Is Paul Martin anti-American?
by Arthur Weinreb, Associate Editor,
August 30, 2004
Last week, while addressing a teeny tiny group of people who assembled on Parliament Hill to protest the American missile defense system, Ontario Liberal MP Carolyn Parrish indirectly referred to the United States as "the coalition of the idiots".
While Parrishs comments were flashed on CNN and reported in the American media, there is a greater issue that should be addressed in Canada. And that is the reaction of Prime Minister Paul Martin.
Eighteen months ago, Parrish had her 15 minutes of international fame when a boom microphone picked her up saying, "Damn Americans -- I hate those bastards". She then went on television and laughed about it, playing up to the youngish anti-American audience. She said that her big regret was the fact that she upset her mother by using the word "bastards" to describe our neighbours to the south. She also said that she couldnt promise that she wouldnt do it again--one of the more truthful statements to come from a member of the Liberal caucus.
Parrish was just being Parrish. She acted much like she acted after her "bastards" comments. At first she denied using the word "idiots". When the media pointed out to her that they had her comments on film, she then said that she didnt mean Americans or the United States were idiots--only those that support missile defense. Another out and out lie. When that failed to impress the gathered reporters she then asked the media not to report her comments because she got in so much trouble after the last time. The far off sound of giggling could be heard after her request. As a great American philosopher once said, it seemed like déjà vu all over again.
The real news is how the incident was handled by the prime minister. Martin said, "The fundamental fact is that this is too important a debate to be derailed by those types of comments."
Martin asked Parrish to withdraw her remarks (she refused to do so), but indicated that he would not take any action against her even if she failed to withdraw her remarks.
One of the promises that Paul Martin made during the so-called leadership race was that he would improve relations between Canada and the United States and, in a barb obviously directed at former PM, Jean Chrètien, he said that these relations would be handled "on a far more sophisticated basis".
Martins refusal to take any action against Parrish, a repeat and serial insulter indicates he agrees with her anti-American views and is not concerned enough with it to take any action.
At least the streetwise Chrètien had enough sense to exercise the right to remain silent when Parrish made her "bastards" statement. By saying what he did, Martin has shown that he really doesnt understand the difference between disagreeing with American policy and calling all Americans "idiots". Name calling has nothing to do with the current debate about whether or not Canada should join the Americans in their missile defense program. The pro-Liberal, pro-Martin Toronto Star got it right in their editorial entitled, "Parrish embarrasses us". The editorial states in part that, "Thoughtful people can make sound arguments both for and against a Canadian role in constructing a shield. But Mississauga MP Carolyn Parrish isnt one of them. Her habit of shooting from the lip disqualifies her from any claim to thoughtfulness."
The Stars editorial concludes by saying, "Why Martin still tolerates her [Parrish] when he is trying to improve U.S. relations is beyond us."
Exactly. Martin has no desire to improve relations with the United States. At a time when Canada the closure of the U.S. border to Canadian beef is hurting the Canadian economy and when Canada and the U.S. have trade deals to negotiate and security measures to work out, cheap shots like those taken by Parrish can only hurt Canada. If Martin really did disagree with what Parrish said he would distance himself and her remarks by taking swift action against her. It was the second time she has brought embarrassment to this country --she should have been thrown out of the Liberal caucus.
There are only two conclusions that can be drawn by Martins inaction. One is that he is in complete agreement with Parrishs comments, even if he would not have made those comments himself and he is simply just another Liberal who like Parrish panders to their America-hating constituents. The other is that he is simply not bright enough to understand the difference between disagreeing with American policy and calling Americans names. He cant be that stupid.
Arthur Weinreb is an author, columnist and Associate Editor of Canada Free Press. His work has appeared on Newsmax.com, Men's News Daily, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com, Glenn Beck and The Rant. Arthur can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org