I feel that there are some very troubling and very dangerous trends in Canadian foreign policy of late in fact ever since Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party got elected with a majority in the last federal election that forces me to ask the question, “Is Canada a terrorist state hiding behind the illusion of being a democratic nation?” The reasons I am questioning our government’s motivation are many. It would seem under the governance of Steven Harper that Canada has lost its humanity, its integrity and ability to tell the truth. This I find has made Canada appear cynical, non trustworthy and thinking only in terms of our monetary bottom line. Some say that it is about time that Canada toughened up and started thinking along more capitalistic lines and some people even think that adopting the every man for himself attitude and adopting the survival of the fittest mentality is the way to go, but I for one liked it when people sang praises about Canadians instead of spitting on the ground as we pass by in foreign lands. I for one liked being able to travel without fear of being kidnapped, because to kidnap a fair-minded, peace keeping, compassionate Canadian was considered unacceptable by even the most ruthless of terrorists. I will share just a few things that stick out in my mind as core fundamental differences from the way we were, “pre Steven Harper” and what I consider a drastic shift from diplomacy and negotiation to nation problem solving, to our new threatening, aggressive, pro violent, non compassionate and non democratic approach to nation problem solving.
- Foreign aid for trade is so wrong for so many obvious reasons, but I think the one that hurts us as Canadians the most is “foreign aid for trade,” because it implies that we as Canadians are not willing to help other nations, because it is the right thing to do, but insist that you give us something that makes it worth our while to help them with often what is life determining aid, or disaster relief. Those who have nothing to trade will get nothing from Canada, or find our generosity either seriously cut back, or withdrawn totally.
- Suspending diplomatic relations with countries we do not share political, or religious similarities with takes us out of the discussion and away from the diplomatic negotiating table and we are therefore no longer a part of the solution. There is an old adage that says, “If you are not part of the solution, then you are a part of the problem.” When the Conservative Government of Canada disagrees with something another country has done, or said they toss their diplomats of that country out of the country and recall our diplomats from their country. This is becoming a bad habit, because it leaves the people we have sworn to help out in the cold because we are no longer part of the conversation. Governments do not suffer from trade embargoes, naval blockades and no fly zones, but innocent people do and much too often they are the people we got involved in the first place to help.
- Encouraging and supporting violent protests and coups in other countries is quite simply put is both, non democratic and dangerous. For one thing it goes against international law and in reality we are supporting treason, insurrection and home-grown terrorism in other nations and are interfering with the decisions being made as a sovereign nation, by their government. I believe that through our support of governments that come power through violent bloody coups, we are encouraging and inviting other nations to do these things in Canada. Canada also will find it harder and harder to call for Canadians who are displeased with the policies made by their government to abide by the law, follow due process and respect that they live in a democracy and that means that the vote on election day is the only legal and recognised way to change the government.
- Not telling Canadians the truth when it comes to foreign policy is I feel the biggest insult and the hardest slap in the face that a so-called democratic government can give to its people, because it plays them for fools. For example the government just backed a coup in Ukraine and then openly said that the interim government who came to power via that coup was legitimate and legal. I say if the Conservative Party of Canada intends to support coups in other countries, because they think that this the right thing to do in order to further democracy in countries who are not yet democratic, they should say so and stop pretending that coups like the one they aided in Ukraine were not coups and that they were somehow legitimate ways to affect regime, or policy change.
Pretending not to be terrorists is something that we in the west and Canada do well. We hide behind the word democracy as though just saying that we believe in democracy justifies all that we do and say and gives us the right to interfere in the sovereign rights of other nations with other forms of governance. We kill others with weapons and economic sanctions and then cleanse our souls and wash the blood off our hands bathing in the absolution that it was for the spread of democracy and the preservation of our way of life, but in reality is it not really just terrorism? For example, Canada publicly and quite loudly denounces what Iran is doing around the world and accuses them as being the promoters of terrorism and then we use the same methods in Ukraine and call it promoting democracy.
Canada denounces what we call the habit of Iran’s usage of violence to solve what it perceives as threats against it way of life and religious existence and instead of using diplomacy, we expel their diplomats and close our embassy in their country, demanding that they change and closing discussion and ending all possibilities of negations, or possibility of a negotiated agreement between Canada and Iran. Consider that all that was just said in this paragraph concerning Iran is true and they are guilty of all that we accuse them of, what makes Canada any different then the Iranians considering what we as a nation of openly and quite proudly admitted to doing in Ukraine? Is it only to be considered promoting terrorism if the reason for the violence and killings is the promotion of Islamic fundamentalism. In other words are we in the west to be the sole judge, jury and executioner in the whole world when it comes to determining who is a terrorist or freedom fighter as we did in Sri Lanka, the Gaza Strip and the Middle East in general? Is the determining factor between viewed as a terrorist nation, or a nation protecting its right to exist, or a terrorist, or freedom fighter to be what a nation believes in politically, or religiously, rather than the methods a nation employs to achieve its political, religious, economical goals and agenda? Are all fights for democracy to be considered legitimate, legal and supportable by Canada, even when they employ the use of violence to the extent that a legitimate government is overthrown? Is the Conservative Party of Canada and we as Canadians by extension going to continue with the decision assertion that the violent overthrow of the Ukraine government is an acceptable means to an end as long as the end result is a democratic state, if such a possibility can achieved using these methods? Could the threatening to bomb, starve to death, lay siege to another nation by say the Western Alliance to get a desired political result, be considered a form of terrorism in itself?
The truth is that there are some fundamental questions that every Canadian and every MP and every party leader needs to ask themselves, because I believe that if we want to live and not be the cause of our own annihilation, then it must be in peace and if want to live in peace, we must want it bad enough to lead by example. The potential to wipe ourselves out is a reality, not a myth and as such must be dealt with openly and seriously. Peace that will last in my opinion cannot be achieved at the end of a gun, nor can a person , or a nation make friends by killing someone’s whole family, no matter who is using the bombs, or who is doing the dying. Killing someone for a cause guarantees you only one thing and that is you have made an enemy of the family and friends of the person you have killed. I say this, because they the relatives and friends of the dead person will never see your cause as justified, because all sides in war always see themselves as right. What do you think goes through the heads of those people we kill with our dropping of bombs and missiles in our efforts to advance democracy throughout the world and what do you think they feel about us when they watch their children and love one’s die as a direct result of our embargoes, blockades and no fly zones, do you think that they are thinking how justified we were and how grateful they are, or how the ends justify the means? Did we in the west feel that 9/11, the Air India bombing and now the Russian’s putting boots on the ground in Crimea can somehow be justified, or understood if we just looked at the bigger picture? I think not and so I suggest that as nations we must drop the I am better than you and the I have justification and you do not rhetoric, because history has proved that all nations and leaders think that God is on their side, but all soon learn that killing for any reason is a sin and an abomination in God’s eyes.