Skip to comments.Obama makes Americans of us all
Posted on 02/19/2009 7:02:18 AM PST by Loyalist
OTTAWATwice in less than a decade we have all been Americans. Once was on 9/11, the other is today.
There's more to our conversion than Canadian rapture over a new U.S. president. Barack Obama's visit is a second transformational moment steeped in crisis. By endorsing shared solutions to common threats, he is recreating the opportunity George W. Bush missed.
Eight years ago in September, Al Qaeda made a sympathetic victim of the superpower much of the world demonizes. In downing the twin symbols of global financial dominance, Osama bin Laden handed Bush moral authority and plausible justification for the muscular export of U.S. values and interests.
Current reality measures how horribly that went wrong. Toppling the Taliban morphed into overthrowing Saddam Hussein. The War on Terror became an assault on fundamental rights that framed American independence. Fear thickened our famously unguarded border. Finally, greed and blind faith in unfettered markets did to the world economic order what Al Qaeda couldn't.
Obama has chosen Canada as a fitting place to press the reset button. This country remains a global model multicultural, internationally collegial, fiscally prudent, politically stable.
So this close, comfortable corner of the international stage is a safe and sound choice for an initial foreign trip a mere month after an historic inauguration.
What better place than Canada to publicly consider the communal effort required to rescue symbiotic economies, the linkages between energy security and climate change or a renewed NATO response to the deteriorating Afghanistan mission? Who better to talk to first than Canadians who feel U.S. pain personally, who have been made Americans by America's financial collapse?
Whether or not the world overhears, conversations are always important when they're between neighbours who share a continent, a $600 billion annual trading partnership and a troubled military mission.
But it's essential to remember that what's changing is the U.S. approach to Canada, the appealing tone and familiar thinking, not the relationship. Our capillary cross-border connections are still configured by what America wants energy now, water later and always security and what Canada needs sustaining economic access and a little sovereign respect.
As it was with Bush, it will be with Obama. Washington pursues its hegemony with admirably relentless vigour; Ottawa reacts to the best of its limited ability.
That dynamic is reinforced by the urgency and complexity of the U.S. predicament. How this federal government copes with that pressure is the subtext of this fly-by summit.
Obama isn't just more popular here than the Prime Minister; he's also more focused than any recent president. In 10 informed, graceful pre-visit minutes with the CBC, Obama presented an agenda with profound Canadian implications. Protectionist conditions attached to the $800 billion U.S. stimulus are subject to the same trade rules that made softwood lumber a losing Canadian battle. Alberta's dirty oil can be accommodated in a continental energy and environment policy that includes dirty American coal. Afghanistan is a work in progress that creates time for Parliament to reconsider its 2011 end-combat deadline.
For better or for worse, willingly or by necessity, all of that makes Americans of us all. Obama's ambiguous gift is making the metamorphosis seem so innocuous, so sensibly obvious, so, well, Canadian.
James Travers' column appears Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
9/11 was one such event. Obama's election, it seems, is proving to be another.
... and Natural Born ones at that.
A BARF alert would be nice...................
Get a room!
Even Canadians want to be subjects of the great Messiah, Lord Barry Hussein Soetoro Obama! Its not just Americans who should love and obey the Dear Leader, but Canadians too!
Let’s see how the Canadian view of this “shared” thing works when Obama pees all over the tar sands’ carbon footprint.
We’re not a sympathetic victim. We are a people filled with a terrible resolve.
This twit’s been in the Oval Office for 30 days, and already his ‘global expertise’ is sending Canadians into full-blown orgasms.
Good flippin’ grief.
If all the Canadians simultaneously wet themselves like an excited puppy, the ecological damage to the Great Lakes could take decades to reverse.
If he thinks Canada is affected by America’s financial problems now, just wait until Obama succeeds in turning the US into Venezuela Norte.
Fixed it. Except for about 200 media personal and equipment, another maybe 100 leftist moonbats, another 200 sitting in buses, nobody is standing around to see the usurper. It seems canada's CTV network has gone far left, just as bad as the CBC.
Where’s the barf alert on this garbage?
Toronto “Red” Star barf-a-roni alert!
They may love him there but the natives are getting restless here in America. People are waking up and realizing he’s nothing more than an empty suit who can read a teleprompter. I’m here in the northeast and I sense a lot of anti-zero sentiment here in NYC. The next to rise up will be the dumb college kids who voted for him when they realize he lied to them too. It’s all about jobs. He came in promising to turn the economy around and his plans just aren’t cutting it. There are 300 million people in this country and only 53 million voted for him. Tens of millions of us still have a voice and we will be heard.
He needs to sell that to the Arab oil magnates and the Iranian oil magnates before he sells it to Canada.
Canada suckin the Obama D__K? Not a good thing my fellow Canadians.
ehhh, I have a better title —
We are all Kenyans now.
Americans aren’t this stupid, are we?