The Shotgun Blog
Friday, March 31, 2006
(Cross-posted from Burkean Canuck).
Roy Rempel's analysis of Canada's foreign policy, here, in The Globe and Mail, and here in his just released book, Dreamland: How Canada's Pretend Foreign Policy Has Undermined Sovereignty. (Full disclosure: Roy and I worked together -- for the same caucus -- on Parliament Hill, once upon a time). I like Roy's arguments better when he writes about foreign and defence policy. Frankly, I found his account of Parliament, The Chatter Box, a bit naive and indicative of a misunderstanding of how politics in our system does or doesn't work. But here he seems on more solid ground.
UPDATE: For more on "Dreamland," go to Burkean Canuck . . .
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There has been no foreign policy in Canada since the Trudeau era; we have simply sat around the fire and told ourselves comforting 'tales about our noble values'.
Trudeau set up an infrastructure which I have compared to the Platonic dream-cave, a cave where people lived and defined reality only by the images they saw reflected on the walls of the cave. That is - reality was what they themselves imagined and had no external cause.
Trudeau moved Canadians into a Cave. We permitted and embraced this safety. We defined our reality by ourselves; we ignored the objective world. If the objective world intruded and was contradictory to our imagined images, we chastised the external world as 'intolerant' and 'belligerant' and retreated further into the Cave.
And, we told everyone that what we saw, was the truth. So, we informed others how intolerant and evil they were;, while we were the opposite. And so on..
We relied completely on the US for military protection. I don't mean just military protection of our land, but military protection of the western way of life - i.e., a civic democracy. Canada, until this past few months, has done almost nothing since the Trudeau era to ensure that democracy continues. We've left it to others - the Americans, the British, the Australians, Poland, Spain, etc..to fight elsewhere.
We, meanwhile, assure everyone that we are better than they are; we, in our cave, assure the world that 'multiculturalism' works; that democracy and totalitarianism can co-exist in the same space; all it takes is 'tolerance' and 'respect' for their religion. Islamic fundamentalism, by the way, uses religion as a cover; it's actually a political credo and it defines itself as a religion so that to counter it would be 'disrespectful'. That's how slaves consent to slavery; it's 'disrespectful' to reject slavery.
Our economy works, only because we rely totally on the American consumer to purchase 85% of our exports. There isn't a country in the world that places such a heavy reliance on one consumer. Not one other country. We therefore, don't have to compete on the world market. And, if Americans don't buy our products, we get very upset.
We don't bother with research and development; we rely on the US and other countries to invest (and it takes a lot of investment) in innovation. Then, we copy the products cheaply and sell them.
It's time for Canadians to move out of Trudeau's Cave and into the real world.
Posted by: ET | 2006-03-31 7:43:26 AM
A companion book to the one talked about in the post might well be:
Cold Terror - How Canada Nurtures and Exports Terrorism Around the World. Stewart BELL (2004). Published by John Wiley & Sons, Canada Ltd.
The Liberal's legislation/policies combined with Supreme Court decisons (made by appointees of the Liberals)have left us in a very bad way both domestically and by extension, internationally.
Omar Khadr was supposed to have had a hearing yesterday (Thurs) to have a date set for an extradition hearing. So far, I haven't heard/seen a word anywhere about what has happened (if in fact anything did).
This is reality - not a time for academic pontificating or rhetoric. It is decision making time - either extradition happens or it doesn't and so rests a good deal of Canada's credibility both domestically and internationally
Posted by: calgary clipper | 2006-03-31 8:14:33 AM
There has been no foreign policy since the Pearson era. Trudeau was a cabinet minister in Pearson's government, as were Chretien and Turner.
The fundamental tool of any countries foreign policy is it's military. Pearson changed Canada's military from a War fighting Army to a Peace keeping force. Having a War fighting Army and Navy, if the nation has coastline, permits a nation to have a sovereign foreign policy.
Imagine there's no heaven,
It's easy if you try,
No hell below us,
Above us only sky,
Imagine all the people
living for today...
Imagine there's no countries,
It isn't hard to do,
Nothing to kill or die for,
No religion too,
Imagine all the people
living life in peace......John Lennon.
This is Liberal Canaduh's foreign policy and domestic policy in a nut shell. It is also the goal of International Communism.
