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« Cycle of Violence | Main | Sen. Salazar on Mortgages »

How To Win Allies and Influence Governments

Is David Sirota really suggesting that the government of Canada is involved, for political reasons, in a conspiracy to influence the US Presidential election? That's certainly what he implies in his most recent posting:

Instead, she made the entire NAFTA debate about an uncorroborated report from the right-wing Canadian government designed to embarrass Barack Obama.

The clear implication is that the Canadian government, a coalition government led by the Conservative Stephen Harper, deliberately leaked a report from a career civil servant in order to embarass Barack Obama because of his stated opposition to NAFTA.

If anyone's frustrated by this whole affair, it's the Canadian government, which is being used as a political football by two candidates "committed" to rebuilding supposedly shattered relations with our allies:

A Canadian Embassy official would not confirm or deny that such a contact took place, but said it's totally implausible that her officials instigated one to reassure Canada."

Our ongoing frustration is the number of times we are sideswiped, not out of malice, just because they (U.S. politicians) never thought about us," the official said.

This passage comes from the very same CBC article that Sirota claims proves that Hillary's just as mixed up in NAFTA-gate as Obama is. Of course, the article also notes that:

Some close to the embassy are doubtful a contact with the Clinton campaign took place. If it did, there is no paper trail on what was said.

The first thing the Clinton campaign would have done before beginning sharp criticism on Obama over the meeting is to ensure that the attacks couldn't backfire, they said.

"If they were exposed on this issue, they wouldn't have gone bananas," said one source.

Yes, accusing our largest trading partner and historically closest ally with deliberately mucking around in a US Presidential election is precisely the sort of thing guaranteed to win us renewed respect and esteem around the world.

It's a good thing that Sen. Obama is committed to talking unconditionally to our sworn enemies. Because by the time these two (or three, if we include Mr. Sirota) are done, we'll have a lot longer list of countries who will only speak to us on those terms.

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