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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Americans make war, Canadians keep the peace

It’s all about the symbolism stupid! Daimnation points to an article in the Globe and Mail which questions the results of last weeks poll (Wake up! This is our war, too) on sending Canadian troops to Afghanistan. Sixty two percent said they didn’t support it but is there more to it?

But what if Strategic Counsel’s question had been phrased differently? “If you were a member of Parliament, would you vote to send Canadian peacekeepers to Afghanistan?” I suspect the results would have been very different, primarily because the word “peacekeeping” triggers a series of powerful memories and positive images in the Canadian mind: Lester Pearson’s Nobel Peace Prize; a Canadian soldier in a blue helmet interposed between warring factions; the peacekeeping monument in Ottawa, and the widely believed mantra that, while Americans make war, we Canadians keep the peace.[…]

Let me be clear: Canadian peacekeeping was a useful role for this country to play. Canadians did important work after the Suez crisis of 1956, in Cyprus, on the Golan Heights, and on the Iran-Iraq border after the 1988 peace between those two nations. The problem is that peacekeeping has largely disappeared, replaced in the new world disorder by much more robust operations run by the UN or other organizations. The Afghanistan deployment, soon to be controlled by NATO, is just such an operation. We might call it peace support or peace enforcement. Our grandfathers would have called it war.[…]

Friday’s poll, however, suggests that Canadians might prefer to stay home. If so, Canadians need to consider what they want their military to do in the 21st century. The war on terror is a reality and Canadians are targets, no matter how we try to convince ourselves that the world loves us. It doesn’t. Our superpower neighbour, the nation to which 87 per cent of our exports go and on which our security depends, has been attacked and is still under threat, but somehow Canadians have not grasped that they are involved. We are. The Canadian troops in Kandahar are working to prop up a democratically elected government that is under attack from fundamentalist Taliban and al-Qaeda terrorists. Participation in that operation is in Canada’s national interests, and it is very much in the interests of democracy.

But why did those who responded to the Strategic Counsel poll not grasp this? The reason, I believe, is that Canadians see Afghanistan as an American war, a direct response to the al-Qaeda terror attacks of 9/11. That may have been correct in 2002, when the aim was to drive the Taliban government that sheltered al-Qaeda from power. Today, the goal is to assist an elected government in establishing itself in the face of attacks from Taliban remnants. Unfortunately, that difference doesn’t appear to matter to Canadians. Afghanistan is still the Americans’ war, George W. Bush’s war, and, automatically, large majorities of Canadians believe it must be wrong.

Canadian anti-Americanism is at a record peak in 2006, and this strong feeling colours every question. (The Americans have noticed, too. During our recent election, The Washington Post’s Anna Morgan, shocked by the tone of the campaign she discovered here, reported that “the United States and all its evils” were a “familiar demon” being employed “to heat Canadian voters to a frenzy.”)

A mature nation cherishes its history and builds on it. But a mature nation also understands reality and faces it and acts to protect and advance its national interests. Peacekeeping is a cherished part of our past and, even if it has dwindled in utility, it might once again become important. But the reality now is one of terror attacks on the democracies and those struggling to build free societies. Canada’s national interests demand that we employ the Canadian Forces to help the new democracies and protect the old. It is long past time for the Canadian public to recognize what is at stake and to support their government and their soldiers in advancing their country’s — and the world’s — interests.

Canada has taken command of coalition troops in southern Afghanistan today. Whether we like it or not we are there for the long-haul and its time to face reality.

Posted by Darcey on February 28, 2006 in International Affairs | Permalink


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This is what Canada is reduced to. We used to be able to step up to the plate. We had the world's fourth largest military at the end of WWII.

Now we support whatever side is against our most important allies. Bloody liberals.

Posted by: Warwick | 2006-02-28 8:41:22 AM

I think a serious problem is the immaturity of the Canadian perspective about the modern world.

Canadians have some serious conceptual problems which stem from this immaturity of perspective, which is to say, a perspective functioning a full generation ago. It is almost as if, with the Trudeau era, Canada sank into a deep Cave of self-determined images about itself. Most of these are total fictions.

To accomodate these fictions, we have had to, often at great expense, set up infrastructures that operate, somewhat akin to the fake town of Truman's Life, to provide images of this false identity. For example - the fictions that we are bilingual (requires enormous sums and deprives 80% of the population from gov't power); that we are multicultural (which we achieve by isolating diversity within cultural identities and freezing those identities within The Way It Was In the Old Country)..; universal health care (which we achieve by depriving our citizens of rapid and efficient services; etc, etc.

