Thursday, March 03, 2005

Is Canada of any use?

It is great to see that there is a growing debate inside Canada about their refusal to carry their load of defending the West and guarding their own security.

Individual Canadian members of the armed forces are outstanding, but as a whole, since they went from the Red Ensign to the Maple Leaf flag, it has all been downhill WRT having any type of military to speak of.
"we (Canada) spend a smaller share of our national wealth on military obligations than any NATO nation except tiny Luxembourg and Iceland (which has no military at all)."
That is just shameful.

I know, I can hear the bleating already. "But what about foreign aid? Canada does a lot."
While our military neglect is common knowledge, Canadians may also be in need of a reality check when it comes to foreign aid. As UN Millennium Project manager John W. McArthur noted in these pages yesterday, our official development assistance (ODA) did not even amount to 0.3% of GDP in 2004 -- less than half the 0.7% standard wealthy nations have embraced as a goal. Notwithstanding Bono's boosterism and the government's chest-thumping, the truth is that tiny European nations such as Norway are putting us to shame not only in military spending but also in aid.

Credibility is eroding fast for our friendly neighbor to the North. Hope we
once had for the new PM is fading fast.
Our refusal to participate in the U.S. ballistic missile shield, a project that would protect Canadian and American cities alike from immolation, is perhaps the best example yet of how thoroughly fantasy and reality diverge in Ottawa. On Thursday, our government declared it would have nothing to do with the shield -- a foolish gesture meant to placate the pacifists in the Liberal caucus. But the next day, our PM advanced the conceit that the Americans would still have to consult with us before activating the system. One can practically hear the howls of laughter emanating from the few Washington officials who still bother to inform themselves of Ottawa's pronouncements: Can anyone seriously imagine that the President would ask our PM for permission to shoot down a missile heading for a U.S. target?
Yes, laughing is heard. Angry laughing.

Canadians should worry that they are becoming a joke. Pity (like the Canadian Forces I worked with in Bahrain showing up in 100F+ weather wearing HEAVY dark green uniforms), is starting to turn into distain.
Canada might well be described as a braggart who is all talk, no action. Consider this past week's grandiose promise by the Prime Minister to do "whatever is required" to end the humanitarian crisis in Darfur -- as if Canada had the capacity to do even a small fraction of what is needed in war-torn Sudan. A similar boast from Hungary or Latvia would have been more credible.
Don't listen to me. I'm just an American. I'll let the National Post end up this entry.
We stand at a crossroads. Either we will continue to shrivel into our role as the world's impotent scold. Or we can begin to reclaim our status as a leader on the international stage. We urge the Prime Minister and his Cabinet to use the upcoming foreign-policy and military reviews to restore Canada's place in the world community and put an end to our unconscionable drift.

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