Jewish World Review April 21, 2003 / 19 Nisan, 5763
We stand of guard for thee
Oh, Canada, what the heck is going on? In a staggering display
of in-your-face defiance, the Canadian government now says it will not turn
over any members of Saddam Hussein's crew should they eventually show up in
Canada to the United States, including the evil dictator himself! Canadian
Minister of Defense John McCallum bluntly told the world that his government
would only give Saddam to the World Court in The Hague.
This non-provoked belligerence comes after Prime Minister Jean
Chretien gleefully pilloried the Bush administration over fighting Iraq
every chance he got. Chretien and his cohorts have made no secret of their
disdain for Mr. Bush, and the Canadian press has generally been brutal to
America in portraying the war.
In response, President Bush has canceled his May trip to Ottawa,
and it would be wise not to send him an autographed picture of the Montreal
Canadian hockey team anytime soon. That's because Montreal fans recently
booed the national anthem before a match with the New York Islanders,
causing some angst among American hockey fans, who are not generally known
for being too accepting of that kind of display.
But it doesn't end there. When a group of Boston kids went up to
Montreal to play in a peewee hockey tournament, they were not only taunted
by the Canadian kids, but also by the referees. Eh?
My question is this: Do the Canadian people have any idea how
close they are to serious pain here?
Canada's economy is utterly dependent on the United States, and
Americans pump more than $10 billion directly into it every year. Nine
million of us cross the northern border more than 40 million times annually,
and we buy lots of stuff. And that stuff is heavily taxed by the
tax-and-spend Canadian government. So what happens if we all emulate Mr.
Bush and just say no to the land of snow?
Canada's economy melts, that's what happens.
A loosely organized boycott of French goods by some Americans
has brought immediate pain to the wine and travel industries in that
country, according to business titans in Paris. One analyst told me that
French wine consumption in the USA is down 10 percent, and travel to Paris
is off by more than 20 percent with almost record low bookings for the
upcoming summer. Since the French economy was growing at just 1 percent
before Jacques Chirac began his quest to embarrass America, a French
recession is now likely.
If the same economic pressure were applied to Canada, the
results would be much more intense. Simply put, if Americans cut back doing
business with Canadians, that country could go into a depression.
And herein lies the problem. Most Americans are not mean people
and don't want to hurt working-class Canadians. It is Chretien who's the
problem, and he's out of office in less than a year. But, there comes a
point when enough is enough, and Canadians should understand that storm
clouds are gathering to the south. Humiliating American kids in a hockey
rink is simply not acceptable. Thumbing your nose at 127 dead Americans in
Iraq by making defiant statements about where Saddam should be extradited is
not a wise policy.
Millions of Americans are beginning to realize that their buying
power is not only a democratic choice but can be used as a weapon against
people who are hostile to us. No American is under any obligation to buy any
product, foreign or domestic. I'm sure the Molson beer people understand
that Budweiser fits in the cooler as well.
So I am giving the haughty Jean Chretien one more chance because
I have always liked and respected the Canadian people. I am not going to
travel north this summer, but I'm not boycotting Canadian products as I am
with France. But hear this Mr. Prime Minister: One more cheap shot, one more
unnecessary taunt, one more insult directed at the USA by you or your
minions, and I'll give you a very accurate long-range forecast. It's gonna
get mighty cold mighty fast west of the St. Lawrence.
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JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the
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© 2001 Creators Syndicate