A Canadian View from the USA
I have read a lot of material from home about Canadian reaction to the
recent terrorist attack on the USA, and what Canada should do or not do as
the case may be. I would like to return to filing stories about pro
wrestling, but first I feel I have to clear my mind and set some issues on
I used to cover the Manitoba legislature for a TV station, and did a very
political talk show on radio, and I prefer the entertainment business I am
now in, believe me. But we are all under threat. I never imagined
babysitting completion of a documentary would lead to me being here in this
There is no absolute right or wrong in most cases. Certainly, like all
Canadians, I felt insulted that President Bush did not specifically mention
our land as a supporter of the USA in his speech. I thought it was pretty
gutsy of Canada to allow flights to be diverted to our airports. That
deserved recognition on the worldwide stage. We are also under scrutiny as a
potential launching pad for the attackers to enter the States. Maybe there
was a hidden message.
But the fact is that American intelligence knew some of these maniacs were
inside their borders, and we did not let them in, US border officials did.
There appears to have been some tragic miscalculations about the impending
The change here in LA was marked. My airport hotel was in a panic, as
airline staff staying there felt directly for their fallen co-workers.
Security was tight, but not oppressive. Still, there was an immediate
difference in this country. The flights bound for Los Angeles carried well
known victims and this city was deeply affected. So was Middletown, NJ,
which suffered only 1 casualty in all of WW 2, but at least 50 in the
This whole country, the sense of security was undermined. If the attacks had
been planed for the West instead of the East, just by staying at an airport
hotel for a change of scene and a swim could have resulted in my own death.
That is the essence of terrorism, to evoke fear and panic, and that in turn
causes social and political unrest. My friends from Ireland, Great Britain,
Somalia, and of course Israel, know this fear. America has not until now. LA
was tense and sombre, and on alert as a potential target.
I fled to Las Vegas to visit my friends Geoff and Karen from Winnipeg and
their new daughter and it felt safer, but Vegas was sad and in a state of
economic collapse. As airlines laid off 1000's, so did resorts and hotels.
The Alladin fired all their costumed princes and genies who wander about
providing entertainment and atmosphere, with no severance. Done. Gone.
Hotels rates were slashed in half or more, casino closed tables due to lack
of gamblers, and there was a real fear of recession in Nevada.
I have traveled North America in wrestling and journalism and drove taxi in
the dark Winnipeg winters for 14 years. I have been in Compton, Mexico City,
on Hastings St. in Vancouver, on Jane and Finch in Toronto, in biker bars
and clubhouses, covered murders and fires and gang wars. I have been in
shoots in the ring, locker rooms and my own home. I know danger. This is
more. When planes started to fly again, people watched in part to see if
they were flying off course, erratically or even headed for a target. No one
but the paraniod did that before. Now in the USA, citizen and visitor alike
The same sick minds whose supporters claim in newspapers that "4000 Jews"
were away from work at the Trade Towers that morning, in a twisted pathetic
attempt to draw suspicion to their arbitrary survival, these same psycopaths
could care less if you are Canadian or American. THEY KNEW that peaceful
citizens of the world, from England, France, Canada, African nations, and
yes Israel, would be in the buildings and on the flights. It was an attack
on the world, not just the USA. Otherwise they would have hit a military
target like the USS Cole.
Garnet Bailey loved our national game of hockey. He was a rookie left wing
with the Boston Bruins of the NHL when I first followed hockey as a little
kid. I saw him play at the Winnipeg Arena in the WHA when I was a teen. I
saw the results of his scouting at a Los Angeles Kings game last winter. I
saw him die for the sin of taking the wrong flight and working to feed his
family, and that could have been any Canadian.
These terrorists will target any of us in the developed free world, because
we give women freedom to dress and learn and work; becasue we have a flawed
but functional democracy where clerics do not rule; becasue our countries
support the State of Israel.
I know it is strange to some of my fellow Canadians to think of us as
threatened, and I support our efforts to bring peace to the world. But
unless this is dealt with by force, one day it will be you watching a plane
fly into your window at the CN Tower or BC Place or the House of Parliament.
And your loved ones will watch helplessly on TV, and your neighbours will
lose their jobs, and the world you left behind will be enslaved by fear and
panic. To this columnist, that is not an option.
Maybe George Bush and Jean Chretien are not worth voting for. But right now,
they are correct in saying we must sacrifice as our parents and grandparents
did to subdue Nazism and Hirohito. I will not die for Chretien, but I will
die for my children and loved ones to preserve the freedoms we all enjoy as
Canadians and partners of the longest undefended border on Earth.
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from the boys:
Moondog Manson says "Leatherface is by far the sickest man I have ever met in the ring, the moment he hits you in the head with that steal chair you here a creepy laugh come from under that hood.".