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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

A Canadian Response to an American War

Paper by Avi Lewis

In this brief paper, Avi Lewis critiques the American war in Iraq and discusses how, in his view, it reflects the growth of an “Ownership Society,” in which greater emphasis is placed on the individual, with many left to suffer. (The Ownership Society is a term first used by members of the Bush Administration to sell the privatization of social security.)

Lewis begins by directly addressing what he regards as a problematic war in Iraq. His concerns stem from the fact that American society seems to have disassociated itself from the war altogether, and that even the media has not printed pictures of the true deviation Lewis believes is being created there. Further he takes a hard look at the immense amount of money being spent on the US military. Lewis goes on to explain that he believes the war has been fought with the ideology of the “Project for a New American Century” – a blueprint for a world American empire. In explaining this concept, Lewis emphasizes the ideals of capitalism and individualism (central to the Ownership Society), and contends this line of thinking has consumed much of the Bush Administration’s domestic agenda.

The remainder of the paper discusses how US actions have affected the Canadian economy and how Canada can distance itself from what Lewis views as being American follies. Lewis explains that Canada is forced to deal with American security issues as it integrates economically, particularly with security issues constituting a significant portion of the American budget in the post-September 11th era. Lewis suggests that for the most part, however, Canadians are against the war in Iraq and are not willing to give up sovereignty in favour of a US security agenda. Rather than allowing American policy to influence Canadian policy, Lewis proposes an inverse influence: he suggests an aggressive campaign against Canada-US integration and for the humanitarian cause. His prescription includes abolishing security certificates, ending “Canadian complicity in a global American war,” the advancement of progressive policies wherever possible, and the affirmation of a set of values that are acutely different from those of indivdualism and the Ownership Society.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Avi Lewis;
Publisher: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2005; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: International;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / International Law & Politics / Canada - U.S. Relations
Policy Articles / International Law & Politics / Canada - U.S. Relations / 2005
Policy Articles / International Law & Politics

Keywords / Tags:

Canada; United States; Iraq war; ownership society; radical individualism; economic integration; American security policy; capitalism; humanitarian issues; Canadian policy; Canadian values; military spending; American agenda; “Project for a New American C;