As Canadians, the last four years have been difficult dealing with our neighbours in the United States, or at least with the administration in charge. Sure we’ve always had moments of tension when our governments have disagreed on this, that or the other thing, but these past years have been markedly different. That difference is something that lands firmly at the feet of not just American President Donald Trump, but some certain members of his cabinet.
We’ve seen Canada, along with many other allies of the United States, used as a rhetorical punching bag, a convenient tool to be kicked, dragged through the mud and generally disrespected to help advance whatever partisan political goals Trump and Co. has had at home. That’s included multiple tariffs against Canadian aluminum, calling it a “threat to US national security”, a charge that was as spurious as it was deeply offensive. Then there was the episode of the Trump Administration trying to deny us access to medical equipment that we had purchased in the middle of a global pandemic, all in an attempt to cover their own asses for their complete abdication of responsibility for fighting said pandemic.
It’s all been a lot to swallow, as we’ve been subject to cheap shot after cheap shot from the country that is supposedly our strongest ally and our neighbour. And sure we can point to disagreements and tiffs that our governments have had before, even in those moments there was generally a tone of respect that has been completely lacking from the Trump Administration. For them, it’s not been enough to simply disagree, they’ve seeked to humiliated and heap scorn on us in these cases in tones and manners that would in the past would normally be reserved for the worst of enemies like North Korea.
While the Trump administration as a whole has taken this tone, there are certain offenders on this who are even worse than the norm. Peter Navarro, who is Trump’s main trade advisor and director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, has been probably the worst of the worst. In his attempts to be the top Trump sycophant, he’s shown himself more than happy to be as ignore and disgusting as it takes, all in an attempt to win the favour of his boss. Remember his comments about Prime Minister Trudeau after the G7 in Quebec, where he said “there’s a special place in hell” for people like the PM? That’s the prime example that he had sent in our direction but last night a story broke that managed to make that look pale in comparison and made my blood boil:
Wow folks, where to start with that crap? We’ve seen from the start of the Trump Administration a certain assumption in the way that they act and believe that others view the world. They act as if everyone else is as craven, morally bankrupt and corrupt as they are. They believe that no one would ever do anything for any other reason than to advance their own personal interest, financial means or other rewards. They act like those who actually do are suckers, rubes, and just plain dumb. While spewing lines about being dedicated to their country or a greater cause, they mock and show complete distain for those who actually do.
That warped world view is bad enough by itself and is just corrosive to not just relationships between governments, but to the very cohesion of society itself. But to then see some sniveling snake like Navarro superimpose that view into literal matters of life and death in such a cold, uncaring and factually ignorant way is not just beyond the pale, it’s offensive on a level that I don’t think that we have seen from such a close ally. When I read those comments, my thoughts immediately went to this sight here below:
For many years while I worked on Parliament Hill, I would pass by the memorial for those who gave their lives in Afghanistan. 158 Canadians in total died fighting against terrorism there, service that Navarro just crapped all over by trying to dismiss the reasons why they were there. More than 40,000 Canadian soldiers served in that action not because there was “something in it for us” or even as Navarro dismissed it “as a favour to the US” to curry favour. No, Canadians were there because we signed a treaty with allies like the United States, the North Atlantic Treaty.
As a part of NATO, Canadians have served along side American soldiers all over the world, all in the interest of protecting democracy at home and abroad. In this case, our soldiers went to Afghanistan because for the first and only time in the history of NATO, Article 5 of the treaty (the one that compels signatories to come to the defense of a member who is attacked) was invoked. Even though that article was mostly created under the thought that it would be used by the nations of Europe to protect them from the Soviets, the first and only time it was invoked was by the US itself, in the aftermath of the attacks of September 11th, 2001.
Yes folks, just as our paramedics and fire fighters rushed to New York to help with search efforts in the aftermath of that attack and just as Canadians across the country opened our arms and doors to stranded American air passengers on that day, when called upon by Article 5, Canada stepped up again. We did so because we gave our word, in writing, that we would support our allies and be there in their time of need. We did so because we help our neighbours in moments of crisis. It’s just what you do. We didn’t do it plotting to turn this to our advantage, or to get a few IOU chips to be able to barter for something more valuable later. We didn’t think of any advantage to ourselves because there wasn’t any. In the end, Canadians stepped forward with their lives to support our ally, and now a cabinet member of that allied nation is pissing all over their memories with his selfish, craven and soulless words.
These words are so bad that even Navarro’s other offensive comment in that same book pales in comparison. He also suggested that if Canadians were really “doing them a favour”, Canadians should have thrown Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government out of office. To hell with those democratic values that the Trump administration goes on about if they result in having to deal with a neighbour who isn’t a Trump toady, right? Our soldiers haven’t fought to defend this country and our democracy to have toadies like Navarro desecrate that sacrifice, let alone the free choices made by Canadians about who will represent the. I am not a supporter of our current government, but I find it seriously offensive to have an American leader suggest such crap, especially when our American neighbours are the leaders of the Free World, or at least had been before all of this.
In the end, it’s an episode like this that reminds us here at home the importance of this election going on stateside. The Trump administration is showing a kind of malignance that is corrosive and damaging to everything that it touches. We already have enough problems to deal with right now and the last thing we need is this kind of crap from this person who should return to whatever hole he crawled out of. There is a special place in Hell out there indeed, and those comments from Navarro show us that place is where he exists. It’s time for Navarro and his Trumpy cohort to return back to that place because while we can stomach many insults and attacks in the name of partisanship, we cannot and will never take cheap attacks on those who have laid down their lives in service of our country and democracy from the cheapest and tawdry of people I can think of. Not now, not ever.