The Shotgun Blog
Saturday, February 26, 2005
We let our friends down
The Halifax Herald editorializes:
"... Americans understandably feel let down. Mr. Martin first backed participation in missile defence. When it proved unpopular with the public and his party, he didn't try to win support for what he supposedly believed in.
At bottom, Washington wanted our moral support. Instead, Mr. Martin caved to anti-American sentiment in his party. The Americans can hardly see this as other than weak and fickle."
During a conversation with my 14-year-old son this week he explained how he saw Paul Martin's BMD snub: Canada and the United States are friends and even if we don't think we (Canada) will ever need missile defense, our friend south of the border desperately wants and needs it. But deep down we know we need it too and furthermore we know that our friends, the Americans, will place us under the protection of missile defense if for no other reason than as a form of self-defense for themselves. Therefore, we are free-loading. But true friends don't free-load. Canada has become like the friend who will never pick up the bill for lunch.
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Don't think of them has Canada's foriegn and defence policies. Think of them as Quebec's and Martin's absurd postion on missile defence will make perfect sense. The basic Quebecois ideology is isolationist, pacifistic, selfish and anti-American. French Quebec barely put in a sad half-hearted effort against Hitler. In 60 years nothing has changed. These are, not surprisingly, also the core beliefs of the Liberals and the organs of state (i.e. the CBC) that they have spawned and mutually support.
Posted by: M Shannon | 2005-02-26 10:30:46 PM
Are we feeloading?....or covered under the defense umbrella?
Lets say the US has 5 incoming missles. Many detractors are saying that the best way to defeat BMD is to overload it. Lets also say 4 are headed for the US and 1 to Canada. I would bet the US would concentrate their efforts to knock down the 4 aimed at them and ignore the other one!
Lets face reality, when it is said that Canada is under the umbrella, it means that Canada is where the missles will be shot down passing over us enroute to the US. If There was only 1 incomming into Canada and none going to the US, then I would expect the Americans to try and intercept it, mostly just to get the practice in so they would be more efficient at knocking down ones targeting the US later.
Posted by: Headshaker | 2005-02-27 6:22:29 AM
M Shannon - I agree with you that Quebec is isolationist and anti-American (anti-anyone-who is 'les anglais'). It is interesting that Quebec still expects to be protected and supported by these 'peasants' = les anglais.
However, Martin did not act as a leader; he did not provide his outline of why he supported BMD nor even, why he decided against it. If a leader explains a position clearly and above all, explains his support for it - people will accept that position. Martin is worse than useless.
Headshaker - your comments are filled with prejudicial emotive assumptions - where you attempt to point out that the US would either ignore a missile on its way to Canada or would, if it chose to shoot it down, do so only as 'practice'.
You are setting up a scenario where you first make the unproven claim that the US does not/would not take Canada seriously - and this indifference leaves you very angry.
First- what's your proof that the US doesn't take Canada seriously? And second, IF this is valid, then why should it take Canada seriously? Does Canada deserve to be taken seriously?
Just 'existing' as a blob of forests and ice is not enough; what does Canada do in the world that merits that serious attention should be paid to its existence and its decisions? Does Canada make decisions based on serious thought or do its leaders make decisions only enabling them to stay in power? Does Canada contribute in any serious vein to world affairs?
Does Canada take the US seriously? No- it takes the US for a fool, consistently and publicly and endlessly stating that its leaders and its people are 'rogues', are 'evil', are 'warlike', while at the same time, informing all and everyone that, on the other hand, Canadians are 'good', peaceful, tolerant, open, diverse and all the other blather we mutter to ourselves to delude ourselves about reality.
The fact is, Canada is a non-entity on the world scene, it is more and more isolationist, indifferent, and irrelevant, refusing to participate in anything other than leader's photo-ops, doing nothing other than earnest rhetoric and pompous smug talk, endlessly proclaiming how wonderful it is.
