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Bush to PM: We'll include Canada

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
CANADIAN PRESS

OTTAWA - U.S. President George W. Bush is grateful for help in the war on terrorism and is "working" to include Canada in lucrative rebuilding projects in Iraq, he said in a farewell phone call to retiring Prime Minister Jean Chrétien.
"He thanked me for what we're doing in Afghanistan and for the offer of money in the reconstruction of Iraq," Chrétien told a news conference today.

"As for the news in the newspapers stating that Canada would be excluded from economic activities in Iraq, the president assured me that this was not the case, and that he would be taking action," Chrétien said in French.

"And so I thanked him.

"We are still good friends."

The United States announced this week that countries which did not support the U.S.-led war in Iraq last spring, including Canada, would not be allowed to bid on reconstruction contracts worth $18 billion.

But Chrétien said Bush called today and "he was telling me basically not to worry."

The prime minister, who retires tomorrow, received the call before 8 a.m. at 24 Sussex Dr.

The president's exact words on the issue were: "We are working to rectify the situation," said Chrétien spokesman Stephen Hogue.

Bush's comments to Chrétien seemed to fly in the face of what he was saying at home.

He told reporters in Washington this morning that countries which sent troops to Iraq should share in the American-financed reconstruction projects while other nations are shut out.

"What I'm saying is, in the expenditure of the taxpayers' money . . . the U.S. people, the taxpayers, understand why it makes sense for countries that risked lives to participate in the contracts in Iraq. It's very simple. Our people risked their lives, friendly coalition folks risked their lives and therefore the contracting is going to reflect that."

Presidential spokesman Scott McClellan later said: "We'll be glad to discuss the issue with you," when asked about Canada's status.

If welcomed at all, Canadian expertise would likely be needed on sub-contracts for such projects as pipeline reconstruction.

Incoming prime minister Paul Martin said yesterday that he couldn't fathom the U.S. move to shun its northern neighbour, especially after Canada has pledged nearly $300 million for Iraq reconstruction.

Canadian troops in Afghanistan are also "carrying a very, very heavy load" in the war on terrorism in Afghanistan, Martin said.

He said he would raise the matter with the U.S. ambassador.

Deputy Prime Minister John Manley suggested Canada may cut aid to Iraq in response to the U.S. snub.

Chrétien and Bush talked for about 10 minutes today, said Chrétien spokeswoman Thoren Hudyma.

Bush congratulated Chrétien "on your very, very distinguished and honourable career," Hudyma said, quoting the president.

Chrétien was "very moved," she said.

"The prime minister said to Bush: 'You know we've had a few disagreements in the past, but relations between our two countries have never been better.' "

Hudyma described the chat as very warm and cordial.

The two leaders have never formed the kind of bond Chrétien enjoyed with former U.S. president Bill Clinton.

There was an infamous incident just over a year ago when former Chrétien press aide Francoise Ducros called Bush "a moron." She lost her job after Chrétien's attempts to defend her were widely mocked in the U.S. media.


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Its far to difficult for american companies to not use Canada. To many of the people and key subcontractors of all over our industries are split between the two countries. Ford would have a near impossible time proving that a vehicle contained no canadian content of labour. General Electric would have a massive problem as would the vast majority of the oil and telecom industry.

From a matter of practicality it was impossible to exclude canada regardless of what bush said to reporters.
 

JMan

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Ditto Much

Our people risked their lives, friendly coalition folks risked their lives and therefore the contracting is going to reflect that."
Corporations get the contracts and that helps soldiers how?

J
 

silver1

TRIBE Member
Re: Re: Bush to PM: We'll include Canada

Originally posted by JMan
Corporations get the contracts and that helps soldiers how?

J
For when Cheney takes the army private. They're gonna have hot tubs and coke whores on each arm.
 
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Aeryanna

TRIBE Member
Assuming that Canada is allowed to bid on the contracts (Although I have a feeling that may not happen), the whole idea of "banning" countries that refused to participate in an illegal war from bidding is ridiculous. According to the WTO it may be a violation of international law and if only to save himself from looking stupid why did Bush go to the UN asking for aid with Iraq- then turn around and ban the very countries that he's asking for help??? (brillant foreign policy) The most annoying thing though is that the Whitehouse has a selective memory - why aren't they taking into account the troops that Canada and France sent into Afghanistan?

