Three areas to cover in this week's report. First, a few weeks ago, the world bore witness to a spectacle which was as nauseating as it was despicable. The convicted Lockerbie Bomber, the mass murderer of innocent children, women and men, was set free after serving only a fraction of his time in a Scottish jail.
The Libyan terrorist, released supposedly on humanitarian grounds, received a hero's welcome in his Libyan homeland. I won't take the time or the frustration to reflect on the grotesque and ominous message of encouragement his release sends to up-and-coming terrorist murderers everywhere.
Compounding the obvious sense of violation which is felt by all civilized people is the helplessness we feel as we realize there is little we can do. It is with some quantum of pride therefore that I appreciate Canada's response.
(Note: I think this last sentence is ungrammatical, or nonsensical, or something. Can one appreciate something...a burger, lets say...with pride. Maybe, but it sounds weird. Can someone page Rex Murphy and get a ruling on this?)
Muammar Gadhafi, the thuggish dictator of Libya, decided to have his plane make a pit stop in Newfoundland on his way home from 'enlightening' the United Nations. As a free nation and signatory to international air agreements we have no grounds to refuse the refueling of the plane. However, we made a decision to show our collective repulsion towards Mr. Gadhafi.
In an extraordinary display of diplomatic disapproval we announced his plane would be met by our Minister of Foreign Affairs to deliver a clear message. Telling a brutish violator of human freedoms that we don't like what he does may still seem to fall short in the eyes of some.
(Note: Of course the message was never actually delivered, but rumor has it Mr. Cannon intended to stand by the side of the runway with a sign that read "Piss Off Moammer!". In any event:)
However, most citizens understand our limitations in the light of international jurisprudence. In that context, no matter how the plan went, I felt some satisfaction that we had made a decision to show the world that we still uphold basic human values which we have always stood for, and fought for, as Canadians (at the time of writing this column Col. Gadhafi appeared to have got word of our plans and changed his).
And then its on to French Fries!
McCain's opened a french-fry and vegetarian patty factory in Gujarat. They started with teaching one farmer on one hectare of land how to grow quality product in an environmentally sustainable way. Now, with a contract from Macdonald's, they are contracting with over a thousand growers!
As an aside, after reading the contents of Ahmadinejad's U.N. speech, I can see the reasoning behind the Harper gov's walkout last week. In this case, however, I'm with Spector; the blame here lies with U.K. PM Gordon Brown, who was willing to sell justice for Libyan oil.
And, yeah, the picture appears with Stockwell's column.