Another image within the Canadian Cave is the completely out-of-date (UN dictum) that nations are 'sovereign-states' and operate alone and without reference to others. This, in our globally networked world, is no longer valid. Yet, many Canadians continues to think in this mode - viewing problems as 'not our business'. It is our business; the globe is no longer made up of isolate nation-states; it is a network.
So, this mindset views reality, falsely as 'well, if we aren't attacked, then, it doesn't have anything to do with us'. False.

Another aspect of our Living in a Cave and making up our own version of reality - is that, to maintain our life in this cave..we adamantly reject anyone pulling us out. The US is living within reality, outside the Cave..It is involved with the world. So, Canadians define themselves, as 'Not-American'. The fact that a negative definition which is bonded to a positive definition is a Slave-Existence..escapes us. (That is, if we define ourselves as Not-American, that means that we depend on the American existence..to define ourselves).

We ignore reality. We ignore our complete economic dependency on the US - we ignore that we haven't made any efforts to expand our economy within the global world, and increase our exports to other countries. Instead, we sit back and export primarily to the US (85%)..We are the only country in the world with such a dependency on ONE other country to purchase all our exports.
And- if the US doesn't purchase our goods - we get all hot and angry with them.

We don't develop an investor class in Canada. Instead, we tax citizens and corporations to such an extent that Canadians can't afford to establish large scale investment industries themselves. We require foreign investors to do that task. Then - we complain about 'the takeover'..ignoring that it's our own fault for not developing a class of Canadians with high incomes to invest in Canadian industry.

Living in this Cocoon-Cave, protected by the US economically and militarily - we ignore that we are behaving like children rather than self-supporting adults. So- we refuse military participation. We achieve this by first, self-defining ourselves as 'peaceful'. This is a tactic of 'getting out of our responsibilities'. Other peoples are not peaceful; they make serious trouble in the world..and yet, since we self-define ourselves as 'peaceful' - that means that we don't participate! We leave it all up to the US, the UK, the Australians etc. ..and then, we mock them and say that they are 'warmongers'.

But - heck - it's saved us a lot of money, hasn't it? More money for what - bilingualism? Make-work projects? My point is, that our self-definition of 'peace-loving' is a tactic which we used to stop spending money on the military and put it elsewhere.

Canada has to mature and face the fact that the world is networked; that other peoples are not peaceful; that we cannot sit back and smirk and allow others to spend money on military, endure loss of life in military service - while we reap the benefits of their work and sacrifice.

Canada has to move itself out of Trudeau's Fictional World...

Posted by: ET | 2006-02-28 8:54:07 AM

ET - That is a wonderful piece of writing, I don't think I have ever heard it defined that well or made any clearer, or that more honestly by anyone. That is Canada defined, as it is today. Perception over reality on an almost unbelievable scale.

Posted by: deepblue | 2006-02-28 9:04:16 AM



Posted by: usa | 2006-02-28 9:12:12 AM



Bashing the USA, promoting hatred against the USA to sell even the newspapers too is still a hate crime.

Posted by: Non NDP | 2006-02-28 9:16:44 AM


While I agree with most of what you've said I would have to say that Canada isn't so much lingering in immaturity as it is slipping into the reverie of senility. We are looking in the mirror and seeing ourselves as we were fifty or sixty years ago, forgetting that time changes all things and usually not for the better.

Posted by: Daniel | 2006-02-28 9:20:38 AM

>>Another aspect of our Living in a Cave and making up our own version of reality - is that, to maintain our life in this cave..we adamantly reject anyone pulling us out. The US is living within reality, outside the Cave..It is involved with the world. So, SO BAD Canadians define themselves, as 'Not-American'.


Posted by: Pierre | 2006-02-28 9:20:38 AM

Ditto ET

Posted by: John Chittick | 2006-02-28 9:23:27 AM

The engineering second law of thermodynamics does state that everything on it's own without the additional positive energy input next degenerates.

Eeven water as well if not restrained will flow downhill

and so do the Muslims now too.

If the evil persons are not punished they will see still any personal reasons to stop their wrong doings

Posted by: Cooler head | 2006-02-28 9:29:35 AM

I would say that the issue is more left/right than US/Canadian.

The problem with Canada is that the balance is tipped to the left here. We have a less developed communication infrastructure on the right than do the Americans and it shows in public opinion. The American Right wins elections and sets the agendas because they have a thousand right wing think tanks, alternative media and Fox News. We are at least a decade behind them on this. The Manning Centre is a start. But there is a hell of a lot of work to do.

