All Hat, No Cattle

OK, it's time to give a big three cheers to somebody who gets it, somebody who sees the world in a way that doesn't warp reality, somebody who understands that America isn't always wrong, isn't always stupid and has good reason to sometimes be disappointed in our friends.

And that somebody is — drum roll please — a Canadian.

This particular Canadian is Margaret Wente, who writes a column for Toronto's Globe and Mail. Thursday she writes about the fact that the Canadian prime minister screwed up the missile defense program (search) by telling us that Canada would join up and then learning he did not have the political support, thus having to tell the Americans — oops — no, we're not going to join you. He then made matters even worse by saying the Americans would have to ask for permission to shoot down a North Korean missile coming towards New York over Canada.

Margaret Wente displays admirable good sense in her column. She writes:

"Canada's worst trait is believing the world would be a better place if only the Americans were more like us. Thank God they're not. If they were, they'd still be fretting about why the terrorists don't like them and Afghanistan would still be run by the Taliban. If they were more like us, and North Korea lobbed a missile at Minneapolis, they'd respond by convening a meeting at the United Nations."

About her prime minister's sorry handling of the missile defense issue, she writes:

"Down in Texas, they have a name for people who talk big and puff themselves up but can't deliver. They say they're all hat, no cattle. Condi and Dubya will be polite and smile, but they know Mr. Martin is all hat, no cattle, and from now on they and everybody else who counts will treat him accordingly. How depressing. It's one thing to cheese off your friends on a point of principle. But to cheese them off because you're incompetent is another thing entirely."

So there you go. Somebody who gets it — and it turns out to be a Canadian.

To all those Canadians I have wrongly insulted — I hereby stand corrected.

That's My Word.

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