Canada was once a Christian Nation>...
"Our program necessarily includes the propaganda of atheism."
The Socialist Policies of Liberal PMs Since Pearson>...
"The goal of socialism is communism."
CBC+MSM Liberal Media>...
"The press should be not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, but also a collective organizer of the masses."
Eradication of the Nation State= No Foreign Policy+ Multiculturalism+Allowing 'Permanent Residents' to Vote in Elections>
"While the State exists there can be no freedom; when there is freedom there will be no State."
Liberal/NDP Gun Registry>...
"One man with a gun can control 100 without one."
Liberal/NdpP Hate speech Laws >
"It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed."
Liberal limited Democray>...
"Democracy is indispensable to socialism."
Kyoto Global Warming>...
"A lie told often enough becomes the truth."
Liberal/Ndp Tax and Spend Socialis>...
"The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation."
Posted by: Speller | 2006-03-31 8:24:19 AM
Our Foreign Policy has been about bait and switch. Not much different than race baiting.
Canada has had PM’s from Quebec for 40 years all of whom have sympathized with French conservative-socialism. The French attitude is now sadly reflected by its youth that aspire only to government jobs with a secure pension. But thank goodness Chirac, Schroeder, Moe Strong and the rest of the UN/EU transnationals are: FINI!
Moreover, capitalist Mario Dumont of the ADQ better represents where Quebec is headed than the Bloc or the PQ. Plus, Harper is bringing Western capitalism to Charest who is now rising in the Polls. There is a very good chance that a coalition of Charest and Dumont will give Quebec the conservatism it needs to grow up and join North America instead of leaning toward the pacifist EU.
Our Foreign Policy can now start to reflect how Canada actually thinks as opposed to facing a bleak future like France and Old Europe as depicted here in The Economist …
Up to this point I agree with Russ and Roy. But just to quibble, I don’t see what is wrong with saying our FP should be about our “values”. Russ your article says FP should be about our “promoting our nation interests”; why is that different than our “values”?
The question is: do we even have values? No, we don’t have values, we handed them over to the multi-cultis, and we’ve diluted our values to the culture of the last immigrant from the last hellhole. We need to move beyond just assimilating immigrants into the job market to actually indoctrinating them on our Canadian values. Without those “values” in place we can’t have a FP worth promoting in our own “national interests”.Once we clarify our “values” we need a FP that advocates our national interests, adapt Immigration to our “national interests” and we need to back all that up with a strong military – double the budget from $12 to 25 billion. Forget foreign aid until we get our military strong enough to influence the despots in the regions they dominate. In short, tie FP to our Departments of Immigration and Defence and Foreign Aid.
Thankfully, France is such a spectacular implosion and failure that I assume even Radio- Canada is reporting it to Quebecers. Therefore maybe Canada can wake up, elect a Conservative majority and join the competitive new world being led by India and China. Our FP needs to address some of the despotic behaviour raised by China e Lobby and we need to influence those emerging markets to “behave” and join civilization as exemplified by Canadian “values”.
Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-03-31 8:43:25 AM
Actually, in the piece as it continues on "Burkean Canuck," and in my piece, "What would Pearson do?" linked there, I clearly come down on the side of a values-based foreign policy. And, I *even* specify what I think those values should be . . .
Posted by: Russ Kuykendall | 2006-03-31 8:55:52 AM
After decades of the embarassing specter of Canada prancing across the global stage as a bong-hit flower child in drag, it's nice to see a foreign policy that can define friend from foe, despot from democrat and puts the national interest/security ahead of duplicitous impotent pacificist posturing
Posted by: Wlyonmackenzie | 2006-03-31 9:05:20 AM
I don't even want to think of how embarrasing our country has acted over my lifetime (with the exception of Mulroney - who, with Regan, actually accomplished something of worth. They led the boycott and sanctions of S.Africa and brought down Apartied.)
Liberals are scum.
Posted by: Warwick | 2006-03-31 9:29:29 AM
Whoops .. sorry Russ, I jumped the gun.
The good news is we agree to focus on values. Then a FP based on values needs to be balanced off pragmatically with national interests so that we don’t just spend on altruistic pipe dreams.
