Remembering when "The Americans" hit the Top 40

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Remembering when "The Americans" hit the Top 40

Postby jon » Sat Jun 10, 2017 9:41 pm

Freeland’s forsaking of America a naive sales pitch
By Mark Bonokoski
Postmedia Network
First posted: Saturday, June 10, 2017 08:14 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, June 10, 2017 08:20 PM EDT

Sick of the constant flow of criticism aimed at the United States during the early Seventies, the late Canadian broadcaster Gordon Sinclair penned a radio commentary called The Americans that went viral before viral was invented.

It is worth looking it up, even if it pre-dates dial-up Internet by two decades, and therefore the births of all of today’s millennials who are addictively glued to their social-media platforms.

The gist of Sinclair’s ode to America was this. When many countries faced economic crises, natural disasters or threats to their lives or their democracies, America was always the first to step in with an unrivaled commitment and generosity.

But, when America faced a crisis, it often faced that crisis alone.

It is as true today as it was in 1973.

Early last week, and out of the blue, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland stood up in the House of Commons to deliver a speech on the supposedly more modern political reality that Canada could no longer count on America to have its back.

The reason, at least in the eyes of the governing Liberals, was that the United States now had an America First president in Donald Trump who would more likely sit in the Oval Office and do nothing should Canada be suddenly invaded by hostiles.

“Let me pause and address the United States directly,” said Freeland, as she set out to judge America as no longer the America that Canada can depend upon as a defender.

“Many of the voters in last year’s presidential election cast their ballots animated, in part, by a desire to shrug off the burden of world leadership,” she said.

“The fact that our friend and ally has come to question the very worth of its mantle of global leadership puts into sharper focus the need for the rest of us to set our own clear and sovereign course.”

It was a load of malarkey, of course, as if the longest undefended border in the world was about to become a Berlin Wall, and that the billions in daily trade between Canada and the United States was pocket change not worth protecting.

What Freeland was trying to sell, of course, was her government’s plan to spend wild-eyed billions to beef up Canada’s military so that we can stand alone against adversity, and not need the United States to turn back potential bullies.

So it’s the enlistment of more military personnel, the betterment of their health-and-welfare benefits, new fighter jets, new ships and bigger and more bad-assed equipment and armaments.

In fact, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan pledged the day after Freeland’s go-it-alone speech to increase Canada’s annual military budget from $18.9 billion this fiscal year to $32.7 billion in 2026-27, even though no hint was given in his 113-page document as to where all this money will come from.

But don’t accuse the Liberals of not being visionary or long-term planners. because they plan to spend $553 billion over the next 20 years on our military upgrading.

By then, they’ll have been in power 22 years, and Justin Trudeau will finally be eligible for his first Canada Pension cheque.

In other words, it’s not going to happen, just as previous governments of both Liberal and Conservative faiths have tabled big budget plans to expand the military, but eventually kick it to the curb when high deficits begin sinking their re-election hopes.

The military is the guinea pig that always dies.

Besides, the United States will always be there for Canada, whether Chrystia Freeland believes it or not.

It’s in their DNA to be our guard dog.

markbonokoski@gmail.com
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