Volume 96, Issue 14
Friday, September 20, 2002

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The week in review through the eyes of a righty

By Emmett Macfarlane
Gazette Staff

Members of the Western "bubble" rejoice – here is your weekly link to news from the outside world.

This week, Iraq announced it intends to allow unconditional weapons inspections to resume. The move follows increasing pressure from the United Nations and United States President George W. Bush.

Bush immediately dismissed the Iraqi government's announcement as a stalling tactic, warning the UN that Saddam Hussein has played such tricks in the past. The Iraqi government responded by attacking Bush's comments, claiming his administration is bent on war.

Incredibly, both are right. Hussein will buy himself some time by trying to look co-operative. Meanwhile, Bush doesn't really care what Iraq says – his objective remains a regime change in Iraq, likely through the use of force.

A surprising rumour that the federal government was considering raising the GST to 10 per cent spread quickly this week. Political observers speculated the Liberal government might need to make the move to prevent a budget deficit.

The rumour led to strong denials from Finance Minister John Manley and other members of the Liberal cabinet.

Later in the week, Manley said he would rather jump off the Peace Tower than raise the GST. Hmmm, maybe another three per cent wouldn't be too bad after all.

In another story of political suicide, Jean Chrétien came under intense criticism after philosophizing on the real reasons behind the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.

During a speech at the UN, Chrétien reiterated his belief that the greed of western nations partially led to the attacks. The prime minister was originally criticized for similar comments after the CBC aired an interview with him on the anniversary of Sept. 11.

Some pundits may see Chrétien's comments as politically brave and even partly true. However, the PM's inability to properly articulate his thoughts make it seem as though western greed somehow justifies the attacks – another example of why no one ever takes him seriously.

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