Canada is affectionately referred
to as “our neighbor
to the north.” Millions of American school children, and a fair
number of adults, are even under the misapprehension that it is
one of the fifty states. The two countries share the longest undefended
border on earth and Americans
don’t have to produce a visa when they drive to Canada from Detroit or
Those days of conviviality may be over, thanks to our crazed and arrogant
political leadership. Ever since the days of Ronald Reagan, defense hawks have
been peddling the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), commonly known as Star
Wars. The idea behind SDI is that incoming missiles can be shot out of the
sky, just like in science fiction films.
Every test for SDI has failed. It survives because defense contractors and
their political friends won’t give up when there is a chance to make millions
of dollars. Canadians are luckier. They have no military industrial complex,
or bizarre notions of national pride. They said no to the missile shield fantasy.
Our ally was immediately informed that it had no rights which America need
respect, such as rights to sovereignty over its territory. “We will deploy,” said
American ambassador Paul Cellucci. Canadian Prime Minister Paul
Martin was forced to sound like a lowly third world potentate. "This
is our airspace, we're a sovereign nation and you don't intrude on a sovereign
nation's airspace without seeking permission."
In the bad old days only brown skinned nations that ran afoul of U.S. whims
had to grovel in the dirt. Now a mostly white, capitalist country that borders
Montana, Minnesota and Maine is begging not to be mistreated.
The effort to make America hated and or feared is continuing unabated. It
is quite awful for this country and for the entire world. But just as clouds
have silver linings, this bad behavior from the Bushmen may have a positive
unintended consequence, assuming they don’t get us all killed first.
The international community is simply ignoring the United States. Thank goodness.
While Americans rant that Iran should not be part of the exclusive nuclear
club, Russian president Vladimir Putin has put us on notice that he intends
to strengthen relations with the country next on American’s hit list. At a
joint news conference with Dubya, Putin restated his intention to help Iran
develop nuclear technology.
To get an idea of how relations arrived at this juncture, imagine this scenario.
A friend says that he intends to rob a bank. He’ll even throw some money your
way if you help him out. You respond politely that he is in greater need of
mental health care than extra cash. He ignores you, attempts to rob the bank
and ends up in a shoot out with police. The friend then pleads with you to
stand between him and a hail of bullets.
Like the hypothetical nutty pal who goes on a crime spree, Condi Rice met
with French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder
to soften them up before her boss came by and asked for post bank robbery assistance.
She said they were obligated to help in Iraq. After all, what good is an alliance
that doesn’t allow for bailing out a supposed friend?
Americans are split into two camps. One loves their insane leaderships and
is happy that the rest of the world doesn’t. The other is justifiably frightened
but unable to stop the juggernaut. There is no credible opposition to assist
the sane, reality-based group. All they have is the Democratic party. Unfortunately,
the words credible and opposition just don’t apply to them.
Prime ministers, presidents and ambassadors will make nice and have Dubya
over for dinner, but they will politely tell him to kiss off. These men and
women are our salvation.
A sidelined America is a less dangerous America. Imagine the disastrous consequences
if there was more than one Tony Blair toadying for Bush. There would be little
standing in the way of the pirates and their awful ideas about American global
Now even Canada knows that it can’t trust its close neighbor and trading partner.
Is it delusional to think that Canada could end up like Iraq? God help them
if Americans greedy for oil begin to look north. Before you can say Halliburton
the country would be occupied and privatized by Dick Cheney’s friends.
On the other hand, maybe a mistrustful and frightened world will keep America
in line. As of now, that is our only hope.
Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in Ms.
Kimberley is a freelance writer living in New York City. She can
be reached via e-Mail at [email protected].
You can read more of Ms. Kimberley's writings at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com/