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Oh, Canada
November 19, 2002
By Michael Shannon

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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. Is it 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 to 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 pails to that of the man who wrote the accompanying piece, Mr. Jonah Goldberg.

Mr. Goldberg, how dare 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 derogatory term "Canuckistan." 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 -- some how 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 comrade to an American "friendly fire" incident.

To all Canadian -- 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.

 
You may contact Michael Shannon at shnnn613@cs.com.

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