THE LILLIPUTIANS AND GULLIVER: Independent "Security" Policy for Canada Is Not Impossible
Clarkson, Stephen, CCPA Monitor
Now that George W. Bush has been re-elected, thanks to the fervent support of fundamentalists, the Roman Catholic hierarchy, middle America, and the once Dixiecrat south; now that radical Republican control has been tightened in both the Senate and the House of Representatives; now that the Supreme Court is poised to be rejuvenated with constitutionally correct judges; now that Bush intimates will run both the National security Council and the Department of State: we can envisage what kind of security challenges Canada will have to deal with for the next four years.
Given that George Bush's understanding of the world was formed by his tutor Condoleeza Rice, American foreign policy under her watch can be expected to remain locked in its messianic, manicheistic, and resolute fixation on imposing U.S.-defined freedom on the Arab world. Even if it manages to withdraw its troops from Baghdad and claim its mission finally to be accomplished, Washington will be hard pressed to regain the legitimacy around the world on which its recent and unprecedentedly successful hegemony depended. The global consensus which supported that universalization of American neoconservative norms-most triumphantly in the World Trade Organization (WTO, 1995)-has been broken by the application in the Middle East of the Bush doctrine's proclamation of the United States' right to determine régime change pre-emptively.
With Bush at her back, secretary of State Rice can be expected to be tough when pressing other countries for support. But her association with the disinformation, faulty analysis, and unilateralism which precipitated the present disaster will not afford her that benefit-of-the-doubt honeymoon which John Kerry could have expected had he now been setting out to generate multilateral support for the pacification of Iraq and the resolution of the hostilities in Palestine. The U.S. as hegemon may have morphed into the "new American Empire," but the former's impressive success contrasts with the latter's shocking failure, its prize in Mesopotamia reduced to rubble and blood in the name of a democratic revolution that has no demos.
With Donald Rumsfeld still in control of the Pentagon, the United States will push ahead as fast as it can manage with "National Missile Defense," the next stage of its program militarily to affirm its imperial bona fides by dominating the stratosphere. Although "security" will remain a mantra within the Beltway, the President's determination to deepen tax cuts for the rich and privatize Social security accounts for the rest will leave him little cash with which to implement the extremely costly measures required to achieve the "homeland's" invulnerability to terrorist attacks that current discourse demands. How Prime Minister Paul Martin handles his discussion of security matters with his U.S. counterpart will be his second greatest challenge after handling his political security problem (otherwise known as Carolyn Parrish, MP).
We need to review the background to Canada's bilateral and multilateral security problems before pausing briefly to look at the key issues on the present agenda and its flash points that Martin confronts.
Ever since the first European settlement, Canadians have had to strive for peace, order, and good government in the shadow of an economically nourishing, politically controlling imperial power whose security needs they have had to accommodate in order to receive its military protection.
In the 19th century, London's military strategy for British North America amounted to defending the colonies, later the Dominion of Canada, from the constantly looming possibility of an American invasion. By the 1930s, when the United States had displaced the United Kingdom as its effective centre of political and economic gravity, Ottawa's strategic position experienced a sea change. In return for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's assurance that Washington would not "stand idly by" if his northern neighbour were attacked by enemy forces, Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King realized he had to promise that Canada would not allow enemy troops to use its territory to attack the United States. …