Justin Trudeau's G7 address to Donald Trump, uncensored
Who could have imagined that Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau would be so withering in his condemnation of Donald Trump as he addressed the besieged American president at the G7 summit of world leaders in Quebec?
“Mr. President, we have deep feelings of love and respect for your country and its people. But frankly, we are mystified how so divisive and corrupt a figure could be leading your great nation. In God’s name, why are you squandering America’s global leadership at the expense of not only your historic friends, such as Canada, but even sacrificing the interests of your own citizens? Have you lost your mind?”
Nah, that’s not what he said. That kind of thing would only happen in our dreams.
But it is more than likely that is what Trudeau thought, and — according to recent polls — certainly what many Canadians believe, even if rules of global diplomacy require at least a semblance of restraint.
However, as we thank the 45th president for finally fitting in a whirlwind visit to Canada after more than 500 days in office, let’s imagine — if only for a moment — what Trudeau could have continued to say if reflecting Canadian public opinion was his only criterion.
“Mr. President, this past week we celebrated the 74th anniversary of D-Day in which soldiers from Canada, the U.S. and Britain stormed the beaches of Normandy. More than 10,000 of them, fighting together, were wounded or killed. Yet you justified the new trade tariffs against Canada claiming — falsely — that we are a national security threat.
“We know that you personally evaded military service, but what message is that to the thousands of Canadians who have been injured or wounded over the years while fighting together with Americans?
“You continually misrepresent the economic relationship between the U.S. and Canada. You complain — falsely — that the U.S. has a trade deficit with Canada, even though the reverse is actually true, and you know that these tariffs will affect American workers and businesses as much as their counterparts here in Canada.
“You are working to sabotage the Iran nuclear agreement by claiming — falsely — that Iran is in violation of its conditions. Yet the only country that has broken the agreement is the U.S. itself. And you have also abandoned the Paris climate change agreement on the basis of lies and distortions.
“Insanely, you appear to be at war with America’s closest historic friends in Europe and North America — with Canada, Britain, Germany and France. You do it by encouraging racist and xenophobic policies that seem aimed at breaking apart the western alliance.
“Yet you treat Russia’s Putin with kid gloves, as if you are his puppet. What does he have on you, Mr. President? And in Asia, why do you enact policies that seem intended simply to erode U.S. leadership, and make China — not America — great again?
“Finally, in reference to the nuclear risks of North Korea, you seem embarked on an absurd egotistical quest for a Nobel Peace Prize — give me a break — rather than an enduring and genuine agreement. And that places all of us at risk.
“What type of leader would claim — as you did on Thursday, less than a week before your summit with North Korea — that ‘I don’t think I have to prepare very much’ ”
“However, Mr. President, there is one thing we should all thank you for. Your actions are a reminder to all of us — and certainly to Canada — that we can no longer rely on the United States of America as a global leader and trusted friend. Under your presidency, you are neither.
“But let me conclude on a more positive note. As I said at the beginning, we still cherish our historic connection with the American people. I will ask the Royal Canadian Artillery Band to lead us in a singing of ‘God Bless America.’
“Mr. President, we now know from your performance last Wednesday at that White House ‘Celebration of America’ event that you actually don’t know the lyrics of that song. So, can I please refer you to the screen.”
With that, the prime minister stepped back from the podium and the band played on.
(And then, I woke up.)
Tony Burman is former head of Al Jazeera English and CBC News. Reach him @TonyBurman or at .