TORONTO — “Every time that a Canadian shows up in a uniform, it’s doing us a favor? How’s that work?” That was a comment by Peter Navarro, an economist serving as director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy for U.S. President Donald Trump, published in a new book called “The Madman Theory: Trump Takes On the World.”
Navarro’s comments were aimed at Canadian soldiers who served in the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan. More than 40,000 members of the Canadian Armed Forces participated in the NATO mission after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. During the 12-year operation, 158 Canadian soldiers died, while thousands more returned with mental and physical injuries.
“Were they doing us a favor, or were they brought into the idea they needed to do that as part of the global effort against terrorists?” Navarro is quoted in the book as saying.
“I mean, if they just did us a favor, maybe the government they should be thrown out of office.”
Author Jim Sciutto surprised by the comments Navarro.
“It was mind-blowing to me, here. You should arguably the closest American ally in many respects … and dismissiveness,” he said.
Former Chief of Defense Staff Gen. Rick Hillier, who at one point commanded NATO ISAF in Afghanistan, called the comments outrageous Navarro.
“And it does not have men and women in uniform and those who served in Afghanistan, every Canadian should be insulted by comments like that … to put it all in the look stupid, and stupidity may be more frightening than being insulted,” he said.
Sciutto is a major national security correspondent for CNN. His book explores how unpredictable style Trump and the threat of alienating US allies and empowering US enemies.
“There is a very zero-sum approach Navarro and president have, kind of, ‘What have you done for us lately?’ Type of approach,” said Sciutto.
Navarro, who called Melania Trump’s “Jackie Kennedy’s time” on Tuesday, predicted at the weekend that the voters will give a “tough guy” Trump second term because “they know the world is a dangerous place.”
In the book, Navarro also expressed disdain for the Liberal government of Canada, said, “I mean, what is good about Canada? They are more types of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.”
Critics say Trump has courted such as North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un and Russia Vladamir Putin, while marginalizing the old allies such as Germany, South Korea and Canada – a friend since the Second World War.
“I see Canada basically join us in the dugout … They really care about the principles we stand for,” said Leon Panetta, a former defense minister under then-President Barack Obama.
“It sends a signal to the whole world they can not trust the United States.”
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