American popularity continues to plummet [Archives:2007/1015/Letters to the Editor]

January 11 2007

By: Martin Dansky
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A new study on the presence of American troops in Iraq has been released as the administration is facing growing pressure that its Middle East initiative has not been successful. After years of being actively involved in combat the idiots are just considering training the Americans to train the Iraqis to defend themselves. Another idea from the commission is to launch a peace initiative by involving Syria and Iran. This it says will improve their chances of success. But the U.S. has made a terrible commitment there not having ever considered those neighbors who are allied to the Sunnis and Shiites. It was wrong for the administration to give an open- ended commitment on the presence of American troops in the region, according to the commission, without sufficiently having created a functional big brother image, American critics are saying. The stubborn streak of the president is being heavily challenged. This is where Bush is being punished for his cowboy foreign policies.

The Bush administration now faces its greatest challenge since trying to sell its homeland security to its European allies and since it has been trying to save face by a continued physical presence in the Middle East. The amount of money costing the American taxpayer has pushed the popularity of their continued presence to an all time low and now they are looking for a safe way out. They are now there longer than they were involved with Germany in the last world war and this is hardly the same threat.

It is certain that popularity over Bush has sunk across Canada with increasing references one can pick up on blogs through short films posted over the internet and radio broadcasts. This is perhaps due to the arrogant measures it took to step into Baghdad, because it sought a belligerent policy of entering into foreign territory unappreciative of the different tribes of the population and of the Shiites and Sunnis and Kurds that were kept together at one point by Saddam, as far as many Canadians thought. Many here feel there is little real interest in getting Sunnis and Shiites to agree to a lasting peace. At the same time Americans were sold short on the notion that America had to be physically present for a democracy to be created, a democracy based on a biased representation of the local population in the government.

There are an increasing amount of articles coming out on the eventual exit of foreign troops from beleaguered Iraq. There is an increased opposition based on the increasing death tolls and smug Republican responses like wanting to leave that country honorably. There is mounting reaction to policy makers wanting to stay until the White House is satisfied. More Americans are being convinced that the longer America stays present as it is, or to boost its military presence, the greater the cost will be, the larger the death toll and the longer it will take for the country to restore itself as a nation that can make decisions for itself. We hear that there is even talk of dividing the country up along Sunni and Shiite controlled lines.

When originally America had backed the Iragi government trying to stabilize the transition to a new government for the region, there is now doubt. We, in Canada, don't know the real reasons for the doubt but isn't too coincidental that the doubt is occurring at the same time that foreign troops are increasingly being shot at and explosions continue to go off outside Iraqi police stations?

What will happen when a president pushes through a bill that authorizes the secret service to introduce any sort of punishment they desire with no questions asks? What is behind this terrorist scam anyway? It is infuriating to know that this president is taking the liberty to set a precedent. The internment of Iraqis in Guantanamo is largely illegal and yet the America Senate itself is too weak to overthrow the decision of the head of state to unleash the worst sort of interrogation practice that puts other holocausts and atrocities to shame. The authors of the investigative practices will also be putting together personality files much like they do today but anyone that comes close to matching a profile of a suspected terrorist is going to be arrested even though that individual has not conceived or planned any plot against the government. It all sounds like Huxley's 1984.

I see the introduction of any punishment method to elicit responses from innocent detained people coincides with an upsurge in the spread of control systems used to harass people. I know we have rights to privacy but how will we be protected in years to come from invasive bosses and secret service people who would arrest anyone they find as exhibiting suspicious behavior?

I understand though Canada is busy duplicating the American habit of arresting people without a warrant and that also applies to some Middle Eastern residents who do not have Canadian citizenship yet cannot defend themselves against what appears to be bogus charges. A Canadian brigadier wants other NATO nations to participate in active warfare against the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan. But Canada is supposed to be there for peaceful purposes! That sounds like the brigadier swallowed a pro-Bush pill: if the Taliban is making headway, the local population is likely irreversibly supporting it. Western media is onlyshowing that defenseless local residents are being taken advantage of. How true is that point of view? America is also trying to project its paranoia on neighboring countries like Canada which it approached to control the waters off North Korea in order to put a squeeze on its nuclear threat. The Canadian government refused. Many in Canada especially those who do not support the Canadian involvement in Afghanistan are questioning the validity of further foreign presence in that country or in Iraq. Demonstrations are being held outside main universities like Concordia against the occupation of those countries and that is what the Canadian and American presence amounts to. At the same time Iran will continue to defy the international community and refine uranium to be used for nuclear warfare. The embargo spearheaded by the Americans and backed by the Canadian government is working yet the opposite way in bringing more attention to a region under perennial conflict. At the same time America has now exceeded the length of time it was involved in the Second World War with an enemy that is much less formidable. Many people are questioning foreign involvement just on that account alone.

All this flack preceded the elections of a majority of Democrats to the House of Representatives, which then induced a majority of Democrats in the Senate. I would have liked to know what would be the Democratic policy in occupied Iraq and Afghanistan but then I understand from the media that America will want to seek an honorable exit fro the Middle East and Southern Asia, less though in South Asia since they have induced Canada and other allies to do their dirty business. Many Canadians think that Americans will still be actively present in these occupied counties to ensure they get their oil and to offset any Russian expansion, although lately there is no mention of American paranoia towards the ex-USSR. Canada is busy duplicating American politics in other ways; women activist groups are frowned on, we are ignoring the Kyoto accords and we are putting up with the same propaganda about the necessity to protect ourselves from terrorist threats with the installation of additional surveillance cameras on main roads and in public places. It seems we in Canada are not getting away from the type of dealings or behavioral pattern that America has set. If America stays entrenched in their current way of handling their foreign

Affairs in an efficient bipartisan way, America risks losing its global position big time.

Martin Dansky

[email protected]