In any case if they don't want to open up the bidding to Canada then maybe we should withdraw the 250 million dollars that we're sending for Iraqi aid. Its completely inappropriate for the U.S. to accept that kind of money while banning Canadian companies from bidding on other contracts. (Yet strangely enough, something tells me that they won't see the irony in this)
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
The Bush administration is a factory for case studies on manipulation, political insincerity, and ultimately the pinnacle of hypocrisy, so all I can do is sit back and laugh at the clowns as they dance into the fire.
 
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Aeryanna

TRIBE Member
Thanks Boss Hog,

Looks like a cool board- lots of interesting personalities from what I've seen so far- This should be fun;)
 

swilly

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Aeryanna
Thanks Boss Hog,

Looks like a cool board- lots of interesting personalities from what I've seen so far- This should be fun;)
You will fit in even better if you know something about aboriginal rights.

well at least in the aboriginal forums anyways if there was one. since there isnt then you can post in my redman rants posts

swilly
 

DSV

TRIBE Promoter
Originally posted by Aeryanna
maybe we should withdraw the 250 million dollars that we're sending for Iraqi aid
I think I heard a quote where Manley actually mentioned exactly that as a possibility. Perhaps this is the cause of Dubya's apparent back-track.
 

SlipperyPete

TRIBE Member
Whoops

PM, Bush fail to agree on final call


By PAUL KORING and JEFF SALLOT
Globe and Mail Update

U.S. President George W. Bush telephoned Jean Chrétien to bid him farewell yesterday, but the Prime Minister's account didn't square with the White House version of their discussion regarding Iraq reconstruction contracts. It was a final failure of communication, something that has plagued their chilly relationship.

On his last full day as Prime Minister, Mr. Chrétien said Mr. Bush told him “not to worry,” that Canada would not be blacklisted from bidding on huge and lucrative contracts to rebuild Iraq.

The President's exact words on the issue were: “We are working to rectify the situation,” Stephen Hogue, a spokesman for the Prime Minister, said.

The White House version of the call was more clear-cut and included nothing more than a willingness to discuss the issue.

“The President was very up-front, as he was with the other leaders, in saying that lines of communication would be open on these issues,” White House spokesman Scott McClellan said. “We do very much appreciate the contributions that [Canada has] made both in Afghanistan and to Iraq,” he said, but added that nothing has changed on the reconstruction contracts. Canada “is not on the list” of 63 nations allowed to bid on the most lucrative contracts, all of which backed Mr. Bush's war to oust Saddam Hussein or have contributed troops to the occupation force in Iraq.

Confusion lingered throughout the day, however, at least among Canadian officials who struggled to explain Mr. Chrétien's version of what Mr. Bush said in the early morning telephone call.

Finally, the Prime Minister emerged from his last cabinet meeting yesterday afternoon, but his explanation only muddled the issue further.

“I didn't take notes,” Mr. Chrétien said. “In any case, he told me he wasn't happy we weren't on the list,” he said, adding that Mr. Bush said “he was to do what is needed to change it. What is the words? You know, ‘I can fight with 20 guys in between.' It's what he said.”

Told of Mr. Chrétien's version, the White House didn't budge.

“The purpose of the President's call was to wish him well as he leaves office,” Mr. McClellan said. “The President obviously did discuss the topic you bring up with him, and like he said to other leaders, there will be open lines of communication on this; we'll be glad to discuss these issues with you, and that's where it was left.”

In public statements yesterday, Mr. Bush bluntly said those nations unwilling to risk their citizens in Iraq didn't deserve to bid on $18.6-billion (U.S.) worth of U.S.-taxpayer-funded reconstruction.

“It's very simple: Our people risked their lives; our friendly coalition folks risked their lives, and therefore the contracting is going to reflect that,” Mr. Bush said. “And that's what the U.S. taxpayers expect.”

Mr. Chrétien refused to back the war against Iraq because it lacked United Nations approval and rejected Washington's a call for troops to join the invading coalition, decisions which further chilled the already cool relationship between the two leaders.

In the farewell courtesy call yesterday, Mr. Bush praised Mr. Chrétien. “The President called to congratulate Prime Minister Chrétien on his long years of service to the Canadian people,” Mr. McClellan said. “The President also thanked the Prime Minister for being a friend of the United States during his tenure as Prime Minister and for Canadian contributions in the war on terrorism.”

