June 1, 2002
Not since the signing at Panmunjom had Canadian soldiers gone into battle. It was a huge moment in Canada’s life and one of great importance in ours—if only because homeland security is impossible without a friendly and committed Canada. In changing a half century of military doctrine, Jean Chretien’s ruling Liberals risked considerable political capital. But once the decision was made, the vast majority of Canadians embraced it as standing by the family in time of need. They understood the danger. So when four “sons of the Maple Leaf” fell in battle, it was not unexpected; nor was the cause of their loss—friendly fire—a shock. Canadians understood the price of standing up to evil.[01:30 PM]
What has stunned them, however, is our reaction. Not the official government-to-government noises, which have been appropriate, but our reaction—the feelings of the American people and the coverage of our media. Where were the newspaper editorials? Where were the “In-Focus” segments on Rather, Jennings, and Brokaw? Were the only telegenic funerals those orchestrated in Ramallah? […]
Last week, Canada announced it will be withdrawing all its troops from Afghanistan by the summer. They are the second largest force in Kandahar and a pivotal part of the combat formations. No doubt they will be missed. So far, no one here seems to have noticed.
This is unacceptable. We are at war. Self-absorption is not an option. We must pay close attention to our allies lest the world become a lonelier place for our cause.