The US left is no different than Canada's left. The issue for Canada is that they make up a larger portion of voters here and a lot of people would be open up to a change if it was presented well. If you poll Canadians about their values they poll right on all economic issues and either center or left on social issues. A lot of people vote liberal/ndp because poor communication on the right and blatent propaganda from the media/left. They own the media and the means of getting out political messages. We've failed to counter it effectively. The fault is ours. The US right did what it needed to do and we didn't. We're now in catch-up mode.

In the US the public no longer trusts the media. Here the public does because the media are the only voices heard. If you only hear their message and never hear a fair expression of the other side, it's natural to buy into the only message you know. Especially given that most people don't pay close attention and do not actively seek alternative viewpoints.

Posted by: Warwick | 2006-02-28 9:34:58 AM

Gee, I thought Canada sent troops to Afghanistan because it was safer and more politically acceptable than Iraq. Well, it was under the Liebral regime, to which the Gloat and Wail and Tronna Red Star owe devoted allegiance. Now that their meal ticket is no longer around, they have to earn a living. That means Harper bashing, which this clearly is.

Even though Harper inherited this, he should follow through on this to the very end. Terrorism MUST be defeated no matter the cost. The Army over there right now is the best trained and equipped Canada has created in years. Indeed, 'peacekeeping' is now a relic of the Cold War thoroughly discredited by the experience in Yugoslavia. It really only means someone is shooting at you less, instead of more. 20 Cdns died in Yugoslavia - a figure which received no attention.

If anyone should be condemned for sending them to Afghanistan, it is Jean Chretien, and shame on the people of Ontario for buying into his lies.

Posted by: Scott | 2006-02-28 10:00:11 AM



Comforting to read your words.

They confirm my thoughts.

Posted by: Duke | 2006-02-28 10:19:29 AM

The US left is no different than Canada's left. They are the immoralists, the people who want to keep reading their porns, watching their dirty magazines, unrepenting cheating , lying, stealing liberals who are in certainty on the road to hell.

Too bad.

Posted by: UN Anericain | 2006-02-28 10:33:33 AM

And they are just a few votes out of power, here and in the US. Food for thought.

Posted by: deepblue | 2006-02-28 10:38:32 AM

More trouble makers.

LONDON (Reuters) - The High Court has blocked a four-week suspension of London's Mayor Ken Livingstone imposed for comparing a Jewish reporter to a concentration camp guard. The mayor was ordered suspended for a month beginning March 1 by a tribunal last week for bringing his office into disrepute during an exchange with the reporter outside a party. But a High Court judge accepted his request to have the suspension delayed until an appeal can be heard.
Livingstone refused to apologise for his remarks and said the panel that suspended him had overstepped its bounds. "The Adjudication Tribunal found that my comment to the Evening Standard journalist had been 'unnecessarily insensitive' and 'offensive' -- those are not grounds for overturning the decision of the voters of London to elect me as mayor," Livingstone, 60, told a news conference. "As far as I am aware, there is no law against 'unnecessary insensitivity' or even 'offensiveness' to journalists harassing you as you try to go home." He also denied any bias against Jews, and said accusations of anti-Semitism were being raised "to give weight to charges which would otherwise be too trivial to merit the gigantic fuss that has been made about this brief private exchange." Livingstone sparked the rumpus when reporter Oliver Finegold questioned him as he left a party for a gay politician last year. When the reporter identified himself as working for the Evening Standard, a paper loathed by the mayor, Livingstone asked: "What did you do? Were you a German war criminal?" Finegold said he was Jewish and found the remarks offensive. Livingstone replied that the reporter was "like a concentration camp guard -- you are just doing it because you are paid to." Livingstone has since explained the jibe as criticism of the Standard and its sister paper the Daily Mail, which supported the Nazis in the 1930s. The outspoken mayor won election to the newly created post in 2000 after leaving Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labour Party and beating Blair's candidate. He has since returned to the party.

Both of them were in the wrong, abusive fools.

Posted by: Wise Guy | 2006-02-28 10:39:30 AM

>>And they are just a few votes out of power, here and in the US. Food for thought.

that is what lying liberal spin doctors say to keep up their end of the stick

but recent Polls in Canada do not reflect this at all.

Posted by: Canadian | 2006-02-28 10:41:30 AM

Just what we need need is another liberal, another Monica Lewinsky fiasco but this time with Clinton's wife who likely next will lie also and say " I did not have sex with Jim.."

Posted by: UN American | 2006-02-28 10:45:11 AM

I truly hope your right Canadian. The culture war is fully upon us, to lose it means to lose our way of life, and possibly, our life.

