(Just a note to my American (at least one, that I know of) reader(s): When I rag on the US, it's not that I have anything against the average US citizen... it's your government, and in some cases specific institutions as is the case this time...)
"The influential Wall Street Journal published an angry editorial this week, saying Canadians are freeloaders who count on U.S. defence protection without giving anything in return."
Now, I have to tell you that I'm confused. Canada, the country that doesn't go around pissing people off, is a country of freeloaders? Wow, I must have missed something. I'm not one to say that we're on everyone's A-list, but really, which country in the world is ticked off enough with Canada to actually launch an attack on us? Let's do some thinking, shall we? Forgive me, I'm not an expert in foreign affairs, but I'll do the best I can here.
North Korea doesn't like too many countries. Frankly, even their only real ally that they had left, China, is even starting to get a littile irritated with them because of the nuclear weapons flap that's going on right now. For the time being, I think their major target is our southerly neighbours, the USA, who have been absolutely unhelpful when it comes to the ongoing negotiations. North Korea is not going to be dragging their army across the Pacific Ocean anytime soon, nor are they going to be launching missiles at us.
Ok, so Iran. What exactly are they going to do militarily? Besides, Canada hasn't been flying drones over their country in preparations for not going to war with them. I think this is another case of "they've got bigger problems".
Well... we haven't been torturing any prisoners lately, and we haven't generally been poking our nose in other people's business either. Not that that really matters. We're not exactly the poster-boy of foreign policy, but I haven't seen bin Laden warning the "Canadian infidels". But, we're still at risk, nonetheless. The problem with terrorism, as Spain, Israel, or Ireland can tell you, is that there's not a whole lot you can do to stop it. You could take away everybody's rights and make them absolutely paranoid that the terrorists are out to get them, but that doesn't help. All you can do is try and address the problems that are making the "terrorists" want to kill you... trying to wipe them out just isn't going to work. People seem to have forgotten that Timothy McVeigh wasn't Islamic, he didn't have brown skin, and he didn't have a turban. Terrorists don't have any identifying characteristics, thus there is no way to find them all. And let's not forget it only takes one to do damage.
To conclude, if you can think of anyone who's threatening enough to Canada that we need protection by the US, I'd like to hear it, just so I can start writing to my politicians to increase the Canadian Forces' funding even more. (BTW - I'm glad to hear that the Canadian Forces are getting a budget increase... maybe they'll be able to repair and upgrade their equipment from its budget-starved state. Shame on our government for not doing this sooner.)