12.20.2005

"your retarded cousin"

Did you know that anybody in Canada "with any ambition at all, or intelligence, has left Canada and is now living in New York"?

What, you say, you are a Mensa member, brimming with ambition, and you live above the 49th parallel? No, I'm sorry, that can't be true. You and everyone you know has left for New York. I know this for a fact. And do you know how I know this?

Because Tucker Carlson said so.

Yes. Tucker Carlson, eminent sociologist, distinguished journalist, sharp-eyed trend-spotter. He said so.

Carlson knows. He's done no research, looked at no statistics, interviewed no one. He doesn't have to. He just knows.
U.S. pundits bash 'retarded cousin' Canada
By Beth Gorham
Canadian Press

Washington — Canada has been described lately by a conservative U.S. television host as "a stalker" and a "retarded cousin."

Another pundit recently asked if Canadians weren't getting "a little too big for their britches."

There's been a spate of Canada-bashing by right-wing media commentators in the United States ever since Prime Minister Paul Martin's complaints about lumber penalties and U.S. policy on climate change. His remarks prompted an unusual rebuke last week from the American ambassador.

The attacks on Canada have had web bloggers typing overtime and a non-profit group that's monitoring the trend, Media Matters for America, says it's disturbing.

Yet Paul Waldman, a senior fellow for the group, said Monday the criticism is confined to the usual faction that erupts whenever there's criticism of President George W. Bush's administration and it probably won't last past Canada's Jan. 23 election.

"There are always going to be occasions when it pops up. But Canada is never going to occupy an extraordinary amount of American thought," said Waldman.

"It's more like: 'Who can we beat on today?' It's never going to reach the heights of animosity toward France in the run-up to the Iraq war."

Last week, MSNBC host Tucker Carlson, a well-known conservative pundit, let loose with a string of anti-Canada rants.

"Anybody with any ambition at all, or intelligence, has left Canada and is now living in New York," he said.

"Canada is a sweet country. It is like your retarded cousin you see at Thanksgiving and sort of pat him on the head. You know, he's nice but you don't take him seriously. That's Canada."

Carlson also said it's pointless to tell Canada to stop criticizing the United States.

"It only eggs them on. Canada is essentially a stalker, stalking the United States, right? Canada has little pictures of us in its bedroom, right?"

"It's unrequited love between Canada and the United States. We, meanwhile, don't even know Canada's name. We pay no attention at all," he said.

The day before, Fox News host Neil Cavuto highlighted Martin's remark at a news conference that the United States is a "reticent nation" lacking a "global conscience" on climate change.

"So have the Canadians gotten a little too big for their britches?" Cavuto asked.

"Could our neighbours to the north soon be our enemies?"

Douglas MacKinnon, a press secretary to former Republican senator Bob Dole, also recently accused Canada of harbouring terrorists.

"Can Canada really be considered our friend anymore?" he asked in a recent commentary in the right-wing Washington Times newspaper.

"What other question can be asked when the Canadian government not only willingly allows Islamic terrorists into their country but does nothing to stop them from entering our nation?"
What is wrong with these people???

Don't answer that. Rhetorical question.

Retarded cousins, indeed. Apologies to developmentally disabled people everywhere. I have infinitely more respect for all of you than I do for the Tucker Carlsons and Neil Cavutos of the world.

49 comments:

James said...

"So have the Canadians gotten a little too big for their britches?"

So who is the US that they get to determine how big other people's britches are permitted to be?

L-girl said...

Yes! It's exactly like white bigots saying black people have gotten "uppity". Yessuh massa boss man, we'll jes shuffle on along...

RobfromAlberta said...

I never put much stock in the ramblings of that bow tie-wearing twit, although I think that bit about Canada being a stalker has some truth to it. We do have a pathological obsession with the US.

L-girl said...

Rob, I agree with you on all counts.

Bow-tie wearing twit, and obsession. Although I understand where the obsession comes from, living with this 800-lb gorilla in our backyard.

As if anyone at Fox News should talk about obsessions!

redsock said...

"You know what's interesting, though? You're as big a dick on your show as you are on any show."

