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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

More soft (headed) power

We can take a little trip through the looking glass this morning by reading Alan S. Alexandroff in the Toronto Star: Why Canada must continue aid to China.

Canadians remain ambivalent over the U.S. willingness to resort so easily to force as an instrument in achieving the spread of democracy.

But if Canadians want to play a leading role in the world, we cannot ignore the critical importance of supporting and leading societies to freedom, prosperity and democracy and away from autocracy, poverty and radicalism.

If democracy and freedom are fundamental aspects of our community, how do we ignore these same values for others? The good news is, we can support the spread of democracy and we can do it our own way.

Which brings me back to China. If we don't support the institutions and the democratic practices and interests that can bring liberal democracy to this already powerful economic and influential nation, then who will? Surely not the Chinese government.

What Alexandroff is suggesting is that our foreign aid is actually helping to undermine China's undemocratic government and the Chinese government is saying, well, that's just fine.

Aren't we clever? Give that man the Neville Chamberlain Award for Clever Diplomacy. No, wait, maybe I should call bullcrap. Prove our foreign aid is going towards fostering democracy in China and not towards enriching the government (allowing it to make bids on our resource companies like Noranda), prove that the Chinese government is allowing their rule to be imperiled by our foreign aid, and you have a flying chance in h-ll of making this argument. Otherwise it's sweet nonsense.

Posted by Kevin Steel on March 22, 2005 in International Affairs | Permalink

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Comments

I love it. Foreign aid automatically ensures democracy. That's like 'magic money'.

Isn't it incredible. All you have to do to start, to establish, to enable democracy, is - give them some money.

No- you don't have to remove a tyrannical military dictatorship first. Absolutely not. Gosh and golly - the USA, Britain, Australia, Japan, Poland et al...they were all WRONG. We ultrasmart Canadians knew that. NO - Chretien's refusal was NOT about Power Corp and the Desmarais' family's interests in Iraq oil. No. No. He wanted to start democracy there. Just like he encourages democracy here in Canada.

Heck - the way to start democracy in Iraq was - give Hussein some money. But, I thought that the Oil for Fraud was doing that??? It was giving him billions and billions and... Oh...you say that Saddam took all the money for his palaces and his friends? Oh. Dear. And no democracy? Oh. Dear.

Well - what about Zimbabwe. Money has been sent there. Oh. Dear. No democracy.

N. Korea - well now - there's a state. Do you know that their people would have starved if the world didn't send them lots and lots of money, because their leader is spending all the internal money on his soldiers and his tanks and his nuclear weapons..and there's no money for food. We've sent him lots of money. But - it remains a military dictatorship>?? Oh. Dear.

What about Iran? Heck - haven't we sent money there? They don't have problems do they? Remember that Canadian woman whom they beat to death because she was taking pictures? Oh. Of course - they are democratic. They told us that she died because she fainted and hit her head on the ground. Hmmm. And the Canadian gov't refuses to investigate. Or call Iran to account. That's because they are a democracy. Oh. They aren't. Dear.

Rather than money, how about sending over Canadian flags? After all- Chretien assured us all, that such a tactic would 'warm the souls' of anyone rejecting 'The Canadian Way'. So..

Posted by: ET | 2005-03-22 1:52:26 PM


Got a problem? Throw money at it. That's the Liberal way. Don't like a government, give them money. Got a separatist province. Throw money at it. Got problems in health care, education, whatever, throw money at it. I guess I have to figure out how to be a problem to this government so they'll throw money at me.

Posted by: jack | 2005-03-23 12:20:15 AM



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