Canadas Next

The Bush foreign policy makes it logical, not loonie.

IT'S A VAST COUNTRY, mostly empty save for valuable energy and mineral reserves. It has long, open borders and lax immigration laws that could allow a potential terrorist to move at will. It has great strategic value, but its population has an inbred suspicion of Americans. It also has political figures who often use extreme language to characterize U.S. leadership. Iraq? Syria? Iran? North Korea?

Forget the Axis of Evil. Try the Axis of Maple.

Just how long will it be before America decides to solve the Canadian problem once and for all? It's rather amazing it hasn't happened already.

Given the Bush administration's new policy of pre-emption and the virtually permanent terror war it has declared to justify all acts, doesn't it seem like Canada is simply another sovereign state that can no longer be sustained by American forbearance? In the New World Order, can the existence of Canada be tolerated? Canadawhich virtually stiffed the U.S. by refusing to help us during Gulf War IIis a bigger problem than many other obscure and remote regimes because of its proximity to "the Homeland" and its attitude of defiance.

If our tanks can roll freely into Baghdad, how hard would it be to seize Ottawa, eh?

ON MAY 1, MAY DAY to the rest of the world but now officially decreed "Loyalty Day" in the U.S., an article appeared in the Ottawa Citizen headlined, "U.S. says Canada cares too much about liberties." It cited a recent U.S. State Department report on global terrorism that worried about the Canadians' attachment to their freedoms. It quotes the report as indicating U.S. law-enforcement officers have expressed concerns about Canadian privacy laws. It also indicated that Canada hasn't spent enough of its budget on law enforcement and therefore is slow to share information with the U.S. In addition, Canada's protections for citizens and landed immigrants "sometimes limit the depth of investigations." While Canada is praised for its overall cooperation, it is also clear that Canada is not actively following America's lead in eroding rights in the name of security.

We've whacked countries for less.

And then there are the ongoing disputes over trade, fish, timber, and pot. The U.S. doesn't much like Canada's flirtation with the decriminalization of marijuana not to mention all the B.C. bud that flows south. The current administration has spent a lot of money trying to convince us that there is no difference between the drug war and the terror war, that they are one and the same. The drug trade alone could justify U.S. action.

Plus, striking a blow against Canada would send a signal to the traitorous, pot-smoking bleeding hearts here in America. During the run-up to the recent Iraq war, many U.S. liberals expressed more desire to bolt America for Canada than at any time since Vietnam and the draft. And many pro-war Americans encouraged them to go. "Love it or leave it" bumper stickers were back. The NPR crowd sees Canada as a kind of alternate universe of what America could have become if we hadn't lost our way between F.D.R. and Dubya. It's the closest thing we have to a Scandinavian socialist safe haven on this side of the Atlantic. All the more reason to eliminate a porous-bordered potential pocket of resistance. Under the current administration, it would simply be bad policy to allow Americans to think that they actually had a place to escape to. Take out Canada, and you cut off the internal enemy's easy retreat.

WOULD THE BROADER American public object to an invasion of Canada? Hardly. Most Americans already think of Canada as simply metric America, where the money and the measurements are a little funny, like the accents. That's when they think of it at all. Most, I suspect, probably believe in their heart of hearts that America and Canada are destined to be one anywayunification (or conquest) would simply set history right. We share a common history (dating back to the land bridge, if not before), a common language, or, as it says on the Blaine Peace Arch, we are "Children of a Common Mother." Why not add another star to Old Glory?

And global warming is about to make their climate a whole hell of a lot betterthe melting ice cap will soon allow wealthy Americans benefiting from Bush tax cuts to moor their yachts to the North Pole.

For the Iraq invasion, some Fox-loving jingoists voiced the slogan, "Kick their ass, take their gas." For doubters, please note that the same slogan works for Canada. And it's much catchier than "54-40 or fight." Also remember that we don't need much of a reason these days to do what we want, let alone with Canada. We once went to war with them over a pig. We won it, too.

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