John de Figueiredo is the Russell Robinson II Professor of Law, Strategy, and Economics at Duke University.
Last week, President Donald Trump identified Canada as a national security threat to the United States and imposed tariffs on imported Canadian steel and aluminum. Mr. Trump is right. It is Canada that poses a serious threat to U.S. national security. It is not North Korea, Russia, China, Iran, al-Qaeda or the Islamic State. It is Canada. Anyone who thinks differently is just flat out wrong − or misinformed.
The threat really began with the Canada goose − flocks of them crossing our border, unchecked and unobstructed. Hundreds of thousands of geese, flying in formation, pooping like carpet bombers from the sky on U.S. soil. We now realize that, at any moment, they might be followed by millions of Canadian citizens in their domestically produced Honda Civics, Ford Edges or Chevrolet Equinoxes, rolling over the longest unpatrolled and unwalled border in the world. Why, there are virtually hundreds of potential entry points into the United States along the border from which these dangerous Canadians could emerge armed with smoked salmon, ice wine, snack foods and hockey sticks.
But this is just the beginning of the threat to our national security. Imagine the harm to the nation that could be done if hockey displaced football and baseball as the American pastimes? What would be next? The Queen as head of state? The loonie? Tim Hortons? The harm to national security would be irreparable if we ended every sentence in, “eh?” Imagine if, when asked a true American question such as “What’s the weather like?” we started saying, “Pretty cold day, eh?” The Australian invasion of the United States would be close at hand.
Pundits once thought the Canadian embassy was located in close proximity to the U.S. Capitol because Canada is our closest ally. Wrong. It is so Congress can keep an eye on those feisty foreigners. Canada’s desires to expand are also clear. The caribou and moose need more room to roam and, although the Canadians already have access to the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic, they have yet to gain access to the Gulf of Mexico. The annexation of the United States is clearly in their sights.
Donald Trump was right when he identified the Canadian threat. He did get the dates wrong − it wasn’t the War of 1812 (that was the British). It was 1979, when the Canadian government put its own diplomats close to the spectre of death in order to save American diplomats hiding in Tehran during the U.S. embassy takeover in Iran. The national security threat was only heightened in 1990 and 1991, when the Canadians sent 4,000 troops to the Middle East to support the United States in Operation Desert Storm.
The obvious dangerous designs of the Canadian government were clear when, after the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center, the Canadians provided jets to patrol and protect the American skies. Later, clear evidence of Canadian evil intentions was apparent when the Canadians sent troops to Iraq and Afghanistan to support American military initiatives in the Middle East. And most recently, the pure threat Canada poses to American interests was evident when the Canadians sent troops to support the United Nations and U.S. in training Ukrainian troops after the Russian invasion of that country.
Yes, the Canadian threat to U.S. national security is apparent and real — to only one person: Donald Trump. Let’s hope he doesn’t succeed in destroying our friendship with our closest ally in the name of national security.