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Cable: Canada exhibited distrust of U.S.

WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Canada, long viewed as the United States' trusty North American ally, was showing signs of wavering in early 2008, leaked diplomatic cables reveal.

A cable sent from the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa to the U.S. State Department expressed concern that Canadians were exhibiting increased mistrust of its powerful neighbor to the south, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

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"The degree of comfort with which Canadian broadcast entities, including those financed by Canadian tax dollars, twist current events to feed longstanding negative images of the U.S. -- and the extent to which the Canadian public seems willing to indulge in the feast -- is noteworthy as an indication of the kind of insidious negative popular stereotyping we are increasingly up against in Canada," the cable said.

Other cables among the 250,000 documents released by Internet whistle-blower WikiLeaks reveal American diplomats believed Canadians "always carry a chip on their shoulder," in part, because of a feeling their country "is condemned to always play 'Robin' to the U.S. 'Batman,'" the U.S. newspaper said.

Despite that trend, some Canadian officials conveyed to American officials they didn't share that anti-Americanism spirit.

In a July 2008 cable, James Judd, Canada's intelligence service director, is said to have commented that a video showing a sobbing Omar Khadr, the young Canadian detainee at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, "would no doubt trigger 'knee-jerk anti-Americanism' and 'paroxysms of moral outrage, a Canadian specialty.'"

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More recently, the U.S. Embassy said President Barack Obama's decision to visit Canada on his first foray outside U.S. borders would "do much to diminish -- temporarily, at least -- Canada's habitual inferiority complex vis-a-vis the U.S. and its chronic but accurate complaint that the U.S. pays far less attention to Canada than Canada does to us."

A few months earlier, the embassy said in another cable, "despite the overwhelming importance of the U.S. to Canada for its economy and security," parliamentary candidates were quiet about the countries' relationship.

"Ultimately, the U.S. is like the proverbial 900-pound gorilla in the midst of the Canadian federal election: overwhelming but too potentially menacing to acknowledge," the cable said.

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