Bookmark and Share
Click to go to the home page.
Click to send us your comments and suggestions.
Click to learn about the publishers of and our mission.
Click to search for any word or phrase on our Website.
Click to sign up for an e-Mail notification only whenever we publish something new.
Click to remove your e-Mail address from our list immediately and permanently.
Click to read our pledge to never give or sell your e-Mail address to anyone.
Click to read our policy on re-prints and permissions.
Click for the demographics of the audience and our rates.
Click to view the patrons list and learn now to become a patron and support
Click to see job postings or post a job.
Click for links to Websites we recommend.
Click to see every cartoon we have published.
Click to read any past issue.
Click to read any think piece we have published.
Click to read any guest commentary we have published.
Click to view any of the art forms we have published.

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 in fact 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 Buffalo.

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 supremacy.

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


March 3 2005
Issue 128

is published every Thursday.

Printer Friendly Version