It is the opinion of some that Canada should be involved in the war against Iraq because we need to support our neighbours and long-time companions. This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Even negating the fact that the entire war is actually illegal, it is also unsupported by the people and the leader of our nation. To sell the souls of our country to the U.S. for the purposes of securing their future economic and political interests is absurd and gutless. We do not want Canadians to lay down their lives for something they do not believe in simply to insure the camaraderie with the Americans.
We are not merely an extension of the United States and, although I have no qualms with the general population of America, I am proud to say that in some ways we are very different. We don’t think toting guns around is a very good idea, we don’t find that arsenic adds a nice tang to our water. We don’t think healthcare is reserved for the elite, and we don’t fancy the idea of capital punishment either.
The U.S. has declined to sign the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The reason it remains unsigned is because the U.S. does not deem it cruel or unusual punishment to assign the death penalty to individuals under the age of eighteen, or to the mentally disabled, for that matter. These are just a few instances where Canada’s opinion clearly differs. Canada has chosen a course of action to best reflect our values and convictions. We will contribute one hundred million dollars to humanitarian aid and post-war reconstruction.
The notion that Canada may suffer economically for its lack of support is weak at best. Wake up kids, business is business. The U.S. trades with Canada because it is in their best interest. It’s not because we give each other family discounts. If the U.S. could do business with another country, for a better price/yield/what-have-you, then they would already be doing that. Have we forgotten all the Canadian-based U.S. companies that have been relocated to Mexico? Was this because we slighted our friend the Americans in some way? No. They simply found slave labour could give them a bigger bang for their buck.
Lastly, some have questioned whether our neighbours will be there, should we run into trouble with another country. To this, I can only say that if Canada were ever to defy the UN, and launch an unnecessary pre-emptive attack, I hope we would be left to sink our ship alone.
- Jess Williams, 1st year