Canada is a crappy friend

National Post: All we had to do was be a good friend - "Canada noticeably absent from the list of U.S. allies thanked"

Reading this made me sad. Really, really sad. It should make all Canadians sad, regardless of what side of the ideological fence they sit on regarding the war with Iraq. This war is happening, whether anyone likes it or not. That doesn't mean all Canadians have to support the war itself, but considering how important our relations are to each other (Americans who don't think Canada is important to them simply haven't done their homework, but that's okay, we're used to being obscure and don't mind that much) we do need to be good friends and support each other through these times.

This period, this administration, is going to end. Whether it's 1.5 or 5.5 years from now doesn't really matter, but it's going to end. Unfortunately our Americans neighbours' memories of how our leaders, how WE turned our backs on them isn't going to end, not in 5 or 10 years. Maybe not even in 20 or 50. And that really sucks for us. Honestly, I hope Americans forget really soon, or, we get the courage to do something about it now before it's too late.

The reality is, even if we wanted to send troops into Iraq, we couldn't have. My understanding is we're fully committed already, pretty much everyone is in Afghanistan. Our military is small. Good, but small, and very overextended. But like this article shows, we didn't need to send troops or planes in order to be good allies, we just had to be supportive neighbours. We couldn't even manage that. How embarassing.

This afternoon I saw a piece on CBC Newsworld about some heated discussion in the Canadian House of Commons today between the PQ and our Prime Minister. Apparently, 31 Canadian soldiers ARE in fact fighting with the coalition in Iraq, having been transferred to the armies of other coalition countries. So fellow Canadian, next time your American friend mentions we aren't contributing, remind them that we are in some small way, whether you agree with it or not, and then apologize on behalf of all Canadians that our leaders are too arrogant and snooty to acknowledge it and support our allies.

When I first heard Bush say "You're either with us or against us", I never thought Americans would stand behind that statement. But by and large they have, and now the French, Germans, Russians and Canadians are suddenly bad guys. That's unfortunate, there is so little respect for alternative views anymore in America. We're with American on this war on terror, but some people think that it can be dealt with in a different way.... and that doesn't make those people the enemy.

Written on March 28, 2003