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by Dirk Eckert
Friday, Oct. 11, 2002 at 1:38 PM
"I believe the West is too rich in relation to the poor world. We are inevitably regarded as arrogant, self-absorbed, greedy and boundless. For me, September 11 was a chance to realize this more strongly.".Jean Chretien is the Canadian premier.
The West as Arrogant, Greedy and Self-Absorbed
Canadian Premier Jean Chretien’s Interview on 9/11 Causes Controversy
By Dirk Eckert
[This article originally published in the cyber journal Telepolis is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, http://www.telepolis.de/deutsch/inhalt/co/13261/1.html.]
Is the West responsible for being regarded as “arrogant, self-absorbed, greedy and boundless”? The Canadian premier Jean Chretien made this statement in an interview with CBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp [http://media.cbc.ca.8080/ramgen/newsworld/clips/rm-/o/mansbridge_chretien020911.rm.]. The interview was conducted in July and broadcast by CBC on September 11, the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks. Now a controversy rages in Canada whether Chretien mocked the victims of the terrorist attacks.
Chretien, member of the Liberal party in Canada, was flown to the commemorations in the US on September 11. In the evening, the premier was seen on Canadian television in the documentary Untold Story [http://www.cbc.ca/clips/ram-newsworld/untold_stories020911.ram].
“I believe the West is too rich in relation to the poor world. We are inevitably regarded as arrogant, self-absorbed, greedy and boundless. For me, September 11 was a chance to realize this more strongly.”
Chretien also told about his visit to Wall Street in New York where some bankers complained about Canada’s economic relations to Cuba. “When one is as powerful as you are, it is time to be nice”, he replied to the bankers. The premier warned of the temptations of power and urged its restriction:
“One can not exercise one’s power to the point of humiliation of others. The West, the western world and not only the Americans, must recognize this.”
The statements of Chretien aroused a furious debate. “US Policy Responsible in Terrorist Attacks”, the Times summarized the words of the premier in a headline on September 13. The newspaper suspected that Chretien was personally embittered. The Canadian head of state attempted in vain this year to move the West to a relief fund in the billions for Africa to combat poverty, hunger and sicknesses.
The right-wing opposition in Canada interpreted the statements of the head of government less kindly. This opposition reproached the premier of accusing the victims of terror. The terrorist attacks were the work of irrational fanatics and had nothing to do with legitimate embitterment. Stephen Harper of the conservative right-wing Canadian Alliance urged Chretien to apologize to the United States and the families of the victims of the attacks. John Reynolds of the Canadian Alliance criticized the premier for endangering relations between the US and Canada.
According to the Financial Times, diplomats in Ottawa questioned the timing and intonation of the statements. “Timing and skill were never the strengths of Chretien”. The “Financial Times” sees a sign in the statements that the premier in his remaining time in government up to 2004 wants to set a more nationalist tone and emphasize Canada’s independence. “Canada will not be the 51st state of the US”, he said recently.
Chretien defended himself against the reproaches of the right-wing opposition. The newspaper “Globe and Mail” pointed out that 84 percent of Canadians are convinced that the United States had a certain personal responsibility in the attacks according to the latest polls [http://www.ctv.ca/special/sept11/hubs/Canadian.mccarthy01.html].
World Bank president James Wolfenson explained the terrorist attacks as follows:
“The face of Bin Ladin, the terrorism of Al-Qaida, the debris of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon are only symptoms. The sickness is the discontent that simmers in Islam and more generally in the world of the poor” [http://www.worldbank.org/html/extdr/extme/jdwint120701b.htm}.
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Friday, Oct. 11, 2002 at 2:34 PM
The 19 people who committed the 9/11 attrocities were not poor and oppressed. They cam, as does UBL, from wealthy families.
The Left is so unable to see that its paradigm is wrong that it can't even face the obvious:
The forces who are attacking the US are not the poor and oppressed -- they are THE OPPRESSORS. They are the people who stone women for not wearing burquas, etc. etc.
They are Islamo-fascists -- and yet the Left embraces them as defenders of the downtrodden.
The Left cannot apparently conceive of the fact that someone who HATES the US can be evil; anyone who hates the US must be good.
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Friday, Oct. 11, 2002 at 5:29 PM
What do you think creates Islamo-Fascists? There is an entire history which you are ignoring- colonialism, cold war, oil, etc. And when someone takes the side of the poor and oppressed they are doing it for one of two reasons.
1. They truly believe in the injustice of it all.
2. They are using anger and resentment of the poor to fuel their own maniacal interests.
Obviously fascists are crazy and often evil. But this has nothing to do with whether they are wealthy or poor. By continuing the course of economic and military invasion in other countries the US is creating MORE resentment and poverty, not less. Terrorism and fundamentalism feed off of these two things, evil men find supporters by any means.
