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Jean Chrétien: Eyeing Kofi Annan's Job By: Stephen Brown
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, September 24, 2002

He's done it again.

Just when you thought he couldn't get any worse, Canadian Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chrétien has plunged to new depths of disgrace and embarrassment with his most recent remarks about 9/11.

In an interview taped last July for release on September 11 on Canada's national television network, Chrétien suggested that the West, especially the United States, was to blame for the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

Among his choicer statements, the Canadian Prime Minister called the Western world "arrogant, self-satisfied, greedy and with no limits," saying it was getting too rich in relation to poor countries. Later, he admonished the West for humiliating these countries in our power relationships, and this is something we, and especially the Americans, must realize we cannot do. Further, in an unaired portion, Chrétien said this division in the world was an "inspiration" for 9/11, saying "there is a lot of resentment out there."

Well, there you have it. Blame the victim. According to Canada's Prime Minister, poverty breeds terrorism, and the West is responsible for Third World poverty. Therefore, we share some blame for what happened.

Not surprisingly, several hard facts have escaped Chrétien's attention in his debasing of the West in general, and of America in particular.

The first is that none of the 9/11 hijackers was poverty-stricken. They came from middle and upper class backgrounds, like most other terrorists in history, and were well educated.

Chrétien also doesn't realize that the truly poor people in Third World countries are too busy trying to eke out a living for themselves and their families to take up such innocent hobbies as suicide flight training and the building of biological and poison gas weapons.

Moreover, it is well known that Osama bin Laden is a very wealthy man. Obviously, poverty isn't what drove him to build up a world-wide terrorist network that frightfully combines a 14th century religious fanaticism with the most modern technology of the 21st. In essence, bin Laden is simply following in the fanatical tradition of other educated, middle and upper class mass murderers such as Lenin, Mao and Pol Pot.

Finally, it doesn't matter whether the West is rich or not. Bin Laden and his ilk hate us for who we are and what we stand for. Don't forget, the war against militant Islam is also being waged in Third World countries like the Philippines, Indonesia and Nigeria. Hate is the common denominator here and not poverty.

There is also more to Chrétien's latest shameful blatherings than meets the eye. While they appear to be the usual left-liberal, anti-Bush/Republican claptrap, his statements conceal a deeper purpose.

The Canadian Prime Minister announced a short time ago he will not run in the next election, scheduled to take place sixteen months from now. After serving three terms in office, Chrétien wanted a fourth, but was forced to bow out to a Liberal party rival. But an ego-driven Prime Minister like Chrétien, who has been at the public trough almost thirty years, didn't voluntarily leave one office without having his sights set on a bigger prize — the secretary-generalship of the United Nations. And he has been campaigning hard for the job.

Just this week, he appeared at a session of the UN general assembly where he called for a large aid program for Africa in an obvious solicitation of votes from that part of the world. Returning to his theme of September 11 remarks, he also indicated the West should give money to poor countries to ensure its safety from future attacks.

This must have been music to every Third World dictator's ears. Give us money and we won't attack you. If you don't, then it is your fault if we do. Chrétien definitely gets their votes now.

And the beauty of Chrétien's position is that he doesn't have to worry about Canadian public opinion any more, let alone the feelings of the families of Canadian victims of the 9/11 tragedy, since he isn't running for office in Canada again. So, in his campaign for the top UN job, he can safely ignore polls such as the one which showed the majority of Canadians strongly disagreed with his September 11 comments. Even more importantly, the Liberal leader gets to use the prestige and the resources of the Prime Minister's office to go after Kofi Annan's job.

So if you think Chrétien's September 11 comments were offensive, hold on to your hats. His worst is yet to come.

Stephen Brown is a contributing editor at Frontpagemag.com. He has a graduate degree in Russian and Eastern European history. Email him at alsolzh@hotmail.com.

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