Posted by: deepblue | 2006-02-28 10:45:16 AM

What is being focused is the Toronto media's perspective of Canada. In Toronto, Canada ends
near Brampton. The focal point of so called anti-Americanism is in Toronto - there is little or no
ill will towards the US in the Atlantic Region, or the West, perhaps a bit in the worker's paradise in Vancouver. Quebec is not anti American, but most Quebecer's I know are not too
interested in anything outside of Quebec in any event. The homosexual dominated, insular Toronto
media, led by the Toronto Star, and the equally
gross CBC are fixated on all things American, since most could not make a living there. The myth of Canadian Peacekeeping however bothers me.
The first Commander under General Burns of Canadian Peacekeepers in Cyprus was LtGen E.A.C.
Amy OBE DSO MC of Calgary and Halifax. Ned Amy
is one of the most highly decorated soldiers in the history of the Canadian Army, and he had an
Army of veteran soldiers with him, whom both sides in Cyprus knew would and could out fight and out gun them. And, General Amy was a superb
negotiator, a very tough soldier. Effective
"Peacekeepers" are first and foremost, effective
soldiers. Different situation in the Golan,where
we got lucky. We have soldiers in Afghanistan, well motivated, well led, admired by their traditional allies and the people of Canada, which is worth a hellva lot more than an opinion
from Toronto the formerly Good and it's insular
biased media.

Posted by: Jack Macleod | 2006-02-28 11:32:52 AM

Well said Jack.

Posted by: deepblue | 2006-02-28 11:42:07 AM

As an American who has lived a long, long time in Canada, I see in this comment section of WS what I've seen all over Canada: a lot of allies. I don't bother to check veracity on Globe and Mail articles and polls anymore, I just go to default which, after years of reading that rag, is bogus/falsehood. When push comes to shove, there is really no better people to have one's back (except maybe the Aussies). A lot of Americans feel this way.

Posted by: Rodger Beals | 2006-02-28 11:55:18 AM

I am completely biased. I'm a Canadian. I love Canada and I love the United States and just happened to marry an American last year.

Since he has moved to Alberta from the Midwest, he has realized that Canada is not Ontario and that many people here support the US and wish to be closer to our ally.

He was also a soldier (and peacekeeper) for 12 years.

Posted by: Heather Cook | 2006-02-28 12:28:27 PM

I think Warwick takes ET’s excellent comments to the logical next step…

… that it’s really about left/right because America has its own “blame America” crowd. Without naming all the usual suspects they are very vocal and they feed the arguments of Canada’s left and those in Europe. In fact because we live next door to Michael Moore and our taxpayers subsidize his movies-of-lies made in Vancouver, our left gets constant reinforcement out of the USA by the self-loathing left.

But the good news is that Europe is finally waking up; witness the Danish cartoon stirring and this week’s march of 33,000 people in Paris on anti-Semitism. Historically there has been even more groupthink in Europe’s media than in our media. Again, that’s changing as the political class over there are finally worried about their misguided theories on multi-culturism and the socialism that’s killing jobs for immigrant youths who aren’t assimilating. Therefore the left/media in Canada will be less able to use Europeans as a buddy-system to self-righteously point to the “US-style” (add here whatever concept that the left doesn’t like).

I’m anxiously waiting for Harper to let us know where he’s going with Daycare, Kyoto and with fiscal imbalance. They will be big clues as to how fast we’re going to move out of what ET calls “Trudeau’s fictional world.”

But we’ll have to cut Harper some slack and remember that the CPC is only an election machine. The real longer-term conservative policy stuff will have to be done by entities like the Manning Centre and as Warwick said “there’s a hell of a lot of work to do”.

Meanwhile it sure is nice to know that after decades of mulling over this stuff in Toronto, i.e. in a vacuum, that there are so many like-minded people out there. Thank God for that.

Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-02-28 12:37:03 PM


McGuinty suggests Ont. should have strongest voice


Gee, what a surprise! Ontario demands more. Are these rich bigots never satisfied?

Posted by: Scott | 2006-02-28 12:54:08 PM

For details (and there are a lot of them) of the Canadian role in southern Afstan, see this post at "The Torch":

"Afstan: Canadian officers take command at Kandahar and of Regional Command (South)"


Posted by: Mark Collins | 2006-02-28 12:55:34 PM

ET got to the heart of this issue:

"Yet, many Canadians continues to think in this mode - viewing problems as
'not our business'."

I've been checking out some of the posts by Globe and Mail readers on the Afghanistan question, and that is almost word-for-word what many people are saying. It's "none of our business".

For four decades leftists have been clamouring for Western countries to be more involved with the rest of the world (and not without reason, I should add). Yet in the last four years, they've changed tack. Apparently now the only proper thing for Canada to do is sit in "splendid isolation" and ignore any global problems that require serious effort. This selfish new cynicism will be far more damaging and unfeasible than the progressive one-worldism ever was.

Posted by: dr_dog | 2006-02-28 1:26:48 PM

dr_dog, maybe in retrospect what the left meant by “getting more involved with the rest of the world” was to further their post-modern cause of cultural relativism? Particularly if “involved” meant the UN and the rest of the transnational crowd.

I don’t think they meant that we should kick out the depots and try to bring democracy to failed states along with globalized free trade, free-markets etc.

That’s why they hate Bush. He’s wrecking their plan for world control.

Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-02-28 1:44:04 PM

Not being a “rube” whatever they are, I can’t speak for them.

But yes I think that if we’re at war and we are, the debate about the war should be on the floor of Parliament regularly to reconfirm our commitment or otherwise.

I don’t think that we’ve ever had a debate about “the war” have we?
Have we even named the enemy? I don’t think so.
Therefore we shouldn’t be surprised at the Canadian lack of support.
Good idea Robert!

Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-02-28 2:08:57 PM

The suppsoedly peacefull relgion, loves peace or more war? Iraq Violence Kills 379 Since Samarra Mosque Bombing Feb. 28 -- Violence across Iraq killed 379 people and wounded 458 since the bombing last week that destroyed the dome of Samarra's Golden Mosque, sacred to Shiite Muslims, the office of Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said. A wave of sectarian violence followed the destruction of the Samarra mosque's dome, with a total of 184 Sunni mosques damaged or destroyed, and 10 clerics killed, the Iraqi Islamic Party, the main Sunni political group, said Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said that insurgents were trying ``everything'' to spark a civil war. Not all deaths have been included. more to come.

Posted by: Pecefull | 2006-02-28 2:27:54 PM

McGuinty suggests Ont. should have strongest voice

Gee, what a surprise! Ontario demands more. Are these rich bigots never satisfied? and on top of that if he does not get more welfare money he threatens to cut back the money he will give to the poor.. for he is a really really dirty liberal, an real antichrist.

Posted by: Canadian | 2006-02-28 2:30:59 PM

>>I truly hope your right Canadian. The culture war is fully upon us, to lose it means to lose our way of life, and possibly, our life.

The liberals sinners are still losers, they can never win.. not in this world or in the next.

And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;(Luke 18:1 KJV)

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Th 5:23 KJV)

Posted by: merriam | 2006-02-28 2:33:50 PM

Somehow I was under the impression that to declare war was a majority issue in the house...In other words a bill had to be passed actually declaring war on somebody...thus Robert's idea isn't only good, but the law...Correct me if I'm wrong, knowing the feudal state we live in I probably am...

Posted by: Daniel | 2006-02-28 2:37:21 PM

Government of Canada is elected with a mandate to undertake a variety of activities, including committment of Canadian Forces to keep and maintain the peace, control and eliminate threats
to national security and adherence to treaties focused on mutual protection with our allies, and
traditional allies. No debate in the HofC is required, and would be highly partisan in any event, causing undue delay in committing troops and equipment under conditions of threat, and possible international conclusions that our Country cannot make a political/military committment without rancour and political opportunism. In the famed movie "Command Decision" when visiting politicians are verbally
attacking military commnders in the 8th Air Force
about daylight bombing raids, Clark Gable, who in
real life served in the USAC 8th AF in England WWII, but in his movie role as a Group Commander
points out that "some men have to do more than talk" - a powerful moment in an outstanding film.

Posted by: Jack Macleod | 2006-02-28 2:44:07 PM

Well that’s the problem Daniel. It’s set up as “peacekeeping” whatever that is.
Im my opinion, Parliament is using doublespeak.
I think it’s war and we should call it that. We should also name the enemy.
How else can we try to win the war?

Otherwise we’ll continue to win it militarily but we’ll lose the propaganda war, which is just as important in the long run.
IMHO we’ll be at this for a decade at least.
So the Canadian people deserve to know and our troops deserve to know they have the Canadian people behind them. If not we should leave.

Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-02-28 2:47:45 PM

Daniel: Declaration of war, or commitment of troops without a declaration, is a matter of royal prerogative under our Westminister-style constitution and thus can be done by cabinet alone without approval by Parliament.

Neither matter is specifically covered in the Constitution Acts.

Canada has on its own only declared war once, WW II; that was done after Parliament approved.

There is no firm precedent as to whether Parliament should approve before troops are committed to operations abroad; indeed usually there has been no such vote.


Posted by: Mark Collins | 2006-02-28 2:51:17 PM

Of course Canada wants to keep the peace . Let the USA do the heavy lifting and take the heat for the initial forays. It is our God - given right as the conscience of the world to receive free protection from attack , to be entitled to sell our logs and oil to them without worry of the world closing in upon us, to flaunt our communism and immoral liberal values in their red- neck ' bigoted ; faces, to take the moral high ground on every international issue , using the ugly American as a foil to preserve our ' reputation ' . Yes indeed we are so noble to reap the rewards and castigate the enablers , as we flaunt our geographic lottery winnings.

Posted by: Mr, moto | 2006-02-28 2:51:29 PM

Funny that none of the lefty jackasses were whining for a vote when the LIBERALS committed our troops to Afghanastan without consulting parliament.

Why should Harper have to go to parliament to get the blessing of her majesty's loyal opposition to impliment the policy of her majesty's loyal opposition?

Posted by: Warwick | 2006-02-28 2:53:02 PM

The 'normative Canadian' response to situations requiring our active participation in the world, is our rejection of such actions. We have moved into a participation with the world that is primarily symbolic.

So, we offer lots of verbal rhetoric of 'we feel your pain' ,and ' all Canadian values are Muslim values' and such blather..and the Kyoto nonsense..which we state is The Law, while our emissions go sky high and we exclude the heaviest polluters from that Law.

And, we offer money, which is, after all, also symbolic (of work) and importantly, as we've seen in the Tsunami crisis,may not even get actually delivered).

As I said, the Trudeau era effectively withdrew Canada from the world, and set it up in its own self-defined (Platonic) Cave, where we have lived ever-since, defining our fictional reality, by and for ourselves. Disregarding, ignoring, denying the FACTS that contradicted our FICTIONAL world.

So, we deny the fact that our economy is completely glued to that of the US - and we ignore that it is we, ourselves, who have set it up in this manner. We have done this, because it is far easier, and cheaper, than having to develop competitive products, engage in competitive marketing etc, to enable our products to compete in the world markets.

Our research focus follows this ease-of-living rule, for we focus primarily on descriptive collation rather than ground-breaking innovative research..which costs twenty times as much as the former. Our military has been denigrated to near-irrelevance for we rely on the US to protect both us and the free world (we, of course, refuse to acknowledge this fact). Our aid to developing countries has been decimated to one of the lowest contributors in the world. And we have defined ourselves as 'kind, tolerant, peaceful' etc, rather than face these unpleasant facts.

We have, within the economic ease that has developed as a result of our cutting all these expenses world, and our reliance on one EverReady Customer (the US), and our access to the results of their research, which we simply copy and make cheaper versions of, or set up easy-money franchies...we have set up an incredibly easy life-style. We, of course, in our Cave, consider that this life-style is completely due to our superior wisdom. Rather than the fact that we don't 'pay our way' in the world and rely on the work/investments of others.

But, this ease of living, which requires no economic or intellectual costs to us - no heavy investment in research, no investment in developing long term industrial infrastructures, no investment in the maintenance of economic security, etc...has enabled the majority of us to live a 'middle class suburban lifestyle'. We have amassed surpluses, because we tax heavily- and don't invest in infrastructures. So - we equalize the country, such that almost all live within an 'average' and similar lifestyle.

What we, in our Cave, ignore, is that this capacity to be Mr/Ms Medium Middle Class, is a result of our abrogation of adult responsibilities in the world. We rely on others to protect the world - and our world is global, it is networked, it is intimately linked.

Yet, we refuse to assist in the maintenance of the robustness and strength of this global world. We rely on others to innovate; we don't spend anything on that. We rely on others to set up the high cost industrial infrastructures.

It is an incredibly immature and irresponsible form of behaviour. We have been brainwashed into this Cave for a generation. We have to start to 'move into the fresh air and the light' and start to see the world, both as it is. And above all, start to see ourselves as we are.

I think that a discussion in parliament is a good idea, but, I'm cautious about this. The reason is - would this discussion take place within the shadows of our Cave - or - outside in the hard light of the day?

Most Canadians - and particularly in Ontario and Quebec - are living in the Cave. Quebec, is a 'special case', for it considers that anything in the world that is not an aspect of the francophone world - is irrelevant. Therefore, the ROC and the USA are 'one' - both part of the anglophone world, and both, not merely irrelevant, but, antithetical to their interests.

I think that, before a vote in parliament can take place, a great deal of discussion, public discussion, and re-education has to take place. You can't throw people out of their Cave, especially when it is an extremely safe, comfortable Cave..and expect them to like living in the Real Outside World. They will, instead, desire to run back into their Cave.

