The Therapy Sessions
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
The price of impotence
(No, it has nothing to with Viagra)...
James R. Rummel:
President Bush is visiting Canada right now, a country that's full of people who are angry at the United States. Our foreign policy is one of the many issues that has gotten Canada in a lather.
Some reporter in Ottawa actually had the spine to mention to Bush that opinion polls show many Canadians are unhappy with his decisions. The President answered in a very realistic, down to Earth way.
"We just had a poll in our country when people decided that the foreign policy of the Bush administration ought to stay in place for four more years."
Canada has gotten to the point where they can't bring anything to the table. They've allowed their military to rust away to the point that they can't project significant force outside of their own borders without help. They've traded in their main battle tanks for less capable systems, they've allowed their Navy to rust away to insignificance (even to the point that they're adding warships to the fleet that are already worn-out deathtraps), and it's Air Force would be able to hold it's own against a determined foe only if it was suddenly transported back in time to 1960 or so.
Canadians insist that they are still players on the international field because they've aligned themselves with the United Nations. This explains their enthusiasm for peacekeeping missions, but it doesn't explain their ignorance of the corruption that's endemic throughout the UN. It could be argued that their support of such an institution is doing more harm than good in the world.
(In all fairness, I should point out that Canada is just one of many countries that have allowed their influence in the world wane to an alarming degree. They also aren't the only people who think that their esteem is actually worth something without offering any benefit. They just happen to have been in the news today, is all.)
The bottom line is that there is a bottom line. If you're going to try and influence the American government's policies, then you have to provide a reason for the US to listen to you. Simply being loud and self-righteous doesn't cut any ice. Not anymore, at any rate.
It's true that Americans are, by and large, a friendly people who want to be liked and admired. But that doesn't mean that we can be treated like those pathetic losers you knew in high school who were desperate to have a buddy. Instead of offering to withhold their friendship if the United States doesn't obey their wishes, the other countries of the world would be well advised to think of ways to make their opinion matter.