Saturday, November 05, 2005

The Lion of the North

Leave it to the most sanctimonious navel-gazers in the universe to "discover" a whole new attitude all by themselves, officially announced through the Toronto Star, Canada's most influential city newspaper . Rather than apologize for 40 years of outright and aggressive stupidity, they come up with self-congratulations. Well, maybe they'll occupy themselves with that while the rest of the world gets on with the rest of the world. Canadians, according to the think piece below, have examined themselves and have come up with the idea that maybe they were off the beam just a tad in their loony anti-American hysteria. But no! That's too much.

We bring this article to the public's attention not because we're impressed by the new found sense of [a] Canadian but to show that even a Canadian can finally catch the wave of current thought. This is an example of what an insensitive person would deem a negative lesson. Yes, even moron culture like Canada's can sort of figure out the obvious if given enough time and enough others doing the right thing as an example of what to imitate. This is an example of how even the most idiot of nations can do the right thing. So, perhaps there's hope for Sweden, Canada's idiot twin-sister nation.

For fun we highlighted some of the most glaring of passive and frightened phrases. In Canadian terms this is some kind of revolutionary tract below. If you're a Canadian, drink two cans of beer and take a valium. This will be strong stuff for you.

Canadians moving into tough-love mode


Evidence is beginning to accumulate that Canadians are going through one of those mysterious attitudinal changes that take place from time to time in all societies. The mood of Canadians seems to be increasingly that of tough love, rather than the far more self-critical attitude that prevailed until very recently.

The shift in the media's response to the contaminated water crisis in the northern Ontario Indian reserve of Kashechewan is a good illustration of the shift. At first, the story was reported exclusively in the conventional media terms of politico-bureaucratic bungling and arrogance and of the victimization yet again of native people.

Soon, second thoughts began to be expressed. "Fixing the water is easy; Asking tough questions is harder," was the title of a column by the Globe and Mail's Jeffrey Simpson.

Simpson — and other mainstream commentators — have begun asking tough-love questions about the viability of small, isolated Indian reserves where there are no jobs and where there is so much boredom, drugs and alcohol.

At issue here is the entire foundation of Canada's policy on native peoples. Is it really credible and feasible for these tiny, isolated reserves to operate as "self-governing" units? And, if not, what alternative is there in the end but to encourage native people to integrate into the majority culture? That is an exceedingly painful question. But it appears people are beginning to steel themselves to pose it without being deterred from doing so by the predictable cries of "racism" and "cultural genocide."

A similar shift, totally different in its subject matter and yet similar in its context, appears to be taking place in the public's attitude toward the military. For some time, Canada has exhibited many of the characteristics of a pacifist society. That a clear majority opposed going into Iraq is understandable. But large numbers of Canadians opposed any involvement in any war, from the Gulf War to Kosovo. We were, seemed to be the assumption, only peacemakers, never war makers.

But recently, two senior generals have said the unsayable about war. Last July, speaking at a press briefing prior to the departure of a large (2,000-strong) Canadian contingent to Afghanistan, the new Chief of Defence Staff Rick Hillier, said the Canadians were going there to "kill ... the scumbags who detest our freedom." In August, Maj.-Gen. Andrew Leslie said of the same mission, "There are things worth dying for. There are things worth killing for.

There were protests. But conspicuously few.

The anti-military mood, which made it so easy for governments to slash defence spending, appears to be ebbing away. We're not going to become a militarist nation. But we seem to be in the mood again to accept that a nation-state has to have a real military.

The same tough-love attitude seems to be expressing itself on some multiculturalism issues. There was overwhelming public support in Ontario for Premier Dalton McGuinty's controversial reversal of his plan to extend official recognition to Islamic sharia law.

A similar tone seems to have taken hold in respect of Quebec's possible separation. The public attitude now appears to be not indifference, but cool and laid-back. It's hard to see ahead either panic or support for some frantic last-minute offer, although attitudes may change abruptly if and when a crisis actually occurs.

Why the change, assuming there's some accuracy to my reading of it? Canadians these days are extraordinarily confident about the country and themselves. Those who've come to believe they've done a fair number of things right aren't likely to forever blame themselves — as used to be quintessentially Canadian — for everything and anything that goes wrong among them.
Canadians moving into tough-love mode

One must laugh at the timidity of the phrasing in the piece above. Ever nervous of making a clear and unequivocable statement, the writer above hedged each statement with Canadian jitters. Oh well. Maybe it's a step forward into the adult world for this lot, though we should really expect a lot of two stepping and sobbing before they actually make any move to join the real world. If the Swedes don't get it-- let's invade them.

We'll know the Canadian worm has turned when the Toronto Star prints anything from this blog. In the meantime, riots continued today in France for the nineth straight day as peace talks dragged on without a break, while the demands for land for peace were echoing against the walls being built around the inner cities to keep out terrorist attackers. U.N peacekeepers are still not allowed to fire their weapons....

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