority of Canadians do not want us to join Bush's Star Wars missile defence madness because they understand that the very pursuit of BMD undermines Canada's worthwhile goal of helping to rid the world of its weapons of mass destruction.

There are some sober and well-presented arguments against ballistic missile defence, most of which revolve around the cost and effectiveness of such a system. But burying one's head in one's ass the sand and ignoring reality isn't an argument. Assuming that every repressive and hostile nation on earth would stop building weapons and gather in a circle to hold hands and sing kumbaya if only the West would stop building defences isn't an argument. Offering up your society with all its freedom and prosperity to the tender mercies of the North Koreas and Irans of the world isn't an argument.

And this is why serious people of all political stripes will continue to ignore the increasingly irrelevant federal New Democratic Party on matters of international security.

Serious people understand that not all nations adhere to international agreements - even ones they supposedly support. Serious people don't assert that one country's efforts to improve its offensive weapons are the inevitable consequence of another country's efforts to improve its defensive capabilities. Serious people understand that no matter what your foreign policy looks like, you should "walk softly and carry a big stick" to support that policy.

Unfortunately, Alexa McDonough and the NDP are about as serious as a farting contest between eight year old boys.

Babble off.


At 5:14 p.m., Blogger Optimus said...

Okay, so we come from different sides of the political spectrum. But as a non-partisan question, exactly how is missile defence 'entirely defensive'?

Not to sound too much like an introductory IR textbook, but that's the whole nature of the security dilemma. Defensive and offensive weapons can't be distinguished by adversaries. Missle defence, if ever they could get the thing to work, would allow for defense against retaliatory attacks, and therefore change the costs associated with first strike. Since the US' defensive measure improves their offensive position, it encourages arms-racing by demanding that its adversaries develop countermeasures. This, of course, is why China has committed to ensuring that it would be able to overwhelm the shield.

So, you can argue about whether proliferation makes the world safer or not, but I don't think there's much grounds for arguing that a 'defensive' weapon is conceptually distinct from an offensive one, nor that missile defense encourages arms racing.

At 5:47 p.m., Blogger Babbling Brooks said...

Good point, Optimus. But I think a distinction is necessary here. BMD itself is entirely defensive. Assuming it actually works (I know, I know - I'm a skeptic too), the U.S. could theoretically eliminate all offensive weapons in its arsenal and still retain a defensive capability that posed no threat to another country. In other words, while BMD may bolster U.S. offensive options, it is not an offensive weapon as such.

So, given the fact that a shield can't hurt anyone, why are other countries worried about U.S. first-strike capability working on purely offensive weaponry? Wouldn't the more reasonable response be to develop their own defences? Or to negotiate an elimination of all offensive weapons?

Think about it this way: if your goal is to disarm the world, isn't it more likely that everyone would agree to do that behind secure defences? As it stands right now, the only defense any country has is a retaliatory attack - which means offensive weapons, the things we would all get rid of if we could.

What I'm trying to say is that an offensive buildup is not the inevitable response to a defensive innovation. In fact, a defensive innovation should actually facilitate disarmament.

At 1:11 p.m., Blogger Greg Staples said...

Wow! Nice Post (and debate in the comments section as well). I guess this is why we coming back for more.

Keep up the good work.

At 11:10 a.m., Blogger Greg said...

The problem is B, that China and Russia are as paranoid as the U.S. They see the missile defence shield as a way for the U.S. to gain an advantage over them and they wonder why it wants it.


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