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|Wednesday November 5, 2003|
|(Richard Gwyn) The Americans have made some crashing mistakes since winning the war. But on one essential, they have not been wrong from the start to the finish, whenever that may be: It was worth taking a risk — a terrible risk that it's now clear may fail — to liberate Iraqis from the slaughterhouse and madhouse into which Saddam Hussein had imprisoned them, to give them a chance for a more-or-less decent future that might in turn inspire other Arabs to do the same thing. And, as always is incomparably better, for them to execute these regime changes themselves.
The Americans have nothing to apologize for for making this attempt — results, not motives are what matter — and deserve far better than off-stage barracking by such as France and Germany (both calling for withdrawal deadlines they know are utterly unrealistic), or, from supposed friends like Canada, silence.
The Americans are now hurting, in Iraq and about Iraq. The costs of the war, in blood and in money, are going to become increasingly important as next November's election approaches.
|America: Our so called friend|
This editorial was broadcast from Toronto by Gordon Sinclair on 5 June 1973 as the United States was withdrawing from Vietnam.
"This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth. Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of these countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States. When the franc was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it.
"When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States that hurries in to help. This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes. Nobody helped. The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent, war-mongering Americans.
"I'd like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC-10? If so, why don't they fly them? Why do all the International Airlines except Russia fly American planes? Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or woman on the moon?
"You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy, and you get automobiles. You talk about American technocracy, and you find men on the moon — not once, but several times — and safely home again.
"You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everybody to look at. Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded. They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless they are breaking Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from ma and pa at home to spend here.
"When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the American who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke. I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake.
"Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I'm one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them get kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of those. Stand proud, Americans!"