No statement the president of the United States has made to date characterizes both the arrogance and stupidity of his administration more than Bush’s retort to Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward’s question about Iraq’s missing weapons of mass destruction.
In addressing the fact the US did not find a single WMD Bush replied, “The failure to find the bubbling vat did not render Saddam benign.”
This, of course, is true.
But this also leads us to yet another conclusion.
To continue to punish and pummel innocent Iraqis and to continue to destabilize all of the Middle East renders the US “malignant.”
This malignancy has now grown — by well–intentioned design of course — into what the Bush administration now calls its “long war.”
Stripping away all the nonsensical jargon and hype about a war on terrorism, the long war has but two primary aims:
To insure through targeted military initiatives the pre-eminence of American capitalism, paying particular attention to China’s emerging industrial threat.
And to continue to destabilize overtly and covertly — by both military and diplomatic means — the balance of power in the oil-rich regions of the Middle East, Central and South America and Canada.
Yes, and Canada.
As Stephen Harper takes the reins of power, his number-one priority has got to be his coming to grips with the Bush administrations’ penchant for world domination and the impact of its long war on Canadian sovereignty.
Like it or not, Bush’s global vision threatens our sovereignty, our economy, and our cultural diversity.
If Harper does not act quickly to wrap his mind around this fact, his brand of conservatism will feed directly into the long war.
Those of us in the free world have allowed George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleeza Rice, George Tenet and General Tommy Franks — a six-pack of dangerous fools who are unconstitutionally democratic, flagrantly militaristic and administratively catechistic — to destabilize the balance of power through out the world.
Canada must, in its own self-interest, deal directly and forcefully with the ramifications of current US foreign policy or pay long-term consequences, which among other things will include the rapid draining of Canada’s natural resources.
The US cannot hope to realize its quest for military — and thereby economic — domination without Canada solidly on its team.
It has neither the direct access to the high Arctic waterways nor the oil reserves to follow through with its long war.
The US must schmooze, pander or take access and oil from us.
As Mexico, Central and South America begin to solidify their economic and military rebuff of American global hegemony, Canada increasingly comes into the cross hairs.
Canada is in no position to confront the US militarily.
In light of this, Canada must exercise great care and little timidity about its role in combating 21st century hegemony.
Here is what Harper can ill afford to do:
Our new prime minister must not allow Canada to continue to violate Kyoto protocol.
If Harper does not coalesce his government around the adoption of an immediate environmental response to global warming by limiting greenhouse gas emissions both in this country and to the south, Canada’s boreal forest will simply die.
If that happens, we lose our first line of defence against global warming.
Our boreal forest, which covers 35 per cent of our landmass, is nature’s indispensable sponge soaking up the world’s carbon dioxide.
Protecting the boreal forest is as critical to our national defence as is our military and our peacekeepers.
Harper must also forge a sensible memorandum of understanding with oil-rich Alberta limiting its production and distribution to best serve the interest of all Canadians.
Oil and gas reserves are a national asset on which the stability and longevity of Canada will become more heavily dependent as the US imprudently sucks its own reserves dry.
When the US reaches its natural resource tipping point — within the next five to 10 years — Canada will experience America’s hegemonic coercion like never before.
For Canada to make it as a sovereign nation on the world’s stage, it must remain energy independent, religiously and secularly tolerant, richly multicultural, and perhaps most importantly, it must continue to justify its population growth in light of this independence.
If Harper, with the help of his streamlined cabinet, is able to make inroads here, Canada can show the world its democratic experiment is working.
This will not be easy. Harper only has to look south to find a model that has not worked well.
Harper will find clues on how to avoid the pitfalls encountered by the US by reflecting on a rather candid observation by the great French writer Paul Valéry.
Way back in 1932, Valéry declared that when one looked closely at the US it became clear that “never has humanity combined so much power, so much anxiety with so many playthings, so much knowledge with so much uncertainty.”
Since 1932, the US has increasingly lost touch with its own internal stability while foolishly choosing to overextend its international reach.
The Bush administration’s “bring ‘em on” approach to international diplomacy has only exacerbated the problems to which Valéry alluded.
But in all fairness to Bush’s penchant for war, I am not sure the US has left itself many alternatives.
Over the course of the last 50 years, America has failed to develop a sustainable food supply from its own farmers and ranchers.
It sucks up more oil than it can ever hope to produce.
It has despoiled its wild places, devastated its wildlife.
It simply cannot support 300 million people.
It has left itself little choice but to continue down the road toward the long war.
Harper must insure all Canadians that he has a plan for an independent Canada.
If not, we will be drawn into Bush’s long war and his Conservative government will quickly become useless.