For the French

Owen Byrne owen at
Sat Apr 19 14:25:51 PDT 2003

To the French - you're better off without the Americans as "friends" -
friend means next to zero to them. Friend means "yes sir, we will
follow your orders to the letter, or face your immediate displeasure." 

Just for reference, you should read some of the anti-Canadian stuff
from the neocons and remember that a little under 2 years ago we
opened our homes to them, despite the perceived threat to our

But we didn't follow them into war, so we are no longer part of the "coalition." 

"Friendship" with the US is like "friendship" with the mob - it
becomes emnity the instant you stop following orders. 

Ceremony to mark kindness of strangers

By MICHAEL MacDONALD-- The Canadian Press

ST. JOHN'S, Nfld. (CP) -- Amid a confusing swirl of anger and grief,
Nick Dobi had only one clear thought on his mind as he made his way to
a hotel in central Newfoundland last Sept. 11: he wanted flapjacks.

The American pilot, whose DC-10 was among 38 passenger jets diverted
to Gander, Nfld., after terrorists attacked the United States, was
tired and hungry. To his surprise, staff at the hotel in nearby Grand
Falls-Windsor eagerly whipped up a batch of pancakes soon after he
stepped through the door at 4 a.m.

"They just ran out and said, 'What size and how many?'" Dobi recalled
as he prepared to return to Gander International Airport for a
commemorative ceremony Wednesday that will include speeches from Prime
Minister Jean Chretien and the U.S. ambassador to Canada, Paul

Quick facts
Facts about air travel on Sept. 11, 2001:

Closure: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration ordered
U.S. airspace closed at 9:45 a.m. EDT. All U.S.-bound flights were
ordered to land at the nearest airport.

Threat: To prevent further terrorist attacks, pilots trying to enter
U.S. airspace were told they would be shot down.

Flights: 4,500 civil aircraft were over the United States at the time,
and 400 international flights were headed there.

Influx: 250 aircraft carrying 44,000 people were diverted to 15
Canadian airports.

Stranded: 78 aircraft carrying about 13,000 people landed in

Diverted: 38 aircraft carrying 6,500 people landed in Gander, Nfld.,
population 9,600.

Delay: The last diverted aircraft to leave Gander lifted off on
Sept. 16 at 6 p.m.

(Source: The Day the World Came to Town, by Jim
DeFede. HarperCollins.)
"From that point on, I knew I was in a place where they would take
care of us. We were shown so much love and concern that it was
overwhelming for me. That's why I'm going back. I want to personally
thank as many Newfoundlanders as I can."

Dobi, a recently retired Continental Airlines captain from Baltimore,
Md., is expected to be among 2,000 people on the airport's tarmac when
the ceremony starts at 9:30 a.m. local time.

To be sure, there will be similar ceremonies across Canada and the
United States.

In Windsor, Ont., for example, the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel and the
Ambassador Bridge will be closed for three minutes to mark the sombre
anniversary. There will be the Flight for Freedom air show in
Bathurst, N.B., and a wreath-laying ceremony in Halifax.

In Ottawa, politicians will plant a Canadian maple tree next to an
American oak tree, and scores of white doves will be released during a
ceremony at Toronto's Nathan Phillips Square.

In New York, a citywide moment of silence will be followed by the
reading of the 2,800 victims' names. The sounds of bells and bagpipes
will fill the air as families carry roses to Ground Zero, the spot
where the twin towers of the World Trade Center once stood.

But it is the event in Newfoundland that will provide a national focus
for Canadians as they pay tribute to those killed in New York,
Washington and Pennsylvania.

The ceremony in Gander will also offer a reminder of the incredible
kindness and generosity of those who took in so many stranded

In all, 250 aircraft carrying 44,000 people were diverted to Canadian
airports after the U.S. government closed American airspace for the
first time on Sept. 11, 2001.

Some 13,000 strangers descended on Newfoundland and Labrador that
day. About half of them landed in Gander, a town of 10,000 with only
550 hotel rooms.

Like Dobi, many of the reluctant visitors were stunned by the way
Newfoundlanders responded to their plight.

"If you have to be stranded somewhere, then let it be somewhere as
beautiful as Newfoundland, and let the people be as wonderful as our
hosts were," Bob Smith, a designer from Hannibal, Mo., said on a Web
page he put together after returning home from a four-day stay at the
Salvation Army Citadel in Gambo, Nfld.

"The people of Gambo.
Smith's Web site, called Flight 929s Magical Mystery Tour, is one of
several that have sprung up on the Stranded in Newfoundland Web
Ring. Each site is littered with heartfelt testimonials about
Newfoundland hospitality.

In his new book, The Day the World Came to Town, U.S. author Jim
DeFede tells of how Newfoundlanders thought nothing of inviting
strangers into their houses for home-cooked meals, showers or just
some private time alone.

"I don't think Americans always appreciate what a great ally Canada
can be," DeFede said in an interview.

"Canada didn't have to take those planes in. The fact that the
Canadian government was willing to accept the risk.
The new guests were given free access to long-distance phones, the
Internet and cable TV. A Canadian Tire outlet donated thousands of
dollars worth of camping gear, and a local pharmacy filled about 1,000
prescriptions at no cost.

Local school bus drivers, who were in th middle of a nasty strike, put
down their picket signs and got to work ferrying the visitors around

"Their willingness to help others is arguably the single most
important trait that defines Newfoundlanders," DeFede says in the
book, which was released last week.

The story was much the same in places like Glenwood, Appleton,
Lewisporte, Glovertown, Stephenville, Happy Valley-Goose Bay and
St. John's.

When asked to explain what motivates such a deep sense of caring,
Premier Roger Grimes said hard times in Newfoundland and Labrador have
drawn people together for centuries.

