The Liberals behave like rank amateurs in dealing with the Americans...
A nice column by Diane Francis on how to deal with the Americans.
Compare our woes, partially self-created, with Australia's splendid relationship with the United States.
The Aussies just signed a new free trade deal, a new preferred immigration deal and have had nothing but a love-in with Washington for the past few years. The White House wades into their trade problems immediately and resolves them quickly.
Is this merely because Australia stood by the Americans in its War on Terror and joined the Iraq Coalition of the Willing by sending troops?
Yes and no.
They sent troops but played their cards better.
Canada has contributed far more to the war on terrorism than any other nation, save Britain, and played its cards so badly that it's gotten absolutely no credit for it.
More Canadian troops have been collectively deployed in Afghanistan, the Persian Gulf region and even the second Iraq war than Australia has deployed. An estimated 20,000 tours of duty have taken place in these theatres, including rotations. Technically, Canadians were combatants during the Iraq invasion because we commanded the Persian Gulf fleet and had soldiers on loan to the U.S. in Iraq.
Despite our commitments, the Liberals, under both Jean Chretien and Paul Martin, have managed to turn this allied silk purse in a sow's ear.
Both have allowed public name-calling, pouting, threats and tantrums. Both have told the Americans they would join forces with them (Chretien with the Coalition and Martin with the ballistic missile defence systems) then both reneged.
In both issues, Canada's federal government could have neatly finessed involvement by boasting about deployment, citing friendship as the reason for joining, then shipping off a few hundred medics or other non-combat personnel as did Japan, which is now touted as a good friend of the Americans. Even tiny Norway, which sent a few dozen guys to dig up land mines, has curried the favour of the White House as a Coalition member.