Thinking about your number 6, it won’t be a Trudeaupia “just society”, it would be more along your earlier suggestion of a Coalition of the Willing toward Freedom and Democracy.
Finally, I had a boss once that said “ if you can’t make your case to me in the time span of our 20 floor elevator ride, then your case is too complicated for the customers to understand.”
Russ, maybe you and I are making this too complicated. Maybe Harper is right to be focused only on his 5 points. Like Ronald Reagan changed the world with 3.
Maybe we need to take one step at a time, starting with our “values”: when we get a majority. As Warwick says, we have a “lifetime” of Liberal slippage to make up.
Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-03-31 9:46:57 AM
Great comments and quotes.
Says it all with entertainment value.
I like that!
Posted by: Duke | 2006-03-31 9:57:37 AM
The Pearson piece is disappointing Mr. K. There's no attempt to explore why Dief took those positions. It simply reiterates the premasticated pinko pablum dished up by the LPC.
Suez- what the f**k were Ike and Mike doing abandoning and then punishing traditional allies. They prop up that kleptocrat Nasser and then the following year send the Marines to Lebanon at the behest of President Chamoun, because of the sovereignty threat posed by the Iraqi uprising. Ike cries to the Brits for help, and naturally, after being stabbed in the back by their Yankee cousins, they tell him to f**k off. Dief supports US intervention but its too little too late. Constituional monarchy in Iraq is dumped and the door opens for Saddam. And for this Mike wins the Nobel peace prize. Give me a break.
Dief did not want nuke tipped Bomarcs on Cdn soil because, as McNamarra later admitted, they were junk. The Yanks only wanted them in Canada to draw Soviet fire away from American targets. Canada dumped a perfectly good nuke programme, largely at the behest of the Yanks. Instead of developing an independent nuclear retaliatory programme we get stuck with this Bomarc trash, which was about as useful as throwing rocks from the Peace Tower.
Posted by: DJ | 2006-03-31 11:27:44 AM
My take-off from Pearson's foreign policy is designed to show just how far we've come. That *even* Pearson stood for things like democracy and capitalism over and against Marxism and other forms of totalitarianism.
As for Dief, you'll be hard pressed to make that dog hunt. Even his external affairs and defence ministers couldn't make head or tails of where the old warhorse was headed. The irony, of course, in your remarks is that the great exponent of Dief's regime over and against the Americans was George Parkin Grant in his "Lament for a Nation." Mr. Trudeau took "Lament for a Nation" as the basis of his foreign policy . . .
"How about them apples?"
Posted by: Russ Kuykendall | 2006-03-31 11:48:03 AM
Hey Russ -
That dog won't hunt 'cause the LPC ensures it's never uncaged. Pearson was a Yankee running dog lackey who's only agenda was self-interest. He flip-flopped more than a cod in a dory. Cyprus is a perfect example. He tells Hellyer to let the Greeks and Turks "cut each other up!" He wouldn't help the Brits, put was rewarded by LBJ, for the Cyprus intervention, with the Autopact.
Granastein tells how the peace loving [lol] Pearson 'inadvertently' killed the Cdn military. Pearson was the worse thing to happen to the Cdn military since its inception.
Posted by: DJ | 2006-03-31 12:12:54 PM
As I said, my intention was to use Pearson's approach as a launch point -- ergo, that *even* Pearson said "thus and so." I'm no Pearson apologist. I've never been a fan of force unification et al. That said, it was Trudeau -- guided at least in part by Grant's defence of Dief's Canadian nationalism -- who sold off Canada's only aircraft carrier, and then took us down the road of anti-Americanism travelled earlier by Dief.
What is salient to the present situation about Pearson is that he wasn't anti-American, he believed in standing up for democratic and capitalist traditions, he believed in an Atlantic trading alliance based on common commitmentsw, and he believed constitutional democracies needed to steel themselves in order to stand up to totalitarianism. That's not a bad place to start on foreign policy.
Beyond Pearson, I've suggested six points I'd like to see inform Canadian foreign -- including defence -- policy.
Posted by: Russ Kuykendall | 2006-03-31 1:12:53 PM
C'mon Russ, :]
Pearson embraced the Yankees for his own self-interest. He flip-flops on the Bomarc nukes, agreeing to install them, just to win an election. It was a pack of lies. The Bomarc was junk and it was confirmed by eight physicists from the University of Alberta after the election.
