Oh Canada

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There
has been an embarrassing and inexplicable development taking place
on the editorial pages of a number of US publications. What had
been a singularly unattractive undercurrent of malicious whispers
amongst some members of the governing elite and their self-absorbed
chroniclers who so slavishly hang on every crumb thrown by them,
has recently oozed to the surface. It is a sentiment which doesn't
deserve to see the light of day but now that it has it demands a
response. I speak of anti-Canadianism.

Why
a person of any education and experience would believe the worst
about Canada is difficult to grasp. Canada is a nation continental
is size and scope, encompassing a vast array of spectacular natural
resources, a number of highly sophisticated urban areas and home
to an ethnically diverse, well educated, good-hearted, freedom-loving
populace. A nation should deem themselves lucky to be considered
a friend by such a highly developed and successful society. And
considering the mess we're currently in and how badly we need all
the friends we can get, to turn a cold shoulder to the best of friends
is the act of an idiot.

For
the record: Canada is the greatest neighbor any nation has ever
had. And that is not an opinion, is it a fact. A position supported
by the longest unfortified border in the world, its long-term status
as our largest single trading partner and, in what is the defining
aspect of the argument, that our two peoples intermingle as one
in border communities from coast to coast and vacation destinations
from the tropics to the Arctic. Accordingly anyone who attempts
to besmirch the reputation and stature of this great country is
deserving of all resulting ridicule.

Exhibit
A: the cover of this week's edition of the National Review.
There over a photograph of a color guard of Royal Mounted Police
proudly holding the Maple Leaf is imprinted the word, WIMPS. If
you find yourself in the demographic that the research done on behalf
of the people who made the decision to run with that cover showed
you would positively respond to it, you should be ashamed of yourself.
But your shame pales to that of the man who wrote the accompanying
piece, Mr. Jonah Goldberg.

Mr.
Goldberg, how dare you so egregiously slander a nation whose sons
and daughters have fought side by side with American and allied
forces in every major war of the twentieth century? The only exception
to that record being a conflict that we would have been better off
skipping ourselves: Vietnam. For you to question either the courage
or good sense of the Canadian people is way beyond your capacity.
Your piece is mean-spirited pap based entirely on mindless boilerplate
and you should be ashamed to be the author of it.

Joining
him in his public display of ignorance and intolerance has been
none other than that worldly sophisticate, Patrick Buchanan. His
pathetic contribution to the discourse has been to give new life
to the term Canuakistan, as a non-complimentary euphemism for Canada.
Mr. Buchanan is not the first to use the phrase but the most prominent
and least deserving to be ignored.

The
thought behind this etymological bastard is based on a sentiment
held by some on the right that Canada's flirtation with socialism
– most prominently in their nationalized medical programs –
somehow lessens their integrity and allegiance to the cause. Proof
that the rabid fear of the Red Menace still holds reason at bay
in many on the conservative side of the coin. Couple this with Mr.
Buchanan's more justified fear of the threat from Islamic fascism
and the result is for him to make his most outrageous statement:
that Canada has become a "haven for terrorists." That
not one of the 19 murderers who struck on That Day entered this
country from Canada, received any of their training in Canada nor
any visible means of support from there at all is obviously irrelevant
in Mr. Buchanan's slanderous flights of fantasy.

Even
a man of far greater wit and wisdom, Thomas Freidman, gets in on
the act, albeit in a much milder fashion. Writing in Sunday, November
17th's, New York Times he states, "The ‘new
NATO’ is made up of three like-minded English-speaking allies –
America, Britain and Australia – with France as a partner for
peace, depending on the war. What these four core countries all
have in common is that they are sea powers, with a tradition of
fighting abroad, with the ability to transport troops around the
world and with mobile special forces that have an ‘attitude.’ That
is what you need to deal with today's threats." Amazingly,
this curt dismissal from the ranks of the loyal and trustworthy
comes within months of Canadian troops playing a major role in the
fighting in the Tora Bora mountain campaign and losing four of their
comrades to an American "friendly fire" incident.

To
all Canadians – particularly those who flatter us on the central
Gulf Coast of Florida with their choice of home for the winter –
please forgive the rambles of these men and others who write such
drivel. They by no means represent even a sizable minority in this
country for the very simple reason: they know not of what they speak.

November
22, 2002

Michael
Shannon [send him mail] is
a progressive freelance writer who has four young sons that he does
not want to be swallowed up by a ravenous state.

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