tuque /tūk/ n Canadian English, var. toque [19th c. Canadian French, from the French toque, from the Basque tauka] 1 A close-fitting knitted cap, often with a long tapering end or tassel or pompom. 2 fig Something quintessentially Canadian.
souq /sūk/ n from the Arabic سوق var. souk 1 An open-air marketplace. 2 fig A central meeting place for the circulation of news and ideas.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Canadian Ambassador to deliver UN Speech

Canada's ambassador to the United Nations, John McNee, will deliver our country's address before the world body's annual summit tomorrow - instead of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who is busy trying to get re-elected.

McNee, you may recall, was the mouthpiece for Canada's notable intransigence to the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the UN General Assembly last year.

McNee's posting as UN Ambassador came during the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war, where he helped refine the Harper government's inarticulate position that Hezbollah was the sole party responsible for instigating the conflict. "The key to ending this violence lies with Hezbollah."

(What is even more noteworthy from this statement on the Middle East is that McNee claimed that the solution to the crisis in Gaza "begins with the ceasing of the launching of Qassam rockets into Israeli towns..." Hezbollah an aggressor? Absolutely. But occupied Gazans? Let's not forget where the real problem lies.)

In short, McNee has been complicit in if not a co-author of Canada's shift - under Prime Minister Harper - to one-sidedness (the hawkish, Neo-con, Likud-esque side) with respect to the Middle East conflict(s).

From 1993-1997, McNee was Canada's ambassador to Syria, and concurrently its representative for Lebanon. Prior to that, he served as a diplomat in Tel Aviv, where he was reportedly chummy with now fallen-from-grace Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

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