Jon Stewart to Tucker Carlson, on CNN's Crossfire, October 15, 2004

The transcript is actually well worth reading.

L-girl said...

Stewart's appearance on CNN was his most shining moment. Probably one of the all-time great TV moments.

Lone Primate said...

All I can say is, when the Republicans take notice of you and feel the need to criticize you, you've gotta know you're on the right track.

RobfromAlberta said...

Funny thing though, Tucker Carlson is on record as being a registered Democrat, for what it's worth.

The Accidental Boyfriend said...

I did a search on blogger to find out exactly what bloggers on both sides of the border had to say about Carlson and his insane rantings. It's funny, I live in New York, and all my friends wish they could move to Canada. On behalf of my entire nation, I apologize.

Wrye said...

We know what Carlson is. But like any bully, he had no conception of what to do when someone ilike Stewart is ready and waiting for him and calmly and deliberately yanks his underwear over his head.

NOt like this is especially novel, though. I mean, WWE has been reduced to having Canadians as the villains for a few years now...

Mitch said...

So,

If we're the retarded nephew, then what does that make the States? Perhaps the lecherous, perverted uncle who only gets invited because its family, though no one really wants him around when he's had a few drinks?

Apologies to any good uncles out there...

Lone Primate said...

I never put much stock in the ramblings of that bow tie-wearing twit

Who'd have thought you could get that much mileage out of snot?

I think that bit about Canada being a stalker has some truth to it. We do have a pathological obsession with the US.

There's nothing pathological about our relationship with the US; neither should it, under the circumstances, be characterized as "obsessive". That it is, however, a preoccupation should go without saying. The US is the only country in the world with which we share a land border. Rivers, weather, pollution, wildlife, entertainment, and trends flow effortlessly back and forth. We would be utterly remiss in our duty to ourselves, and to them, if we did not focus to a large extent on that reality and the nature of it.

I fail to understand why we are constantly under pressure, from within and without, to justify the fact that much of our national character is founded on our differences from the United States. This is especially galling when that criticism is leveled from quarters in the US. Americans expect to see themselves and their cultural norms reflected wherever they go -- and yet they seem surprised by the corollary to their having defined the world entirely in self-relativistic terms is that others would re-define themselves according to the differences. They can't have it both ways. Further, the US is just as guilty of the same phenomenon vis-a-vis Great Britain. If Canadians, who founded a country in opposition to the American Revolution, are supposed to "get over it" and stop using that as a touchstone, when is the United States going to "get over it" and stop wallowing in the celebration of Minutemen, the Declaration of Independence, Bunker Hill, Yorktown, etc., not to mention the perennial soft-peddled but biting attacks on the British upper class to be found in American popular culture? If Americans need not apologize for keeping the breath in their first stirrings, why are we constantly being asking to? We're no more obliged to justify our existence or self-definition than they, or anyone else.

If, having developed a different national character, we are led to find fault with things we see going on in, or being done by, our overawing neighbour, how are we behaving badly? We are being frank with ourselves and others. This is not jealousy, this is not sour grapes, this is not spite. This is the heart and soul of being a different nation -- and, in particular, one similar enough to worry about the corrosive influences of questionable examples. It's in our own best interests to speak up in such circumstances, in a way we're not obliged to when we see examples we find questionable in, say, China, or Mozambique: these are not places with which our culture finds itself in particularly close harmony.

To be a friend of the United States is not to emulate it without thought or conscience. To stand beside the United States is not to forgive its every misdeed or never dare to suggest a higher standard. To live in harmony with the United States is not surrender one's heart or sell one's soul, forget oneself and drift in mind and spirit like a mouse in thrall of a cobra. To do any of these things without diligence and due consideration is not to be Canadian. It is already to be American in fact if not in name.

Lone Primate said...

Funny thing though, Tucker Carlson is on record as being a registered Democrat, for what it's worth.

For all pratical purposes? In this case, not much.

redsock said...

Funny thing though, Tucker Carlson is on record as being a registered Democrat, for what it's worth.

Yeah, so's Joe Lieberman. And he's so far up Bush's ass, he knows what George had for breakfast.

L-girl said...

