Skip to main content

A G7 Years' War

G7 Wave Goodbye

Allegedly the first shot was fired during a "contentious phone call with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about tariffs Trump is imposing on the US neighbor to the north." A phone call between two leaders of long time neighboring countries with HUGE cross boarder trade and shared national interests - like the Stanley Cup. What did it sound like on May 25, 2018 when the war began? Something like this:

"Didn't you guys burn down the White House?"

You almost have to feel a little bit sorry for Justin and Canada because this one was a real zinger or a "head shot" as the pundits like to call them. How do you know? Because CNN published a correction (a retraction really) on behalf of the POTUS the day after the news broke in a wonderful piece titled "History according to Trump, War of 1812 edition." Behold:

"Yes, there's a kernel of truth here, since a lot of Canadians seem to think it was Canadians who burned the White House. Also, the British burned Washington after American troops burned government buildings in what's now Toronto.
The war was fought in large part over Canada.
All true!
But it was British troops who burned Washington."

you won't find this on US currency
Which is exactly the point. Justin Trudeau's ancestry is very French Canadian (unless it's not) so using the term "you guys" to a Québécois will sting - especially because it's true. Technically speaking, Queen Elizabeth is the Sovereign of the parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy of Canada. The sun never sets on the British Commonwealth and for Canadians to claim they're NOT British is an example of self delusion that dwarfs US domestic squabbles about the Confederate Flag or sovereignty of our southern boarder. But delude themselves they will - check out this informative nugget from Canada's state run broadcasting corporation. 
The war of 1812 didn't end America's relationship with Canada and there are people, even some (many?) Americans, who love constitutional monarchy above all political systems and, though they don't admit it publicly, many of our popular politicians promote the concept in their campaigns (well, some ARE public about it). But it did convince the British that the USA was for real and, though we were only on our 4th POTUS, the fledgling republic was not going to kneel to any monarch and the US/Canadian boarder has been pretty stable since Treaty of Ghent. The British wanted to keep their holdings in the new world and the best way to do that was by working with the US and being friendly trading partners (and more as it turned out - "special relationship" and all that).

Yer bloody well right
Twenty bucks on this side of the International Boundary tells a different story and displays the rugged face (scared at age 13 by a Red Coat) of POTUS #7 on one side and a picture of the mansion the Canadians burned to the ground risen like a phoenix - "IN GOD WE TRUST" - in glorious victory. Old Hickory fought to create the union as a boy, fought to defend the union as a soldier and fought to preserve the union as president. He was the embodiment of America first and, as it happens, he appears to be a favorite of POTUS #45. So when it comes to trade disputes, tariffs, paying what's owed and the like it is instructive to look to Jackson's approach to see where we might be heading with Justin Trudeau or any other leader of a G7 country and for that we'll turn to The Miller Center at UVA.

"Late in Jackson's presidency, however, an unseemly dispute with France nearly brought the two nations to the brink of war. In an 1831 treaty, France agreed to pay claims for Napoleonic depredations on American shipping. Nevertheless, the French Chamber of Deputies refused to appropriate the necessary funds. Jackson finally lost patience and asked Congress to authorize reprisals if the money was not paid. The French government then demanded retraction of this insult as a condition of payment. Jackson responded in effect that what he said to Congress was none of a foreign government's business. The impasse deepened through 1835: ministers were recalled and military preparations begun. Finally, under British urgings, the French agreed to construe a conciliatory passage in a later message of Jackson's as sufficient apology. France paid the debt and the crisis passed without repercussions."

I think it's time for Justin and Angela and Emmanuel to start "construing" things differently because the war that mattered didn't happen in 1812 or even 1776 when it comes to their current crisis. The war that mattered is what we in the USA call the The French and Indian War and what everyone else calls the Seven Years' War 1754–63 which pitted European powers fighting out their differences here in the New World. That war ended and the Americans hacking out a living in the North American wilderness got to thinking long and hard about what it meant and what they wanted their new life to be like. Did they want to import the squabbles, intolerance and persecution from the old country and set up the same bitter, oppressive, impoverished and constantly waring political structure they'd just escaped by crossing the Atlantic? No. No they did not and in a little over a decade 13 of the colonies banded together to cast off the past and start anew. That's why it happened and that's how it all got started and no matter how hard Europe has tried to destroy our experiment in representative democracy they have never yet succeeded. Wrapping the USA up in the post WW2 financial aid and playing the Russia card since 1945 has kept the New World bound to the old through trade and military alliances but 70 years is enough.

Angela posts a photo to show how impossible her situation is - how depressing - and she has many sympathizers but  I'm looking at two guys* who are focused on a $10 Trillion rebuilding of North Korea and don't see any value in propping up EU socialism. Merkel and her old country compatriots better start looking for the conciliatory language in Trump's tweets because they've got seven more years of this and it's a war they can't win.

*Note: They're the ones with their arms crossed.


Popular posts from this blog

The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson

She was "sexy", but "too much hard work."

I'm a regular Fox & Friends viewer (mostly in protest of the other insipid morning programs like Today and Good Morning America) so over the years I've gotten to know Gretchen Carlson pretty well. Stuck between Steve and Brian she always seemed a prudish scold with an irritating, self-righteous demeanor that I simply put up with because I figured some people in the Fox audience actually liked her persona. It was obvious that Steve and Brian did not, but they were stuck with her like so many talking heads and had to make the best of it - which they did. Besides, she was no worse than any of the other women on morning show TV - I mean, you're only going to find a certain kind of person to do this kind of work and that kind of person is the Gretchen Carlson kind. Then, one day, she was gone and replaced by Elisabeth Hasselbeck and the F&F ratings began to climb, and climb and climb - in two months viewershi…

The Democracy Quirk

Let it be said that Politico is one of the most worthless web sites with clout on the internet - it's like the Washington Post after a night of hard drinking in the Georgetown bars that passed out on a friends couch. Predictable and stupid at the same time - Also, the editors appear to despise democracy as a political science and as practiced here in the USA. Their latest "explanation" for the Trump phenomenon takes aim at the voters and their knowing ignorance which can be easily explained by the Dunning-Kruger Effect. The article written by shrink/educator David Dunning illuminates a big, glaring problem in any democracy, and that is, "we all run the risk of being too ill-informed to notice when our own favored candidates or national leaders make catastrophic misjudgments." Shit, now you tell us, for surely this is not a problem unique to 2016 and probably was in effect in 2000 and 1980 and 1968 and so on...
But as a psychologist who has studied human behavi…

Running Fence 2

You probably know that the Congress (specifically the Senate) and the POTUS are at loggerheads over Federal funding for the Big Beautiful Wall to be built along the US southern boarder. The reasons for this impasse are long and complex so a quick review of how we got here might be in order.

The Elvis from Queens glided down the escalator at Trump Tower (corner of 57th & 5th) and declared to America and the World that he intended to build A Great Wall across the southern boarder when he became POTUS because this alternate speech was never going to happen (KOTCB Alternate Universe 06/15/2015)A few weeks later candidate Trump was presented with a big fat brick of pain and suffering that served as the cornerstone of his campaign (KOTCB Dirty Sanchez)The physical Wall served as a curative slap in the face of the DC establishment who had, over the years, constructed an elaborate Folly Wall in place of the real thing (KOTCB Decius drops the mic)The idea of the Big Beautiful Wall began to…