Posted by: ET | 2005-02-27 6:56:24 AM
I'm no expert on international relations, but even to me it seems obvious that we have finally crossed a line where we can no longer claim to be an ally of the United States. We haven't yet moved to the France model of open hostility to the United States on foreign policy, and since economics is the only thing that appears to matter to Canadians, we will want to keep trading with the Americans. I too, believe that Quebec and its control of the Liberal party are at the root of this. However, most Canadians now appear to accept the Quebec model. We aren't just becoming neutral in world affairs, but have become pacifists.
The problem for Stephen Harper is that most Canadians don't see any of this as a problem.
Posted by: Jeff Eirich | 2005-02-27 7:45:52 AM
ET, in many ways you right to suggest that my arguements are emotional and I'll take your word that they are prejudicial in some way. Perhaps you feel when I make statements on what may happen in the future can be taken in that vein.
However, I think you answer your own question when you ask what proof there is that the US doesn't take Canada seriously when you admit that Canada is a non-entity in world affairs. Martins actions and plans enhance that perception ie the G20 plan and Martins's statements on Syrian peacekeepers, softwood lumber, BSG and I could go on and on....
Fortunatly we have a forum here where these issues can acually be discussed and I'm very appreciative to have it. I agree mostly with your point of view but differ as to what the perceptions are south of the border and thats where I get in trouble with my emotions. I just hate seeing that our politcal system is being controlled by a minority who don't view the US as a friend and partner,but as a competitor or even an enemy!
I feel my musing serve as a reality check and are not aimed at those who mostly dwell here but for those seeking alternative opinions and well, just to get it off my chest. Oh, and I don't mind if my ramblings are ignored or noted they are worth just as much as anyboby elses....2 cents..
Posted by: Headshaker | 2005-02-27 8:00:11 AM
Headshaker - yes, I agree that the US doesn't take Canada seriously - and the fault is 100% due to Canada. Why should the US or any country take Canada seriously? What does Canada offer to these other countries? Nothing other than pompous smug condescending rhetoric about how 'wonderful, good, diverse, peaceful, tolerant, blah blah'...it is.
[Hmm. Why do we need a billion dollar gun registry if we are so innately tolerant and peaceful? Oh - and why do we need commissions to investigate gov't corruption if we are so...etc].
I fully agree with you, Headshaker, that our policies are controlled by an anti-American minority. Their opinions, and these are only opinions, not well-argued, empirically and logically grounded conclusions, are hostile to Americans. Why? This mindset is particularly that of Quebec, and Quebec controls our federal gov't. Quebec, aligns itself only with francophones around the world, and continues the French tradition of hostility to anything anglophone. I've lived in Quebec and been shocked at their strict separation of people into francophones (good) and anglophones (bad).
We have set up this situation by our ignorant insistence on bilingualism - a naive, utopian and totally unworkable framework...which has resulted in the exclusion of 80% of the Canadian population from full and open access to federal decision-making, and set up a small, closed, self-referential, self-generating mandarin class of Quebecers - who effectively run the country, for and by themselves. They hold the chief political, corporate and legislative offices. This is as mind-boggling stupid as handing over our country to a foreign nation. That's what we have done. No- our country has NOT been handed over to the Americans, as someone is trying to suggest in this section (Finland example); it has been handed over to ONE province, which has a mindset completely hostile to and above all, indifferent to - the rest of the country.
We have removed 80% of the population from gov'tal power. These 80% are only allowed 'power' every few years when they may vote. Period. BUT, the voting sysem is so skewed (remember, Quebec gets always, 75 seats)that we end up with the scenario that our gov't is run by a party with only 34% of the popular vote.
AND- the unelected Quebec mandarins continue to run the CBC, the CRTC, the major research money foundations, VIA rail, Bell, and so on.
As for aligning ourselves with the Americans because of our economic links, I don't think that is a sufficient reason to align yourself with anyone. I am strongly pro-American - and I would want the alignment to be on logical and empirical and ethical grounds...not just on commerce. That is, I would want the alignment to be with them because we share common principles of societal 'goodness'; that is - because we promote individualism, free enterprise, freedom of speech and thought, the spread of liberty and democracy.
