Wednesday, February 23, 2005
"(The Americans) were told we will not participate," a federal official, who asked to remain anonymous, told The Canadian Press.
"It is a firm No. I am not sure it is an indefinite No"
A firm-but-not-indefinite "No." Why does anybody wonder that George Bush has little patience for the language of diplomacy?
Canada Free Press calls this "Canada's pathetic slide into irrelevance":
The Americans asked us a very simple question for crying out load. We were not asked to pony-up cash or place weapons on our soil. All we were asked was to give our moral imprimatur, whatever that is worth these days, on the project. Yes or no. Very simple. Do we as a nation make a token gesture to stand with the US in the war against terror[?] Were we willing to extend our NORAD role in defending North American airspace[?]...
The Liberals will try to couch the decision as some sort of principled one. The Americans won’t be fooled, believe me. They’ve seen Martin waffle back and forth ovber the last couple of years. Trying to play both sides of the fence, trying to have it both ways and avoiding making a choice. They know, that despite whatever principled-sounding spin they put on this, the real reason was to appease anti-American sentiment.
Canada has long had an anti-American bent. After the American Revolution, roughly a third of our population -- the "tories" who were opposed to the revolution and the "loyalists" who stuck with the Crown -- did not support the new government. Many of these people fled the thirteen independant states, and most of them ended up in Canada. There they were granted land, and permitted to use the initials U.E.L. after their name, meaning "United Empire Loyalist." As recently as the 1960s there were still old Canadians who ran around writing U.E.L. after their names, signalling that they were descended from Loyalists who had sided with the Redcoats. When I was a kid living in Dundas, Ontario (my father taught at McMaster for a stretch in the sixties), we sang "God Save The Queen" at the beginning of every school day. For all that I know, they still do today.
In more modern times, the Canadians have continued to dislike their neighbors to the south, even if they put up with us as long as Canada was, in effect, a front-line state in the Cold War against the Soviet Union. In 1973, when the Canadian journalist Gordon Sinclair broadcast this seemingly pro-American editorial, it was turned into a record in the United States and played on the radio as if it were a top-40 hit. What most Americans did not consider was that the editorial was addressed to Canadians to remind them that America was not at the root of all that was wrong in the world. More than thirty years ago, during the height of the Cold War, anti-Americanism was a powerful strain in Canadian politics. That it remains so during the presidency of George W. Bush, probably the least popular president in foreign parts since, well, ever, should come as no surprise.
The question is, how long will it take the American left to blame Bush for this long tradition in Canadian politics? Oops, it already has!
I did a fair amount of research into "Star Wars" back in the mid-80s. The Canadians have sacrified nothing by rejecting a place at the American table.
Star Wars was begun during the Eisenhower Era. When government has not been spending anything on it, private industry has been working on spec, so it's really never stopped for the past 50 years.
An issue of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists back in 1967 set out what a successful ABM system must be able to do. Interestingly, they claimed that a "bullet hitting a bullet"-type system was indeed possible.
Problem is, the US has yet to reliably and consistently achieve even that minimal goal. The other goals they listed aren't even within theoretical reach for the next several decades.
The only thing the Canadians would have accomplished by joining up with the latest ABM/Star Wars/Missile Defense scheme would have been money for their defense contractors.
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