Re: Grief and tradition as Hussein is laid to rest, Feb. 9
To the Editor:
I write this in regard to the despicable display of leadership put on by our Prime Minister Jean Chretien this past week. He decided it was impossible for him to attend the funeral of Jordan's King Hussein who died Sunday after a long battle with cancer.
Chretien should identify himself with King Hussein as both "peace keepers." The King was working hard over the past few years to dissolve religious tension between Israel and surrounding Arab nations. Chretien represents "friendly" Canada, a country famous for its "peace" keeping missions.
Chretien showed terrible judgment when he chose to skip the King's funeral in favour of a skiing vacation in British Columbia with his grandchildren. His excuse of there being no time was lame. He still could have arrived in Jordan to at least pay respect to the King's widow and children. The Prime Minister has let down Canadians from coast to coast, especially Jordanian-Canadians.
Every G8 country except Canada sent either their leader or head of state. The United States sent Bill Clinton along with three former Presidents. Ailing Russian President Boris Yeltsin felt it necessary to attend and pay his respects on behalf of his nation. Who did Chretien send? Our Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy and a Reform MP. Wayne Gretzky could have better represented Canada.
The prime minister had an obligation he failed to fulfill. I'm sure he could have rescheduled his vacation with his grandchildren. They would understand Chretien being the leader of the country. Plus, the prime minister has plenty of vacation time. Canada expects better Mr. Chretien. Shame, shame.
UWO Progressive Conservative Association