` Columbia Journal- neither cheap nor wrong headed
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neither cheap nor wrong headed
editorial by Jerry West

looting the public purse

There is no doubt on which side of the border the loyalties of CanWest Publications lie. In the November 28 issue of the Vancouver Sun they ran a prominent front page editorial attacking what they perceive as anti-Americanism in Canada, and praising our neighbours to the south at the expense of our own government. But then, what else could we expect from an organization that represents the interests of a class of people whose aim is to destroy Canada as we know it, and make it more of a US colony than it already is?

To the owners of CanWest and others like them, Canada's "public culture and political history are steeped in cheap and wrong headed anti-American sentiment." Well, our culture and history may be steeped in something, but it is neither cheap nor wrong headed. Instead what many Canadians have is a healthy fear of what could happen to our independence and our more humane and civilized lifestyle should we blindly follow the lead of the US and every selfish idea that is generated by its government and economic elite.

Watching the US television stations following the famous "moron" remark, one could not help but be amazed by the ignorance that the US commentators and officials display about Canada and its institutions. Such ignorance could be expected from the average population, but it is a sad commentary on US society that its leaders and opinion makers are not only ignorant, but arrogant to boot. There is a presumption on the part of these people that they know it all, and that the world is simply divided into those who follow them and those who are against them. The latter of course get decorated with no end of disparaging and contemptible remarks. Remarks in fact that are befitting a moron.

Now there are plenty of people in the US who do not fit this mold, many of them in opposition to the current government and its policies, and many saying the same critical things about the US that a good number of Canadians are. It is not anti- American to oppose bad policies or bad leaders, both of which the US has had an over supply of for years. And, for Canadians especially, it is not anti-American to not want to follow blindly the lead of a rogue state set on a course of military conquest abroad and on removing dissent at home by ripping up two hundred plus years of progress in civil liberty.

When he was a senator and Bill Clinton was President, John Ashcroft protested loudly about government plans to monitor e-mail. He said "....this is no reason to hand Big Brother the keys to unlock our e-mail diaries, open our ATM records or translate our international communications." Now that he is Attorney General John is singing a different tune. Part of the new American regime is a feature called Total Information Awareness, a giant computer system that will give the government instant access to such things as e- mail, telephone records, credit cards, banking transactions, academic transcripts, parking permits, travel records and more with search warrants no longer required. So much for the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution, the Bush leaguers are tearing it up.

The United States, which prides itself on its liberty and freedom, is giving it up a piece at a time in order to pursue foreign policies for the benefit of the oil companies and other large corporations. These policies have created opposition to the US in many parts of the world, and play a role in producing the terrorist problem that we now have to deal with. It is no wonder that many Canadians want to distance our country from the acts of our southern cousins, and have no part in their destructive imperial ambitions. The desire of Canadians for an independent and more civilized society is neither cheap nor wrong headed nor really anti-American, no matter what CanWest may say.

Jerry West

The Columbia Journal
P.O. Box 2633 MPO,
Vancouver, British Columbia,
Canada V6B 3W8
Phone: 604-266-6552 Fax: 604-267-3342
Web: www.columbiajournal.ca
E-mail: cjournal@axion.net