As a devout and impartial Canadian, I (along with many others I'm sure) have some bones to pick with the unfolding of events in recent months. What remained for a long time semi-political thoughts about the war on terrorism kept to myself and only revealed to friends at parties where my inebriation muddled the message somewhat, have abruptly become up-front personal views that I would not hesitate to discuss at any moment.
The turning point from grassroots rambler to grassroots politico came one day at the office as I read the daily news from www.pulse24.com.. I need my news live and late breaking. One (or two - like it matters) US laser-guided bombs found their way to a squad of Canadian troops in Afghanistan killing 4 and injuring several during a training exercise. Now, I won't even begin to go into how stupid I think the whole military exercise in Afghanistan is. Okay I will.
Now, you've probably heard this time and time again, but it remains a fact that the war on 'terrorism' is flawed in at least two respects: one, in that 'terrorism' does not occupy a set geographical land mass with which to be readily bombable (the Onion has a great article on this) thus disabling the US from doing just about anything to it except to acknowledge that it will be around for a long long time, and two; in that the war is being waged on a very loose interpretation of 'terrorism'. I point the learned readership to a talk by Noam Chomsky on the whole topic because he will be better able to give a background on that than I ever will. There is arguably a third flaw - that war is stupid - but I am willing to discount this since, although stupid, war and violence as a whole is regrettably effective.
Not to cherrypick, but it seems that the United States has more proverbial fingers in more proverbial pies than it knows what to do with.
The whole issue of them funding the same group of Afghani fighters fighting against Russia at the time that turned around and blew up in their face is just one of many blunders their foreign policy has committed. This coupled with the fact they didn't provide evidence of Bin Laden's direct involvement before condemning him and, vicariously, the poverty-stricken nation he occupied at the time, and also oppose such apparently normal and common-sensical things like the Ottawa Convention on the Prohibition of Landmines as well as the International Criminal Court (Michael Byers, Globe and Mail, April 18th, 2002, p.A13 - web version of article can be found here) doesn't exactly give them much credibility in the eyes of the world when they leap forth and proclaim they fight for freedom and won't take no crap from nobody.
I, for one, never really elected the United States to be my defender. In fact in the face of terrorism, all their military might is really good for is not to protect against attack, but rather to exact blind, vengeful acts on a populace which doesn't deserve anymore than what they've already been through. The same Globe article mentioned above talks about a proposed 'Northern Command' that would put our nonexistent forces under the command of General Yankee Tankenheimer. I really hope this doesn't come into effect, at least not without some serious conditions and/or exceptions, as there are far too many differences in our countries' respective foreign affairs and domestic public attitudes for one to literally be 'burdened' with the other: if the States want to shoot up the world, I wouldn't want Canada to have to tag along like an unwilling younger sibling. Likewise, I wouldn't want to be accused of hindering a superpower in its pursuit of 'Enduring Freedom'. Although I have been labelled thick-skinned, I don't think I'd be able to withstand sniper fire from unidentified gunmen sent to shut me up.
All I have left to say on the topic is that the US is getting too involved in everything and pissing too many people off. How long can Canada withstand being its top trade partner and not start to draw attention to itself?
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