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By Wayne Northey
Stephen Harper is a scary man. He is at best sycophant, at worst dupe, of the confidence racket called American Foreign Policy.
There is a growing collection of articles on my computer about American Empire and “Emperor” George W. Bush. The assortment exceeds to the point of crescendo journalist Serge Schmemann’s agonizing in a recent New York Times article, in review of a mounting spate of publications on America: “Though I have lived abroad for many years and regard myself as hardened to anti-Americanism, I confess I was taken aback to have my country depicted, page after page, book after book, as a dangerous empire in its last throes, as a failure of democracy, as militaristic, violent, hegemonic, evil, callous, arrogant, imperial and cruel.”
He writes further, “[T]he new American order has generated a tsunami of anti-Americanism, with the United States perceived in some quarters as a greater threat to world peace than Al Qaeda.” He quotes at the end billionaire and international democracy crusader George Soros, a Jew from Hungary who lived through both German and Soviet occupation: “This is not the America I chose as my home.”
Article titles from mostly leading newspapers are revealing: “A Fiction Shattered by America’s Aggression”; “A President Beyond the Law”; “Administration Lawyers Ascribed Broad Power to Bush on Torture”; “Broad International Coalition Condemns U.S. Torture”; “Bush the Would-Be Torturer”; “Dismay at Attempt to Find Legal Justification for Torture”; “General Karpinski: Iraq Abuse ‘Ordered From the Top’”; “Guantanamo Abuse Same as Abu Ghraib, say Britons”; “Guantánamo: Pentagon Approved Intense Interrogation Techniques”; “Halliburton: a hand in every pocket”; “How Chlabi and Bush conned the New York Times”; “Insanity in America”; “Interrogation Abuses Were ‘Approved at Highest Levels’”; “Iraq Tactics Have Long History With U.S. Interrogators”; “Justice Dept. Memo Says Torture ‘May Be Justified’”; “Pentagon Report Set Framework For Use of Torture”; “Retired Officials Say Bush Must Go”; “Rumsfeld Backed Saddam Even After Chemical Attacks”; “Secret World of U.S. Interrogation”; “Secret World of US Jails”; “Sexual Humiliation is the Norm in Military Prisons”; “The Lies for War Unravel”; “The Lying Game”; “The Plain Truth [About WMD’s and Hussein/Al Qaeda connection in Iraq”]; “The Torturer-in-Chief”; “Torture and Casuistry”; “Torture at Abu Ghraib Followed CIA’s Manual”; “Torturing Mr. Bush”; “U.S. Develops Lethal New Viruses”; “US Justice Department authorizes torture”; “US seeks to block enforcement of anti-torture treaty”; “Yes, Bush lied”.
According to The Langley Advance, February, 2004: “Harper [still] clearly accepted a connection between Saddam Hussein and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon, and added that the current war is ‘necessary to the interests of the world and our key allies.’ He garnered thunderous applause when he pronounced that Canada ‘should be there [in Iraq], shoulder to shoulder, with our allies.’ ‘This is a defining issue in our country,’ Harper said.”
Mr. Harper and Mr. Stockwell Day in a Wall Street Journal article last year jointly apologized to America for Canada’s non-support of the Iraqi War. Repeatedly, Mr. Harper and his party have declared for American foreign policy. They would double our military spending to move towards lock-step with Mr. Bush. They embrace the proposed American Ballistic Defense System, patently unworkable according to significant scientific opinion, ultimately destined to weaponize space, notwithstanding disingenuous reassurances to the contrary.
In Hans Christian Andersen’s The Emperor’s New Clothes, fibbers and fawning freeloaders foist a fantastic fiction upon a fabled kingdom, until a little child “discovers” the Emperor’s preening nakedness. “But the Emperor has nothing on at all!!!” blurts out the child who reveals what was in fact plain for all to see.
American Empire currently does what empires throughout history invariably have done: take what they want and the vanquished be damned!, lauded “empire lite” (pace Michael Ignatieff) notwithstanding, which proves to be de facto “torture lite” à la Bush-doctrine, and wantonly worse. It is no surprise that increased calls are emerging for impeachment of President Bush, and for his indictment as a war criminal. Yet this is Bush’s America Mr. Harper and the Conservatives would embrace with open arms! When Mr. Harper and his Conservatives deny “something is rotten in the state of America”, overwhelming evidence and significant world opinion to the contrary, what might they believe – and do! – if ever in power, on behalf of and to us Canadians, that is dangerously false, singularly self-serving, irreversibly destructive? Mr. Harper is right: “This is a defining issue in our country” – perhaps the defining issue.
Canadians on June 28 have a choice to make: either vote for parties that attempt to keep at least some distance from the juggernaut of global pax Americana expansionism, or a Conservative régime that sees no American evil. This is a party whose leader and mandarins blithely go on with the charade of American munificence, “holding their heads higher than ever and taking greater trouble to pretend to hold up as exemplary American global benevolence – which isn’t there at all!”, to slightly paraphrase Andersen’s fairy-story ending.
If Canadians on Election Day choose to become accessories to the Conservative embrace of America, we deserve the inevitable: imperiously increased doses of cultural, foreign policy, and economic Americanization. Ominously, we also choose with Britain to experience blowback from the growing worldwide abhorrence of America’s imposed pax Americana, a “peace”, as with all empires before, that is predominantly one of the graveyard.
Mr. Harper, fellow Canadians, can’t you see?! – Emperor Bush has nothing on at all!!!