Lone Primate, your excellent rant is right on the money. I'm remiss in using the word obsession; pre-occupation is more to the point.

Speaking only for myself, I don't think this preoccupation is unnecessary or wrong. But having lived on both sides of the border, I see the unmistakably difference - the gross imbalance - in Canadians' awareness of the US, and the US's awareness of Canada.

The best recent example I can think of is the softwood lumber issue. Ask an American about Canadian softwood lumber tarrifs, you will be met with blank stares. I'm not saying this is right, but it is.

I felt the same way when visiting the UK. The TV news was awash in US news, and you'd never see the equivalent attention paid to the UK in US news. This is may or may not be totally justifiable. Regardless, it's a big difference.

That's all I meant by obsession, though the word itself implies a negativity that I didn't mean.

L-girl said...

And he's so far up Bush's ass, he knows what George had for breakfast.

Ewwww.

G said...

I'd have posted on it, but I pay little attention to "journalists" who wear large oversized bow ties like Carlson does.

In other words, I take him as seriously as I do Don Cherry ... whom I also do not bother writing about because I'm too busy laughing.

L-girl said...

I'd have posted on it, but I pay little attention to "journalists" who wear large oversized bow ties like Carlson does.

Well, you know how trivial wmtc is... ;-)

Beausejour said...

Well, between Fox News in general (Cavuto looks like King Solomon compared to some of the trogolodytes they have) and plastic f***wits like Tucker Carlson (And I didn't read the transcript yet, but is the Jon Stewart appearance the one where he says "...but you're a NEWS channel...my show comes on after a show with trash-talking puppets!" or something similar...Jon Stewart is one of the reasons there is to have hope about spending any more time here in the US), it makes me feel good as a Canadian -- you know, riling up the biggest, loudest, drunkest hooligans usually means they're truly concerned about the opposing team.

What I find more concerning is the reaction from many 'normal' Americans when I mention that Canada does take a lot of comfort from the fact we have effectively outsourced our defense to the US (all apologies any members of the Canadian Forces here -- I was one too, but reality is that numbers don't lie). They often say some variation, polite or not of "fuckin'-A!" -- but the reality is we both benefit from this.

North America is a place with few borders period. The US shares its borders with 2 large, relatively peaceful countries that really don't wish wage war nor 'convert' the US to believe or adopt their system.

2 foriegn borders only! And still, they have plans to build a big wall along one of those borders...

Tell me again about how we're the retarded cousin?

G said...

Just broke my own rule.

Couldn't resist adding a touch of perspective.

Stop by for a chuckle!

Lone Primate said...

What I find more concerning is the reaction from many 'normal' Americans when I mention that Canada does take a lot of comfort from the fact we have effectively outsourced our defense to the US

This is another old saw I take issue with. The US would be spending what it's spending on defence with or without us next door. We're not forcing them to spend a nickel they wouldn't otherwise.

On the flip side, it's true we're one of the NATO members spending the least on defence. But look where we are. We're not in Europe, which traditionally has had -- not to be too cute here -- issues. We're in North America. The only country on Earth with a reasonable chance of invading us in the first place is the United States itself. This is peacetime for us; aside from sending troops abroad to keep combatants apart, someone, please, tell me WHY we ought to beggar ourselves just to symbolically top up the testosterone levels? To impress a bunch of people abroad? What, Vimy Ridge and Juno Beach didn't demonstrate our resolve? Frankly, I don't care if foreigners think we're one of Uncle Sam's ablest little sonovabitches or not. I'm more concerned with how we live day to day here than with the fantasic idea that anyone could actually invade us, with or without a superpower on our doorstep. I resent the idea that we've abdicated our own defense simply because we aren't sweating blood like other people, or because the United States has seen fit to militarily hyperventilate since Pearl Harbor. That's their choice. I'd hate to think I'm falling down on the job if I don't line my lawn with land mines just because Dale Gribble next door does.

RobfromAlberta said...

The only country on Earth with a reasonable chance of invading us in the first place is the United States itself.

Invasion is so 20th century. Asymmetrical warfare is the new paradigm and you have to be able to project power to counter it, lest some psycho in Crazyasabedbugistan hides a nuke in a shipping container and takes out one of your major ports.