Unfortunately - Canada doesn't promote these values. We foster group-ism rather than individualism, via our multiculturalism where we define people as clones of 'distinct groups'. We denigrate the results of hard work and enterprise by our scorn of the wealthy. Our political correctness rejects free speech and discourse (latest example - the kid flung out of the G-G's residence). (I can't stand Adrienne Clarkson anyway but that's another story).. We aren't in the least interested in spreading democracy and anyway haven't a clue what it means; our relativism means that we promote the 'sovereign-nation' and are indifferent to the evils done by the dictator of that 'sovereign-nation'.
The fact that no matter what we economically do, the USA consumes these goods, protects us from the results of our isolation, our indifference and our ignorance. We don't have to compete, as do the Australians, on the world market. We don't have to be inventive; we just copy the drugs produced by the American research labs and pompously sell these copies at lower cost, all the while telling ourselves how 'good' we are to do so. And so on.
Will Canada ever wake up??? As long as we are trapped in bilingualism, we are trapped within a closed mindset. And, as long as our economy is assured by the US consumer, we can remain adolescents safe at home, well-fed and housed by someone else, yet naively snarling in superiority at the rest of the world and our parents....
Blogs are, I feel, absolutely vital in starting the discourse on these issues. Why blogs? Because our gov't controls the MSM. But, that 'safe cocoon' in which we live is the hardest river to cross.
Posted by: ET | 2005-02-27 10:06:03 AM
Voltaire described Canada (Acadia) as a few acres of snow. Pat Buchanan dismissed Canada as " Soviet Canuckistan".
PM Martin says Canada is not worth defending.
Is he correct? Does he read Canadians correctly?
The American Eagle soars; the beaver is in its den; winter, of course; snow, of course. Cold, eh?
Posted by: maz2 | 2005-02-27 10:10:30 AM
from Jeff E: The problem for Stephen Harper is that most Canadians don't see any of this as a problem.
I tend to look at this slightly differently. The real problem is that Stephen Harper believes that most Canadians don't see any of this as a problem.
Perhaps its the eternal optimist in me, but I believe that vast number of Canadians, on most hot topics of the day can be rallied behind a clearly articulated stance.
How can we blame Paul M for blowing in the wind if the Conservatives can't clearly and consistantly state why participation in missle defense is good for Canada, why we should have stood with our allies in Iraq, why the latest budget is one more unfolding of our wallets.
The CPC can't be an *all things to all people* that the Liberal party can (buying us with our own money), but it has to represent a better place for each of us, whether fiscal conservatives, social conservatives, etc.
I read today that the US constitution was 11 pages, the EU constituation over 500 pages. What the CPC needs coming out of their upcoming get-together is the equivalent of those 11 pages that represent the core beliefs under which the people can rally, not a 500 pager delineating how every injustice, perceived or real will be dealt with.
Posted by: Don H | 2005-02-27 10:14:48 AM
Signs of more Liberal Anointments to come, from Peter Newman in the National Post:.
"Ignatieff's speech will be of interest not only because of the insights he is expected to offer on the prospects for a world in turmoil. Some senior party strategists have convinced themselves he might be persuaded to run for the leadership once Paul Martin decides to seek calmer pastures."
When the Liberals have finished listening to Michael Ignatieff and reading Jennifer Welsh, Canadians will find themselves on the way, again, to the delusional playpen of Liberal regeneration. This was visited most infamously by Lester Pearson in 1965, resulting in the recruitment of a deservedly obscure Montreal professor, Pierre Trudeau. Please let some fresh air into this suffocating chamber of intellectual re-aspiration. Toss these careerist duds out into the wilderness of Opposition politics before they turn Canada into the Luxembourg's little sister.
Posted by: Barry Stagg | 2005-02-27 11:03:03 AM
I'm with Jeff on this one, and then some. Quebec, women, British Columbians and the broad streak of anti-Americans in Ontario are disproportionately opposed to missile defence and it would have been dumb for the leader of the opposition to stick his neck out. Martin was elected to govern, not Harper. Harper's principal responsibility is to prepare his party to take power and govern, not to commit hara kiri as certain elements of the media would like. Toward this end, he must ensure his party is united behind a platform to take into the next election.
