Column: United States: global bully masquerading as Canada’s friend

By Shaun Kazem Ziai

A wise man once said, “an insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind.”

This is also true when talking about closely allied countries on a global political scale.

Canada must choose its friends carefully — they can have a direct impact on the mindset and policy direction of our nation.

Despite this need for caution, Canadians have fallen into a well-placed trap set by their so-called American friends.

Why so-called friends? Because they are not actually friends at all but the most insincere and evil type of bullies imaginable — Canadian allies in disguise, seeking to influence Canadian priorities in order to fulfill their own self-interest.

So far, this well-orchestrated masquerade has been effective in gaining Canada’s support for the American-led war against terrorism.

For instance, American calls for greater North American co-operation after Sept. 11 left most Canadians demanding that their government tie its policies more closely with their southern neighbours.

These blissfully ignorant demands did not take into account the ulterior motives of the Americans, who wished to protect their own borders and their own citizens from a continental terrorist threat.

When the popular Canadian fervour for American support was unmatched by reluctant Canadian policy-makers, the U.S. used economic blackmail to incite change in Canada.

They made it clear that if Canada did not answer their security demands, they would increase security at the border and effectively shut down the approximately $1.9 billion in trade that flows daily between the two countries.

That would be disastrous. Forty per cent of Canada’s economy is based on exports and 87 per cent of this is done with the U.S.

Such a threat forced the Canadian government in their recent budget to spend billions of taxpayer dollars to toughen security measures.

This American-imposed spending burden has forced the government to leave long-overdue domestic promises unfulfilled.

For example, the Aboriginal agenda is a Liberal promise that dates back to last January’s speech from the throne and the previous election’s red book. This agenda, had it been fully implemented, would have solved some of the pressing economic and social problems facing Canadian Aboriginal peoples.

While the needs of Canadians remain on the backburner, a masquerading ally has gained Canada’s popular consent to spend billions of dollars to support a war that is not their own.

This consent must soon turn into dissent, before the financial burden of President Bush’s pet project — a fight against the so-called “axis of evil” — once again falls upon the shoulders of Canadians.

For this to happen, Canadians must realize one thing.

That is, while those who attacked the U.S. on Sept. 11 may be the beasts that threaten Canadians physically, they are far less dangerous than the insincere friendship of the Americans, who use their relationship as a lever to shape the priorities and minds of an entire nation.