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If events since 11 September prove anything, it's that the age of the superpower is over. Yet one nation refuses to let go of an identity that lost all meaning a decade ago. Today, its pretensions to world leadership, indeed world ownership, have literally endangered everyone on the planet. This nation's inability to fit comfortably into the new status quo threatens the peace and freedom of Canada in the immediate future, and ultimately of the entire world.
Americans appear unwilling, or perhaps unable, to accept that their role and duty in today's world is to take their place among fellow nations as strict equals. They must drop intrusive foreign policies, along with the tired "leader of the free world" conceit, and develop the skills required to compete with other sovereign nations on a fair, equal, nonviolent, and democratic footing. Canadians too seem hypnotised by the pain and rhetoric, reluctant to release a world view that dates to the Cold War, and whose relevance died with it.
We will get no positive leadership from the US. We must find it within, and join with fellow nations to create a new, superpowerless world.
Let there be no mistake: in this era, Canada is as powerful as the US, if not more so. The great military enemies, the Central Powers, the Axis, the Communist Bloc, are gone. Military and economic power are no longer the currency of survival. Yet Canada's politicians have committed us to a "war" (the word is ridiculous in this context) against... whom? And for what? How will we know when we've won, assuming we ever find a legitimate target? While we wait for answers, our national assets, up to and including our own sons and daughters, are being used to pour gasoline on a wildfire.
These are the facts: The US, using typical Cold War "morality" that valued instability, conspiracy, and insurgency, set up a terrorist regime in Afghanistan. Their goal was to hurt the Soviets, but like so many intrusive American policies, their tactics were the diplomatic equivalent of poison gas: once released, such devastation cannot be controlled. Thus, though the American-authored Taliban movement did in fact gravely wound the Soviet state, a simple change in political winds was all it took to waft this evil back across the lines to brutalise those who created it.
Today, Canada and other nations are urged to kill strangers in a "war" to wipe out state-sponsored terrorism. Given that Afghanistan is chump change in this respect, perhaps Canada's moral resources would be better used to impeach the grand-daddy of all terrorist-sponsoring states: the United States of America. Even as you read this, American-trained and -funded terrorists just like the Taliban are operating on every continent. Their targets are legitimate governments, or freedom movements within the borders of client totalitarian states, that a tiny American elite considers "undesirable." This isn't some wild-eyed conspiracy theory. It's not even news. For the US, it's a matter of record.
It's time Canadians did the math: A powerful nation does despicable things to hundreds of people, in the name of dubious "national interest". Each victim has many loved ones. The survivors, filled with rage, become militant, and are victimised in turn. The circles grow ever wider until the number of people brutalised, directly or indirectly, and burning for revenge, spins into the hundreds of thousands. Many of them are literally willing to die for the slimmest chance to hurt their tormentors, no matter how futile or abstract the means. On 11 September, 2001, this principle left the realm of theory and became fact.
Today the Americans, and their Canadian toadies, are exerting excruciating pressure on Canada to give up its nationhood. They want to enforce American law within our borders, absorb our armed forces into theirs, eliminate what little economic freedom we still enjoy. They want total, unrestricted access to all of our resources. Irony is giving way to tragedy: Canada, a nation far better equipped to meet today's challenges than its archaic southern neighbour, is being forced into a spear-carrier role. Any Canadian who speaks up in defence of our nation is accused of being "soft on terrorism," of wishing the American people ill, even of encouraging terrorist attacks on Canada.
Let me say it loudly and firmly: I am not soft on terrorism. I demand that the US immediately cease funding, training, and supporting terrorists. I call on the US to stop arming violent movements that appear useful to short-term American foreign policy objectives. I call for international recognition of the fact, now written in blood, that terrorism is not an effective diplomatic tool. I call on Canada, and all other democratic, freedom-loving nations, to draw a hard line on this issue, and to refuse to support any American initiatives until they furnish proof that every US-created and supported Taliban-like organisation or government has been disbanded or cut off from training and funding.
I also call on the Canadian government to halt its rubber-stamp policy on American demands and to serve the Canadian people. It is not in our interest that Canadian law or law enforcement agencies be replaced by American ones. It is not in our interest to lose control of our armed forces or our resources. It is certainly not in our interest to invite terrorist attacks on Canada by blurring, or eliminating, the distinction between Canada and the United States.
We are different. We must remain different. The world needs Canada, not as waterboy for the US, but as a moral, democratic nation that is fully independent of the US in all matters, and that excels the US in many respects.
In this new world, a desperate man with a pen knife is more powerful than a nation bristling with nuclear weapons, colonies, and coercive trade agreements. In such a world, Canada is more important, and ultimately more powerful, than the US. We must never give up that power, or any part of it. We are the only hope for peace and justice today. Canadians are not used to thinking of themselves in these terms, but we must get used to it.
Canada has never been in as much danger as she is today. That danger does not come from nameless, faceless people we've never heard of, but from the same place it has always come from. There is a world of difference between deploring the events of 11 September while lending spiritual and humanitarian support to our neighbours, and handing them the keys to Parliament. It's wrong of them to ask, and it would be disastrous in us to do it.
If you are confused about where your duty lies, ask yourself the classic question: when your grandchildren are studying these events in school, what do you want to tell them you did while your leaders were signing away your country?
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Copyright 2001 by R. Henderson
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Last update: 18 February, 2002.
Dernière mise à jour: 18 février 2002.
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