In Canada, I frequently had the unsettling experience of discovering that people who were supposedly anti racism and spoke strongly against it in public, would suddenly, under the influence of drink, in a private situation, turn on someone who was non white and declare to him, in a more or less hypocritical fashiuon, that Canada is a white country and that he was there only because Canadians are such nice people.
Similarly, it is typical to find anti conservative, liberal Canadians speaking out against American foreign policy, only to immediately perceive that they actually, in a hidden way, admire the power wielded by that neighbouring nation which they, mistakenly, consider almost their own, being English speaking white brothers.
The insidiousness of this Canadian attitude is noticed by other countries, and it is found repellent.
I was told once by a Scot in Marbella, Spain, that Canada was a place were no one said what they actually felt unless they were drunk and in a group of like minded people.
But Canada has had good leaders who have shown a moral fibre perhaps superior to that of most of the people they actually rule. Thus, Chretiene kept Canada from entering a coalition which, under American leadership, went into an illegal, and stupid , war.
One may well ask why, if the push against Sadam in Irak was illegal, as it is universally claimed now, the offensive against Ghadafi in Lybia, is not. Is the backing by Nato so holy that it makes one invasion legal where the other, carried out without its permission, is not? Why?
Yet we do not see millions of people everywhere taking to the streests in protest. No one seems to think this is as important as the attack on Irak. Maybe because since oil is not so much the issue here, at least visibly, there is no reason to complain. Since the american oil lords are not obviously the ones to critizice here, perhaps a general protest is just too boring and it does not provide protesters with the proper sense of righteousness.
Yet people are sureley going to die just as they did then, and I am refering to civilians.
The CNN reporters are covering this war with a revolting attitude of self agrandisment, and with a suspicious kind of glee. Pure entertainment. Yet I keep thinking that this is a much more dangerous situation than the Irak war.
One of the reasons why is, that Sadam, in spite of all the American propaganda trying to connect him somehow to Bin laden, was actually an enemy to the teocratic terrorist movement, and he wasn´t particularly appreciated by anyone, as he was in fact a kind of communist, Arab style, while Ghadafi has been relatively friendly to Western interests up until now and therefore treated as a sort of excentric but, in the end, rather amusing little dictator.
Yet the truth is that this agression against Lybia is a show of military might at a time when the economic shape of the planet is quickly changing. the united States, although some Bloor Street dreamers still would like to think so, are no longer the powerful nation they were. They have grave troubles at home and abroad, they are economically hurt and the dollar is lower than the euro. Europe, too, is going through a stressful time, while the prediction of economists for the last twenty years are coming true: that the Eastewrn powers, China, India, and so forth, are the new world hegemonies.
And they are, even militarily. Which is why this show of force by the West is a dangerous farce.
Putin has expressed his dislike of the actions taken by the West. China has followed. Suddenly the West has some very powerful antagonists to their gang -ho meddling in the internal affairs of what are, after all. sovereign nations.
Germany stays clear of any commitement to the West in this case : Smart Germans. What happened to the notion of all for one and one for all which was the basic axiom behind the formation of the huge political entity that is modern Europe?
Japan is out of commission, dealing with its own terrible tragedy, and cannot play key ally to the West now. Not that it would, since it would probaly follow the German model.
But Canada, with a leader who does not wish to show any anti American feelings, even if he has to put Canadians at peril in the process, commits to a war which is welcome, I am sure, by those who, as they critizice the States for its political excesses and its outdated swaggering, feel an interior pride in being part of what they consider an empire.
Yet that empire can be crashed now if only China, Russia, Iran and other powers eager to see the end of Western superiority decide that they had had enough of the bull shit.
I think Armaggeddon may be around the corner.
And some clever folks around Bloor and Spadina will wish they had stuck to talking about art and love, and left politics alone.