He could always invade Russia
Winters is coming - why not give it a try?
President Obama has cancelled a planned pow-wow with Russian president Vladimir Putin at next month's G20 Summit in St Petersburg, saying the granting of asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was "a factor." "Following a careful review begun in July, we have reached the conclusion that there is not enough recent progress …
Surely if there has been little progress then it is more important to have the summit ?
(Putin won't take this slight lightly.)
Progress seems to be defined in almost all the world as doing what the USA wants.
(At least Russia and China actually act in their own best interests first and foremost).
And do exactly the same type of lying that America does.
Well America sure as hell needs Canada more than we need them. Canada can get by just fine selling our resources to Europe and Asia. America's only value is that we can ship them stuff by train instead of having to put in on a boat. Considering the crap we have to put up with from them, that's hardly a worthwhile reason to keep 'em around.
Cut 'em off, I say. The entire world should just cease trading with the US at all. Sure, we'd have some readjustment to be done, but I think that in the end we'd all be better for it. Well except the yanks...but oh well. If that's an egg that needs to be broken in order to make a nicer planetary omelette...
By all means go ahead and adopt the Euro and enjoy taking on Southern Europe's woes as well. Ask Germany how much fun that is. We'll take the advantage. Lord knows we need it with our two shit parties and the enormous debt the Baby Boomers have run up giving themselves entitlements.
You know, it used to be that way, Mr ASDF. It really did. But a couple of things have changed in the past few years that mean that any US general or politician eyeing Canada covetously needs be significantly more wary than they would have had to have been in the past.
The first: the Canadian citizenry is rather well armed. There are significantly more guns per capita in Canada than in the US and they are spread out fairly evenly. The second is that "standing army" figures mean absolutely bupkus today. You can have tens of millions of people active in your military and - while that's impressive on paper - it doesn't mean much unless you are prepared to fight a nasty inch-by-iunch ground war. If you think you can win that kind of battle then fucking bring it, America. You can't win a ground war against a bunch of poorly equipped peasants in the desert, I'd love to see you succeed in inch-by-iunch combat with Canadians on in winter on their own soil.
No, what matters is how many robots you have. Everything from cruise missiles to drones. People are unbelievably expensive. You have to feed them, house them, train them, buy them jeeps to move them around, fly them in giant crates of supplies and keep them outfitted with armour, communications and all sorts of other stuff. The average soldier costs a hell of a lot more than the average cruise missile and does less damage.
Could America "take" Canada? Oh, probably. But even today that would be a long, miserable, bloody and costly battle. Will America be able to "take" Canada 10 years from now? I very much doubt it. We're buying (and building) lots and lots of robots. The arctic is melting, you see, and the oil up there is ours. We intend to be able to defend that claim.
I don't see it as all that strange. I've always believed they'll try it within my lifetime. I still do believe it. I don't even hold illusions that we would "win". The only question regarding the eventual American invasion on most Canadians' minds is "are we prepared enough to make them pay dearly for it?"
Robots will help significantly with that, I should think. Fortunately for me, my local MP agrees voiceferously: Canada not only needs lots and lots of robots, we need the capability to build them here in Canada. They will come. When they do I hope to hell they pay tenfold in blood.
It won't be American leadership - most likely a UN action to consolidate North America into one district - using American forces. The latest Navy commercial calling itself 'A Global Force for Good' is disturbing on several levels. It doesn't matter who you vote for, they are all the same.
All that aside-> I'm not happy with my government, we have enough bullshit to deal with at home than to be dicking around all over the world.
I couldn't help making a sly (and perhaps too obtuse) comment on the rapacious American and his attitude the UK and the rest of the world. Your response, detailing which countries were important to the US, how and where you could gain an advantage, and the status of the UK as the 51st state simply enforces the stereotype.
The OP's comment hinted that US unilateralism doesn't work any more, and I agree; geopolitics isn't a zero sum game and countries have more gain by co-operation rather than competition.
Snowden's revelations have tested the patience of the rest of the world. Now might be good time for the US to wave the big stick a bit less, and to talk softly a bit more.
"Canada as the good guy" is nothing but good PR. We have a bunch of asshole 1%ers (known as the Conservative party) trying to screw it for everyone. (Though the Liberal party did a good job of cronyism when in power, they didn't fundamentally screw us internally nor screw our foreign relations in the same way that the tories do.) We have some severe problems, however, that we are having a lot of trouble correcting and making good on.
