It is with tremendous interest that I read about France and Germany’s about face vis a vis the US war effort in Iraq. All of a sudden, Germany wants the Americans to remove Saddam, and the French want the USA to prevail in victory.
Not that long ago, about a week or so, France’s ambassador to the UN couldn’t answer a simple question posed to him: “Does France want the USA to win the war”?
Now; that all of a sudden victory for the coalition is as absolutely assured as one can imagine, and that the Iraqi people are coming around to see the Americans and Brits as liberators, France and Germany are seeking ways to get on the coalition band-wagon.
Canada is also looking for a leg up.
Out of the clear blue, Paul Martin, “the silent man” says we must support our American friend and ally. The other Prime Minister wannabe, John Manley is even talking tough about his support of the American war effort.
All of that is nice. However; this is what they are saying today, and then there is what they did and said yesterday.
Paul Martin, who wants to lead this country, was a standout by his silence. If he supported the Americans, he should have said so when it counted, and not after the fact.
And for John Manley; he can say whatever he wants to today. But I have a vivid image of him standing in the House of Commons applauding the Prime Minister’s decision to abandon the Americans in their time of need. Only two Liberals didn’t stand and applaud. He wasn’t either of them.
There is absolutely nothing John Manley or Paul Martin could say today that will change that reality.
Let me put this scenario to you:
A tough thug and his gang, armed with baseball bats and chains, known throughout the community as vicious bullies, are about to take your best friend apart on the street.
At this point it’s a lot of yelling, but you know that its just a matter of time until the fists, bats and chains start to fly.
A group of spectators gather around waiting for the violence. And in YOUR BEST FRIEND’S direct vision, standing amongst the crowd of onlookers, HE SEES YOU.
But, instead of jumping to his side in the fight, not only do you NOT jump to his defense, you don’t even shout words of encouragement. In fact, you try to intellectualize while the thug and his gang keep circling, all the while looking for an opportunity to do damage.
Worse than that; caught up in the hype; you start to insult YOUR BEST FRIEND and demean him for not backing away from the fight.
But as you’re hanging around within the mob doing nothing but lending lip service, another friend shows up and jumps into the fray to stand shoulder to shoulder with YOUR BEST FRIEND. And then another steps forward, and others too.
But you’re still standing with the crowd of voyeurs mouthing off.
And then the fight begins. Knowing the thug; YOUR BEST FRIEND and his supporters don’t wait for him and his gang to land the first blows, so YOUR BEST FRIEND and the guys with him throw the first punches.
And to everyone’s surprise, the thug and his gang go down like a lump.
The thug and his gang aren’t nearly as tough as everyone thought. Not only that, the people who everyone thought were the thugs allies turn out to be thrilled that he was taken down.
But even though the fight was a one sided victory, it wasn’t without cost to YOUR BEST FRIEND and the others. They suffered some bumps, scratches and bruises. And had it not been for the few who jumped onside to stand with YOUR BEST FRIEND, he would have been forced to face the thug and his gang all alone.
But now that it’s just about over, and the thug is no more, and his gang is running away in all directions; you decide to pat YOUR BEST FRIEND on the back and tell him that you were with him all the way. and you didn’t really mean the things you said.
If you were the BEST FRIEND in all of this, how would you react?