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did at first seem odd......

It was odd. I thought this response was telling:

Canadian Troops? Pah-leese. I read that far (the first two words). When Canada wants to pony up and put their money where their mouth is, and have a *real* military portional to their size, I'll read their report. Until that time? Shut up and hide behind the US, which from all I can see, is exactly where they feel most confortable.

The report of course was about Canada's military involvement in Afghanistan. Canada is about 1/10th the size of the US, population wise, and the number of Canadian troops in Afghanistan is bit more than 10% of US troops. And Canadians have had more than their share of causalities. There are plenty of videos on Youtube or Googlevideo of Canadian troops fighting bravely under fire. I don't understand the point or practicality of mocking their efforts, they have been a fine ally. This American would like to extend a hearty "thank you" to our Canadian cousins. Your efforts are greatly appreciated, despite what you might read on the other board.

For the last while, I've noticed a trend in foreign policy that mirrors the sentiments expressed on the other board. Namely telling other countries to get stuffed is more important than getting the job done. It didn't use to be like that. Nixon went to China, but it often forgotten he was also the first president to go to Moscow. Reagan met with Gorbachev five or six times. Reagan summed it up perfectly when he said that they weren't there to debate national purpose, but to find areas of common interest and agreement. Neither man was seen as weak on communism, they were seen as pragmatically advancing the interests of the United States--which they were. Trying to get the job done in other words.

Those days are dead. In 2003 Iran said they would like to talk about normalizing relations, in exchange they would end support of Hezbollah and Hamas. Who knows if it would have worked out, but it could have been quite a blow against organized terror and certainly would have taken some pressure off our ally, Israel. But instead of trying to get the job done, the Bush administration told Iran to get stuffed.

India and Pakistan both offered to send peace keeping troops to Iraq. It would have greatly helped with the security effort, and in the case of Pakistan in particular put a Muslim face on the operation. But they wanted to do it under a UN operation. Bush told them to get stuffed.

France and Germany offered to help with the reconstruction, but wanted some contracts in exchange. That would have made the reconstruction effort truly an international concern and brought in some badly needed additional first world economic power. Bush told them to get stuffed.

Of course, North Korea. They weren't offering anything other than not building a bomb, but they wanted to talk. Bush told them to get stuffed. They built a bomb and we would up giving them what they wanted anyway. That showed them.

The question you have to ask about each of those, is how did telling someone to get stuffed help the USA? How did telling those countries to get stuffed help advance our interests? It didn't. And in each case, the costs of making an agreement were relatively small, but the potential upside was huge. For example, what would we have lost by allowing India and Pakistan to send peace keepers to Iraq? Nothing. It is unknowable how things might have turned out otherwise, but in each case arrogance and hubris trumped trying to get the job done.

We see a little microcosm of this attitude in the other thread. They can't be bothered to read what Canadians have to say because they are...Canadians. Get stuffed Canada, in other words. Oh and if you read the report it says that Canada is in Afghanistan for the long haul and they believe it is important to succeed. But finding that out would require reading the words of Canadians.

I hope our next president will be able to mend some fences with our allies in the future. If we have any allies left by then.

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