September 23, 2003


An American speaks to Canadians:

American actor and activist Martin Sheen had kind words for Canada when he received an award for being a Christian role model, the Canadian Press reports. "Every time I cross this border I feel like I've left the land of lunatics," Sheen said Saturday, adding he was "proud" of Canada for not entering the Iraq war."You are not armed and dangerous. You do not shoot each other. I always feel a bit more human when I come here."

And Iranians speak to a Canadian:

Many of the people in the cabs in Tehran had the similar thoughts. "Tell George Bush to come and get rid of the mullahs for us." I was shocked by the openness of that statement. With one fellow I tried to discuss it with him in more detail to see if he really meant it or was just talking. I told him that if George Bush came and got rid of the Mullahs, it would not be to help the people of Iran; he would be coming for the oil. The fellow replied, "He can have the oil, its not doing us any good anyway and at least then we would be free."

UPDATE. Beets has more.

Posted by Tim Blair at September 23, 2003 12:42 AM

Senor Estevez' don't seem to want to talk about another border he crossed, where he wound up a goddam movie star rather than workin' in a Chrysler factorry in Tijuana; funny, that.

Posted by: Bob From Border Patrol at September 23, 2003 at 01:14 AM

The Canadian in Iran almost, almost gets it. Then decides to talk about kabob. Brain the size of a peanut.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at September 23, 2003 at 01:29 AM

This is just a short comment on Yasmin Alhibai Brown - would she kindly fuck off back to whatever shit hole she emerged from and leave the English peoople alone. No we do not mind foreigners in our midst, but we do expect them to at least acknowlege that they are living in England and mostly at the expense of the UK tax payer. Yes, we (the people of England) do consider most of the recent 'immigrants' to be liars, cheats and scroungers adn that's becase they are, and no - islam will never be the official 'religion' if such it could be called, of the UK, and no, we, the English people, are not one bit guilty about the 'Empah' - in fact if there had been no empire we would have been at least as well off today as the Scandinavian countries, and the working class of England would not have had to suffer the deterioration in their quality of life resulting from the forcible entry into their communities of people who are not welcome and who are in fact completely hostile to the English people and who arrive with that attitude already in place. And who also arrive forearmed with the knowledge of exactly how much and what they can get free from the UK tax payer. So no, Miss Alhibai, no matter what phony statistics you trot out for our inspection, we do not owe the immigrant community anything, we are not better off because they are suppurating in our midst like a great boil, we managed perfectly well before they came and we'll manage again when they have gone (at least the hostile ones, I don't think anyone wants to lose the assimilated, clever, friendly immigrants, of which there are many, and of which you most certainly are not one). You are a stranger in the UK, a hostile foreigner, an intruder who is intent on destroying the lives of the English people and reducing them to slavery in their own country - and no, Miss A, before you stdart spouting your viciousness - two wrong don't make a right -

Posted by: A m G at September 23, 2003 at 02:24 AM

Only a blinkered, cossetted, overprotected person would be so surprised...or a Canadian. But I repeat myself.

Posted by: Alex Bensky at September 23, 2003 at 02:24 AM

First, we ain't comin' (to Iran, that is).

Second, how can anyone intelligent enough to dress themselves in the morning think or repeat this "it's about oil" nonsense? To me, such infantile statements nuke the credibility of the author, instantly.

I guess this particular Canadian geopolitical genius has missed all those details about Iranian support for terrorism from the early 80s, not to mention efforts to keep the Isr-Arab conflict hot, or the collaboration with North Korea on nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles and chem, and the ongoing meddling to prevent calm, development, or democracy in Iraq. Funny, it was in the papers and everything .....

Aside from his geopolitical cluelessness, it's fine, of course, and I look forward to traveling to Iran some day soon, as I think it's got to be a spectacular travel destination.

