Monday, March 07, 2005

Look at me! I'm not washed up! Really!

Babble on.

Lloyd Axworthy's little letter to the Secretary of State of the United States of America has garnered quite a bit of attention around the blogosphere these past few days.

You can find a 'heartfelt' response here, and another one here. Three guesses as to which one comes closer to my own 'heartfelt' response (not posted due to extreme language).

As usual, I am in awe of Bob's ability to consistently smack what needs smacking:

Whatever. The ramblings of a political retiree happily ensconced in a provincial sinecure are hardly worth noticing. Especially a political retiree who sneers at what he perceives to be US actions which violate international law, when said political retiree was quite enthusiastic to violate international law in participating in the bombing of civilians in Serbia. (Axworthy was named as a defendant in this filing made with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.)
You'd think a guy like Lloyd, former-Minister-of-Foreign-Affairs Lloyd, big-proponent-of-the-ICC Lloyd, all-around-smart-guy Lloyd, would have at least a vague understanding of how international law works. Evidently not. So here goes. You know how Lloyd does that sneering thing about "you might want to consider using the ICC to prosecute people doing things in Darfur"? That would be an awfully neat trick. Sudan has not ratified the Rome Statute, which set up the ICC. There are no allegations that crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC have been committed on the territory of a state which has ratified the Rome Statute. Sudan is refusign to accede to ICC jurisdiction. There is thus only one way in which the ICC could possibly have jurisdiction over crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes committed in Sudan: the UN Security Council would have to refer the matter to the ICC pursuant to section 13(b) of the Rome Statute.

But guess who keeps threatening to veto such a referral? China.

Strangely, a Google search doesn't turn up any "open letters" from Lloyd to the fine folks in Beijing.


I must also recognize the more quiet effort of John the Mad:

Back in 1973, John the Mad was a very young, newly employed, Liberal political staff member on Parliament Hill. In the first few days on the job I had occasion to attend a committee of the House of Commons to listen in on some discussion relating to rail freight rates, or some such matter. Lloyd Axworthy MP happened to be speaking.

At first I was in a state approaching awe and wonderment at actually being in the committee room with men of state talking about great affairs of state. Gradually, however, as I listened and watched Mr. Axworthy MP, I lost my sense of awe and became aware that I was in the presence of a pompous ass. He effected a certain condescending tone that, even I as a young Liberal, found off-putting. I have not had a good reason over the years to change my assessment of the man and his recent letter merely reinforces that three decade-old sense that Mr. Axworthy is in love with himself.
The thing that caught my eye was the next sentence. What can Dr. Axworthy mean by this comment?

But, gosh, we folks above the 49th parallel are somewhat cautious types who can't quite see laying down billions of dollars in a three-dud poker game..

At first blush he gives the impression that he believes he is not prepared to support the wasting of billions of taxpayer dollars on anti-weapons systems that don't work. But this cannot be the case. Look at the Liberal gun registry. (Babbler's bold)
Such control-freak antics may work in the virtual one-party state that now prevails in Washington. But in Canada we have a residual belief that politicians should be subject to a few checks and balances, an idea that your country once espoused before the days of empire.

Need I bring to your attention the utter gall of a leading member of "Canada's natural governing party" accusing the Bush Republicans of running a one party state. Didn't the Yanks just have a bruising knock 'em down, electoral race that had all the thrills and spills of Northern Dancer winning the Queen's Plate.

Checks and balances? Canada? Third parties can't even participate fully in electoral campaigns here. Checks and balances are very few in this centralized, caucus whipped, PMO run federal government.

If international law is only important when Axworthy wants it to be important, if flushing billions of taxpayers' dollars down a government money-hole in the name of security is only important when Axworthy wants it to be important, and if running a one-party state is only important when Axworthy wants it to be important, then isn't it fair that the misplaced condescension of an embarrassingly puffed-up hypocrite will only be important when Condi wants it to be important? I thought so.

Babble off.


At 8:22 p.m., Blogger The Powers That Be said...

As a Canadian, Axeworthy's letter was embarassing to read.

It read as though it was written by an immature school child.


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