Closers ties to the USA?

Closers ties to the USA?

Postby Oscar » Sat Sep 20, 2008 7:15 pm

Sent for publishing on September 20, 2008

Closers ties to the USA?

To the Editor,

If Canadians choose to elect a majority Harper government, there is no doubt that Canada will have much closer ties to an American administration, particularly if it is a Republican government.

At the onset of the US primaries, it appeared that many Americans, perhaps including some people who had not voted before, seeing a new face with hope for better policies for the average American, and many who had just enough of the Bush Republicans, flocked to support the Democrat, Barrack Obama. After winning the Democratic nomination for the presidency, Obama chose Joe Biden for his vice-president. Biden was not that popular for a number of reasons. One was due to the fact that as Chairman of the Council of Foreign Relations, Biden had supported President Bush's decision to invade Iraq, and continued to do that. But now as Obama's vice-president, he apparently has changed his mind about the war.

Republican John McCain is an American hero of the war in Viet Nam. He spent about five years as a prisoner-of-war after the American defeat. He is a fighter, having survived four bouts of cancer. Early in the primaries, in seeking the Republican nomination for president, McCain had remarked that the war in Iraq could last one hundred years. In a surprise move, he chose the governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, as his running mate for vice-president. Palin describes herself as a "hockey mom" She is very attractive and articulate as a speaker on the political stage. She comes across as, and probably is, a neo-conservative evangelical fundamentalist. When being questioned by a well-known journalist, she was asked about the Russian/Georgia armed outbreak; Palin's response was that as a member of NATO, the US may have to go to war against Russia!

A couple of American journalists sponsored "back to back"discussions with both contenders for the presidency of the USA. At one point in the discussions, McCain remarked that his country, the USA, was "exceptional". One of the journalist then asked, "do you mean --compared to Mexico or Canada?" His reply, "Yes". As a Canadian, I was just a little upset. But then wanting to be a good neighbor, I reasoned that perhaps he meant that the US was "different". And they have been different for many years.

I could agree to that for the following reasons:

In 1981, according to a report issued by the American Department of Defense [annual report], the US had 2,050,000 personnel in military service. Of that number 500,000 were stationed in 2,500 military basis and other objects in many foreign countries.

In the same year, the US had 9200 nuclear bombs, warheads and carriers. Aviation and tactical equipment numbered 3815. Navy submarines aircraft carriers destroyers, etc., a total of 2,154.

According to a recent report by an American economist, total consumer debt in the US is around $3 trillion. Their national debt is increasing rapidly, and now stands at about $10 trillion.

The US is running an annual budget deficit. Its import/export trade is also showing a sizable deficit.

The war in Iraq alone is reaching a $600 million bill for American taxpayers. Some economists suggest that the total cost may be $1 trillion or more.

The American arms manufacturer, Lockheed- Martin, is the world's largest producer of the weapons of death. In the past, it has paid millions of dollars in fines for illegal transactions.

A total of four million American homes have declared bankruptcy or are in imminent danger of losing their homes.

Recently, a number of major US financial institutions have declared bankruptcy. Two of the largest, Fannie May and Freddie Mac, had to be rescued with a cost to taxpayers of over $5 trillion. Then just a few days ago, President Bush announced a bail-out of hundreds of billions of dollars for the boys on Wall Street. [Probably the biggest "casino" on the planet.]

On September 14th, 2008, the New York Times reported that every year, 1.85 million Americans go bankrupt due to medical bills. This is happening because approximately 45 million people in the US do not have adequate health insurance.

There is more, but enough already.

In the grand scheme of things, in the short term, [that means for those living today], selling our energy resources to American global energy and oil giants means some additional monetary return. But then what happens to next generation of Canadians when those resources become depleted?

By all accounts, it certainly appears that the Harper government can't wait to hitch Canada's horse [energy] to the US wagon [economy] -- an economy that is loaded down with debt -- with the wagon that presently has three broken wheels.

Leo Kurtenbach,
Box 268, Cudworth, Sask., S0K 1BO
Phone 306 256 3638,
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