The first and most damning is the continued misbehaviour of our troops abroad. Despite numerous very real efforts to reign in the excesses of our deployed forces, there have been some very unwelcome sexual assault scandals that I find unbecoming of a Canadian.
Second is a little something called "residential schools." Look it up; it is a truly shameful part of Canada's history and we will spend centuries trying to make it right. This is related to how the Native American populations are integrated (or aren't) within Canadian society. Native relations are among the most damning examples of how even Canadians don't get it all quite right.
We have several quite successful clans in Canada. various Squamish-descendant tribes to well on the west coast; a visit to the cities they own and run show they are more than capable of running their own affairs. Many of the Inuit tribes have done well; they've carved out the territory of Nunavut for themselves and another group have created an independent legislative assembly in Nunatsiavut; both examples of native peoples managing to do well economically, politically and intergovernmentally without losing their culture in the process.
Others aren't so lucky. Too many reserves are havens of drugs, alcohol and various forms of shocking abuse. Mental health issues can and do run rampant and unchecked as mental health professionals are not allowed to help victims of abuse or those with various chemical imbalances which lead to depression, bipolar disorders and so forth.
This is a massive quandry for Canada. I think you'll find an overwhleming percentage of Canadians believe it is important for Native clans to be able preserve their own way of life and to self-govern. We see it as their right. Yet some simply can't. We are caught in a national ethical dilemma about how to resolve this issue in the most fair way possible.
Should we intervene and impose our morals and/or governmental organisation upon communities? (This is where the residential schools thing went horribly wrong.) Do we let them sort it out themselves? How long do we wait before we decide that they lack the skills and tools to do so?
Is it right to keep throwing money at the problem? (Canada has various treaties that pay out a large sum to most reserve natives upon their 18th birthday.) Should we cut them off in the hopes that this forces them to get their act together?
There are no clean solutions here; no easy answers.
Then there's the hype about how "dirty" the tar sands are. And they are! the solution is actually simple: build a great big nuke plant to power the damned things and we won't have these sorts of problems, but my fellow Albertans (in their infinite wisdom) decided to scream and whinge and protest. (The majority of the protesting coming from several of the aformentionned native tribes who have treaty rights to veto such development and chose to do so because they weren't getting a large enough sack of cash to allow the nuke plant's development. At least they're honest about it)
Europeans don't like our seal hunt, mostly because seals are cute. They get all huffy when you explain to them that if we didn't cull the blighters they'd wipe out the arctic fishery practically overnight. That's not a part of the story people like to hear.
So Canada has our own problems. We are ashamed of them, we work our asses off to find solutions for them. We are aware of them and we even discuss them amongst ourselves and with our MPs. (I can remember at least 4 separate occasions where I sat around with several MPs, a few students and some native leaders to try to find innovative solutions to some of the issues facing the local tribes.)
Everyone is the bad guy to someone. We've done some bad things on the international stage...but our greatest shame is at home. It's one of the reasons we don't try shaping the world in our own image. What right do we have to do so when there's still so much we have yet to get right at home?
Please be quiet, Potty, we don't want everyone thinking all the colonials are nursing massive inferiority complexes.
As for Obambi's latest publicity stunt, I'm baffled as to what he thinks he gains. Sure, no real harm is done - it was little more than a photo opportunity, the real work gets done in the background meetings - but snubbing Putin? What a way to repay Pootie for gagging Snowjob. And what does Obambi stand to gain at home? It's hardly going to help him with the Dummicrat base, they probably want the whole thing swept under the carpet so they can get back to pretending they have moral superiority (not easy when the news is all about how your Prez of choice is driving the World's largest eavesdropping program in history). And it's a bit late for Obambi to be trying to appeal to the Republican hard-core with a bit of manufactured patriotism. Maybe Obambi is returning the favour for Pootie by letting Pootie claim he's independent, not Bambi's bee-yach, etc., which probably does play well with Pootie's nationalistic base.
The tar sands would still be filthy even if all the required power plants were run on organic unicorn dung instead of coal. Nuclear would not fix it.
That's why we call it Mordor.
The biggest issue with the tar sands is the CO2 load per barrel of oil. That far outweighs the other issues. We burn so much coal to get a barrel of heavy crude that it's abominable.