Beausejour said...

Lone...my point is that there is a spillover effect both ways from living next door to Dale Gribble...the effect being that you may not get many, uh, "visitors" in such a neighborhood.

We have each other to thank for the quiet we do have on this continent.

And continentally speaking, it's a pretty small neighborhood. (Not like the virtual cul-de-sac that is Australia but I digress...)

I am probably the most guilty Canadian in the US about being that thing we loathe Americans for -- proud of my country's military heritage (A. Because I was actually in the Army and B. I'm frankly the only guy around here who KNOWS our military history -- I still bristle every time I see a momument to WWII that says 1941-1945 because I know we'd been slaughtered in Dieppe by then). Logistically, we're just too damn big with too few people to effectively defend, and so we would expect to rely on the 'kindness' of our neighbors to make sure we're not overrun.

(In case the NSA is reading this -- "kindness" is acheived by diplomacy, or maybe in extreme cases, diplomacy and military action, but you can't solely bomba nation into peace -- the two go hand in hand, something to think about in these trying times elsewhere on the globe, you know, over in the middle east or sumthin' -- pass this nugget along the the praetorian guard monitoring the functional illiterate running this place please, thanks, appreciate it)

But the US and its military would be very different if it abutted up against today's Saudi Arabia...or China...or anyone else except Canada and Mexico.

And as for testosterone and memories of Pearl Harbor, remember this country did get attacked on 9/11 - as some high-level democrat pointed out (Maybe it was Chuck Schumer from NY, not sure), if the President had asked then for the powers he took for himself in the current Spook-gate scandal, they would likely have been granted in that atmosphere we lived in then.

It was a shocking blow to this country. And we as Canadians are naive to think it couldn't happen in Toronto, or Vancouver, or elsewhere. It's not because of our foreign policy, or our human rights record, or our peacekeeping efforts, or the perception of Canada around the world. It's simply that we were not as interesting a target.

I admit there are forces out there who hate what we stand for as Westerners, as North Americans, as "christians", whatever term you like. They may pretend to be Muslim or whatever.

The response to them, even after a 9/11, should be discussion (read diplomacy) and if needed, armed response -- not the demonizing of an enemy that is actually pretty small in number and the dunning of a whole region/religion.

I'm done ranting....

James said...

Invasion is so 20th century. Asymmetrical warfare is the new paradigm and you have to be able to project power to counter it, lest some psycho in Crazyasabedbugistan hides a nuke in a shipping container and takes out one of your major ports.

Which is not something that beefing up your military or investing in a missile defense system actually helps with...

RobfromAlberta said...

Which is not something that beefing up your military or investing in a missile defense system actually helps with...

Missile defense, no, but having the ability to quickly put a few thousand soldiers in a country like Afghanistan in order to hunt down terrorist groups is a very important capability. Having the ability to participate in the stabilization and reconstruction of countries like Afghanistan is equally important. We currently have both capabilities (except for the heavy airlift capability), but it is a significant strain. Our forces are being overdeployed. So yes, beefing up our military is necessary.

Wrye said...

There's nothing pathological about our relationship with the US; neither should it, under the circumstances, be characterized as "obsessive". That it is, however, a preoccupation should go without saying.

Indeed. See also, US paranoia about Mexico

Lone Primate said...

Asymmetrical warfare is the new paradigm and you have to be able to project power to counter it, lest some psycho in Crazyasabedbugistan hides a nuke in a shipping container and takes out one of your major ports.

Sorry, I'm more convinced an equitable world economy will achieve this than jackboots and Revenge of the Fascist Nerds reading my e-mail.

Lone Primate said...

I still bristle every time I see a momument to WWII that says 1941-1945 because I know we'd been slaughtered in Dieppe by then

Exactly. Just Sunday night I watched a show where some American character opined of World War I "But that war stared in 1917". How abominably ignorant can you get? 85% of the people who died in WWI were already dead before the first doughboy signed up. Why are we defending our commitment to democracy to such people because we refuse to impoverish ourselves during peacetime? Sorry, I'm not about to eat that and call it ice cream.

so we would expect to rely on the 'kindness' of our neighbors to make sure we're not overrun.

