Much like his on again, off again political career, the bold dream of Peter MacKay becoming NATO chief MAY be somewhat back on again, if these reports are to be believed:
A senior Turkish legislator says his country does not back Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen as NATO's next secretary general.And this report, via Wells:
Suat Kiniklioglu, a top foreign policy official in Turkey's government, says Ankara favours Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay for the role, even though MacKay has said he prefers to keep his current job.
Fogh Rasmussen is seen as the front-runner to replace Jaap de Hoop Scheffer as NATO secretary general when his term ends at the end of July.
But Turkey, a NATO member, objects to Fogh Rasmussen because of the 2006 Prophet cartoon crisis, his reported opposition to Turkey's EU membership and his stance on Kurdish rebels.
According to press reports, Poland is to join Turkey in opposing the candidature of the Dane, Anders Fogh Rasmussen for the post of NATO secretary-general. Warsaw will instead back the Canadian defence minister Peter MacKay for the post, it is being speculated.Poland says they’re backing the MacKay and want to block the Dane because the Canadian is “young, super-intelligent, dynamic and resourceful” (have they met our Peter?) but Turkey is making it clear they don’t want Rasmussen because, among a number of reasons, of his strident support of the right of the Danish newspapers to publish the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad:
"It is unacceptable that NATO be headed by an individual who has in the past rudely disrespected our values and religious beliefs," Kiniklioglu said in reference to Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that sparked Muslim protests worldwide.It’s still a long shot, but I’m rooting for Peter MacKay to get the job now more than ever, if only to see the reaction from Conservatives as they try to balance their pride in Peter’s success, Canada's back, yada yada, with the fact he only got the job because Rasmussen strongly supported publishing the Danish cartoons and was therefore deemed an unacceptable NATO boss.
Fogh Rasmussen defended freedom of speech amid the protests.
I particularly look forward to Ezra’s commentary.
**Help send a BCer to BC for the Liberal convention. Donations are tax deductible. Any support is greatly appreciated. Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers