Sparrows and back yard flags

FTLComm - Tisdale - Friday, November 22, 2002

As I headed toward home today out of the corner of my eye I spotted a flag flying in a neighbour's back yard and when I drove up the back alley I discovered two yard across from one another each with a proud Canadian flag standing at attention in the strong West wind of the early afternoon.

Canadians are not normally ones to show their symbols but with the exception of Albertans most Canadians have a strong affection for both their country and the kind of ideals that make it decidedly different from other parts of the world. Just like sparrows that seem to be everywhere, common cheerful little birds, we pretty much take a lot of things about ourselves for granted.

Trouble has been brewing between Canada and its neighbour ever since the establishment of the Free Trade Agreement. The government of Canada, then lead by Brian Mulroney, a man who worships all things American but despite that is about as Canadian as you can get, negotiated with the Americans to create a trade agreement. But Americans see everyone else in the world as "suckers" and Canadians were ripe for the picking and the NAFTA deal was designed to take advantage of their Northern neighbours.
Since then we have been increasingly annoyed as to how our supposed close friend, ally and largest trading partner has been treating us like sparrows. Completely unimportant to them and taken for granted. From Durham wheat to softwood lumber we have seen the spirit of free trade ignored and the Americans act purely on their own behalf without regard for us.

What we see and it must really bother Brian Mulroney is this is the major difference between Canadians and Americans, just as it is the main difference between Canadians and Albertans and that is that sharing and working toward a common solution, finding working compromises, that is the Canadian way, not taking advantage, stabbing in the back those who trust and have come to depend upon you which is indeed the American and Albertan way of thinking.

When the US didn't elect their latest president, the guy who spent the Vietnam War AWOL from the US air force, the already tense situation between the two countries of North America took a big downturn. He began his presidency by snubbing Canada, then he said that Mexico was his closest friend, then Britain became his closest friend and that president and his office staff called the Canadian prime minister openly and to one another as "dino" as in dinosaur.

When America was attacked in September of last year Canadians were there on the spot to help and mourn and their president ignored them. When American pilots decided to bomb Canadian forces in Afghanistan the US president did not mention it or acknowledge the incident in any form of apology

Now the American ambassador and the Secretary of State have been giving Canada a hard time demanding that we get in line to help the United States oust the leadership of Iraq for oil and business reasons and they have been very undiplomatic about this issue at the NATO meeting this week. Is it any surprise that the prime minister's aid would privately refer to the US president as a "Moron" for indeed few Canadians believe he is not a moron. Perhaps charming to his fellow Americans but definitely one of the slowest thinkers ever to have occupied the office of President of his country.
It was just amazing how the politicians, especially those from Alberta who consider themselves either Republicans or at least citizens of the 52nd state were outraged demanding an apology and that the staff person be fired. You would wonder just where these people have been for the past eight years as conditions between America and Canada have worsen to the point that the US no longer respects Canadian passports and after September 11 did everything they could to blame Canada for the attack even though their closes friend and ally, Saudi Arabia was the country that paid for and carried out the horrific attacks on New York and Washington and non of the murders ever set foot in Canada.

The American pursuit of its political regime of increased security looks very much like the build up toward a totalitarian state. Last night on CNN there was an interview with a girl who's parents are Palestinian who has been persecuted at her school for wearing a Palestinian scarf. There are ugly things happening and if you are a Canadian you look at what you hold as important and realise that we don't want to have a world like the one the US is developing and imposing upon its neighbours.

Jean Chretien is one of the most wily and calculated politicians to have ever been in power in this country and has masqueraded with is country boy image so long that few see that he is only a step or two away from Louisiana's Heuy Long. Stephen Harper and Joe Clark and all the other screaming like school kids about the "moron" comment are showing their complete and total silliness by not realising this was no accident. No slip of the tongue here, Jean was passing a message clear and simple so pay attention he and the rest of us have had enough of the insults from the US president and his pack of idiots.
Today a Canadian military leader (on CBC no reference available as yet since it was only announced on the 2:00PM news) pointed out that World War III has already begun. The enemy, world terrorism is a world wide event and it is time for us and everyone to mobilise, no one will be untouched by the extent of this conflict and of course we much leave the details to future historians to figure out how the split that Trudeau talked about decades ago between North and South would lead to this but as Canadians we all know the causes and to see the United States continue as a major causative factor in producing this horrible conflict it is particularly galling.

What is clear that we can not continue to be like sparrows in a world of hawks. Only force and the might of being in an honourable cause is acceptable at this time. Attacking Iraq is not an honourable cause, nor is turning our country into a police state a fitting response to terrorism. We must each go back to honour and confirm to ourselves what we are about and let the moron go about his business but never ever fall into the trap of assisting a moron in moron behaviour.

Canada must quickly rearm, get transport aircraft, rebuild the fleet, acquire ground attack aircraft, acquired five hundred helicopters, train and equip one hundred thousand soldiers, airmen and sailors. We must defend Canadians and the weak where ever they are and it may even come to defending our border from the fools to the South of us.

Look at the sparrows, for they can afford to sail on the wind. We cannot.

Timothy W. Shire



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