Posted by: Norman Spector | 2005-02-27 11:10:25 AM
"Ignatieff's speech will be of interest not only because of the insights he is expected to offer on the prospects for a world in turmoil."
The Princes/Counts Ignatieff have long been experts on world turmoil, they having promoted so much of it on behalf of the Tsar during the Great Game. Let us hope he ultimately receives no scope to indulge any atavistic urges in that regard.
Posted by: Charles MacDonald | 2005-02-27 11:40:40 AM
Don. H. wrote: "Perhaps its the eternal optimist in me, but I believe that vast number of Canadians, on most hot topics of the day can be rallied behind a clearly articulated stance."
And he wrote: "The CPC can't be an *all things to all people* that the Liberal party can (buying us with our own money), but it has to represent a better place for each of us, whether fiscal conservatives, social conservatives, etc.
I read today that the US constitution was 11 pages, the EU constituation over 500 pages."
I completely agree. A simple articulation, without ambiguity and open-ended vagueness, of what the CPC stands for, is what Stephen Harper should be doing. He should be telling the Canadian people, where he and the CPC stands, on basic important issues. I think he'd be surprised by how many people can be brought over to the CPC side by clarity, honesty and basic ideals.
Norman Spector wrote: "Harper's principal responsibility is to prepare his party to take power and govern" and rejects that Harper should have taken a public reaction to Martin's rejection of BMD.
I disagree. Harper won't even get a chance to take power and govern unless he informs the Canadian people that they DO have an option to Canadian Liberalism (which is actually socialism not liberalism). Harper has to set up the CPC as a viable option, as representing the real liberalism of the individual. He has to demolish the 'stay home with us as your parents' ideology of the Liberals who definitely do not want Canadians to think and act for themselves.
If Harper doesn't inform the Canadian public, simply and briefly, on the CPC position on each and every decision of the Liberals - he won't get a chance to govern. Our political infrastructure is in-built for Liberal Party or socialist domination. Harper has a huge election problem. How can you be elected when the MSM systems are controlled by the Liberals, when our economic system is controlled by a social welfare system, our provincial system is run by equalization redistribution, our political system empowers a non-elected tribal enclave. These are very difficult barriers to overcome by an ideology promoting 'adulthood', i.e., individualism, free enterprise etc.
Posted by: ET | 2005-02-27 12:23:57 PM
Had Harper come out in strong support of BMD, the Liberals could have released the fury of their anti-Americanism against the Conservatives. By hanging back and letting Martin "govern", the Liberals were totally on the hook for their "decision". They were unable to portray themselves as the embodiment of "Canadian Values", but were rather exposed as the hypocritical, fumbling, bumblers that they are.
Posted by: Jeff Eirich | 2005-02-27 4:32:31 PM
How can you pick up the bill when there is no lunch? When has Canada ever been threatened by any nation other than the US? When has the US ever defended Canada against attack?
Remember Lord Palmerston: nations do not have permanent friends, but permanent interests...
There is no conservatism in Canada. British conservatism, the values upon which this country was founded. is based upon "1) the priority of social experience (or "tradition") over reason; 2) the notion that inherited social institutions embody a "superindividual wisdom" which transcends that available to the conscious reasoning mind; and 3) the impotence of reason to ‘design’ a viable social order."
Lawrence Auster further defines the traditionalist position -
"What is liberalism today?
Negativity and destructiveness, reactiveness and resentment. A total lack of any useful thoughts about the problems of the day. Absence of rationality. Absence of patriotism.
What is (neo) conservatism today?
A simulacrum of rationality and patriotism. An ideology of world transformation based on jejune slogans divorced from reality. “Patriotism” to that ideology instead of to our country.
In short, the liberals offer nothing but negativism. The conservatives offer something positive, but it is false."
