By Rebecca Sinderbrand If the Issue Fits

I’ll admit, a few semesters of IR does not a foreign policy expert make. I may be able to place Kosovo on a map, but I wouldn’t know a Kosovar if I bumped into him on the street.

I do know enough about the world to know that other nations think America is a lot like your third cousin, the one who proves that a healthy bank account doesn’t ensure good taste. At family reunions (picture the U.N.), everyone is drawn to this guy because of his fat wallet, but behind his back, they snicker over his taste in loud ties, big cars and cheap women.

So Europeans don’t like Americans. This comes as no shock to anyone. I, personally, have a deep-seated mistrust of any continent with an abiding affection for Jerry Lewis. It just doesn’t seem normal. But now everybody else hates us too, ever since we got ourselves into that Kosovo mess. The victims, in order, seem to be: Albanian nationals, Serbian civilians and America’s public image.

This weekend has revealed the extent of the damage, on all three levels. Apparently, the Greeks now hate us (I never would have seen that one coming), the Italians hate us, the Australians hate us, the Austrians hate us and the Russians hate us (so maybe that one isn’t that big of a shock. I saw “Red Dawn.” They killed Patrick Swayze, the godless bastards.)

It’s as if the world has risen up and said “No more of your Mickey Mouse and ugly cars and deep fried everything. We give you Bach, you give us the Backstreet Boys! We give you Sartre, you give us Springer! Enough of this. We will still take your aid checks, but will feel really dirty as we cash them.”

The big surprise to me was the Canadians. They’ve always seemed like such a quiet, inoffensive people, more like eccentric New Englanders than actual foreigners. They’ve given the world Howie Mandel, Leonard Nimoy and Hoya Managing Editor Miro Kazakoff (COL ’01).

They are kind of like Americans, but with half the hostility and twice the wind chill, looking down with half-horror, half-jealousy at their uncouth continental cousins. And they seem pretty upbeat for citizens of a nation where the temperature rises above freezing for less than three months each year, and whose most populous regions border New York State.

So imagine the shock when I flipped on CNN this weekend to see Canadians – mild-mannered people of the north – hurling firebombs at the American Embassy. This is not Tehran 1979, or France pretty much anytime: this, my friends is the dark side of the Canadian dream.

So maybe I’ve been wrong about Canada. Maybe we’ve all been wrong. Maybe the biggest threat to our national security comes not in the form of fanatical terrorists or egomaniacal dictators. Maybe we’ve already seen the face of evil, and evil wears a Mountie hat.

Consider the evidence. Canadians say that they’re “North AMERICANS,” but can even one of them sing the “Star-Spangled Banner?” Why do they insist on playing some renegade version of football: why don’t they just follow the rules, like everyone else? What are they trying to prove? And from what dark place in their national psyche did Alanis Morissette emerge, and how can we send her back?

The truth is finally coming out.

“It’s a horrible, filthy country,” says Hoya editor Kazakoff. “I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.”

So are we ready? Can America fight a war on what is easily one of the least fortified borders on earth? How could we have let ourselves get so soft? People, the time has come to get tough on Canada.

In recent years, America has proven that it can fight simultaneous wars against small-time Middle Eastern despots and tin-pot European dictators. Granted, they were small potatoes compared with a G-7 nation who, last year, was ready to blockade our ports over maritime policy. If a people can get homicidal over fish, who knows what national demons lurk behind that placid, faux-friendly exterior?

We may have underestimated the Canadian menace.

Francisca Antell (COL ’01) expresses the views of most Americans when she describes Canada as “easily invadable” and a prime “candidate for assimilation.”

In fact, Americans outnumber Canadians by almost nine to one. And that’s not even counting illegal immigrants. Who says we can’t fight three wars (Iraq, Kosovo and Canada)? Not this proud Yankee, that’s for sure.

So what are we waiting for? A horde of godless Canadians to swarm down from the frozen tundra? We know they’ve been eyeing California for years; they’ve even sent Dan Akroyd and William Shatner as celebrity spies. I wasn’t going to even mention this, but I’ve heard our neighbors to the north have The Bomb. How much more of this will we take? Citizens, the world must be made safe for democracy.

The last time we invaded Canada was almost 200 years ago. I’d say we’re long overdue for a good border dispute. Break out the muskets, boys!

I may not be a foreign policy expert, but I’m a God-fearing American. I say, look north, America – there lies your nightmare. O dark continent. O cold, foul wind. O Canada.

If the Issue Fits appears every other Tuesday in The Hoya.

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