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That was quick

I was wondering how long it would take for Paul Martin's latest childish and clumsy snub of the US to blow up in his face. Well, it turns out to be not very long, actually. First there was the temporary injunction to prevent the reopening of the border to Canadian beef (which was probably not due to the Missile Defence blowoff, but it will make it more difficult to reverse.) And now the US Senate has voted to overturn the Bush administration's plan to allow our beef back in. The White House has hinted Bush would veto the bill if it passes the House of Representatives, but I wouldn't count on it. Bush has been quite reluctant to use the veto during his years as president, and our government hasn't really given him much motivation to change that policy.

I really don't know what Martin was thinking. As Andrew Coyne says:

We weren’t asked to do anything, the system doesn’t depend on us doing anything, and we’ve already done whatever it was the Americans needed us to do. They weren’t asking us to participate, they were offering to let us: for with participation comes consultation, and a role in our own defence. Yet having rejected the offer of consultation, in the name of our sovereignty, we now demand to be consulted, on grounds of sovereignty. And the result of these affirmations of our independence is to make us utterly dependent on another country for our defence.
It seems Martin was more afraid of the wrath of the 'Young Liberals' than he was of President Bush. But I think he picked the wrong side to tick off. Bush has ways of making those who use anti-Americanism to score cheap points at home squirm. Here's what happened to Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in Europe last week:
Ever since his election, Zapatero has spent much of his time shadowing Bush and attempting to shake his hand. On Wednesday, he was waiting in the shadows, and made his move when Bush was talking to Tony Blair. Bush, who I suspect didn't really know who Zapatero was said "hola amigo" and continued talking to Blair. Meanwhile, Zapatero walked off smiling away like a child with a new pair of shoes. The exchange was so brief Spanish newspapers had a nightmare trying to find a photograph of the "great meeting." To make matters worse a Spanish government spokesperson said that Bush and Zapatero had a "cordial exchange." (They forget to mention it lasted about two seconds.)


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