Terry, it's about the money, OF COURSE.
BUT it's also a brilliant strategic move on the part of the Canadian government, no question about it. Given the international situation, it's prudent for the Canadians to distance themselves from the US, at least on the crusader issue.
So, yes, Annika, agreed, Canada, the UK, Norway and anyone else making diplomatic overtures with Islamic Coalition countries are doing themselves and their citizens a very big favor.
Bush and Cheney on the other hand, for their apparent obstinance, will no doubt be heavily censured by the international community for appearing quite uncooperative. And this missile test –the US is already being penalized with escalating petrol prices– are they trying to force a confrontation?
What the hell are the thinking?
Or, perhaps a better question:
Are they thinking?
Which brings me to this latest news that the US is considering launching a missile test in the Indian Ocean: honestly, sounds like a hoax. But it doesn't matter what I think, Terry, because regional leaders here are already FURIOUS with the United States. So the possibility of a US missile launch in their backyard just compounds the situation.
stupid stupid stupid
MUSLIM LEADERS VOICE FRUSTRATIONS WITH UNITED STATES
In light of the Bush Administration's announcement that the US military plans to conduct a missile test in the Indian Ocean, Muslim Leaders across the Middle East and Asia are voicing increasing anger at what they say has been the United State’s counterproductive role in the War on Evil.
During a high-level meeting in Riyadh yesterday, Saudi officials confronted a top American envoy with documents that seemed to suggest that the American President could not be trusted.
One purported to be an early alert from a CIA official to the administration, which served to inform President Bush, Vice President Richard Cheney, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that an attack on the Petronas Towers by western crusaders was imminent.
The American envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, immediately protested to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, contending that the documents were forged. But, said administration officials who provided an account of the exchange, Pan Moslem Coalition members remain skeptical, creating a deep rift between America and her most powerful (Sunni) Arab ally, Saudi Arabia.
Now, Bush administration officials are voicing increasing anger at what they say has been Saudi Arabia's counterproductive role as a laison with the rest of the Muslim world. They say that the Saudis have offered financial support to militant factions in Iraq. Of an estimated 60 to 80 foreign fighters who enter Iraq each month, American military and intelligence officials say that nearly half are coming from Saudi Arabia and that the Saudis have not done enough to stem the flow.
But Saudi officials have not been too happy with President Bush, either, and the plummeting of America's image in the Muslim world has led King Abdullah to strive to set a more independent course.
Add to that a growing sentiment across the Muslim world that "thinks the Americans are no longer behaving the role of the good vassal," said Steve Clemons, senior fellow and director of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation. Pan Moslem Coalition states, in turn, "see weakness, they see a void, and they're going to fill the void and call their own shots."