Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Uh, Pierre? You might want to call Paul.

Babble on.

Here's what Pierre Pettigrew said to me mere days ago in an e-mail regarding how Canada is responding to the ongoing barbarity in Darfur:

Canada strongly supports an expansion of the AU mission in Darfur as the best way of resolving the crisis.

Here's what Paul Martin, Pierre's boss, said in Brussels yesterday:

In an unexpected and passionate statement after a NATO summit that largely ignored African security issues, Mr. Martin declared that the African Union has failed to deploy effective peacekeeping units in Darfur.
"The African Union has made an important contribution but it is clear that the enormous needs on the ground outstrip the AU's current capacity," Mr. Martin said.

The new force may still be mostly composed of troops from African nations, but needs UN command-and-control experience built up over decades, Mr. Martin said.

First, credit where it's due: if your strategy isn't working, better to change it than to cling stubbornly to it out of pride or fear of bad press. Good for Martin for realizing Canada's current strategy just wasn't working.

But...GEEZ! What sort of a farm-implement-IQ hack figured Canada's "Walk softly and carry absolutely nothing" Sudan policy had a snowball's chance in hell of succeeding in the first place?

And if you're going to change policy, even for the better, as it seems Martin has (assuming he follows through on his grand rhetoric - OK, I'm not holding my breath), then don't you tell your people at DFAIT so they don't have quotes like this up on their website the next morning?

Canada actively encourages Sudan's road to peace by supporting African efforts that find a solution to this African crisis.

Hmmm. No hint of boots on the ground, or even helicopter support, there. Pierre, you might want to have a chat with Paul and get yourselves sorted out. 'Cause right now, you guys look like a bunch of chumps.

Babble off.


At 11:58 a.m., Blogger Useful Idiots said...

All this agonising over Darfur reminds me of a bunch of old maids clucking over a corpse on the street. Nothing will happen till THE MAN shows up.

At 7:33 p.m., Blogger Gordon Pasha said...

Damian, you have made a good point. See also the fiasco over the in-no-wait-we're-out statements by Martin and his handpicked ambassador to the U.S. Our federal govt is in chaos. Utter chaos. There is no reason to it. Trying to understand the federal govt is like trying to understand the movement of clouds. Fascinating for a moment or two. Then you get a headache.


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