CBC Radio, Commentary, Friday, November 26, 2004
How anti-American is Carolyn Parrish, really? (3 minutes)
by Marjaleena Repo
Carolyn Parrish is the sacrificial lamb of Canadian politics, a
dissenter who has to be taught a lesson. As a public person she has
stepped outside the permitted narrow range of opinions, and, therefore,
off with her head.
She is labeled "anti-American" as if that term has a clear-cut meaning,
agreed upon by all. The more extreme critics from the Conservative Party
charge that she has committed "hateful" acts, hoping. Are they perhaps
hoping to trigger the hate law provisions of the criminal code?
What exactly has Carolyn Parrish said? In all the criticisms of her, we
hear of only three comments she made. She was once over-heard to say,
privately, that "Americans are bastards." The context is long
forgotten, but it might just have something to do with U.S, foreign
policy of illegally invading and destroying countries. She was then
reported to have referred to those who would support the American
missile defence plan as a "coalition of idiots, and lately, after the
U.S. election, she had the temerity to refer to George Bush as a
"war-like man." Imagine! Most recently, her critics have been energized
by her appearance on a CBC show, 22 minutes, where she puts her boot on
a Bush doll, not mentioning that she ends up kissing the same doll!
Can this be all? You can read reams of copy-cat editorials and columns,
and all you come up with are these same few words, which are also
pouring out of the mouths of her most vociferous critics, who appear to
regard the U.S. as "my country, right or wrong." Surely, by now, there
should be available dozens of similar and worse quotes from her, but
they are nowhere to be found.
In actual fact Carolyn Parrish has said nothing extraordinary, and I
would argue that her words are both mild and not against Americans as a
people. She speaks against the U.S. government's illegal aggressive wars
in Afghanistan and Iraq. She is an outspoken critic of the expensive
absurdity that is the Missile Defence Shield, and she has expressed
sympathy for the Palestinians and has critiziced Israeli state terrorist
These are the real reasons she has been demonized and silenced. She does
not go along with the "Washington consensus" subscribed to by our
political and media elites. But oddly enough, she is completely in tune
with what most Canadians think, and that is reason enough why the rest of
us so-called anti-Americans who share her views should stand up and be
counted in her corner.
For Commentary, I'm Marjaleena Repo in Toronto.
Marjaleena Repo is David Orchard's senior political advisor.