Posted by: IceCold at September 23, 2003 at 02:46 AM

A cabbie (Iranian) I get frequently told me last weekend, that his problem with George Bush was that he invaded the wrong country. Truth will out the Chomskies, Fisks and Elites of the world. We are on the right path.
Met a college student, he was drunk, studying international relations. Was an admirer of Adam Smith. And yes, he knew of Tim Blair.
And the kid was from New Zealand.

Posted by: beets at September 23, 2003 at 04:08 AM

How did Martin Sheen get to Canada? Crossing the border and leaving the "land of lunatics" would mean one thing if he drove up I-5 through Oregon and Washington and another if he flew out of Los Angeles.

Posted by: Charles at September 23, 2003 at 05:03 AM

Sheen plays a great TV president, but he is looney in real life.

As far as Iran goes, it is going to be easy to bomb the shit out of them from Baghdad Air Force Base, drop troops there out of Fort Tikrit and launch missiles from vessels from Umm Qasr Naval Station.

Posted by: ....a moment with Easycure at September 23, 2003 at 05:47 AM

Martin Sheen is a damn fool.

Posted by: Harry at September 23, 2003 at 06:23 AM

Can we fly Martin Sheen to Iran and see what great comments he has to make? I feel sorry for him, he thought he left the land of lunatics, but it follows him wherever he goes.

Posted by: JEM at September 23, 2003 at 06:58 AM

Like Charles said - I'm from Oregon, land of the Heavily Armed, and I don't feel any safer when I go to Canada (by driving, as God intended it!) - though I also don't feel any less safe, unless I somehow end up in downtown Vancouver, which is a godawful hole, but I digress.

Maybe if Mr. Sheen didn't live in Southern California and wasn't a complete wanker (given that other people manage to live in places far less secure and nice than his must be, and yet aren't so evidently afear'd for their lives), he wouldn't have these problems?

Posted by: Sigivald at September 23, 2003 at 08:36 AM

Hey, Sigvald, I live in Southern California and am something of a wanker (on occasion) and even work in the movie business, but I think Sheen has his head up his a... So keep your stereoptypes to yourself. Some people in Lalaland know what's shaking.

Posted by: Roger L. Simon at September 23, 2003 at 11:15 AM

Cretin Chretien imposes `kyoto' controls on Canadians - but, one supposes that doesn't make Canada a land of lunatics because `kyoto' is a good polpotian commie cause.

Posted by: d at September 23, 2003 at 11:17 AM

The American left does love Canada alright. Here's a nutty professor who thinks that Gore's blue states should secede and join Canada.

Posted by: Randal Robinson at September 23, 2003 at 01:14 PM

I read a short bio of Martin Sheen years ago. He is not mexican; his father was a Spanish lefty who fled Franco in the 30's & ended up somewhere in Ohio. His mother was of irish-american extraction, hence the "sheen" stagename.

Posted by: tgs at September 23, 2003 at 02:11 PM

BfBP: Far be it from me to defend Martin Sheen, but "Senor Estevez" was born in Dayton, Ohio.

Posted by: John Tabin at September 23, 2003 at 02:33 PM

There must be more then a few Canadians with their heads up thier a... Didn't the Canadian reporter being murdered behind bars during "interogations" in Iran give them a clue? Or the demonstraitions of children put down by the Mullah thugs and the french govnt. Perhaps they thought people set themselves on fire in paris everyday.
As far as Martin sheen is concerned, his hit show was submarined by Bush winning the election. The West Wing's producers should have fired the whole cast and brought a Republican President in to replace the Dem at the end of last season ( perhaps having Charleton Heston taking Sheen's role).
As his last gasp at fame flickers out look for Sheen to become more and more a donkey's a...

Posted by: papertiger at September 23, 2003 at 02:41 PM


A cabbie (Iranian) I get frequently told me last weekend, that his problem with George Bush was that he invaded the wrong country

Same here in Toronto. The Iranian cabbie was disappointed most of all that the US hit Iraq first. Great guy he was, as are pretty much all Iranians that I meet here - everyone that's escaped much as my grandparents did, in my case from Communism during the Second World War.

