HOLDING THE BULLY'S COAT: Eager to Please U.S., Canada Adopts Its Militaristic Stance
Laberge, Roy, CCPA Monitor
HOLDING THE BULLY'S COAT: Eager to please U.S., Canada adopts its militaristic stance Review by Roy Laberge Holding the Bully's Coat: Canada and the U.S. Empire, by Linda McQuaig, Doubleday Canada, 296 pages, hard cover, $34.95.
Best-selling author Linda McQuaig has traced Canadian-U.S. relations since the second World War, and confirms that our once independent country has indeed become the holder of the coat of the U.S. as it bullies both its allies and its enemies.
In Holding the Bully's Coat, she states: "As the U.S. has rejected the rule of international law and become a law unto itself, Ottawa has followed in close step, eager to please our powerful neighbour. We have abandoned our traditional role as a leading peacekeeping nation and adopted a more militaristic, warlike stance as a junior partner in the U.S. 'war on terror'." These are strong words, but McQuaig offers a strong case to support them.
We have moved "from being a nation that championed internationalism, the United Nations and UN peacekeeping, to being a key prop to an aggressive U.S. administration operating outside the constraints of international law," she writes.
Canada has also bent over backwards to accommodate the U.S. desire "to create a 'Fortress America' in the wake of 9/11. This has involved massive new Canadian spending, not just on the military, but also on all agencies engaged in policing, border security, and domestic terrorism surveillance."
She observes that, for many years, Canada's military "has chafed under the notion that their main function was peacekeeping." The military welcomed the appointment of General Rick Hillier as Canada's Chief of Defence Staff in February 2005. It signalled "the transformation of the Canadian military into a combat force, and one that would mesh neatly with the U.S. military."
She defines the reaction of the military as "no more girlie-man peacekeeping. We're gonna make war... Brazenly thumbing his nose at the Pearsonian peacekeeping tradition, Hillier... has publicly stated that the role of the Canadian military is "to be able to kill people."
She points out that "the U.S. notion that the West must engage in a long-term war against radical Islam is a common one in our military ranks. However, she quotes U.S. researcher Robert Page, who has compiled a comprehensive data bank of every suicide terrorist attack since 1980 and who found that "terrorism is mainly a response to foreign occupation, not Islamic fundamentalism... Before our (U.S.) invasion, Iraq never had a suicide attack in its history."
She strongly criticizes the Canadian media: "It is fashionable in Canadian media circles to denigrate the importance of Canada as a world player and scoff at the idea that anything we do would matter one way or another. …