Thursday, April 03, 2008

Knee Jerk Anti-Americanism

I don't like to think of myself as having knee-jerk opinions. This is, after all, the Deep Thought Korner.

When I reached my opinion on American foreign policy, and now the Canadian foreign policy that Harper, O'Connor, Day, McKay and Hillier are following, I reached it based on a lot of evidence. Each of the following represents a huge volume of reading and analysis, but I have condensed it in to a single, simple list of things about American and Canadian foreign policy that I don't like.

1. The Land mine treaty. Spearheaded by Canada. Opposed by the United States.
2. The use of poisonous Depleted Uranium shells.
3. The unwarranted NATO bombing of Serbia, where no ethnic cleansing was ever shown to have happened.
4. The unwarranted invasion of Haiti, because we needed their cheap labour.
5. The unwarranted invasion of Afghanistan after the Taliban offered to turn over Bin Laden if only the U.S. would show evidence of his complicity in 9/11.
6. Illegal incarceration in Guantanamo Bay.
7. Torture in Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib.
8. The extraordinary rendition to Syria and torture of Maher Arar, among others.
9. The development of new nuclear weapons.
10. Opposition to climate change.
11. The tight loop between government jobs and lobbying positions for the military industry.
12. The cowardly appeal to "support the troops" and "be patriotic" rather than actually responding to criticism of immoral military ventures.

Each of the things in the list above, a list which is hardly exhaustive, could be expounded (and have been expounded by other people) in to volumes of evidence, analysis and information.

There is nothing "knee-jerk" about concluding that American foreign policy is immoral and that I don't want Canada's foreign policy to go the same way. This is a thoroughly considered position, a position I would gladly debate with anyone, and there is nothing "knee-jerk" about it.

In fact, the only thing that seems to be "knee-jerk" and poorly thought out is the thoughtless, instantaneous accusation of "knee-jerk anti-Americanism". If you have an argument, present it. Name calling will get you nowhere.

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