We won't stop the "evil islamo-fascist terrorists" until we address issues of imperialism and inequality- that's what the left is concerned with, the actual majority of people, not with supporting some evil bastards that have been recruited and brainwashed.
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Friday, Oct. 11, 2002 at 8:46 PM
actually cared about getting rid of imperialism and inequality, you'd be fighting against the Islamic movement. For they are seeking to impose Islamic law on all the people of the world. They wish to impose Taliban like repression everywhere.
But the Left actually has a history of supporting imperialism and brutal regimes in the Soviet Union, China, Viet Nam, Cuba and elsewhere.
Nothing much has changed.
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by Captain Canuck
Friday, Oct. 11, 2002 at 9:07 PM
Actually, Jean Chretein is the Prime Minister of Canada...not a premeir.
The way she works up here in the North is we have 8 provinces and 3 territorities and they all have premeirs. But our leader is the Prime Minister. So there ya go, learn something new everyday, eh?
And Chretein's comments were good and valid, as the Western countries including Canada do have a lot of money and assets compared to poorer nations. And Canada due to its proximity to the United States, and our lack of population size, some 30 million to your like 300 million, allows the United States to basically screw us over as well with their trade policies.
But that is another matter all together. And be oppressing and giving people nothing, they tend to get hostile towards you. People do not fly planes into buildings without a reason. I know I would have to be pretty pissed off at someone to kill them.
And terrorists have always fought for causes they felt were justified, and many terrorists we now call freedom fighters. Louis Riel, the native Canadian protester who led a small native revolution in the 1800's in Canada, created the Metis Nation (what is now the Province of Manitoba) he was hung and tried for treason, even though by all rights the land was his and his peoples.
And you would not be Americans if you did not go to war with Britain and fight for your independence. I am sure the British branded those fighters as terrorists. But most American history books definetly do not see it this way.
When you have no access to the weapons that your enemies have you fight them with anything you can. Natives who did not possess guns, had to steal them, or make due with arrows, clubs, spears, etc. In the French Revolution people attacked using farm equipment, and kitchen knives.
Today in Israel, Palestinians use rocks, small arms weapons, and strap home made explosives to their chests when their enemy uses fighter jets and tanks.
Al Qaeda did not have a fleet of Aircraft carriers, nuclear bombs, or tanks. So they had to improvise, and from a purely militarily analysis standpoint the attack was very effective. 3,000 people were killed. 2 of the targets were destroyed, the third target was damaged. The fourth target was not hit, but all aboard were killed, so partial success. People were terrorized, and the stock market was closed and the US economy was hurt. This does not justify the attack, but it was successful, and when Al Qaeda strikes again, and they will, that one too will likely be a success.
For if the United States in super duper heightened anti terrorist "we are watching you" alert mode, cannot stop a single crazed man with a sniper rifle...what hope do they have of stopping the terrorists?
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Friday, Oct. 11, 2002 at 9:50 PM
Justifying 9/11, sure. Right. Gotcha.
But as you say:
"And by oppressing and giving people nothing, they tend to get hostile towards you. People do not fly planes into buildings without a reason."
WE'VE been "oppressing" the middle east, not Saddam Hussein, not the house of Saud, not the various and sundry potentates that impose brutal dictatorships on the Middle East -- WE have been the oppressors.
(And Al Queda wants what? To get rid of the theocracies of the middle east??? To "liberate" people???? No, they seek to destroy the ONLY democracy in the middle east, and the freest nation on earth. Get it?)
Yes, that Somalia mission was really oppressive. Give food to starving children in a civil war.
We deserved to have 9/11 for that.
Oh, and going to Bosnia to protect Muslims from being slaughtered by the Serbs!
And the Gulf War. How oppressive was it to the Kuwaitis to win back their country for them??? To prevent Iraq from threatening Saudi. Very oppressive.
And, gee, I forgot how oppressive we were in helping the Afghans throw out the Soviets. I suppose the decent thing to do would be to let the Soviets bring them under their loving arms!
And we give folks in the middle east nothing -- just a few billion a year in oil revenue. And foreign aid.
They spend it well, no? No. Is that our fault? If we told them how to spend the money. . . would that not be "colonialistic"?
Did you know that not a single dollar of private charity from the US went to a single Muslim, ever???? (For the irony impaired. . . that's irony.)
Yes, yes, my Canadien compadre, the terrorists had "reasons" for flying planes into buildings.
But their reasons were bad reasons.
Does that not matter?
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