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"Five axiomatic propositions of Canadian Nationalism vis-a-vis the Americans:

1. Boy, we hate Americans.

2. We really do.

3. Really.

4. I'm not kidding. We really hate them.

5. So how come they never pay us any attention?"

--Will Ferguson, Why I Hate Canadians, Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1997, p.105.


Tuesday, February 26, 2002

Arrogant? You should see these Canadian hockey fans!'s major story at the moment relates to its new poll of nine Muslim countries: "Poll: Muslims call U.S. 'ruthless, arrogant'." 53% of the people questioned had unfavorable opinions of the United States, while 22% had favorable opinions. 61% said they did not believe Arab groups carried out the September 11 terrorist attacks. (If you're wondering why only 55% would view the U.S. unfavorably while 61% don't believe that Arab groups carried out the September 11 attack, the article notes that "not every question was asked in every nation," so these may be percentages of very different Ns.)

No doubt there are many reasons for these views, including U.S. foreign policy and -- more important, in my opinion -- the way this is presented in the state-run media of most of these countries. But this seems like a good time to revisit Jay Nordlinger's column from early January, in which he suggests that an equally relevant question ought to be: what does the "American street" think of the policies of Arab nations?
Is there no honor among thieves? According to the New York Times, bin Laden may have been duped by black market weapons dealers who sold him bogus nuclear material:

The analysis of suspicious canisters, computer discs and documents conducted by the government suggests, in fact, that Mr. bin Laden and Al Qaeda may have been duped by black-market weapons swindlers selling crude containers hand-painted with skulls and crossbones and dipped, perhaps, in medical waste to fool a Geiger counter, officials said.

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