Sixty-seven percent of Canadians surveyed agreed with the statement that the U.S. government is starting to act like a bully with the rest of the world. Explaining this statistic, Michael Sullivan of the Strategic Counsel states:
"As Canadians, we take pride in our role as peacemaking and peacekeeping," Mr. Sullivan said. "I think that that is part of our personality. We take pride in medicare, we take pride in our peacekeeping role. And when we look at the U.S., we don’t see those kind of values necessarily reflected."
Well, as for socialized medicine, I suppose he’s right: America doesn’t share Canadian values. We don’t think that you should have to wait weeks and months for necessary surgery. We also have this strange desire to innovate--using new technologies, medicines, and procedures, which seem to be inimical to the Canadian system.
And as for peacekeeping, we Americans have this nasty habit of doing the heavy lifting of actually creating the conditions for peace, leaving it to those nations like Canada whose moral indignation at the unpleasantness of international conflict prevents them from displaying the moral resolve necessary to make difficult choices.
Of course, this is not the first snowball of criticism lobbed from the icy north. Canada PM Chretien suggested on September 11th of this year that America was somehow to blame for the WTC attacks because of economic disparity throughout the world. Yet it is somehow difficult to take criticism from Canada seriously. What incenses Canada is that even they know that on their best day, they are sort of like the U.S.’s little brother. You know, the kid who would get beat up by every passing punk, but for the fact that his brother is the biggest kid on the block. No one really respects the little brother, because they know that there is no merit in this accident of birth. The big brother, however, gets respect, not just because he is big, but because he doesn’t throw his weight around without cause. Similarly, no one really thinks that Canada would amount to much more than a third-world country with a thriving hockey league if not for the U.S. In fact, if not for the U.S., they would probably have to make real world decisions about things like spending for defense and foreign policy.
If the Canadians are going to cast aspersions regarding "values," here is a thought to keep in mind: AQ attacked the United States because America typifies Western Democracy and represents beliefs inimical to these extremists, including freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and recognition of the right of Israel to exist as an independent nation. Canada was not Bin Laden’s target not simply because blowing up ice is less impressive than blowing up buildings, but because on these issues Canada stands once again as America’s little brother, giving a meek and quiet "me too," but failing to take the responsibility necessary to be a leader among nations.