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President Barrack Obama, in a recent open letter to Canadian Prime Minister Harper, referred to the enduring friendship between Canada and the United States of America. As in any friendship, the relationship has been strained at times. The George W. Bush years in the American White House showed how difficult that relationship could be.
The fallout from the events of 9/11 proved the greatest strain. Osama bin Laden won. The perpetrator of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington in 2001 drove America into a state of paranoia from which it has yet to recover. Canada has been sitting up with its sick friend and earning the brunt of the invective that paranoid minds can deliver. A once proudly open and friendly border now wears the scars of barbed wire and fear. The symptoms of delusions of grandeur led our neighbour into aggressive jingoism and interminable foreign wars of retribution. Its suspicions and lack of trust built a wall against Mexico and endless demands on Canadian friends.
America does not know those who are its friends. Nor does it look closely enough at its enemies within. It is a country in turmoil. The hard-edged nihilism of the American right wing is a destructive force, more powerful than anything bin Laden could have conceived. The frustrated inability of American politicians to come to grips with the inadequacies of the American system of government speaks volumes about them.
Americans have destroyed the potential of air travel to make the world smaller, safer and more friendly. Instead, air travel has become a distrustful, herding of sheep into flying pens of pain.
Wall Street continues to define capitalism to the world with its credo of greed. American business is forced to operate in an atmosphere of distrust and suspicion. The country’s own bankers drove their fellow Americans into revolving depressions for which nobody has come up with a cure.
Americans are dishonouring their dead of 9/11 by accepting the lessened freedoms of Homeland Security. They must not accept the indignities of air travel with their heads between their legs. They should not support the expenses (financial and human) of war over medicare. Why choose the politics of hatred over the politics of reason?
Walk with your friends America. Hold your head high. Build a future of hope. Seek your strength within.
Copyright 2011 © Peter Lowry
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