O CANADA. Paul Martin is the new Prime Minister of Canada, replacing Jean Chretien after 10 years. Chretien is best known for ruining relations between Canada and the United States. While critics constantly carp at our President for supposedly failing to use diplomatic means, remember that Chretien announced his opposition to the Iraq war in Canada’s House of Commons, earning him a standing ovation.
Martin hopes to rebuild the alliance. Canada should remember that it is defenseless. It is the second largest country by land mass and has the most shore line to defend, yet it has minimal armed forces. They have total force of around 50,000 people. I recently read an article by a Canadian who asked why they should bother with armed forces at all, since the United States would protect them. If you want the United States to protect you, we want you to support us. If you cannot support us tangibly, you can at least not oppose us. Chretien was not smart enough to do this. More than likely, no one will want Canada, and so no one will attack it unless another madman rises to conquer the world or the Muslims make it out of Africa.
Of course, we could take it. But we always have these ethical and moral reservations. Plus, they have socialized medical care and we would have to manage that. So, instead, let us hope the Canadians will indeed act like allies and we will be gracious enough to receive them.