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Monday, March 23, 2009

Canada: the joke really is on us

The recent outrage expressed over the Fox News Network program Red Eye, is pathetic. I mean really pathetic. Have we become a nation of over-sensitive wimps and whiners? So Fox News made some lame jokes about our country and our military—so what. Canadians routinely make much worse public comments about Americans and especially their presidents.

We need to grow up as a nation and stop taking such offence at silly, immature, out-of-date jokes made by people who are paid for fairly tame attempts at “shock” humour.

What we Canadians should be outraged about is the long-standing policy of Liberal governments and some past Progressive Conservative governments that systematically starved our military of sufficient funds to properly discharge our international obligations and commitments. This is what has made us the brunt of bad jokes.

The Fox News program was accurate in its observation that Canada has relied on our proximity to the United States to save on our military expenditures over the past several decades. We rely on the fact that our southern neighbour would always come to our defence if necessary. We have made ourselves an international joke and should not blame others from laughing at us.

Canada ranks 6th in defence expenditures among the 26 members of the NATO alliance. However, our ranking drops to 20th, when military outlays are calculated as a percentage of our country’s gross domestic product. This is shameful.

For Pete’s sake, we are a nation of over 33 million people and our military is stretched to its limit to keep a paltry 2,800 fighters in the field in Afghanistan—about 5 per cent of allied forces there. We sent over 26,000 Canadians to serve in the Korean War. Of these, 1,558 became casualties, including 516 deaths, most due to combat. And at that time Canada’s population was less than half its current level—that’s commitment!

Spending on our military has dropped from almost six per cent of the GDP in 1956 to 1.1 per cent in 2005. By contrast, Australia spends more than twice that at 2.4 per cent (2006). We are ranked 132 in the world in this regard—a real joke when we consider ourselves worthy of being a member of the G8 group of nations.

This is what is shameful and worthy of our outrage, not the inept humour of some second-tier entertainers.

8 comments — This is a moderated blog and comments will appear when approved. Please don’t resubmit if your comment doesn’t appear immediately, and please do not post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable.

  1. Russ you are dead wrong on this one.

  2. yup. Got me there

  3. yup, got me there

  4. Exactly.

    I AM(a thin skinned)CANADIAN!

  5. TangoJuliette sez:

    The libranos gutted Canada's once mighty, proud and deserving military.

    The libranos started the BS attacks on the USA. Chretien, his cuz the ambasssador, anything and anybody on the CBC, Carolyn Parrish jumping on some sort of a voodoo doll of Geo W.

    And *we're* offended because our military is laughed at?

    We alll should be royally pssied off at the libranos for getting us into this world of s * * t!


    t.e. & o.e.

  6. I have to disagree on this one. I'm usually not baited by Fox. Anne Coulter made similar 'joke' about 'why don't we invade Canada?' and I thought it was offensive, but it was Anne Coulter, what do you expect?

    So, how is this different?

    This was not a careless remark. They seated 4 guests in a panel. Fox had a good idea what the 'joke' would entail. And it was not 'one statement', it was a gang-bang by 4 guys (perhaps one of them was a lady.)

    I don't know... I suppose everyone has different sensitivity levels. I would guess you don't know anyone personally in the military...

    Here is a highlight of all the show:

  7. Tyler, I've seen the whole show, thank you. And I personally served several years in the military.

    They didn't make fun of those serving in our military per se, they made fun of a country whose military is so tiny it would need a year off (according to one of its generals)after having a force of only 2,800 in action.