Therefore, I think that blogs, journals, even the MSM, have to get very busy, and present images of Canada-in-the-Real-World...that includes Afghanistan..and start the 're-introduction' of Canadians into the Realities of the Real World.

Posted by: ET | 2006-02-28 2:59:17 PM

Couldn`t have said it better myself ! -- would you believe.

Posted by: Mr, moto | 2006-02-28 3:05:41 PM

Sad, but didn't we leave behind the Westminster style when our government threw out the Statute of Westminster (1931) for the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (1982)? I'm very interested in politics, but no real training in polisci, and have found some interesting things in what I have read --however I don't really have the background to know if some intermediate step has nullified what I've read...

Posted by: Daniel | 2006-02-28 3:09:36 PM

nomdenet - I admit to being puzzled - I wonder if we are 'at war'. I agree with the other posters, that Canada doesn't need a vote in parliament to 'declare war' or send troops anywhere.
But, remember, the US, to declare war, has to get a congress vote. What so many anti-Bush people ignore, is that Congress approved the war in Iraq...and don't any of the Twits start with the WMD..for the UN gave Iraq a year to move everything out.

But, wars are different now than they were a generation ago. Canada, as a member of the commonwealth, declared war in WWII, because of Britain's declaration. And, back then, countries were sovereign nation-states, and did declare war. But now?

Have the terrorists declared war? Well, yes- on everything and everyone. But, they are not representatives of nation-states. They represent an ideology - Islamic fundamentalism.

We are, to my understanding, in Afghanistan to assist the liberate Afghan people (liberated from Islamic fundamentalism) against the attempts of these same fundamentalists..and attempts by tribal enclaves, to take or regain power. We are a member of a coalition - Canada, UK, Netherlands, US. Is this a war of ours or an action to assist democracy against tribalism?

I think we are operating in a very different world than a generation ago; the transformation of the isolate nation-state, into a networked global system, in a way, suggests that wars are different.

The US and its allies did, indeed, declare war on Iraq - and ended the war in 2004. Now, Iraq is constructing itself within a democratic mode and fighting the attempts by primarily the neighbouring Islamic nations, to ensure that democracy doesn't survive and move into their tribal fiefdoms.

Is this a global fight against fundamentalism? I think so - and we've done it before. Fascism and communism are similar to each other, for they both insist on a collectivist homogeneity of the population. Islamic fundamentalism, andn its 'jihad' and the dhimmi 'conquered' is similar to fascism and communism. What is different now, is that it isn't linked to ONE country (Germany/Soviet Union).

Posted by: ET | 2006-02-28 3:18:19 PM

Daniel: The Statute of Westminster was an act of the UK Parliament that granted Canada full legal independence. We could not throw it out if we wanted to.

The Charter was part of the Constitution Act, 1982, which supplemented the Constitution Act, 1867 (the new name for the BNA Act).

This was done by the UK Parliament's passing the Canada Act, 1982, which included our Constitution Act of the same year and gave Canada full authority to amend our constitution on our own.


Posted by: Mark Collins | 2006-02-28 3:19:42 PM

One of the things that has puzzled me is the procedure by which Canada has ignored its responsibility for an active role in the world.

Although I have been very frustrated by the Canadian left, I have often wondered why they don't simply enjoy the advantage of freely bestowed opportunities for neglect and just say thanks.

For example, if I were a Canadian leftist, and the US was basically giving me a market for all my goods, protecting me militarily from any aggression, and therefore allowing me to use my GDP for whatever hare-brained thing I came up with, my desire would be to keep it going.

I would say to the US, "Oh, incidentally, thanks for all this free largesse, you know, we would like to help out, but of course Canada only has 30 million people, and therefore really can't realistically contribute in any way to the struggle. It's great that a successful and prosperous and militarily strong country like you superpowers see this as your responsibility in the world. I hope that you American chaps will pop up to Canada on your vacation. We have some very beautiful scenery up here and some very colorul activities. Cheerio!"

Instead of all this, Canada lives on the arm in terms of responsibilities, and then turns around and spits daggers at Americans for providing the possibility.

Personally, if the US is going to have to do all this heavy lifting, I really think that it is not unreasonable for Canada to watch our back. I'm encouraged by Mr. Harper's new view of the Canadian military.

Posted by: Greg outside Dallas | 2006-02-28 3:25:41 PM


Thanks, although I'm sure that the Charter repealed in 1982 two sections 2 and 7 of the Statute of Westminster...Whether that matters in this conversation or not being I'm sure irrelavant.

