The incredible shrinking Bill Graham
by Arthur Weinreb, Associate Editor,
Thursday, March 3, 2005
If Defense Minister Bill Graham wasnt so arrogant and condescending, you could almost feel sorry for him. For years, both as Minister of Defense and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Graham was the governments perennial fence sitter; sitting on high, looking down on the little people below and refusing to take a position, one way or the other. Then one day Graham, with a might leap, jumped down from his fence and took a stand. Unfortunately, although he landed on squarely on his feet, he ended up on the wrong side of the fence.
The guy who is reluctant to change his underwear without consulting Kofi Annan and his other masters at the United Nations, actually took a pro-American position and came out in favour of Canada joining the United States in their missile defense program. In the course of his support for the program, Graham made a lot of good arguments why Canada should work with the United States in protecting North America from rogue nations and terrorist threats. And in a country where we have no real opposition; where the Conservatives were too timid to take a stand lest they anger Quebeckers that they are trying to win over, we should be grateful to Graham for at least outlining the advantages of cooperation with the U.S.
Poor Bill. If he would have spent less time looking at his wondrous reflection in the mirror and more time looking at the polls he would have realized that if the prime minister ever stopped dithering and made a decision, it would be to oppose Canadas participation. Unlike Martin, who obtained a tiny minority government after years of massive Chrétien majorities, Graham doesnt have to worry future elections. Between the trendy Rosedale liberals and the gay village who will forever be indebted to the Liberals for same sex marriage legislation, his riding has to be one of the safest in the country. When Graham was declared the winner in last years election, he wasnt even in the country. It probably never dawned on him that Martin, who said he was in favour of joining missile defense and improving Canadas relationship with the United States, would reverse himself.
And when the PM did finally make a decision, he never got around to telling his Defense Minister. When word leaked out that Martin was going to make an announcement that Canada was out, Graham blindly followed his boss in announcing that no decision had been made, when in fact it had. To add to insult to injury, when Graham was uttering the line about a decision not having been made, Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew had already informed U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice that Canada was out. Its enough to make you want to run home to mommy and have so much to drink that you cant board an aircraft.
But Martins little "oversight" didnt stop Bill. A couple of days later, Graham went on CTVs Question Period and said that the fact that Canada refused to join in the missile defense program was no big deal to the United States because there are other things that the Canada can do to help the U.S. defend North America (perhaps wipe the brow of the American who is pushing the button). While Graham was saying that it was no big deal, Condoleezza Rice was canceling an upcoming visit to Ottawa because she was "miffed" at Canadas decision. However it now appears that the Secretarys trip might be back on. If Bill spent less time gazing lovingly at his idols at the United Nations and more time hanging around with Condi, he would be better equipped to do his job.
This was not the first time that Graham has been wrong. He defended his beloved Hezbollah, condescendingly explaining to Canadians as if we are all children, that there is a social wing and a terrorist wing and the social wing is wonderful because it has doctors and lawyers in it and the two wings have absolutely nothing to do with each other.
Grahams other historical moment was his severe criticism of Israel for Jenin, the worst massacre that never happened. Bill was quick to buy all of the Palestinian propaganda that subsequently proved to be false.
Bill Graham, despite his statements to the contrary, has absolutely no credibility left. But he should be kept around; hes so much fun to watch.
Graham must surely long for the good old days when he was still perched on his fence
Arthur Weinreb is an author, columnist and Associate Editor of Canada Free Press. His work has appeared on Newsmax.com, Men's News Daily, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com, Glenn Beck and The Rant. Arthur can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org