By whom? Nevermind the abstracts; talk to me in practicalities. Who on Earth is in actually a position to do this?

And as for testosterone and memories of Pearl Harbor, remember this country did get attacked on 9/11

Remember that that was from within.

we as Canadians are naive to think it couldn't happen in Toronto, or Vancouver, or elsewhere.

We as Canadians are naive if we engage in such activities abroad as make us likely targets for such activities. These people are not indiscriminate. They know who their real enemies are.

It's not because of our foreign policy, or our human rights record, or our peacekeeping efforts, or the perception of Canada around the world. It's simply that we were not as interesting a target.

Then why were Australians targeted and not us? Why does the Massad favour Canadian passports over Australian or US passports?

L-girl said...

I haven't caught up on this thread yet - just wanted to ask, is this:

See also, US paranoia about Mexico

serious or sarcastic?

L-girl said...

OK. Caught up now.

This...

And as for testosterone and memories of Pearl Harbor, remember this country did get attacked on 9/11

is just ridiculous.

As if anyone could possibly forget? As if the US hasn't used 9/11 as an excuse for everything on earth, foreign and domestic, since 9/12/01? As if they didn't know it was coming? As if all the policies weren't already in place, waiting for the excuse?

It was a shocking blow to this country.

Yeah yeah yeah. Shocking blow, shocking blow, blow the rest of the world up because of one shocking blow.

No need to invoke 9/11 here. I know you are Canadian, but please wave that flag somewhere else. Everything we find distasteful about the US was in place pre-9/11. It's only been magnified since then.

L-girl said...

And as for testosterone and memories of Pearl Harbor, remember this country did get attacked on 9/11

Remember that that was from within.


You said it, baby. In more ways than one.

RobfromAlberta said...

Sorry, I'm more convinced an equitable world economy will achieve this than jackboots and Revenge of the Fascist Nerds reading my e-mail.

Well, when the benevolent space aliens come to earth and solve all our problems for us, we can beat all our swords into plowshares. In the meantime, we're going to have to accept that some people want to kill us and we have to be prepared to fight back.

Lone Primate said...

As if they didn't know it was coming? As if all the policies weren't already in place, waiting for the excuse?

I sometimes find myself suspecting this too. I don't mean to suggest they knew the attack on the WTC per se was going to happen. But I think you're right inasmuch as they had an agenda, and were just biding their time till something happened to make it saleable. And, sooner or later, something was bound to.

Lone Primate said...

In the meantime, we're going to have to accept that some people want to kill us and we have to be prepared to fight back.

The thing is, I'm really sure that's what the guys who flew into the WTC were thinking when they cooked it up. I imagine that's what's going on in the minds of people who strap on dynamite. It's certainly the point of view of the guys attacking Coalition troops in Iraq; it's why Iran may or may not be building the Bomb; on and on and on. Since the West is in the position of power in all this, maybe we should be the ones to step back and let everyone else breathe. It won't solve everything or satisfy everyone, but it would probably go a long way towards doing so. It would be a start.

L-girl said...

I don't mean to suggest they knew the attack on the WTC per se was going to happen.

You can suggest it. You can flat-out say it.

I didn't think it was possible, either. I couldn't, wouldn't get my mind around the idea for the longest time. I knew they were exploiting the attacks and 9/11 fit perfectly with their agenda. But opportunistics are different than architects, and I drew the line there.

But the more I read (courtesy of Redsock), the more I moved in that direction. Now it seems [almost] impossible to see it any other way. There's a veritable Everest of evidence and "coincidence".

L-girl said...

opportunistics

Make that opportunists. Typo.

Lone Primate said...

Well, when the benevolent space aliens come to earth and solve all our problems for us

Maybe it's time we started solving all our problems for us instead of just slapping on our Napoleon hats and beating everyone who has a different agenda into grudging, simmering submission every time we turn around. Then maybe the benevolent space aliens will have someplace decent to spend their tourist credits when they show up. I know it implies a risk we might not get our own way all the time, but that's only the Eleventh Commandment in our own minds.

RobfromAlberta said...

