Sick and Tired of This
Why is that whenever someone denigrates Canada, it always has the adjective "second-rate"? We're content to be a "second-rate socialist country," according to a past incarnation of Stephen Harper. When Margaret Atwood attended Harvard, she was shocked to discover that Canadian literature was "second-rate and not worth studying," according to their standards (I'm sure someone's resourceful enough to come up with an Ignatieff joke here). The Canadian Football League is regularly perceived as second-rate compared to the much-glitzier and more polished NFL. The NY Times once said that Canadian music is second-rate, and that for every Sarah McLachlan and Celine Dion (why the hell didn't they say Bryan Adams?) we put out 10 Rita McNeils or Roch Voisines (why the hell didn't they say the Barenaked Ladies?). The list goes on and on...
And now the story going around al Qaeda watercoolers is that we're "second-rate Crusaders."
Well that's just going too far.
Granted, we're not actually on a crusade. Unless you count promoting universal values such as human rights, the rule of law, women's equality, liberal democracy, and freedom of religion/conscience/expression as a crusade. Which I don't. I just consider it to be fulfilling our Responsibility to Protect. This idea that Canadians are "obsessed" with Christianity is also malarkey, but I'm sure that if I were to be sent packing to live in a cave for five years while the entire justice-seeking world was hunting for me, I'd probably say some pretty dumb things too.
So with that in mind, I call on the Canadian Government to prove Ayman al-Zawahiri wrong. Show to him, his jerk of a best friend, and all the others out there that Canada isn't second-rate. Prove to us, and to them, that we're first-rate when it comes to fulfilling our pledges and honouring our commitments. Explain why this mission in Afghanistan is so important to establishing a viable paradigm for the 21st century, one that says that Canada and its friends will not stand idly by while populations are enslaved by armed or foreign insurgencies that seek to deny populations of their rights.