Pubdate: Sat, 03 May 2003
Source: Halifax Herald (CN NS)
Copyright: 2003 The Halifax Herald Limited
Author: James D. Fanning


As a retired member of Canada's Foreign Service, I am concerned at the 
recent interference by the American ambassador to Canada, Paul Cellucci, in 
the domestic and international policy decisions of Canada.

I am referring to the chiding given us when we refused to join the attack 
on Iraq, based on Iraq's possession of the chimerical "weapons of mass 
destruction," and more recently, to the threats of sanctions and border 
difficulties should we pursue our plan to decriminalize cannabis.

Had any of the Canadian ambassadors or high commissioners under whom I 
served made such remarks and threats, they would have been recalled, if not 
asked by the host governments to leave. Non-interference in the policies of 
host governments is one of the pillars of international diplomacy.

I am glad to see that Canada continues to follow the precepts that earned 
Lester Pearson the Nobel Peace Prize. We are right to set our own domestic 
policy with regard to the long-overdue decriminalization of cannabis, as we 
were right not to join the alliance (Stephen Harper notwithstanding) to 
invade Iraq. We are right to resist the American jingoistic belief in their 
paternalistic moral superiority: Might does not make right, but absolute 
power does, eventually, corrupt absolutely.

As good friends and neighbours, as well as respected global citizens, it 
continues to be our sometimes onerous task to offer intelligent and 
reasoned advice to our American neighbours. Such advice might not always be 
what they want to hear, but different perspectives provide different views 
of truth.

James D. Fanning, Head of Jeddore
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