Anyhow, just wanted to drop a note to indicate that the "Canadian opinion" isn't some sort of monolithic thing. I worked at the WFC next door to the WTC, and our parish lost two members in the attack. I'm pretty embarrassed by the Canadian government's assinine behaviour past the immediate hours of 9/11 (ie. hosting diverted flights).

Let's never forget 9/11, and please understand that you've got folks up here who'll stick with you all till the end!


Posted by: vicarious at September 23, 2003 at 02:51 PM

Well my friends, Canadian brothers included, here in America many are screaming for not just the smoking of the Iranian regime but the Syrian one as well. And, to rip-off Dennis Miller, the only thing left to destroy after that would be Berkeley.

Posted by: Sir Richard at September 23, 2003 at 03:14 PM

Itís a no-brainer, but a no-win.
We could bomb Iran, with Martin Sheen. That gasbag would blow up real good.
But, our neighbors to the north would probably take us to the International Criminal Court on charges of littering.
Still, it might be worth itÖ

Posted by: The Kid at September 23, 2003 at 03:34 PM

here in America many are screaming for not just the smoking of the Iranian regime but the Syrian one as well

These regimes - they're little more than kleptocracies who've sadly lived and prospered under the aegis of much bigger "superpower" disagreements...

I get the impression that they don't quite understand exactly how freakin' anachronistic they are. This is a time where certain countries who have never been anything but a parasite on the world stage are paying the piper. And it's high time...


Posted by: vicarious at September 23, 2003 at 03:49 PM

Hey guys, lets just chill on the Canada bashing.

Many Canadians, roughly the same % as Auzzies, understand and support the recent US policies regarding the middle east. The key difference is the particular leader of each nation.
Canadians have been screwed over by the US repeatedly over the last few years, leaving our government frusterated and looking to lash out.
On the other hand, Australia has seen it's own terrorist attacks which have helped to harden the resolve of its leaders.

There's a big difference between Canada deciding not to go to war without the UN, and France selling weapons to Iraq under the cover of it's own (security council) sanctions as recently as 2002!

Posted by: James Z. at September 23, 2003 at 06:20 PM

In a sense, I'm glad that the Canadian wanders to another topic. It's evidence that he really didn't go to Iran with an agenda, didn't go to seek out "pro-invasion" Iranians.

It's harder to dismiss him as a "wingnut" that way.

Posted by: CleverNameHere at September 23, 2003 at 07:23 PM

james. Z. Pleased to not compare aussies to canadians. thank you muchly. rossco.

Posted by: roscoe p coltrane at September 23, 2003 at 07:30 PM

"Left the land of lunatics"? Au contraire, Monsieur Sheen, vous venez d'y entrer! I've a question
for Martin: if Canada is so sane, then why do so many Canadians gazeso wistfully across the
U.S. border and sigh! Mr Sheen is simply not up to speed. Canada was sane.....
forty years ago, but now it's become the very model of left-wing incoherence, a microcosm of
EVERYTHING that's wrong with the West.

Posted by: John at September 23, 2003 at 11:43 PM

I fully share the taxi drivers feelings. If the Americans invade and take out the Mullahs in Ottawa, wouldn't hurt my feelings on damn bit. And they can have the oil too. Ah the freedom to decide whether I want health care or not.....

Posted by: john@ at September 24, 2003 at 12:31 AM

One difference between Iraq and Iran is that Saddam's grip on power in Iraq was more secure than the Mullahs' grip on power in Iran.

Posted by: Andjam at September 24, 2003 at 03:24 AM

Yeah please don't compare Australians to Canadians..Canada's a G8 country for chrissake, not an isolated kangaroo infested desert isle. :P

Posted by: Mark at September 24, 2003 at 04:34 AM


Australia's isolation has its benefits, there's NEVER been anything wrong with a desert isle and the kangaroos are so happy they bounce around all over the place.

Posted by: pooh at September 24, 2003 at 11:12 AM