Kennedy [with an Ike/Nixon plan]goes after Castro; Fidel freaks and calls the Ruskies; Nikita sends nukes; JFK is pissed and initiates a blockade [an act of war]; Diefs says go to the UN [how Pearsonian] and then the RCN and RCAF go to full alert at the behest of a foreign gov't; an act of treason and then you perpetuate the deceipt by calling Dief anti-American. It's a liberal lie.
Trudeau was up to his ears in defence production sharing contracts for Vietnam. It was the Nixon tariff, an attempt to force others to pay for the US folly in Nam, that initiated the attempt by Trudeau to find balance for Canada's economic dependency on US markets. Ms. T rails on about this unprecedented reliance and then you assail Trudeau's efforts to balance that dependancy as anti-Americanism. There's plenty of ways to roast Trudeau, however, let's at least be consistent.
Posted by: DJ | 2006-03-31 1:54:57 PM
Pearson was a closet socialist who was not liked by the Americans despite supporting the Bomarc Missile Program.
While in office, Pearson resisted U.S. pressure to enter the Vietnam War. Pearson spoke at Temple University in Philadelphia on April 2, 1965, while visiting the United States, and voiced his support for a negotiated settlement to the Vietnam War. When he visited U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson hours later, Johnson strongly berated Pearson. According to Canadian legend, Johnson grabbed Pearson by the lapels, shook him, and shouted "You pissed on my rug!" Pearson later recounted that the meeting was acrimonious, but insisted the two parted cordially. After this incident, LBJ and Pearson did have two further official meetings together, both times in Canada.
Those meetings were in Canada because Pearson was png'd, Persona Non Grata, not allowed to enter the US because they thought he was a communist sympathizer.
Posted by: Speller | 2006-03-31 4:23:12 PM
Do you favour an anti-American stance on Canadian foreign policy? Do you think Canada should stand up for democratic and capitalist traditions? Do you believe in trading alliances based on common commitments? Do you think constitutional democracies need to steel themselves in order to stand up to totalitarianism -- as they should?
Posted by: Russ Kuykendall | 2006-03-31 7:29:30 PM
Canada FP should promote its basic and fundamental values stemming from classical liberalism, such as secular democracy, individual rights, free enterprise, free trade, free speech, property rights, etc.
I.e. everything that is anti-totalitarianism.
In these times of struggle between enlightened Western liberalism on the one side and religious fundamentalism in the other, it is especially essential for us to never waiver in our defense of our Western liberal traditions.
Posted by: Johan i Kanada | 2006-03-31 9:20:32 PM
re canadian values, the military, and foreign policy - I believe they are significantly inter-twined
In his very recent book - "Sorry, I Don't Speak French" - Graham Fraser refers to a recent study (page 219):
"Canadian Soldiers: Military Ethos and Canadian Values in the 21st Century" (2005). Based on a survey of 1700 of 19,500 full time soldiers.
Ranking of importance in terms of the military:
Quebec based troops
1. Disaster relief work
2. Search and Rescue work
4. Combat Operations
5. Combat operations
More Concerned with Ecology & social responsibility
More concerned re safety of troops in combat areas
More willingness to place troops in danger on non-combat ops compared to personnel elsewhere
Troops in Other Areas of Canada
1. Combat operations to Defend Canadian territory
2. Combat operations to defend Canadian citizens at home and abroad
Disaster and SAR work of less importance
Apparently the army has an over-representation of francophones while the Navy is about 16% Francophone. Granatstein (page 216 of Fraser's book) suggests that there are three armies in Canada - one in Quebec, one in Ontario, and one in the West - each with a different culture.
Of course, one has to be cautious about any kind of survey results and the items referred to here are only a few comments from the original report.
However, it does highlight that any dicussion, much less resolution, of just what Canadian values are is very difficult. Values/culture are critical as the Armed Forces is looking for significant increase in recruits - most of which are apparently slated for the army.