Since the West is in the position of power in all this, maybe we should be the ones to step back and let everyone else breathe.

The Third World doesn't need our help to kill each other and we aren't the source of all the world's problems. Hutus will still slaughter Tutsis, Sunnis will still fight Shiites and Pakistanis will still battle Indians whether we take an interest or not. All we do if we step back, as you say, is to allow regional powers free hand to dominate weaker neighbours. You seem to suggest that somehow the West is morally bankrupt while the Third World is a garden of virtue just waiting to bloom, but humans are the same all over. Those with less will envy those with more and some will resort to violence to take what they want.

RobfromAlberta said...

Maybe it's time we started solving all our problems for us instead of just slapping on our Napoleon hats and beating everyone who has a different agenda into grudging, simmering submission every time we turn around.

We've had ten thousand years of civilization to figure it out and no luck so far. But please, if you have the answers, by all means, enlighten us.

Beausejour said...

I don't think anyone ought to blow the rest of the world up at all, and the more I hear on 9/11 the more I get sick to my stomach that it may have been more than opportunism on the part of this current regime. My point is that the American psyche felt under attack -- exploited though as it was by its leaders.

I'm no Bush apologist (In fact, I think they're war criminals and not just in that 'crazy left wing' kinda way everyone rolls their eyes at when you say it, I mean really really seriously) -- but I was also annoyed with the smugness of some Canadians after it happened, as though "well you got what you deserved and it would never happen here because were too nice/charitable/friendly/safe/etc". it's simply unrealistic to think that way.

The Mossad uses Canadian passports (as do a lot of other secret services) because we're non-entities on the world stage and it's an easy way to "hide" an American (and that reminds me, while i remember it, everyone should go see Syriana), we're bland. there's probably a lot of Belgian, Dutch etc passports being used too. But don't cofnuse that with the idea that someone in these organizations say "Use a Canadian one, everyone LOVES Canadians!"

L-girl said...

(In fact, I think they're war criminals and not just in that 'crazy left wing' kinda way everyone rolls their eyes at when you say it, I mean really really seriously)

Most people around here (wmtc) do, too. I know I do, and my partner, and plenty of other people we respect.

but I was also annoyed with the smugness of some Canadians after it happened, as though "well you got what you deserved and it would never happen here because were too nice/charitable/friendly/safe/etc". it's simply unrealistic to think that way.

The "get what you deserve" angle is never right, since the individual people killed are not themselves responsible for US govt policy - any more than individual Iraqis killed by Cheney and Rumsfeld's bombs are responsible for... what is it again they were supposed to have done? Hid WMDs or been ruled by a dictator or somehow gotten US oil stuck under their sand...?

redsock said...

Some good things to read about the wackiness of the official conspiracy theory and US complicity, if not downright orchestration, of 9/11:

First of all, Paul Thompson's book The Terror Timeline. A jawdropping collection of mainstream media news articles and government reports.

Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmen's The War On Freedom one of the first books to seriously question the official 9/11 theory -- and still one of the best -- and his amazing follow-up The War on Truth.

See also David Ray Griffin's two books -- The New Pearl Harbor (he includes a chapter devoted to an essay I wrote with Thomspon) and The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions.

And The Coincidence Theorist's Guide to 9/11 -- from one of my favourite bloggers.

Obviously we don't know exactly who was behind 9/11 -- though as far as names we'd recognize, I'd start with Cheney, Rumsfeld and Myers -- but to think (as we're supposed to believe) it was 19 guys taking orders from some evil doer in a cave is as silly as thinking Oswald acted alone.

redsock said...

Lone Primate wrote:

I sometimes find myself suspecting this too. I don't mean to suggest they knew the attack on the WTC per se was going to happen. But I think you're right inasmuch as they had an agenda, and were just biding their time till something happened to make it saleable. And, sooner or later, something was bound to.

Not that I'm trying to convert you, but ... read Thompson's book.

And if it doesn't change your thinking on 9/11 -- or at least make you say Holy Fucking Shit! every other page -- I'll buy it back from you.

Deal?

(Actually The War on Truth is just as powerful, more so in some respects, but I'm partial to Thompson's book (since I helped him with parts of it.)

redsock said...

