Reviewing Linda McQuaig’s “Holding the Bully’s Coat” by Stephen Lendman

Dandelion Salad

“That underscores Canada’s moral depravity under Stephen Harper’s leadership umbilically linked to the roguish Bush regime in Washington.”

by Stephen Lendman

Linda McQuaig is a prominent, award-winning Canadian journalist, sadly less well known in the US because she writes about her own country. She was a national reporter for the Toronto Globe and Mail before joining the Toronto Star where she now covers Canadian politics with her trademark combination of solid research, keen analysis, irreverence and passion. She’s easy to read, never boring, and fearless. The National Post called her “Canada’s Michael Moore.”

McQuaig is also a prolific author with a well-deserved reputation for taking on the establishment. In her previous seven books, she challenged Canada’s deficit reduction scheme to gut essential social services. She explained how the rich used the country’s tax system for greater riches the way it happened in the US since Ronald Reagan, then exploded under George Bush. She exposed the fraud of “free trade” empowering giant corporations over sovereign states while exploiting working people everywhere.

She also showed how successive Canadian governments waged war on equality since the 1980s, and in her last book before her newest one she took aim at why the US invaded and occupied Iraq. Its catchy title is “It’s the Crude, Dude: war, big oil, and the fight for the planet.” It’s no secret America’s wars in the Middle East and Central Asia are to control what Franklin Roosevelt’s State Department in 1945 called a “stupendous source of strategic power”, and one of the greatest material prizes in world history – the huge amount of Middle East oil alone and veto power over how it’s disbursed and to whom.

“Holding the Bully’s Coat – Canada and the US Empire” is her eighth book. She writes about a country slightly larger than the US in geographic size with around one-tenth the population and one-twelfth the GDP. It also shares the world’s longest relatively open, undefended border extending 3145 miles. In her book, McQuaig explains how corporate-Canada, its elitist “comprador class,” the Department of National Defense (DND), and mainstream commentators want Canada to be Washington’s subservient junior partner. The result is Ottawa abandoned its traditional role in peacekeeping, supporting internationalism, as a fair-minded mediator and conciliator, and it’s continuing downhill from there.

Today Canada’s allied with the Bush administration’s belligerent lawlessness in its phony “war on terrorism.” It’s not part of the “coalition of the willing” in Iraq but joined Washington’s war of aggression and illegal occupation in Afghanistan. In February, 2004, it partnered with the US and France ousting democratically elected Jean-Bertrand Aristide in Haiti, then became part of the repressive Blue Helmet MINUSTAH paramilitary force onslaught against his Lavalas movement and Haitian people under cover of “peacekeeping.” More on that below.

In “Holding the Bully’s Coat,” McQuaig further explains how Canada lost its moorings. As an appendage of the US empire, it abandoned its traditional commitment to equality, inclusiveness, and rule of law. She wants her country to disgorge this virus plaguing it – its uncharacteristic culture of militarism, loss of sovereignty and one-sided support of privilege, returning to its roots to reclaim its once proud status now lost. Its leaders might recall former Mexican dictator Porfirio Diaz’s lament saying: “Poor Mexico, so far from God, so close to the US.” Closeness plagues Canada, too. It can’t choose neighborhoods but can still go its own sovereign way.

This review covers McQuaig’s important book in detail so readers can learn what afflicts America affects Canada as well. It’s a cancerous disease, and all people everywhere suffer for it.