Chretien is the first leader of a western major nation to suggest that the suicide hijackers might have been motivated by what he describes as the misguided policies of a rich and powerful West that did not understand the need for restraint.
The veteran prime minister, who has been in power for nine years, told the CBC in an interview aired late Wednesday that there was "a lot of resentment" about the way in which powerful nations treated the increasing number of poor and dispossessed people in the world.
Chretien continued: "And I do think the Western world is getting too rich in relation to the poor world and necessarily, you know, we're looked upon as being arrogant, self-satisfied greedy and with no limits. And September 11 is an occasion for me to realize it even more." Like we brought this upon ourselves. Tell that to the victims families.
Canadian Transport Minister David Collenette -- also on the left of the party -- went further in an interview with the CBC that was broadcast in the same September 11 package as the prime minister's. He likened some leading players in the United States to bullies on an ice hockey rink.
The leader of the right-wing Canadian Alliance party, which is generally more favorably inclined toward the United States, quickly branded Chretien's musings as a disgrace.
"(His) comments -- particularly coming on the anniversary of September 11 -- blaming the victim are shameful. What was behind the events of September 11 are the forces of evil and hatred," said Stephen Harper.
"These must be resisted by free and democratic societies and their leaders. His comments are unacceptable, and he should apologize to the United States and to the families of the Canadian victims."
"And I said that day...'When you're (as) powerful (as) you are, you guys, it's the time to be nice'." Nice, my ass! And wait for further mass murder...
Collenette himself showed little signs of restraint, telling the CBC that the collapse of the Soviet Union had removed an important check on U.S. foreign policy.
"I think the western world is a bit too selfish and that there is a lot of resentment. I felt it when I dealt with the African file for the G8 summit. You know, the poor get relatively poorer all the time and the rich are getting richer all the time," he said.
So, did we put them in that position? Do we not shell enough billions of dollars? Should be dropship more tens of thousands of pounds of food...We must, because it must be out fault. Maybe we should not work as hard, maybe we should sell our nice cars and boats so we'll be more on their level...Maybe that'll stop the resentment[JEALOUSY]!
I don't get it...damned if you do, damned if you don't and piss on the sucessful. If they weren't so damned jealous and if they didn't want their piece of the pie so much, things like this would not be said. They want exactly what we have, but can't so they assault with words because that's all they have.