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'U.S. has borne the burdens of the free world'

DISCUSSIONS | June 05, 2006

Douglas Leiterman, Toronto

1954 Nieman fellow, semi-retired, formerly parliamentary reporter, documentary producer, broadcaster.

There is absolutely no doubt that the vast majority of Canadians hold their American "cousins" in the highest respect. They are deeply aware that America has during our lifetimes borne the burdens of the free world, defeated fascist and communist ideologies at a high cost of blood and treasure, and worked generously for the spread of democracy.

Canadians were horrified at the attack of 9/11 (in which a number of Canadians were also killed) and most Canadians understand that the war on terrorism is unavoidable and that America must lead it. Canadians have been split over the Iraq invasion, and their concerns have been fed by an anti-U.S. bias in press and media, most notably at the CBC. Yet there is a deep-rooted understanding in Canada that, notwithstanding blunders in execution, the war on Islamic extremism is the battle of our times and that the rest of the world will continue to rely on America to contain it.

The second great concern of Canadians is that the present U.S. administration seems blind to the perils of global warming, which is perhaps an even greater long-term threat to the planet.

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