"It's a natural tendency to share what you have," Grimes
said. "Hardship could befall any of us at any time. The best way to
deal with that.After Sept. 11, when the stranded passengers returned
home, the story of what happened in Gander made headlines around the

To show their appreciation, some of the visitors made donations to
local schools and service clubs. A few scholarships were
established. And the German airline Lufthansa christened one of its
jets Gander-Halifax.

As for Dobi, the airline captain said his experience in Newfoundland
had a profound impact on him and many of the 117 passengers of Flight
45 who stayed at the Philadelphia Pentecostal Tabernacle in

"It reaffirmed in me faith in human nature, faith in human beings,
this outpouring of love, caring and sympathy."
Open letter to Paul Cellucci

>From Saturday's Globe and Mail

POSTED AT 2:17 AM EST Saturday, Apr. 5, 2003

Dear Ambassador Cellucci:

I'm sorry I missed your recent remarks . the ones expressing your
government's "disappointment" that Canada is not supporting it in the
Iraq war. I gather they created quite a stir. Of course, they were
entirely appropriate. Ambassadors, in this age of public diplomacy,
are entitled . indeed, should be encouraged . to convey the real views
of the government they represent. Those who believe your comments were
uncalled for are as foolish as the Liberal MP who called Americans
"bastards" or the one who traipsed around Baghdad before the war.

You spoke about Canada. We know that other U.S. ambassadors have
delivered similar messages to Mexico, Germany, France, Turkey and
other traditional friends of the United States, including almost every
Arab country, unwilling to participate in this war. So Canada, we
realize, was not singled out for special treatment.

It is easy to understand the U.S. government's disappointment that so
many of your allies . and the vast majority of people around the globe
. oppose not just the Iraq war, but the entire world conception of
your President. Only time will tell whether his administration will
reflect on the wellsprings of that opposition, or carry on business as

This is a difficult time for those of us who are usually sympathetic
to the United States. We are, as you suggested, a kind of "family" in
North America . cousins, I would say . and family members tend to give
each other the benefit of the doubt. But what does one cousin do if he
thinks the other is making a serious error, with negative consequences
for both?

You argue that the U.S. would always defend Canada against a "security
threat," and that Canada should therefore do likewise against a threat
to the United States. This is completely correct. Canada, as you have
often noted, co-operated fully in the war against Islamic terrorists
who struck such a ghastly blow against the U.S. on Sept. 11,
2001. There can be no respite for either of our countries in that
fight, and if more needs to be done to make borders and continental
perimeters more secure, by all means let's talk.

But, with respect, Saddam Hussein, odious as he was, posed no direct
threat to the United States. He had neither the weapons nor the
delivery systems to attack you. That he might have had intentions was
a reasonable concern, but a robust, intrusive system of inspections
could have verified that he continued to lack the means.

Your government argued that if Mr. Hussein possessed weapons of mass
destruction, he would give them to terrorists such as al-Qaeda. That
assumes a degree of irrationality on Mr. Hussein's part that even the
most demonic portraits of him never suggested. Such a move would have
ended his regime by means more terrible than your country's "Operation
Iraqi Freedom."

But the weight of evidence suggested that the religious fanatics in
al-Qaeda despise his secular regime. Secretary of State Colin Powell's
"evidence" before the Security Council was a long way from a solid
case. If the U.S. had the evidence that Iraq possessed, or was making,
weapons of mass destruction, wouldn't it have given that evidence to
the inspectors who, at the time the war broke out, had found nothing?

I note that of the 10 suspected sites thus far inspected by U.S. teams
in Iraq, nothing has been found. This could change, of course. Much
will be made of whatever the U.S. might discover . although it should
be asked why these discoveries could not have been made in due course
by inspectors.

But beyond this, those of us who oppose this war do so because it
reflects a view of the Middle East, of foreign policy and of the world
that is at variance with the best instincts of the United States. Your
government, I regret to say Mr. Ambassador, is now largely run by
individuals who can best be described as foreign-policy
revolutionaries, determined to change the world and remake more of it
in the U.S. image and to suit U.S. interests. They will find, in due
course, that this approach will harden the determination of the
country's enemies and weaken the support of its friends.

You might have seen James Woolsey's remarks this week in
California. He's the former CIA director who is thick with the
neoconservatives running U.S. foreign and defence policy. He has been
tapped as one of the U.S. proconsuls in Iraq after the
war. Mr. Woolsey stated that we are now in what he calls the "Fourth
World War," a conflict that will last considerably longer than the
first two, but perhaps be shorter than the third, or Cold
War. Mr. Woolsey said he wants the rulers of Egypt and Saudi Arabia to
be "nervous." He talked about removing the rulers of Iran. He referred
to a "new Middle East ... [created] over the decades to come." This is
the kind of "analysis" that had been considered marginal before the
last election, but it has now become central to this administration's

No wonder so many pros from the previous Bush administration are
nervous about this kind of foreign policy, to say nothing of the rest
of the world. Your ally in the Iraq venture, Britain's Tony Blair,
would not allow his country to be hitched to these sort of grand,
revolutionary and deeply destabilizing designs now driving
U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and beyond. Mr. Blair has tried
to moderate U.S. policy for many months, with only limited success,
and has dried up much of his domestic political capital in the effort.

You will argue, with reason, that the world changed after 9/11, and
that new approaches are required to combat new threats. Agreed. And
every country in the world was willing to co-operate in the fight
against terrorist threats. There had not been such consensus around an
objective for a very long time.

But to friends of the United States, the "disappointment" comes from
the shattering of that consensus by an ideologically driven foreign
policy that insisted upon war in Iraq and has paid scant heed to
institutions, arrangements, laws and assumptions that kept friends
bound together in good times and in bad.

Yours respectfully,
Jeffrey Simpson

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