Neutrality and Canadian Opinion
I guess that this answers my often-ruminated question about Canada and neutrality:
In a poll . . . 45 per cent said they disagreed with Harper's open support for Israel. Thirty-two per cent agreed with the prime minister . . .
When asked who Canada should support, a majority, 77 per cent, said Canada should be neutral. Only 16 per cent said Canada should support Israel and one per cent said Hezbollah. Six per cent didn't know or declined to answer.
More than three out of four Canadians have signalled that they don't think it's in Canada's interest to participate in the War on Terror and Tyranny. Less than one in five thinks that we should be supporting a democratic state in its efforts to rid the region of a deadly terrorist network so that it can live in greater security on its northern border. One in a hundred actually thinks that the terrorists are the good guys.
Cross-reference these findings with Jonathan Kay's article in today's National Post (behind the firewall unfortunately) and I'm more than a little blue (as in sad) about Canadians' views of the world. This is a pretty clear signal that Canada has largely given up on fighting the initial conception of the War on Terror abroad and doesn't have the moral clarity to distinguish between a democratic state defending its right to exist and a terrorist network that seeks to destroy said democratic state. Canadians think that we should be neutral and not take a side, despite the reality that one side deliberately uses civilian population centres as human shields and a base to thrust the sword into Northern Israel, while the other side painstakingly seeks to minimize civilian casualties instead of taking the easy route and launching a full-scale military campaign that would no doubt erase Hezbollah but also kill many more civilians. Canadians seemingly want to be happy-go-lucky fence-sitters that can cling to their delusions of grandeur of a bygone era and claim to be "honest brokers" when the reality is that nobody outside of Canada cares one whit about our posture or seeks Ottawa's supposed brokerage abilities in negotiating an end to hostilities.
When the Prime Minister of Canada takes a position--defending the right of a democracy to respond to terrorist aggression--that is right and appropriate, he is chastised for cow-towing to George W. Bush. Bill Graham actually said that we shouldn't take such a position because we'd just be echoing a voice that's already there. Heaven forbid that more than one country stands up and says something that clearly establishes right and wrong. Even worse is when it's Canada too closely approximating the United States. We just can't have that here, no sir.
I am really quite distraught about this poll finding. I know that it's just one poll in a sea of them, but I'm sure that it's not the only one of its kind. I've long held fears that Canada and Canadians would end up taking this course, and now I've seen them manifested. It hurts to see that 77% of people surveyed think that Canada should not be supportive of a fellow democracy, an ally, and a friend against a vicious group of terrorists with a lengthy history of deliberate atrocities against civilians that is considered by some terrorism experts to be "the A-team" of terrorists.
**Update: Kinsella provides some essential reading, as always.