Relations between the two men, never close, have often seemed in a state of muddle and reached a low point last year when Françoise Ducros, one of the Prime Minister's aides, referred to the President as a moron. Mr. Chrétien initially defended Ms. Ducros, but as the furor grew she was fired.

Although Mr. Bush left the door ajar yesterday for other nations to be added to the list of those eligible to bid, he also indicated that they needed to pay for the privilege.

Writing off Iraq's huge foreign debts — which at $141-billion (U.S.) dwarf the reconstruction contracts on offer — is high on his list. The President is sending special envoy James Baker to Russia, France and Germany next week. Those three nations, which opposed the war and were left off the eligible-to-bid list, all hold substantial Iraqi debt.

Mr. Baker's mission to persuade big Iraqi debt holders to write off loans was made more difficult by the Pentagon's announcement of a blacklist: Companies from countries not among the “coalition of the willing” cannot be prime contractors on Iraq reconstruction contracts.

link

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Looks like our retiring PM is going senile, or Bushie's talking out of his mouth and ass simultaneously again.
 
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~atp~

TRIBE Member
^^^ That's kinda what I was thinking. I sit watching the television screen, and most Canadians appear to hold the opinion that this White House decision isn't fair. Everyone seems concerned about it, as though it's this really big issue. And it is, economically. Which is what disgusts me, because while we sit here arguing about contracts, we forget why these contracts exist.

I don't want to take part in the industrialization of Iraq...not this way. I'd rather see support for Iraqi companies developing services for themselves, internally.
 

man_slut

TRIBE Member
Re: Whoops

Originally posted by SlipperyPete
PM, Bush fail to agree on final call
Bushie's talking out of his mouth and ass simultaneously again.
That's more like it! Fuck'em anyways. I feel much more at ease knowing we didn't partake in this fiasco.
 

Aeryanna

TRIBE Member
I don't think Chrétien had any reason to lie. If he had told the Canadian press something like "We're still working on the issue" or "The president expressed some concern for our views and is reviewing the situation"(i.e. typical politician-lingo for finding new ways to say the same thing-which is really nothing) everyone would have been satisfied with that answer. Afterall, we didn't really expect Chretien to perfom miracles on that front so what reason would he have to embelish the truth? In a way this is more of a commentary on what's going on in the Whitehouse. The president says one thing and White house officials say another- Its pretty obvious who's running the show in that place.

Hey swilly, I'll have to admit right up-front that I don't know much about aboriginal rights. (I took an elective course a few years ago that briefly touched on the issue- but I don't think that really counts for much). However, I would be more than happy to learn more about it. Are you volunteering? :D
 

416

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by ~atp~
^^^ That's kinda what I was thinking. I sit watching the television screen, and most Canadians appear to hold the opinion that this White House decision isn't fair. Everyone seems concerned about it, as though it's this really big issue. And it is, economically. Which is what disgusts me, because while we sit here arguing about contracts, we forget why these contracts exist.

I don't want to take part in the industrialization of Iraq...not this way. I'd rather see support for Iraqi companies developing services for themselves, internally.
My wife brought up the exact same point last night. Even the CBC, which is basically Jesus to us didn't raise that point. I was totally blown away.

I consider it demeaning to Canada to scrounge around at the American butcher block like some sort of dog.
 
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divell420

TRIBE Promoter
I say again


They can keep it. Unlike our neighbours to the south, our economy wasn't tanking before this little foray into the oilfields of the middle east, I doubt that this will hurt us
 

Chris

Well-Known TRIBEr
Its almost two points if you think of it.

On one hand Canada did not take part in the "liberation of Iraq" with the US lead coalition for whatever reasons. So why should we be upset that we are left out of these contracts? We should be proud of our position, and that we stood our ground against a unpopular war, right?

Then pop's up that this "liberation" was in fact a continuation of the US War On Terror, a continuation from Afghanistan. Which Canada was one of the few that have been actively involved in. So why shouldn't we be allowed in this bidding?
 

Chris

Well-Known TRIBEr
I wasn't really asking the question, I just find it silly that we are angry that we are not part of the process, considering we didn't play follow the leader into Iraq.

I also find it even more silly that how soon the United States forgets that we put our sons and daughters in harms way on their so called war on terror in Afghanistan.
 

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
Yep. That's what the ultimate piss off is. It's funny, Americans who say to me "you pussy Canadians don't fight with us" get immediately told "that's cuz we're too busy sending our troops in to clean up the shitty mess you left in the last place you 'liberated'."
 
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