Wednesday, January 02, 2008

In Defense of Canada

I don't get to post over here near as much as I'd like, but this ridiculous screed by Michael Byers against the Canadian government (Toronto Star) is already a front-runner for Ignorant Comment of the Year.

Byers is not happy with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Why? Mainly because Harper and his government "was blocking an agreement that would have bound the world's wealthiest countries to specific targets for reducing their greenhouse gas emissions after 2012 – when the Kyoto Protocol expires."

Instead, Canada "embraced the stubbornly unilateral, anti-environmental stance of U.S. President George W. Bush. They mimicked his demand – always intended as a deal breaker – that any specific binding targets include developing states."

I didn't know Mr. Byers can read the President's mind, but one things he can't read is a chart. Perhaps he missed the memo, but any treaty that doesn't include "developing countries" gives a free pass to the largest emitter of carbon on the planet: Communist China. Of course, Byers is so blinded by either his hatred of Bush or his fealty to Chairman Mo (Shotgun) that he may not have noticed this little fact.

Either way, Byers makes clear what he thinks of Harper's determination not to follow Beijing like a love-sick poodle: "He has also picked unnecessary quarrels with China over human rights . . . rather than seizing opportunities to constructively engage." Ah, "engage." I guess Byers' political antennae haven't noticed that "engagement" has become so badly tarnished that no one is foolish enough to use it anymore.

In Afghanistan (where the Taliban are rearming themselves with help from Communist China), Byers wants "NATO troops out, and UN peacekeepers in."

In response to North Korea's now-you-see-the-nukes-now-you-don't game, Byers demands Canada announce itself as hostage material and become "a nuclear-weapons-free zone."

Adding injury to insult, Byers also tweaks Harper et al for having "curtailed the practice of seeking clemency for all Canadians sentenced to death abroad." Whatever one's thoughts on the death penalty, we can all agree that this is not as bad as sending Falun Gong practitioners back to Communist China to face near-certain torture and death, right? Who would do such a horrible thing? Oh, that's right.

I know an American defending the Conservatives will simply send Mr. Byers into apoplexy, but I, for one, would be thrilled if Stephen Harper led my country. If Michael Byers is this upset, perhaps he should follow his benefactor to Beijing.