Posted by: Daniel | 2006-02-28 3:32:54 PM

Well that would be a start ET, to paraphrase you:
“We are in Afghanistan to liberate the people from tribal Islamic Fundamentalism”

But I don’t think anyone has ever stood up in Parliament and said that.

I’m a baby boomer, same age as Clinton and Bush, so I won’t be called up. I’m in my armchair with my laptop. The litmus test for me is “ what if one of my kids were called up?”
How would I feel about them being put in harms way? Not very good knowing what I know about the support from Canadians that they are getting. Ergo, are they getting the funding for the best equipment to keep them as safe as possible? Therefore I think our troops and our citizens need to know what this "movement" is that we are fighting. And where and why we have decided to fight this "movement".

ET you know what this "movement" , this enemy is, Warwick knows what it is, Mark Collins does, and Greg from Dallas does, actually many others here on this Blog know.
The key point you made is that this war is not against a country; it’s against a movement. And no one short of a few like Christopher Hitchens or David Warren or Salim Mansard knows how to talk about that in a professional sense. Maybe they should be called up as expert witnesses.

But, but … Canadians generally do not know because they “live in a cave”.
It is a morally imperative duty of Parliament, in fairness to young troops being asked to possibly pay with their lives, to debate this openly in Parliament.

The worst that can happen by putting this debate on the floor of Parliament is that we Canadians will be letting the world see what “cave people” we really are. So be it. As I say, we owe it to our troops to put the truth on the table.

But I trust the Canadian people to not let Parliament duck their duty. Canadains , unlike Dithers , now understand that "Clarity" works.

Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-02-28 4:16:20 PM

>> Funny that none of the lefty jackasses were whining for a vote when the LIBERALS committed our troops to Afghanistan without consulting parliament. Why should Harper have to go to parliament to get the blessing of her majesty's loyal opposition to implement the policy of her majesty's loyal opposition?

The Liberal jackasses really naively think they can kick out the Conservatives and get back in .. the very still stupid Liberals think we all will forget how much we had hated the Liberals for all of their cheating , lying , abuse and stealing the tax payer money and we still do dislike them too much as well. The ex Liberals are very lonely, the miss their cabinet posts and the money that went with it too

Posted by: Reality | 2006-02-28 5:03:12 PM

>>>> Of course the past liberals of Canada wanted to keep the supposed peace . To let the USA do the heavy lifting and take the heat for the initial forays. It is our God - given right as the conscience of the world to receive free protection from attacks, to be entitled to sell our logs and oil to them without worry of the world closing in upon us, to flaunt our communism and immoral liberal values in their red- neck ' bigoted ; faces, to take the moral high ground on every international issue , using the ugly American as a foil to preserve our ' reputation ' . Yes indeed we are so noble to reap the rewards and castigate the enablers , as we flaunt our geographic lottery winnings.

Those same liberal Jackasses losers now are not in power at the federal levels, only in Ontario at the provincial level, and they the Liberals are not going to get back in shortly too into power butinto the negative Realities of the Real World. Realities such as we in Canada can all live with the Liberals, prosperous and happily as well

Posted by: Non Liberal | 2006-02-28 5:09:32 PM

Note to Canadians: Even an American "Freeper Retard" (accreditation Robert McClelland) like me can acknowledge Canada's more sophisticaed foreign policy both present and past. While the US is wasting resources on missile defense to counter the PRC's ability to nuke our cities (thank you President Clinton), Canada is choosing the more nuanced approach by selling resource companies to the Chinese government and its surrogates. I think it was your previous PM who paraphrased Sun Zu: Give thine enemy all wells and he will not poison the them; rather have your people drink water from the clouds or in drought, the piss from an ass.

Posted by: Rodger Beals | 2006-02-28 5:11:17 PM

GENERAL HILLER is sending it's A team to Afghanistan, PPCLI, not the Vanhoos, send them to Haiti with all the other UN f--k ups.

Greg outside Dallas, why would the lib/lefties say thanks? Being morally superior to the US that is not even a consideration. Jeeze don't you know anything ! ?

Posted by: Western Canadian | 2006-02-28 5:22:32 PM

"I love the responses here. Shut up and stop questioning the orders of der fuhrer. Are you rubes really this frightened of opening up Canada's continuing participation in Afghanistan to a debate and free vote in Parliament?"

Good point. There was no debate when the Ontario corporations and the Chretien Regime ordered the troops to Afghanistan. Maybe now's the time.

Of course, there's always the chance Harper will win.

Posted by: Scott | 2006-02-28 5:43:32 PM

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