A new poll done both here in Canada and the U.S. tells me I’m pretty much in the mainstream: I like America and my American neighbors, but I’m not so hot on Dubya and his fellow travellers in his administration.
Only about one Canadian in seven defines him or herself as anti-American. I’m not one of those.
I’ve always enjoyed visiting the U.S. On balance, I find Americans to be good-hearted, generous, friendly, helpful, fun-loving people.
9/11 is something I still haven’t fully absorbed. The destruction of the towers, people falling to their deaths, shocked, dust-covered survivors in the streets of lower Manhattan, crying people posting pictures of missing loved ones … this is the stuff of nightmares.
When some Canadians of an anti-American bent suggested that 9/11 was payback for some of your country’s less-than- finer moments abroad, I ferociously rebutted them.
I supported the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and in sending Canadian troops to help out. My reasoning was that 9/11 was an act of war, and that by harbouring al Qaeda, the Taliban of Afghanistan had made themselves complicit in the attack. Not only that, it wasn’t just an attack on the U.S.; it was an attack on civilization.
Iraq, however, was totally different.
Right from the start, I thought your man Dubya was pushing for war. To me, the claims his team were making about Iraq simply didn’t ring true. It felt like the foreign policy equivalent of a used car salesman trying to hustle me.
And when Dubya was talking about how American troops would be welcomed in Iraq as liberators, not vilified as occupiers, he must not have been reading the Toronto Star.
I recall a pre-war story by veteran Toronto Star correspondent Olivia Ward who quoted one young Iraqi man as saying: “If the Americans come here, we will kill them.” That guy lived in southern Iraq, a Shiite region that was oppressed by Saddam Hussein.
When our former prime minister Jean Chretien announced on March 17, 2003 that Canada wasn’t going to be joining the invasion of Iraq, I breathed a sigh of relief and whooped in triumph. I thought it was the right thing to do then, and nothing has happened since to convince me otherwise.
Howard Dean got in trouble almost a year ago when he said the capture of Saddam Hussein had not made America safer. Politically dumb, yes, but history seems to have proven him right.
A typical day of anti-American attacks in Iraq back in the spring of 2003 would be about a dozen.
Right now, it’s over 80.
Mission not accomplished.
Iraq is just one area where George W. Bush showed a shocking lack of judgment as your president (assuming it was just bad judgment that led him into this mess).
Back on Oct. 26, I wrote the following:
I would really love those out there in Dubya-lover land to explain to me how they could read the New Yorker editorial this week and still vote for him.
I’m still waiting for a response.