Thus the 'adult ideology' that people like ET espouse is bunk. He cares nothing for Canada, its history, its people, its British Christian traditions. He is wed only to the ideology and sells his soul to the great Moloch, Liberalism.
Auster writes -
"In a liberal society, where the only legitimate principles are liberal principles, no principled opposition to the onward march of liberal freedom and equality is possible. The only way opposition to liberalism can manifest itself is as a series of holding actions, (SSM?) in which the holdouts, who generally accept the prevailing liberalism, will nevertheless resist it on some particular issue without opposing liberalism as such. These unprincipled exceptions to liberalism take the form of appeals to established habits and traditions, or to majority opinion, or to common sense, or to social utility, or to inertia, or to some undefined feeling that we shouldn't go "too far," or even to some supposed beneficent fate that will keep the unwanted liberal victory from occurring without our having to do anything about it. A liberal who adheres to one or more such exceptions to liberalism is called a conservative. The conservative's appeal is to what exists. At any given moment in time, there is present in a society an inchoate body of sentiments, habits, traditions, and understandings that liberalism has not yet challenged and which seem, as far as anyone can tell, unquestionable and authoritative. But the apparent authority of these values and beliefs is only based on the fact that they have not yet been questioned. Because no anti-liberal principle has been articulated to back up these values, as soon as they are seriously challenged,(Polygamy?) they begin to be abandoned, if not immediately, then through a prolonged process of foot-dragging. To liberals, of course, the failure of conservatives to come up with principled arguments against liberalism only proves that there is no principled position other than liberalism."
Posted by: DJ | 2005-02-27 4:33:37 PM
Norm. I agree with ET and Don H. There has been an absence of leadership and balls by both Martin and Harper on this. Both had previously expressed support for BMD as had key members of their caucuses. If they had agreed to put the national interest first and to take their lumps in Quebec and from the pacifists they could have sold BMD to their parties and the public. Instead of showing courageous, principled leadership they took the opposite route. The pacifist and anti-American left had (for years) next to no opposition to their anti-BMD propoganda campaign.
Posted by: JR | 2005-02-27 4:34:54 PM
Canada threatened? By whom? Louis Riel, Kaiser what's his name, Lenin/Stalin,Mussolini, Mao, Pol Pot,A. Hitler , ...
"When has Canada ever been threatened by any nation other than the US?" Bunk. Baloney.
Posted by: maz2 | 2005-02-27 5:32:56 PM
ET, very well stated and I couldn't agree more!
Mr.Spector, thank you for you daily wrap-up of the news at you home page, I visit it religiously every morning, however I couldn't disagree with you more on this one! Harper needs to know how the right feels about this issue and to support him here loudly,(no matter what he does,the MSM will never support him so he shouldn't even bother).I'm sorry to say but Conservatism today is different than it was 100 years ago, 50 tears ago and even 20 years ago.
Conservatism today is not a false ideology based on privilage or tradition. Conseratives support free elections for everyone, not to conspire to keep a fake leader like Saddam in power or support fake Syrian peacekeepers. It also does not support false economys that reward friend's hotels or fake 1 tier health-care or false ideas of the definition of life or quality of life. It never claims falsly to be friends with our nearest neighbour when the actions of the left show otherwise, or claim crises of BSG or softwood lumber or border security are over when clearly they are not!
It is based on the rule of law, laws of Democracy and the rights of a person. If those democratic rights are trampled by the use of a faulty charter of rights that has a notwithstanding clause or the flouting of the rule of law by the use of a royal commision to hide theft of taxpayers money and when the rights of a person are denied by government decisions regarding the availiability of health care for example, then we cease to have the right to claim to be a soverign nation. As citizens, it is our duty then to re-estabish our claim as a free nation by throwing these bums out at the next election which cannot come soon enough.
Harper must know that if he defends these principles and shows Canada that the Left's ideology is the one that is false, obvious and crude then we who dwell here at the new media will support him, help organise with him and turn out to vote for his party to bring him to power!
Posted by: Headshaker | 2005-02-27 6:20:57 PM
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