Let us not forget Zahra Kazemi, the courageous Iranian journalist who died trying to shed light on the theocratic dictatorship of Iran. Her loss is a blow to all journalists everywhere.
And let us in Canada particularly not forget that Iranian security officials detained, interrogated, beat and possibly killed this Canadian citizen. Iran had better release her body pronto, or we'll make as much a stink over this as we can.
- Amnesty International: An Independent Inquiry Must Be Opened Into The Death Of Zahra Kazemi.
- CASCFEN: Five more journalists arrested.
- Washington Post: World in Brief.
With weapons of mass destruction still not found, resistance to the American occupation growing and statements made in his January 2003 State of the Union Address being proven absolutely false, President Bush came up with another reason why the United States had to invade Iraq this past March:
"The larger point is and the fundamental question is, did Saddam Hussein have a weapons program? And the answer is absolutely. And we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in and he wouldn't let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power, along with other nations, so as to make sure he was not a threat to the United States and our friends and allies in the region. I firmly believe the decisions we made will make America more secure and the world more peaceful."
Iraq, of course, allowed inspectors into the country (admittedly at the behest of considerable American and international pressure), but the Bush Administration opposed extending their work because they felt that their work would not be effective.
I hope that the president just misspoke, and is referring to Iraq's intransigence between 1998 and late 2002, although it's a little hard to give him that credit given the construction of the above quote. To see this statement, so blatantly at odds with the facts, made my jaw drop to the floor.
Iraq wouldn't let inspectors in? I suppose that Hans Blix and his men were fabrications of the Iraqi Minister of Information? Or perhaps Hans Blix actually was the Iraqi Minister of Information in a Hans Blix suit? Or, better yet, perhaps the Iraqi Minister of Information become a ghost and possessed President Bush?
Canada's Caribbean Territory?
The issue of Canada annexing the Turks and Caicos Islands (an archipelego of 40 islands located 250 kilometres east of Cuba) has come up again. Canadian Alliance MP Peter Goldring is drafting a motion to ask parliament to consider the annexation, suggesting it as a good place for Snowbirds to descend in wintertime, and yet keep their tourist dollars in Canada.
The Turks and Caicos Islands have asked for this. They are currently a British colony and, in the late 1980s, a delegation came to Canada to push the union. The External Affairs department nixed the idea, however, citing costs.
There is no doubt that it would cost us a pretty penny to annex this Caribbean paradise. For one thing, taking this colony in as Canada's fourth territory (with a population of 50,000, it would be less than half the size of Prince Edward Island, so it couldn't be considered Canada's eleventh province) would require us to extend Canadian health care benefits and education to the populace. We might also need to build up a bit of a coast guard, to limit the flow of illegal immigration that might become an issue if the islands become Canada's Caribbean port of call.
But this still might be a good investment. How much Canadian money gets spent in Florida, after all? Being able to buy everything in Canadian dollars to people paying Canadian taxes would help our economy, however slightly. So, I favour the annexation. If the people of Turks and Caicos are still interested, let's welcome them.