Oops -- the essay I co-wrote is here.

CCR is an amazing site.

Lone Primate said...

The Third World doesn't need our help to kill each other

Tens of thousands of dead Iraqis could have done without Western "help".

we aren't the source of all the world's problems

No, but those when we are tend to be doozies.

All we do if we step back, as you say, is to allow regional powers free hand to dominate weaker neighbours.

Often all we accomplish when we get involved is to dominate them in lieu of their neighbours. And indications are, clearly, it's rarely appreciated. It's one thing if the Cypriots invite you in to keep the tensions cool; quite another if you crash in to kick ass and chew bubblegum.

Those with less will envy those with more and some will resort to violence to take what they want.

See, if Bush had just admitted that from the outset instead of launching all this "WMD" guff, at least he wouldn't have sullied the name and concept of democracy in prying the lid off all that oil.

We've had ten thousand years of civilization to figure it out and no luck so far.

Yeah, and slavery was an institution that would "always" be with us in the minds of people like John C. Calhoun. Just because they couldn't admit the injustice of the system they were used to and couldn't imagine taking the steps to amend it didn't mean they were correct in their views or morally upstanding. Things change, in spite of apologists; slavery was with us for those tens of thousands of years of yours too, but that was no justification for it.

some Canadians...though "well... it would never happen here because were too nice/charitable/friendly/safe/etc". it's simply unrealistic to think that way.

It is? What basis do you have for believing that acting wtih good will instead of militarism towards other people is not noted and appreciated by them? Several members of the Coalition of the Willing have been attacked since the invastion of Iraq, but I don't believe any of us who refused to support the invasion have. I don't see that as coincidental. There are no absolutes, but simple logic suggests that our policies towards the Middle East make us much, much less likely to be targetted.

The Mossad uses Canadian passports (as do a lot of other secret services) because we're non-entities on the world stage and it's an easy way to "hide" an American

Another way of saying this is we don't do things that would tend to discriminate against us at border crossings. Far from being "non-entities on the world stage", we're seen an honest broker; a middle power with few axes to grind and no real enemies. Perhaps you'd like to gratuitously change that? I rather would not.

RobfromAlberta said...

Things change, in spite of apologists; slavery was with us for those tens of thousands of years of yours too, but that was no justification for it.

It still is. We don't practice it in the West, but slavery is alive and well in much of the world. Until you can fundamentally change the human condition, violence and oppression will persist. The fact that our population is outstripping our resources and that many Third World countries are industrializing is only going to magnify the problem. I'm sorry, lp, your idealism is admirable, but you're simply not living in the real world. Within the next century, the combined effects of environmental degradation, overpopulation and resource depletion are going to come crashing down on our heads like a ton of bricks and those who lack the will to fight are not going to fare well.

Beausejour said...

Nope, i wouldn't change it at all -- my issue is with Canadian sanctimony on these things. We spend a little too much time navel-gazing and less time using those long ballyhooed "Middle power, honest broker" powers to better effect. THEN we could be sanctimonious! :)

(And as a reminder, this from a Canadian living the US who happens to think Canada is the better country, I might add!)

Beausejour said...

"It is? What basis do you have for believing that acting wtih good will instead of militarism towards other people is not noted and appreciated by them? Several members of the Coalition of the Willing have been attacked since the invastion of Iraq, but I don't believe any of us who refused to support the invasion have."

Again, don't confuse opportunity and target-rich environments (like London, Madrid, Indonesia -- exactly how many Indonesian troops are there too? http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/03/20030327-10.html) with a return of this 'goodwill' you mention.

Some of these people simply do not like the West too -- they have tortured their religion to come up with an excuse, but they are victims of the same kind of thinking that allows the Hitlers, Stalins and Bushes of the world to take over. Hatred is hatred. If they had destroyed the US, UK, Spain, whereever, they would just as assuredly come after Canada at some point. There's no explanation of evil.

Beausejour said...

...and mercifully, I think these people who may not like the West are very few in number -- not like the media would like everyone to believe, that everyone with a Koran is at least suspect if not preparing an explosives belt at thois very moment.