Asymmetrical US-Canada ties because of `Robin Vs Batman’ perception: US diplomatsDecember 2nd, 2010 - 1:29 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, Dec.2 (ANI): In a confidential diplomatic cable sent back to the State Department from Ottawa, the American Embassy warned of increasing mistrust of the United States by Canada with which it shares some 500 billion dollars in annual trade, the world’s longest unsecured border and a joint military mission in Afghanistan.
The whistle blowing web site WikiLeaks quotes the cable as saying: “The degree of comfort with which Canadian broadcast entities, including those financed by Canadian tax dollars, twist current events to feed longstanding negative images of the U.S. - and the extent to which the Canadian public seems willing to indulge in the feast - is noteworthy as an indication of the kind of insidious negative popular stereotyping we are increasingly up against in Canada.”
The trove of diplomatic cables from Canada disclose a perception by American diplomats that Canadians “always carry a chip on their shoulder” in part because of a feeling that their country “is condemned to always play ‘Robin’ to the U.S. ‘Batman.’ ”
But at the same time, some Canadian officials privately tried to make it clear to their American counterparts that they did not share their society’s persistent undercurrent of anti-Americanism.
A cable that briefed President George W. Bush before a visit to Ottawa in late 2004 shed further light on the asymmetrical relationship with Canada - a country, the embassy wrote, that was engaged in “soul-searching” about its “decline from ‘middle power’ status to that of an ‘active observer’ of global affairs, a trend which some Canadians believe should be reversed.”
It also noted that Canadian officials worried that they were being excluded from a club of English-speaking countries as a result of their refusal to take part in the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
The United States had created a channel for sharing intelligence related to Iraq operations with Britain and Australia, but Canada was not invited to join.
The Canadian government “has expressed concern at multiple levels that their exclusion from a traditional ‘four-eyes’ construct is ‘punishment’ for Canada’s nonparticipation in Iraq and they fear that the Iraq-related channel may evolve into a more permanent ‘three-eyes’ only structure,” the cable said.
One cable summed it up when it said: “Ultimately, the U.S. is like the proverbial 900-pound gorilla in the midst of the Canadian federal election: overwhelming but too potentially menacing to acknowledge.” (ANI)
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