At that point, it's only a matter of time before we bring these Molson-swigging, maple-mongering Zamboni drivers to their knees! Or, as the official planners wrote, stating their objective in bold capital letters: "ULTIMATELY TO GAIN COMPLETE CONTROL."
It sounds like a joke but it's not. War Plan Red is real. It was drawn up and approved by the War Department in 1930, then updated in 1934 and 1935. It was declassified in 1974 and the word "SECRET" crossed out with a heavy pencil. Now it sits in a little gray box in the National Archives in College Park, available to anybody, even Canadian spies. They can photocopy it for 15 cents a page.
Out in Winnipeg -- the Manitoba capital, whose rail yards were slated to be seized in the plan -- Brad Salyn, the city's director of communications, said he didn't think Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz knew anything about War Plan Red: "You know he would have no clue about what you're talking about, eh?"
"I'm sure Winnipeggers will stand up tall in defense of our country," Mayor Katz said later. "We have many, many weapons."
What kind of weapons?
"We have peashooters, slingshots and snowballs," he said, laughing.
But the Canadians' best weapon, Katz added, is their weather. "It gets to about minus-50 Celsius with a wind chill," he said. "It will be like Napoleon's invasion of Russia. I'm quite convinced that you'll meet your Waterloo on the banks of the Assiniboine River."
As it turns out, Katz isn't the first Canadian to speculate on how to fight the U.S.A. In fact, Canadian military strategists developed a plan to invade the United States in 1921 -- nine years before their American counterparts created War Plan Red.
Brown's idea was to buy time for the British to come to Canada's rescue. Buster even entered the United States in civilian clothing to do some reconnaissance.
"He had a total annual budget of $1,200," said Rudmin, "so he himself would drive to the areas where they were going to invade and take pictures and pick up free maps at gas stations."
Etzinger, the Canadian Embassy spokesman, isn't worried about an American invasion because Canada has a secret weapon -- actually thousands of secret weapons.
"We've got thousands of Canadians in the U.S. right now, in place secretly," he said. "They could be on your street. We've sent people like Celine Dion and Mike Myers to secretly infiltrate American society."
Pretty funny, Mr. Etzinger. But the strategists who wrote War Plan Red were prepared for that problem. They noted that "it would be necessary to deal internally" with the "large number" of Brits and Canadians living in the United States -- and also with "a small number of professional pacifists and communists."
The planners did not specify exactly what would be done with those undesirables. But it would be kinda fun to see Celine Dion and Mike Myers wearing orange jumpsuits down in Guantanamo.
Don't miss this one.
It would have been nice if our war planners had been as thorough in planning for Iraq. Maybe they were. OK then, it would have been nice if higher-higher had listened to them.
If we screw up invading Canada as bad as we did Iraq, and we easily could under this misadministration, we would truly deserve to be the world's laughingstock as much or even more than we deserve their scorn now, eh?