After that, the biggest issues are to do with reclamation of the land. We can do a great deal to reclaim old mine sites, but we choose not to because extracting and refining a lot of the dangerous metals that end up polluting the tailings ponds is unbelievably energy intensive. IF we had a cheap, clean source of electrical power - say, for example, from the proposed Bruce Power nuclear station - then we would be able to do a gigantic crapload more post-processing on the tailings than we do now.
There is nothing about tarsands extraction that is inherantly bad for the local ecosystem. The negative effects are entirely because we choose not to bring our technology to bear on reclaiming the land. That's abominable, but I don't think we're going to realistically be able to do anything about it until we get nuclear energy involved.
The chances that Alberta will voluntairily evaporate over half it's GDP are exactly zero. The chances that China and the USA are going to stop buying our oil are exactly zero. The ecological costs of doing proper reclamation on those sites using coal or natural-gas-fired power plants are honestly probably higher than a few poison tailings ponds amongst the muskeg wastes of the north.
Get cheap power up there, however, and suddenly the government has a viable option. They can put in place strict - even outright punitive - ecological regulation and the oil companies would reasonably be able to implement them whilst still raking in the kinds of profits required to keep them interested in the oilsands in the first place.
Now, I don't know about you, but I've been up there. I've toured Shell and Syncrude plants and flown over the entire region in helicopter. I've seen up close and personal the damage we do...and also what beauty a properly restored area can be.
It's easy to buy in to a bunch of propaganda focused on terrifying images of active work sites or abandoned sites from 30 years ago. It's much harder to take an intellectually honest and objective look at what's going on. There's good. There's bad. There's horribly ugly. What's most damning of all is that there are viable solutions...
...we simply (stupidly) choose not to employ them. For that, I blame NIMBYs and I hope each and every one of them learns the true cost of their actions. Their fear, paranoia and greed will have repercussions for generations.
Of course, it's far easier to simply demand a province - and frankly most of a nation - live in abject poverty simply because of some propaganda and an unwillingness to do some investigation.
>The OP's comment hinted that US unilateralism doesn't work any more, and I agree;
I guess just like UK empire unilateralism quit working almost a century ago. The difference is our empire will still be somewhat relevant for the next hundred years and not just as a back drop for Sherlock Holmes movies.
Bit of a dodgy stat though isn't it. A bit like saying Tokyo's GDP is comparable to a third of the United States.
California & UK's debt's are quite comparable though....
Anyways, it's this kind of daft "mine is bigger than yours" nationalism that vindicates all this spying business.
> our empire will still be somewhat relevant for the next hundred years
The British Empire had trade and political rivals throughout all of it's existence. By contrast, the fall of communism presented the US with a unique window of opportunity. As the only Superpower they had a chance to transform geopolitics.
Instead, America squandered it's political capital. The State was unable to relinquish it's cold war mindset, and simply refocused the industrial military apparatus on a convenient new target. While these tactics are increasingly irrelevant, Snowden's revelations show how embedded the mindset is in the US administration.
However, the brief period of US as a lone superpower is ending (partly as a result the greedy decisions of American property speculators). The economies of the world are increasingly intertwined and no longer dominated by one country.
Whatever the changes of the future holds, it is never a good idea to antagonise potential rivals or partners. The relevance of the 'American empire' over the next hundred years is very much dependant on how much the cold war cowboys have managed to damage US credibility.
As the old saying goes: 'Be careful who you step on the way up, because you may have to lean on them on the way down.'
"IF we had a cheap, clean source of electrical power - say, for example, from the proposed Bruce Power nuclear station - then we would be able to do a gigantic crapload more post-processing on the tailings than we do now."
Come over to BC for a chat; we've got oodles of surplus hydro power we can sell you. If we stop supplying to California too we'll have even more to share!
"....The fact that you need a dozen carrier strike groups to keep your troops from being slaughtered abroad is what, a minor discrepancy ?" LOL! Don't be silly, the carrier groups are so the US can ensure their troops don't get slaughtered in ANY country the US decides to stick their nose in.
The problem with the BC Hydro approach - and it's been considered - is the transmission line length. The most promising BC Hydro projects for this would involve building dams on a couple of rivers right before they dump into the pacific. You want to truck that much power all the way to Ft Mac? Your line loss will be staggering.
Nah, I think sticking a GW of generating capacity in Athabasca is the best idea. Close enough to Edmonton to get reasonably cheap meat to build and operate it, far enough from the muskeg that it won't sink into the ground and close enough to Ft Mac that transmission loss won't be a big deal.
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