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Pierre set forth to... well, what exactly?

Our stylishly coiffed Canadian Foriegn Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew is off to the Middle East to... uh, to... hmmm. Well, best let him explain:

Canada is a country that has a great deal of credibility in the region. We are one of very few countries that has succeeded in the last 50 years in having good relations with both sides of this difficult conflict. It's the reason I've decided to go to the Middle East.
Nope. Still don't understand. Is he trying to suggest that because our country has been sitting on the sidelines, unable to take any position whatsoever, that people in the Mid-East will listen to him? What is he going to say? That peace is good? I'm sure that contribution will be appreciated. He's going to Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and the West Bank to spread this wisdom.

Pettigrew is an indistiguishable member of those squishy internationalist sophicates that think this kind of photo-op diplomacy does any good at all. They travel to some tyranical state to talk about 'peace' and 'human rights' and give a press conference. The rulers who indulge them smile patiently during the speech and hold the handshake long enough for all the flashes to finish, but then take them into the backrooms to get down to the real business: "What are you going to give me? What treats do you have to offer me to dole out to my supporters to keep them loyal?" Paul Martin's recent trip to Libya also fits this pattern perfectly.

In his quieter moments, Pettigrew must have some faint awareness of his impotence and the farcical nature of his upcoming tour. You won't find him admitting it though. In fact, he's actually making claims that the plaintive bleating that this country has specialized in for the past ten years contributed to making that savage, George Bush, listen to sweet reason:

Pettigrew also said he was pleased to see U.S. President George W. Bush make a strong commitment to Middle East peace efforts in Wednesday's State of the Union address.

"He clearly indicated that the United States would engage fully in working towards the resolution of this very difficult situation. ... This follows (British Prime Minister) Tony Blair, and certainly Canada's as well, insistence that the Middle East be put back on the agenda," he said.

It'd be pathetic if it wasn't so funny.

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