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March 26

I don't want to get too political here, but I can't resist hopping on the whole debate about Canada not supporting the U.S.

First, I'd like to point out that not every point I make is of my own creation... it's a conglomeration of the spouting I've heard that I agree with. So there.

Where was Canada when you asked for their help? We were right here saying "You sure you want to poke that bees nest with a stick Joe?"

When I was a kid, there was this guy who teased me. Lots of people teased me in very unplesant ways. Perhaps teasing isn't the right word. Picked on me might be better. Anyway, there was this one guy who picked on me for a couple years. Then he stopped. He finally started to ignore me.

We weren't supposed to hang out indoors during lunch and recess. But I did, mostly because I just didn't want to go out on the playground, historically being an easy target. Not much had happened to me in ages, but mostly because I'd been hiding out inside.

So when I was finally caught indoors by a teacher, I began crying and said that I was hanging out inside to avoid this one antagonizer who in fact had left me alone for several months. Net result: I was let off the hook, and he was called into the office. But suddenly I was on his shit list again. Not that it wasn't likely that I would have been on his shit list again; just that it put me back on his radar.

I think the U.S. started finding itself in trouble with not finding Osama, and the economy hitting the shitter. So they decided to cast their blame to another rational and reasonable target. It's not that I think Saddam doesn't have WMS, just that I didn't see the huge urgency. Yeah, we all know he hasn't lived up to his part of the bargain. But he was never issued a real ultimatum.

If I forgot to pay my taxes, and the government came to me and said "Do your taxes immediately or we will begin legal proceedings" I'd start at it, but might be more likely distracted by other tasks than if I had deadlines. I wouldn't have the same type of urgency as I would with "Complete your T1 for 2001 and send it to our Sudbury office by April 1 2003. Failure to do so will result in the garnishing of your wages as of April 30 2003, continuing until we collect the sum of $2309, the amount we estimate owed to the Government of Canada based on historical earnings."

Yeah. In university we were taught to have smart goals:

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Relevant and

Time-bound.

I think (and this is more of an assumption since I haven't sat down and read either 1441 or the Canadian proposal) that Canada put forth a SMART plan, and no one bothered to even consider it. Fuckers.

But of course I've gotten off track. That's not unusual for this kind of rant. I was giving true-life examples of handling conflict, and my experiences. Another example: My friend had been dating this guy for several years, and he proposed. She said yes, and asked me to be her maid of honour. Mind you, I'd heard all of the bad relationship crap they'd gone through, and I was totally against the marriage. I asked her to give me time to think. I called her back a week later and said I would be her maid of honour, so long as she understood my opinions on their relationship, and that she'd heard my views over the last years. If it meant that much to her, I would stand by her side to support her in her decision.

yeah, nice story, but what's the freakin' point? Point is: I fought it before, caved and said, I'll be there for you" even though I thought it was the wrong thing for her to do. If she asked me to be her maid of honour again, I'd likely say no. (yeah, she's divorced... shocker!) Regardless of the man, right now I'd defintiely decline to be her maid of honour because she's into "getting married, having a family, having kids..." I think she's just man-crazy, and her motivations are all wrong.

Just like the U.S. (thought I was way off there, eh? nope.) I think the U.S. has gone a bit "fighting in our defense" crazy. They feel like they're getting nowhere with the war on terrorism. I think someone has realised that, if they ever get Osama, they'll still feel a little like they haven't won anything. So they need measurable results. They need a big victory that they can display for the whole world to see. Something G.W. can say "see what I did, ma?" that his mom can put on the fridge door. They want an award, a trophy, a gold star, at the very least, a certificate of participation. So that's why they stirred up this sudden crisis to solve. My kitchen cupboards have been a mess for months. I organized them this weekend. Could have waited a week. Coulda waited months. Just felt like having it done for a sense of accomplishment.

It's not like we aren't there anyway. We have almost as many troops there now as we had during the last gulf war. But we aren't strutting around saying "Look, we're here and we brought TimBits!" because we aren't convinced this is the right thing. Later it may be the right thing to say we support. But for their own good, we're better off positioning ourselves at the best friend who disagrees on this one issue: timing.

So we respect your opinion, but our differs. We aren't going to openly support via the governmental channels. It ain't the people, it's the governments doing all this, and disagreeing on all these things. Like the stuff that the U.S. wasn't supportive of Canada on, like Kyoto, softwood lumber, wheat subsidies, BGH, and all that other stuff.

When the chips were down on Afghanistan, we were there for you. When the chips were down on 9-11, we opened our airspace so you could close yours. Who knew how many planes would be left. And sure, you may say "But when you had unidentified planes flying overhead on 9-11, you called us to scramble." Duh, yeah, because they could be heading for us or they could be heading for you.

Later on in this conflict, the chips might really be down for real. And we'll be there. Allow me to use the metaphor Don Cherry used so eloquently for my own purposes. In using this metaphor, please understand I mean no disrespect for the lives of Americans, Canadians, British, Australians, innocent witnesses (Iraqi citizens, reporters, etc.) and any other living creatures this metaphor may allude to:

The barfight metaphor

You've had a brutal week and meet us at our watering hole. You lost your job, your girlfriend left you and your dog died. Bob, the guy who used to hit on your girl comes into the bar, and you've been drinking.

You decide to pick a fight with Bob. You really have hated each other for a while, and no one in the bar is surprised that you, in your drunken and depressed state, are starting to pick a fight. I tried talking you out of it, knowing that you're a little paranoid, and more picking a fight than venting a true gripe.

But would you listen? I suppose we shouldn't be surprised considering your state of mind.

We tried talking you down, but you're having none of it. So you just walked over and gave Bob a shove. We're gonna keep a real close eye on what happens from here. We might strategically put a foot out to trip him, or get in the way a bit, but it's your fight to fight. But you picked the fight, and for now, we're going to let you vent your rage on Bob the Dink, who has had it coming for a long time.

Later, you know when the chips are down, we'll be there for you. Bob's buddies might join in, or Bob might pull a knife. Or in your drunken state, you might get hit just the wrong way and need a helping set of fists. Believe us. You know there is absolutely no way we would just sit at the bar and just watch if things went wrong and you truly needed our help.

Don't think we won't be there to help you if that happens. You probably won't need our help. (Heck, last time we were in a fight with you, we got nailed with a stray punch). And don't think we'll enjoy watching the fight, and the shots you get hit with. We'll wince with every hit.

And when you get out of this okay, don't think we won't be there with a cool washcloth, bandages, and a couple CC's of CC to toast your success. Even though it may not have seemed the right thing at the time and we think it was a stupid thing to do, at least you kicked his ass... and he had it coming to him.

The next day, when the fog of alcohol is gone but the bruises are still there, we might be pissed at you for picking a fight and getting us involved. We know you might never acknowledge or even realise it might have been a bad idea to pick the fight in the first place. That might not be "okay" but that's just the way it is.

 

kat@adchick.com