LIGHT OF LIBERTY
The U.S. ambassador to Canada praised the bravery of Canadian soldiers fighting alongside U.S. troops in Afghanistan and warned of the continuing threat of terrorism as he began a farewell tour across America's northern neighbor.
Ambassador David H. Wilkins saluted the "bravest citizens" of Canada and the United States fighting as part of NATO forces to stop Taliban militants from regaining power lost when U.S. forces toppled them for sheltering Osama bin Laden after the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
"The forces of terror are desperate to regain a footing in their former stomping ground, desperate to extinguish liberty's light carried by Canadian and American forces alike," he told the Royal United States Institute in Halifax, Nova Scotia, earlier this month.
"And so our efforts in Afghanistan continue, and they remain every bit as important as they were on September 12, 2001, the day after [the attacks] when the agonies of terror still smoldered."
Mr. Wilkins also paid tribute to the robust bilateral trade between the two nations, which do more than $1 billion a day in cross-border business.
"There simply are not and have not been in world history, two better, stronger, more peaceful and productive nations living side by side who do more good on the world stage than Canada and the U.S.," he said.
Mr. Wilkins, a political ally of President Bush, is a former speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives and he chaired the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign in 2004. He said he and his wife, Susan, are sad to leave so many friends they made since he became ambassador in April 2005.
However, Mr. Wilkins added, there is one thing he will not miss about Canada: its winters.
"We'll be carrying with us priceless memories and the warmth and friendships of people like you across Canada who always made us feel welcome and at home," he said. "And believe me, after surviving three Canadian winters, we appreciated that warmth."
NEED TO KNOW
If you are a European living in the United States and craving information about how the U.S. presidential election will affect Europe, a new Web site launched this week can help.
The German Marshall Fund of the United States has posted articles by analysts, details on public opinion polls and comments from the candidates themselves on issues ranging from climate change to terrorism.
"The special Web site is a resource for Europeans and the trans-Atlantic community to fully understand the U.S. presidential election through daily updates of media coverage and the latest poll numbers," fund spokesman Will Bohlen said.
"Presidential Election 2008: What Europe Needs to Know" is available at www.gmfus.org/election 2008.
GUYANA AND DRUGS
The American ambassador to Guyana is urging the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to open an office in the South American nation to help the government fight drug smuggling that is supplying the U.S. cocaine habit.
Ambassador John Melvin Jones hopes the DEA will relocate its office in Trinidad to help Guyana, where the drug trade accounts for an estimated 20 percent of its gross domestic product of about $3.7 billion.
Guyana is also crippled by government corruption and recently fired the chief of its anti-drug agency and eight officers after they failed lie-detector tests.
• Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison @washingtontimes.com.