Us and Them
So you heard the one about the senior Canadian government official calling US President George ‘Dubya’ Bush a ‘moron’? Couldn’t really miss it if you live in Canada, and probably did miss it if you live anywhere else. What’s the big deal you may ask. Well there is a certain amount of something called ‘diplomacy’ which is needed when dealing with international relations. Unless you are going to bomb the crap out of someone, you should refrain from calling them names, like moron or Axis of Evilite. Its not good government.
Leno & Letterman have probably called Bush a moron – or something akin. Most satirical commentators the world wide have at least inferred it in their editorials. So why the uproar when a Canadian government official (read: Chretien lackey) does? It comes down to two points; the Canadian government is arrogant to the point of over estimating their power on the international stage. And second, there was only an uproar in Canada. Oh sure, some far right wing commentators called Canadians wimps for not spending enough on defence. But that tells me that A) the commentators couldn’t really come up with anything worse to say (oh yeah well your streets are too clean and your boring, so there!) and B) it was a slow news day.
Canadians have a tendency to feel slighted when Americans don’t pay attention to us, but on the other hand, get angry when they do. The old adage goes: even bad publicity is good publicity. You would think it would be the same thing in Canada – but no. When CNN’s ‘Crossfire’ had two talking heads arguing about whether Canada is a good ally or not based on our history in Afghanistan versus our trade disputes and name calling – the American population didn’t even bat an eye. CNN had a story which basically said ‘oh some Canadian person called Bush a moron, reaction from the Whitehouse was muted – Whitehouse spokesperson said ‘We understand she does not speak for the feelings of the Canadian government’. There end of story. In Canada however, there was no end to the hand wringing worried about a serious damage in Canada – US relations. Give me a break, Pat Buchanan calls us Commies, old boy Senators say they should point some nukes at Canada to gain some leverage in trade disputes over wheat and we are worried about permanent damage to our international relations? North Korea recently said they are making nukes to try and take over the world, yet US spokespeople have reiterated time and time again that they are willing to talk to North Korea and establish a better dialogue. But some Chretien Yes-Woman called Bush a moron – end of the world.
That takes me to Chretien thinking he’s all that in the international stage. Look, Canada is a middle power on the basis of GDP alone, we have no army so the only thing holding us up is our economy (and that’s gone too after the competitive disadvantages of Kyoto kick in). We’re in the G7, and that is about the only leverage we have with the States. That’s why there are major US – Canada trade disputes on a regular basis. Canada will supply roughly 22% of US natural gas in the future; if we cut that off they would have serious economic hardship. By the same token OPEC only accounts for a couple percent of the crude oil imported by the US and yet they are willing to use force to keep supplies on tap. Where am I going on this… oh yeah, my point is Canada worries about the US lack of knowledge of all things Canadian. But when they pick some little tidbit up on their collective CNN inspired conscious, we worry that relations will be strained, never to recover. I say, don’t worry about it; we have an economic trump card that won’t be bested by some stupid bureaucrat who mumbles something under her breath while reporters are around. (Who’s the real moron here?) And don’t worry about Francoise Ducros, I’m sure Chretien will set her up with a cushy appointment – maybe ambassador to the Bahamas, all on tax payer money.
That is not to say the US never gives Canada little shots either. Remember the outcry iN Canada when President Bush, in a speech to Congress, thanked countries all over the world for giving the US support after 9/11? He did not mention Canada. On September 20th, 2001 – he thanked Brits, the French & the Germans, South Korea, Australians and countries in ‘Africa and Latin America’.
After the speech, a Chretien spin-doctor was asked to put a slant on Bush’s speech. The aide said: “If it is anything, it is an indication that our support goes without saying.”
Guess who that was..
Finally to those worried about the US expanding their hegemony to include Canada: don’t. The last thing the US wants in their country is a bunch of immigrant-filled, Commie wannabe, gun hating, environment saving, economy killing boy scouts, from the Great White North, who say aboot and base their nationalism on a beer commercial. You see – I’m allowed to say that, cause I am Canadian.
- Us and Them
- by MaxPower
- Published on December 1st, 2002
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