The Vancouver Scrum

On the move!

Agh! You’re still here? My new site and weblog, is now up and running; new posts are building up over there, never to be mirrored here. Go! What are you waiting for? All the stuff worth keeping has been migrated over to the new server, and I don’t anticipate making any more posts here.

Bloggers and webmasters: Update your links! Simply replace with in your blogrolls or bookmarks to point to the new site. Old posts will remain on this server for as long as the people at Blogger/Google allow them to remain; unfortunately, I’m not going to bother to come up with any way of converting permalinks on this blog to their corresponding posts on the new site. Yes, I plead laziness. I also realize the irony of switching away from Blogger just it starts to add features that the demanding blog nerds insist upon.

Thanks for reading and linking, and see you over at!

—Ian King, December 13, 2004

Friday, April 04, 2003

Two voices looking for a happy medium between knee-jerk anti-Americanism and unquestioning devotion to the Elephant

Maclean’s editor Anthony Wilson-Smith is one of the few remaining Canadian commentators who doesn’t gravitate to either extreme; he shows it in his current editor’s letter and...

Globe And Mail national-affairs writer Jeffrey Simpson bemoans the degeneration of public debate over the war and the Canada-U.S. relationship into what he calls “the puerile (anti-American) versus the servile (pro-American).” Simpson nails both sides for suspending any pretense of critical judgment, ignorance of the bigger picture, double standards, and fearmongering. He’s also got a special barb for the pro-American right:
That relations are now deemed to be “poor” is Jean Chrétien’s doing, a rather odd assertion given that the only political change since the excellent years of Canada-U.S. relations during the Clinton administration has been exclusively on the U.S. side.
Yeah, baby, that’s right: it was the Americans that (probably) elected an administration that sees international community as a pain in the ass that needs a good dose of American values. Canada’s kept the same crew that had no real problems with the American government from 1993-2001. That Dubya fellow came in and mucked things up. Apparently the Right thinks that the onus is on Canada to kowtow to whoever’s in power in Washington, and that the Canadian government may only make decsions in Canada’s best interest if a foreign power allows us to do so.

Now, if only the Chrétien government could articulate what is probably the Canadian position on this was as well as Simpson can:
Many Canadians have resisted puerility and servility, and concluded that this war is part of a much wider agenda for U.S. behaviour and for remaking the Middle East that could not be made compatible with how Canada sees the world.

It was an optional war, easily won as these things go, that will lead to the likelihood of more terror, greater instability, fractured alliances and abiding anti-Americanism that will plague the world’s hyperpower, and its friends such as Canada, long after it has “solved” the Iraq problem by ill-chosen means.

That judgment, it must be admitted, could be wrong. Events might unfold as predicted by those who wanted this war. But at least the judgment springs neither from puerility nor servility.
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