The past several weeks, since early March, have been a different experience. First I and two others ran for David Orchard -- in Scott Brison's riding yet -- and we missed getting even one voting delegate elected for him, by one vote. Don't ever, ever underestimate the importance of one vote! We worked so hard and it was heartbreaking to miss by so little.
But something great came out of it. I was so frustrated that I decided to tackle a mammoth project -- mammoth for the unitiated like me. I agreed to be the Atlantic Co-ordinator for the David Orchard Campaign, providing a base for the remaining 28 ridings in Atlantic Canada. Until that time, David's Toronto office was looking after Ontario, Quebec, and all of the Atlantic provinces -- an horrendous task that had them working day and night, all night sometimes.
Well, my dears, for at least a few weeks of that time, I didn't stick my head out to go to the store, to the post office, or even to church (which I rarely miss). Donald thought the phone was growing out of my ear. What's worse, I thought it was.
What a wonderful experience! And I certainly learned that you're never too old to learn.
There were many negative experiences -- a sad part of the political process, I guess. But every negative makes one stronger. And every negative experience just made it more and more clear how fair and honest a man David is and how desperately this country needs someone like him.
It had to be obvious to anyone if you caught any of the debates on television. Would you want to see any of those squabbling children leading any party? running this country? David truly shines as the only choice!
You would be amazed at the quality of the people who are supporting David -- in particular, the ones I've come to know through e-mail and telephone in the Atlantic provinces. Wonderful people that I feel blessed to have "met." I am so anxious to meet them in person -- those 18 who were able to get elected as voting delegates at least -- that I couldn't resist going to the Toronto Convention, as a volunteer at least. And after working at it for so long, one really wants to be in on the climax: voting day.
In the meantime, we've been working so hard to try to raise the money to help about 700 delegates across Canada who are trying to get to Toronto too, to vote for David. Some are having to do it on credit and waiting for the funds to come in. So I'm asking you to pull up your socks and help us in this worthwhile project. Who knows when we will come so close again to getting a decent Canadian elected to a position where he can do some good for this country we so love.
Do you know that if you send $100, you will get a $75 tax credit so that it only costs you $25? If $10 or $5 is what you can afford to send today, it will be welcome too. Make your cheque out to: "David Orchard Campaign/PC Canada Fund" and send it to PO Box 1983, Stn Main, Saskatoon, SK S7K 9Z9. The money is spent so the fundraising is necessary, whatever the results in Toronto. We'll be so grateful for whatever you can do.
And hey! Anything can happen in Toronto! You just watch. We've got right on our side and David Orchard in our corner!
The rapping and wrapping of Iraq
The world has gone mad. Sometimes I think, "Stop; I want to get off." But then, someone I know does so and I think, "How sad; how foolish."
The Bush Bunch, and all who support their deeds, will live to have deep, very deep regrets.
Put in its simplist terms, Bush et al lied about why they attacked Iraq. They lied about their concern for the Iraqis. They continue to lie about their post-war "caretaking" role. Saddam was a friend of the U.S. until they needed him no longer. Despite Bush's "absolute proof", there are no weapons of mass destruction anywhere (and if any turn up at this point, we'll know who put them there). And there were never any ties between that Saddam and those responsible for 9/11.
The U.S. army has been complicit in the utter destruction of the infrastructure and cultural heritage of this ancient civilization that is Iraq. More than just refusing to stop the plunder, the soldiers opened doors, even shot the locks off when necessary, and invited passersby to "come and get it." How sick is that? While not condoning, one might understand such action with respect to places of business belonging to Saddam-supporters -- some might even justify that for its therapeutic value. But 15 universities? libraries? museums? hospitals??? Baghdad was systematically plundered, district by district. What wasn't worth taking was destroyed. Americans forced open the Technical University, removed the hard drives from the computers inside, then welcomed the looters. A high-ranking museum official witnessed two American tanks roll up to the museum, its soldiers breaking open the doors and then spending two hours inside, after which they came out carrying unidentified objects which they transported away. Certainly the French Cultural Institute, the German Embassy and the U.N. Building were targeted. The only place to be locked up and guarded from all harm? The Oil Ministry. What a surprise!
One little-heard tale is that journalists were known to be acquiring and hoarding stolen antiquities. Armed gangs specialized in robbing them along the 500km-long highway from Baghdad to Jordan. In one journalist's car so targetted, 12 boxes of antiquities turned up.
Despite the international outcry against the cultural plundering of Iraq, destruction is still being tolerated. "Under Saddam, it was bad, but now it is worse," says the Archaeology Dept. director at the University of Baghdad. "Our future looms darkly. We have trust in nothing."
What could possibly be gained by such utter destruction in Iraq? The only answer is that the more rebuilding required, the more dollars in the pockets of those Americans getting the billion-dollar contracts to rebuild. And the more dollars put in those pockets, the more justification Bush's oil interests have in pumping and selling Iraqi oil. And that's certainly under way. Especially now that the sanctions have finally been lifted.
If this great "democratic" country (where its citizens are catigated, even punished, for speaking out against its government's motives or actions) intended to "liberate" Iraq so they could have a "free and democratic" choice of their next government, what's this business of imposing Rumsfield's pal, Ahmad Chalabi, as the next ruler? If they're to be given the freedom of choice, why is secularism being thrust on them? And if the U.S. seeks any smattering of legitimacy for its actions, it cannot do so without allowing the United Nations to participate, in a major way. The systematic exclusion of imput from the major Arab states in the area is also a huge mistake. There has to be some notion of acceptability from Iraq's neighbours for what the new Iraq will be.
My dear American friends, our heart bleed for you. The tragic events of September 11 were horrific. But the actions of your president are doing nothing to ease the hatred that brought 9/11. If anything, he is ensuring that yet greater tragedy threaten your people. And although he has dishonestly tried to convince you that his Iraq attack was avenging 9/11, in no way are the two connected.
Chretien's decision not to bring Canadians into the U.S. attack on Iraq was one of the few things he's done in his career that I've applauded. He may have saved us from being the object of hate and revenge that the U.S. will undoubtedly be, although we certainly will suffer the spin-offs from attacks on the U.S.
A quagmire is not perceived as such while it is in the making. But a quagmire is what the Bush Bunch are building for themselves. Heaven help them. And God help us all.