To: Ambassador Paul Cellucci, Embassy of the United States of America, 490 Sussex Dr., Ottawa, Ont.
DEAR MR. AMBASSADOR:
Your recent remarks about Canada's policy with respect to Iraq were inaccurate, inappropriate and offensive. Prime Minister Chretien is maintaining a delicate balance between U.S. pressure and Canadian opinion - a familiar position for Canadian prime ministers - and he will not tell you to go pound sand. But someone should.
Fundamentally, you argue that the United States would instantly come to the aid of Canada in an emergency, and Canada should therefore participate in your ill-advised attack on Iraq.
"There is no security threat to Canada that the United States would not be ready, willing and able to help with," you are quoted as saying. "There would be no debate. There would be no hesitation. We would be there for Canada, part of our family."
Codswallop. And that's being diplomatic.
The primary threat to Canadian security has always been the United States. A monument in Quebec honours my earliest Canadian ancestor for repelling an invasion from your home state of Massachusetts in 1690. The very first instance of military co-operation among the 13 colonies occurred in 1745 under the leadership of James Shirley, your predecessor as governor of Massachusetts, whose army invaded Nova Scotia and captured the Fortress of Louisbourg.
Thirty years later, during the American Revolution, your privateers sacked our ports. We were at war once more in 1812-15. The birth of Canada in 1867 was prompted by fears of a U.S. invasion. That's why our railroad runs along the Gulf of St. Lawrence, far from the U.S. border.
Do you remember manifest destiny, the 1840s U.S. doctrine which held that your country had a God-given mission to rule all of North America? Do you remember "Fifty-four-forty or fight," the slogan that rallied Americans to threaten an invasion in 1902 over the Alaska boundary? Yours is the only country that has ever invaded ours, and it would do so again in a wink if it thought its interests here were seriously threatened.