Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Dear wanks: How 'bout you explain that softwood lumber deal to me?
Having perused a number of howlingly illogical and inconsistent posts over at the Blogging Tories regarding the recent softwood lumber "deal," I have a simple question or two for any Canadian wankers who want to take a shot at them. And, yes, I will use small words to make sure no one feels excluded.
First, based on what I've read at some sites, in what way is this an "excellent" deal? As it stands, the U.S. collected some $5 billion in (illegal, according to NAFTA) duties on said lumber, and now they're agreeing to return $4 billion of it. Ignoring entirely the issue of whether we're entitled to additional interest on that money, and ignoring entirely the other appalling aspects of the "deal," in what way does allowing the U.S. to keep a cool billion constitute a win for our side?
By way of analogy, imagine that someone stole one hundred dollars of yours and got caught, and you were told that the culprit was going to make amends by returning eighty of those dollars. I'm guessing you'd be justifiably pissed. That was your money -- all of it. So the thought of getting back only some of it probably wouldn't sit well with you. And yet, here some of you are, making precisely that argument in defending the notion that the U. S. has the right to keep some of what they stole. How exactly does that work? How precisely does that represent an "excellent" deal for Canada? But we're not done.
Some wankers at least have the intellectual integrity to admit that it's not a terrific deal, it's just the best deal we could get. But note carefully that just being the best we could do by itself doesn't automatically make it a great deal. It's quite possible that Canada could have demanded the return of all $5 billion, to which the Bush administration might have responded that they were prepared to give us sweet fuck all and, if we didn't stop whining, they'd nuke Manitoba. That might have been the best deal we could get, and I'm sure we can all agree that it would have been less than optimal. In short, defending the deal as being as good as we were going to get does not in any way make it commendable -- it shows only that we are susceptible to extortion, which is not quite the same thing, as I'm sure you can appreciate.
And, finally, we have some mentally-challenged wanks who are now taking the position that, hey, at least we finally have a deal. I mean, the Liberals were flogging this baby for fucking years with no closure and the Cons stepped in and got the deal done in months, and doesn't that just show you what kind of shrewd businessman is Stevie Boy and his minions?
Looking at it another way, though, what it would appear to show is that the Liberals were adamant that the U. S. honour its obligations under NAFTA, while the Cons were more than happy to bend over and take it up the ass in order to give the Americans pretty much what they wanted. The fact that a deal was (allegedly) done says absolutely nothing about the merits of that deal for Canada. It's always possible to close a deal if you give away the farm, and the fact that the Cons did this so quickly seems to show little more than their talent for spineless capitulation.
So, wanks, here's your opportunity. I'd like to know how, in light of the above, this deal is a good thing for Canada. You might think it represents a fine example of diplomacy and negotiation. I, on the other hand, think it simply shows that our governing party has no problem being the victims of strong-armed extortion and is willing to sell out its own citizens so that "Steve" can hang out with Commander Codpiece down in Crawford occasionally.
Your thoughts, if you will.