Pubdate: Fri, 16 May 2003
Source: Community Press, Quinte Edition, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2003 February 11 Interactive Publishing Ltd.
Contact: 613-395-2992
Author:  Alan Coxwell
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


Whatever war our friends the Americans choose to fight is now sold to the 
world as a Holy Crusade of the Righteous. Overtones of Evangelical 
religious zeal in White House foreign policy, with Ashcroft and Co. joining 
hands in a prayer circle in the Oval Office each morning, come fearfully 
close to Muslim fanatics muttering in mosques, calling for their own Holy 
War against all infidels. The major difference between these two extremes 
of the religious spectrum is in their respective methods of delivering high 
explosives to "we, the people." God works in mysterious ways.

Colin Powell simply doesn't believe in his cause enough to strap C4 
explosives around his belly, walk into a busy street and detonate himself. 
Nor does he need to. There are B52s, Cruise missiles and F18s in his 
arsenal. They are much more effective and Colin can watch the results in 
deadly colour from a safe distance on CNN.

This is an overt and very tangible war to which we have said, "Thanks, but 
no thanks!" There is a much more subtle war going on here at home. It is 
being waged every day, across Canada. It is a trade war. It is an insidious 
ideological war. It is a war of attrition via tariffs.

Some wag recently dubbed the North American Free Trade Agreement acronym, 
NAFTA, as really standing for Nearly Always For The Americans. We have 
watched since the passage of NAFTA as Americans have throttled one segment 
of our economy after another. Last week, just as crops were going into the 
ground, the U.S. announced a 10 to 12 per cent tariff on Canadian wheat. 
Some see this monetary smart bomb as retaliation for Canadians deciding to 
sit on the bench and watch Gulf War II, The Sequel on the big, world screen.

Perhaps you recall the Americans slapping a tariff of about 20 per cent on 
our softwood lumber exports to the U.S. British Columbia's forest industry 
was flattened as effectively as if the U.S. bombers had dropped Bunker 
Busters on B.C.'s sawmills. The first time they tried to annihilate our 
softwood lumber industry the World Trade Organization ruled against them. 
Americans do not take kindly to being told "No, you can't do that." They 
immediately did it again, knowing that by the time Canadians drag it 
through court the saws will all be too rusty to slice cedar anyway.

Uncle Sam's latest fiddling involves Canada's current attempts to 
decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. Our legislative 
power is crippled by American threats of bringing border traffic to a 
standstill with exhaustive drug searches.

We all know about America's War on Drugs. Millions of gallons of 
gene-mutating chemical defoliants are still being sprayed across South 
America, fighting a war that cannot be won   just like Vietnam. They have 
not learned from history. Once again peasant farmers do the suffering.

President Bush might better look at why there is an insatiable demand for 
drugs from Americans who need to get high rather than live in the reality 
of America today. Retaliatory tactics do appear to work. Perhaps Canada, 
like Amsterdam, should just totally legalize marijuana and watch American 
tourists pour north across our border. It worked with gambling. Dope for 
dopes should work too.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom