Re-imagining Mulroney: Wartime Consigliere
I’m sure Brian Mulroney will appreciate Fen Hampson’s recent Ottawa Citizen article praising Mulroney’s quiet role in the first so-called Gulf War. This is especially true since the former prime minister is currently attempting to reinvent himself with projects like the Brian Mulroney Institute of Government at St. Francis Xavier University.
Perhaps Hampson is hoping for a similar Mulroney initiative at Carleton; a school richly decorated with corporate labels, symptomatic of creeping McEducation. I’m sure the St. FX executive cadre will enjoy the opening of Mulroney Hall. I wonder if they’ve considered a Karl Heinz Schrieber Centre for International Business? He may be available for public apperances if the German government allows him to travel.
The institute was, “… built with money he [Mulroney] personally solicited… from donors embroiled in international controversy, a joint investigation by the Toronto Star, CBC/Radio-Canada and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists found.” Academics at this Nova Scotia university acknowledged the role of public funding cuts in justifying the presence of privately-funded institutional in campuses across the country.
According to a joint investigation by the Toronto Star, CBC/Radio-Canada and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists:
“A new $60-million university institute in Nova Scotia celebrating former prime minister Brian Mulroney — and being built with money he personally solicited — got a good
chunk of that financing from donors embroiled in international controversy…a number of the power players bankrolling the Mulroney Institute of Government at St. Francis Xavier University have checkered resumés.”
Professor Hampson; of Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of Public Affairs, describes Mulroney’s role in convincing the world’s sole military superpower to boldly annihilate a third-rate Iraqi army depleted by eight years of war with Iran. Even at full strength, the Iraqi forces would wilted before the U.S. military machine; hardly a grand victory but a big win for U.S. oil companies.
It’s a classic example of the fact that the United States carefully avoids military conflict with major states; preferring to bludgeon weaker nations who dare to chart an independent course. In many cases, self-defence against aggression is successfully cast as terrorism.
I wonder if Mulroney was involved in George Bush Senior’s decision to betray Iraqi Shias who rebelled against Saddam Hussein after false U.S. promises of military support. I don’t recall Mulroney criticizing the brutal Iraqi dictator when he was serving Washington’s interests. Perhaps this is what they call real politik or seeing “the big picture,” which often involves killing Arabs, especially Muslim ones.
In any case, Mulroney’s fans in academia and the corporate media seem intent on polishing his legacy; an impressive feat by any standards.