stephen harper awarded first richard nixon award

Some of us found it more than a little strange to learn that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been named World Statesman of the Year by the Appeal of Conscience Foundation. Perhaps this is to expected in a world where Barack Obama - now Commander in Chief of a military presence in more than 150 countries, waging no less than 75 "special ops" wars - is given the Nobel Peace Prize. Even Resident Bush managed to hold the number of secret wars to 67.

Fear not, Canada. We will not be outdone. "A coalition of international and community groups" announced that Harper has won the first ever Richard Nixon Prize.
The selection committee applauds the Prime Minister's "principled, forthright and steadfast international policies in the interests of the rich and powerful".

Because the Prime Minister will be in New York to receive another award, this one will be presented using the "empty chair" technique recently used by Clint Eastwood. The prize will be presented by author Yves Engler, who has written extensively about Harper's foreign policy. The Nixon prize will be unveiled and the Ottawa Raging Grannies will express their appreciation in song.

Reasons for the committee selection are as follows:

• The grantees cite Harper's "consistent backing of the interests of North America's top 1% of income earners, with a special emphasis on supporting those who make their billions from resource extraction, weaponry and banking."

• The committee applauds Harper for bombing Libya into democracy and at the same time standing by Egypt's Hosni Mubarak until the final hours of his 30-year presidency.

• In Afghanistan the Prime Minister has stayed committed to war even though most Canadians want to bring the troops home, the prize committee said in a statement. Harper's decision to continue to deploy 1,000 troops as well as special forces is exactly what America's 37th president would have done. "Canadian special forces play an important role in US-led nighttime assassination raids. When a parliamentary committee began asking inappropriate questions about Afghan detainees Harper refused to buckle and simply closed shop," said the committee's statement. "Richard Nixon would have been proud."

• Despite Harper's Conservative government being the biggest backer of the world's mining industry, ordinary Canadians just don't understand how valuable this is to the wealthy, the committee said. "We appreciate the Prime Minister's commitment to advancing Canadian mining companies' interests abroad. All investors benefit."

• The Richard Nixon Prize grantees thoroughly support Harper's international environmental policy. "The Prime Minister has firmly challenged those in Washington and Europe who call the tar sands "dirty oil". At international climate negotiations Harper has made the tough decision to support more carbon in our atmosphere rather than simply accede to an overwhelming international consensus. His government repeatedly blocked climate negotiations and withdrew Canada from the Kyoto protocol, what he once correctly called a 'socialist scheme' to suck money out of rich countries."

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