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September 5, 2005 - Calgary Sun (CN AB)

Doormat Factor

Johnny Appleseed Of Pot Falls Victim To 'Rogue Regime'

By Bill Kaufmann

Return to Drug War News: Don't Miss Archive

For some Canadians, being a doormat for the Bush administration is a sign of strength and fortitude.

Alberta always seems to harbour more of these types of Canadians than any other province; to them, servility to Washington over Iraq and missile defence is proof of having a spine.

Some arms of our government have followed suit, bending over every which way to accommodate the U.S. in its pursuit of B.C.-based marijuana seed peddler Marc Emery.

There's been no sign that our law enforcement authorities will alter their submissive ways even in the face of Washington's all-too characteristic flouting of international law -- this time in the softwood lumber dispute.

Mind-bogglingly, we're still willing to play ball with a rogue regime in its attempt to extradite Emery to face charges for what's legal in Canada. The DEA was having a slow week in its eternally dubious "war on drugs," so it was Canada to the rescue.

Bush tauntingly withholds $5 billion in duties that rightly belong to our lumber industry, while we grovellingly expend legal resources and sovereignty rounding up a botanist for a coun-try that won't do us any favours.

Instead, maybe Canada should insist on the extradition of those U.S. leaders who so incompetently invaded Afghanistan, setting up their warlord allies to transform that land into a narco state that's flooding the world with cheap heroin.

While the George W. Bush posse hunts a Canadian cannabis Johnny Appleseed, it crafts a plan to counter rapacious crystal meth that even fellow Republicans are condemning as toothless and a sop to big-business.

The plan would limit the amount of crystal meth precursor pseudo-ephedrine to be sold by retailers at 110 pills at a time -- not per month, nor confined to pharmacies.

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa said it appears the White House was "listening more to Wal-Mart than to the economic and social problems" sown by meth. That's only one instance of the U.S. government also kowtowing to a pharmaceutical industry -- whose products we're led to believe are essential but cause more damage to health than Emery ever could.

Law and order types in Canada so willing to offer up Emery should insist the U.S. tighten its death-friendly gun laws and rein in a weapons industry pumping out handguns it knows are smuggled in abundance across the border. Unlike Emery's seeds, it's an export that's ending lives.

Of course, none of that would occur to those who were readying the red carpet for U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, who was heading this way to drool over the oilsands until he had to postpone because of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath.

When asked if a visit by the man whose lies led to an enduring bloodbath in a suspiciously oil-soaked Iraq makes him nervous, Premier Ralph Klein shrugged his shoulders.

"The U.S. administration is finally paying attention to the oilsands in particular," said Ralph.

Oh, they've been paying attention for some time, Ralph.

"As it relates to the U.S. national energy policy, as opposed to the NEP that we had, where (the U.S.) seeks to have a secure and reliable supply of oil abroad, it speaks to the fact they need to look no further than Can-ada," added Klein, who could've been describing the U.S. NEP in action "abroad" in Iraq.

Klein's successors may find they've a lot less reason to look with concern at Ottawa's covetousness than Washington's.

An energy-hungry bully that tells us how it's going to be in sectors like lumber regardless of trade rulings, fairness and law might find it even harder to resist reading us the riot act in who we sell our hydrocarbons to.

Nothing would focus the mind of someone like the champion of-secret-energy-policy Cheney than threatening to withhold preferential treatment on petroleum matters.

Meanwhile, with their border still closed to older Canadian cattle, the U.S. continues to screw us over beef. Our continued politeness over it is astounding.

At a recent press conference over just that issue, Conservative MP Myron Thompson, whose party serves as apologists for the outlaw Bush bunch, seemed to be getting an inkling.

"Stop the greed, stop the feuding -- let's get serious," implored Myron, on the verge of awakening to the Bush-Cheney scorn for international agreements unless it suits them.

Sorry, Myron -- the Bush cartel that ignores treaties on torture, military aggression, disarmament, global warming and trade isn't about to play nice with even a sycophantic Canada.

What has British submission to Bush won Tony Blair other than White House contempt and homegrown terrorism?

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