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McCain Speaks on Nuclear Disarmament May 28, 2008

Posted by Reginald Johnson in Election '08, Elections, Energy, Government, Homeland Security, Military, Politics.
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U.S. Senator John McCain, the Republicans answer in November, gave a landmark speech yesterday. The thing is, most people don’t care. Why? The Barack and Hillary Drama.

I was not exactly truthful when I said landmark. His speech was not a landmark piece. Well, not in general anyway. His speech is more landmark, specifically to those in the nuclear energy field. The defense side that is.

The Arizona senator spoke on the responsibility to engage more seriously in disarmament.

Director of British American Security Information Council (BASIC) Paul Ingram remarked, “This is the clearest indication yet that nuclear disarmament has now achieved the mainstream – and it is now out of touch to oppose it. This is a speech that represents a clear departure not only from the current Administration, but also John McCain’s past record. It is a landmark for those working towards the mainstreaming of multilateral disarmament and in opposition to unilateralism and the modernization of nuclear forces.”

McCain is doing everything he can to distance himself from the Bush administration. He talked about how little the past two decades have done in controlling nuclear proliferation. In his defense though, he did say Dems have done very little too. McCain said this is a real problem.

“No problem we face poses a greater threat to us and the world than nuclear proliferation.”

The clear answer with the debate of proliferation is bi-partician support. As with everything else on Capitol Hill, it’s easier said than done. McCain emphasised the importance of the bipartisan approach by combining our national energies in seeking practical and effective solutions.

The United States needs to know that they are not in this alone. The U.S. has to build a community of nations all drawn together in vital compromise. It would be far-fetched to believe that the United States will stop the spread of nuclear weapons by unilateral action. But how are they going to stop other countries from using nuclear weapons?

One thing McCain wants is a stronger and larger IAEA, for international fuel banks available to those that renounce their own enrichment and reprocessing facilities, and an international repository for spent nuclear fuel.

He didn’t let the republican party get away from him. He finally did say, “I would only support the development of any new type of nuclear weapon that is absolutely essential for the viability of our deterrent, that results in making possible further decreases in the size of our nuclear arsenal, and furthers our global nuclear security goals.”

If you’d like to see the speech in it’s entireity, go here: speech

Canadian Foreign Minister Resigns May 27, 2008

Posted by Reginald Johnson in Canada, Celebrity, Government, International, Legal, News.
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Maxime Bernier has been through a lot in recent weeks.

Most people will probably remember Maxime Bernier as the incoming foreign minister who had Julie Couillard on his arm. Ms. Couillard arrived to the event with lots of cleavage showing.

The photo above might refresh your memory.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that Bernier has resigned. Harper has called Bernier’s reasoning for choosing to resign as a breach of ‘serious error.’

With Bernier gone, David Emerson, the international trade minister, will take over as interim foreign minister.

The situation began when Bernier left classified documents at a private residence. The private residence was Couillard’s home. She hasn’t said exactly what the documents were, but CTV News (Canada TV News) sources say the documents possibly included classified information for last April’s NATO summit in Romania. That may be nothing really, but one sensitive document contained details about NATO’s military strategy in Afghanistan.

Couillard told a Quebec broadcaster that the sensitive document had been left at her home in mid-April. She said she was very uncomfortable about having the documents at her home. She talked to lawyer and was advised to return it. She was also very clear that she did not read the documents.

She said, “I was panicked when I realized the documents were at my residence. I did not read anything. It was clearly addressed to Bernier.”

The former model insisted she was doing the interview to re-establish her dignity and credibility after intense media scrutiny. The press has been all over here because of her previous relationships with members of the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Gang.

Couillard said she told the former foreign minister about her involvement with Quebec motorcycle gangs. She openly dated those motorcycle guys and made no secret of it.

Bernier noticed that he had left behind the documents Monday night. Bernier didn’t tell Prime Minister Stephen Harper until Tuesday afternoon. Bernier then wrote his letter of resignation. He wrote that he asked for a thorough review of the situation.

“Prime Minister, the security breach that occurred was my fault and my fault alone and I take full responsibility for my actions,” Bernier wrote.

He also said, “…the security breach that occurred was my fault and my fault alone and I take full responsibility for my actions.”

Harper said that Bernier’s controversial relationship with Julie Couillard was not a factor in the resignation. Interestingly, Couillard was preparing to go on a French-language television station to say that Bernier had been careless with classified documents.

Harper obviously would have accepted Bernier’s resignation. Considering how things have been going for Harper, he didn’t want to ruin the good press he’s been getting. Prime Minister Harper said today, “Mr. Bernier has learned and informed me that he left classified documents in a non-secure location. This is a serious error.” He did say however, Bernier’s controversial relationship with the woman was not a factor in the resignation.

Opposition Liberal Member of Parliament Ralph Goodale said that Harper has a lot of explaining to do because he had dismissed the story for weeks. Oddly enough, just hours before Bernier quit, Harper had dismissed the whole affair. “The prime minister has been very dismissive of this situation for weeks now, despite the questions — serious, respectful questions that were put in the House of Commons — (that) he simply refused to answer.”

“I have no intention to comment on a minister’s former girlfriend,” Harper said earlier in the day. “I don’t take this subject seriously.”

Goodale says it is necessary to respond to this situation quickly. “There are still many unanswered questions that need to be addressed,” said Goodale.

Goodale believes the issue has now come to a breaking point.

Even NDP Leader Jack Layton got into the action. He calls this “Couillard-Gate” the straw that broke the camel’s back.

“When the prime minister comes and just simply says there were some documents put aside in a way that may have been accessible to other people, everybody wants to know what the heck we’re talking about.”

One Canadian citizen said, “Good job for acting quickly and correctly on this, Prime Minister Harper! Maxime Bernier has been replaced with an even stronger MP and the Conservatives and Canada is better off because of it! Good decision, Mr. Harper!”

Another citizen remarked, “How embarrassing for Stephen Harper to have dismissed this issue earlier on today only to have to accept Bernier’s resignation and admit that Bernier made a grave error.”

He went on to say, “The next step of course is an investigation into the nature of the sensitive documents, and what Couillard may have done with them. Because let’s be honest people, cabinet ministers don’t just leave sensitive documents lying around their girlfriends’ apartments for nothing. In fact, these documents belonged nowhere near her apartment.”

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