Good neighbour/Bad neighbour
Canada stands uniquely positioned in the world. As neighbours with the
United States, the greatest military power in today’s world, we share
the world’s longest undefended border. We also share a longstanding,
generally friendly, and mutually beneficial relationship.
Canadians have always been vitally concerned with
the political climate in the United States. Whatever changes occur
there affect Canadians nearly as much as Americans. In general,
Canadians are supportive of US actions and are conciliatory in our
That is not to say that Canadians are, in general, on board with all
the things the United States does. We are a distinct and sovereign
nation, with our own laws and culture. Canada is far more likely to
align with global standards and ideals than is the US. Also. we are less of
a corporate culture, and appear to have a better separation of church and state. Historically we have been the peace-makers rather than the
war-makers. Our diplomats have a long track record of defusing
international tensions, and our troops have been respected as
Given our sovereign status,and international obligations, Canada has both the right and the
obligation to enforce our own laws as well as international laws on
Canadian soil. To this end there have been requests made to law
enforcement bodies in Canada for charges to be laid against members of
the Bush Administration. In response to former US Vice President
Richard Cheney’s announced visit to Vancouver, US-based Human Rights
Watch requested that Canada investigate his role in torture, and lay
charges against him. And most recently, the imminent arrival of former
US president George Bush in Canada has led to legal groups in Canada
and the US (US-based Center for Constitutional Rights) filing a
70-page indictment http://warisacrime.org/content/george-w-bush-canada-must-bar-entry-or-arrest-and-ensure-prosecution-torture
against Mr. Bush for his promotion of torture practices by US personnel.
These actions by Canadians are partly our own, partly in accord with international actions, and partly in conjunction and support of American efforts which are not possible in the current domestic climate of the United States.
The government of Canada will likely try to block this indictment in an effort to avoid embarrassing the United States. whether this is possible remains to be seen. Canada’s courts are very strong and generally independent of the Executive branch. The best option would have Mr. Bush announce the cancellation of his visit. However, coming so close on the heels of the unwelcome Cheney visit, this almost appears provocative.
Here is a link explaining the American “Border Fence”. it is scary.