This text combines stories of two women. They don't share much but nevertheless they share something: they were - or still are - under pressure to change their opinions.
Jill Carroll is a journalist who was kidnapped in Iraq. Some people say that the insurgents in Iraq are getting more sophisticated. They no longer blindly kill all those who disagree with them. Instead, they also try to create propaganda and choose who should be killed.
Today we know that Jill Carroll's videos were examples of such a propaganda. A few days ago, we were not certain. Jill Carroll appeared in a video in which she condemned America, its "lies", and in which she praised the kidnappers. Everyone would ask: why would an intelligent journalist ever say the same kind of crap that we can read on various anti-American and anti-Bush junk websites that are far too numerous to be listed here? :-) Does she suffer from the Stockholm syndrome? Has she gone mad?
Of course, today we know why. They told her that if she creates a video with these statements, she would be freed. Indeed, she's now free. She's free to say that the kidnappers are criminals at best and she is very angry with them. She's free to say that the videos don't reflect her opinions. Although she could have been criticized for her bizarre statements on the video, I have a full understanding for her decision to co-operate with the thugs. Why should she sacrifice her life just in order to avoid a few untrue sentences? A human life is obviously far too high a price to pay.
Moreover, she knew that if she ever becomes free again, she would be able to say anything about the situation anyway. The kidnappers were not too sophisticated after all: they probably forgot to realize that if they release her, she would have the opportunity to say what she really thinks.
Kyoto and Canada
Rona Ambrose is an outspoken Canadian conservative politician who thinks, among other things, that the international treaties to curb the carbon dioxide emissions are flawed. We have discussed this fact in the second part of this text. The Canadian conservatives have always opposed the Kyoto protocol. At some moment, a month ago, the media reported that they have been converted and started to preach the Kyoto gospel.
What should have one thought about these developments? Has someone really convinced them that Kyoto is right? Or did Ms. Ambrose start to like the idea that she would be travelling all over the world if she agrees with Kyoto? Or do they want to look better than the Liberals by becoming greener? Or did they realize that the international treaties are immutable? I, for one, find all these explanations kind of crazy. The Kyoto efforts won't bring anything positive to the conservatives. They will either slow down the Canadian economy or the targets will be missed. In both cases, the opposition will attack the conservatives. It is clear that if the Tories continue with this madness, they are bound to face one kind of problem or another in the future.
My impression from the Tories who preach the Kyoto gospel has always been analogous to Jill Carroll's videos. No doubt, what they really plan about the protocol remains mysterious. Nevertheless, there are now clear signals that the idea that they have really been converted looks somewhat contrived. ;-) What happened? Yesterday, the Canadian government has not used the last day of the fiscal year to confirm funding of some climate-change programs; see here.
Because of their bold decision not to confirm the funding, you can learn how many of these pseudoscientific programs actually exist and how many people are working in this "industry": certainly hundreds or thousands of people in Canada are doing nothing else. One of the strange programs whose funding was stopped is the One Tonne Challenge. What was One Tonne Challenge? It was a conglomerate of activists who are paid by the government for telling people to drive less, breathe less, and limit all of their other personal activities that have the potential to produce carbon dioxide.
Can you imagine that in the scientific age of the 21st century, hundreds of people's main job is to actually promote luddite, anti-economic, anti-technological and anti-scientific attitudes whose only conceivable outcome is to return us to the Middle Ages or even further?
It turns out that One Tonne Challenge is very far from being the only climate-change program that was funded by the Canadian governments: there are 100 of them or so. No kidding. The Canadian government is now reviewing all of them. It is very likely that some of them are going to survive. Nevertheless, it is very good that someone is finally looking at all this nonsense that has been created in the past decade. At least in Canada.
There are of course plans that are more important than One Tonne Challenge.
I hope that all these guys will have the courage to call each other and create clear and organized plans how to bury Kyoto. Tony Blair's office already knows that Kyoto is a dead-end street. Britain has been a self-described leader of the struggle against the so-called global warming and Canada is going to be the actual president country in the process. Australia and the U.S. have never ratified the treaty. You can see that virtually the whole English-speaking world is starting to escape from the megalomanic project to cool down the Earth by destroying the global economy.
I believe that unlike Jill Carroll, the Canadian Tories really have nothing to be afraid of. They should realize that they are really in charge of their country and they should do whatever they think is the best thing to do.