Friday, May 07, 2004

Bill O'Reilly Threatens Canada with Sanctions for Harbouring Peace-Loving American "Deserters"

This man must have balls the size of Texas. Bill O'Reilly is actually threatening to lead a national boycott of Canadian products just because two Americans have chosen to flee the "undeclared war" in Iraq (Mr. O'Reilly readily admits that the war was undeclared himself, meaning it violates international law).

He even goes as far as spewing some thinly-veiled threats that will most likely ring hollow if cooler heads prevail:

"We respect honest disagreement, but undermining our military in the middle of the war on terror by providing sanctuary for deserters, lawbreakers is a hostile act.

Canada is totally dependent on the USA for its economic well-being. It best remember that in this very serious situation."

Mr. O'Reilly, I agree with you. We do depend on you to a maddening degree, but you must not forget that You depend on Us too. It is a two-way partnership and we are your largest trading partner. We share the world's longest undefended border; we signed on to your Free Trade Agreement and your NAFTA; hell, we're even willing to agree to the questionable FTAA, an accord chock-full of corporate loopholes that will decimate the environment and set human rights back a hundred years all the way from Alaska to Chile.

I appreciate the fact that you respect our right to have an opinion that runs counter your neoconservative Perpetual War Theory, but why can't you just leave us be? We're a sovereign nation and we have a great tradition of peace. When we send troops into a country, they're wearing the blue helmets of the United Nations, and we're damned proud of that. We don't just summarily invade places to forcefeed Democracy down their throats. We're a peaceful lot.

If you want to push away your best (and one of the only) friends you have in the whole world, perhaps we'll have to cozy up to the European Union a little more. They've got the technology, the democratic institutions, and even a sense that we must protect our fragile environment, which appears to be a lot more than you have these days.

About the torture (Rumsfeld calls it "abuse") of the Iraqi prisoners, we once had a similar scandal. Back in 1993, our Airborne Regiment was accused of torturing prisoners in Somalia while on a Peacekeeping mission, echoing the Abu Ghraib Prison scandal that currently threatens to remove your Secretary of Defence from office. Instead of just placing the blame on a handful of soldiers and a few token Brigade Commanders like you are currently doing in Iraq, we completely disbanded our Airborne Regt. in 1995. Canadians don't stand for torture, be it of our own citizens (like Canadian Mayer Arar, whom you deported based on scanty evidence) or one of our foes.

Now that an American suspect is being accused of having ties to the 3/11 Bombing, perhaps Spain will decide that you are harbouring terrorists and lay waste to your great nation, just like you did to Afghanistan when Saudi Arabians bombed your WTC. I know, I know. That is one of those crazy Canadian ideas. We borrowed it from the ancient Greeks--no, not rhetoric. It's called logic.

One last thing: I believe that everyone should have the freedom to worship (or not to worship) the religion of their choice. I can't say that I agree with "thugs" like Muqtada Al-Sadr because he could spark a sectarian civil war in Iraq after the transition on June 30th. Still, clothed in his ceremonial burial garb, "ready for martyrdom", he had the following to say during a Friday speech at a Mosque in Kufa.

"America claims that it is fighting terrorism, and not sponsoring it, and is spreading justice and equality among peoples and freedom and democracy. Now it is doing the same acts done by the small devil Saddam and in the same place where Iraqis were oppressed.''

Your heavy-handed, poorly planned, illegal war with Iraq doesn't seem to be getting any better, but you are making a radical cleric with a fundamentalist agenda into a hero of sorts to many Iraqis. Sort of reminds me of when you overthrew Mossadegh to install the Shah, only to have him overthrown by a Fundamentalist revolution. How did that turn out again?

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