Posted by: calgary clipper | 2006-04-01 6:14:10 AM
Very interesting points CC that perhaps we have 3 armies in Canada each with it’s own values. That’s because Canada is becoming simply a market-state totally dependent upon the US for economics and defence. Canada is moving away from being a nation-state to being 5 or 6 regions. The question is do those 5-6 regions want to work together under the Federal umbrella of Ottawa or not. It begs the question: what is the point of the Ottawa Umbrella?
Your info confirms my earlier remarks that with France clearly failing as a nation, maybe Quebec will stop trying to emulate the socialist-pacifist EU and perhaps Harper/Charest can find a workable model to bring Quebec under the umbrella without the historical bribery/appeasement methods.
It is interesting that in retrospect the Liberals and our PM’s from Quebec over 4 decades have stayed clear of establishing a Foreign Policy. Perhaps they knew that a dialogue on FP makes it crystal clear that this country is not holding together as presently organized. Also that you can’t talk about FP without talking about “values”. Liberals with their platform of cultural relativism have no “values”, all values and cultures being equal; therefore they did not want to go down this road.
Iggy is the only Liberal leadership candidate capable of having this discussion. Bob Rae might start out on it, but he will quickly default back to NDP cultural relativism. We’re in for a sea change or we’re in for an implosion like France.
Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-04-01 6:53:49 AM
Nomdenet - I'm going to try to find that original study referred to by Graham Fraser.
With the news just in that Ralph Klein has only received a 55% endorsement from his conservative backers last night, things are going to change in AB - probably sooner than later.
Those in the ROC that feel separatism (or heavy firewalls) is something not on the radar here in AB should be following what is happening.
Norris/backers in Edmonton have been talking along these lines and have announced some pretty creative financing that is paying him 10k per month until the leadership convention takes place.
While Dinning has been touted as the "shoo-in" handoff candidate for the next premier, I think all bets are probably off now with the 55% figure. Sort of like the Martin/Chretien situation. Dinning has been working on this about the same way Martin did (but not as much blood on the ground!!)
My hope is that every single person who is of voting age in AB will take out a Conservative membership and vote for the new leader when the leadership convention happens.
It is highly unlikely that the conservatives as a party will be defeated as the governing party after 35 years - but some very significant changes are likely going to happen in both people and policies.
At least a conservative cardholder will have an opportunity to vote on who (likely)will be the next premier of Alberta.
Posted by: calgary clipper | 2006-04-01 7:28:14 AM
CC, please please don’t build the firewall until I get out there. Your marginal rates are 38%, in Ontario they are 46% and we have PST you don’t.
My wife has been showing me some gated communities in the Calgary South riding. The model house has turrets. I just got my firearms permit. My dogs are trained. I have an autographed picture of Harper, from that riding, with the wife and kids on my fridge. I was about the only guy on campus in the 60’s that was a Barry Goldwater fan.
CC, I swear on my latest edition of the Western Standard that I’m not a pinko. Other than battle fatigue in Ontario, I’m healthy.
Will you please consider my application for Alberta? (don’t tell Scott)
Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-04-01 8:14:15 AM
Nomdenent - :)
I'm not a radical separatist but as a second generation Albertan who has lived/worked in other parts of Canada as well - I do feel that the way things have been going federally is simply untenable and that it is time for significant change.
Actually you would probably find Alberta a very welcoming place - even though the reputation is one of to many rednecks :) Just not a whole lot of sympathy/empathy/support for most all of what the federal liberals stand for and have built during their time in power.
I know the Harper crew is trying to make some inroads - but having seen Iggy on C-Pac (and was it a coincidence that Maurice Strong was speaking in Vancouver on the same day) is not at all reassuring. There is no doubt in my mind that Iggy is bound to gain a lot of support in Central Canada. The west really should have a Plan B.
Had Harper not got in this time - the movement here would likely have been a whole lot more visable.
Posted by: calgary clipper | 2006-04-01 8:41:16 AM
CC, I’m deemed to be a redneck in Toronto, but it’s all-relative .. ;>)
In all seriousness, we started looking at property web sites in Alberta when Dalton was musing about Sharia Law in Ontario. I know Muslims that still can’t believe that was even on the table. Therefore we had made a family decision to move if that came in. Interestingly it got dropped like a hot potato; I understand influential Liberals got to Dalton at the 11th hour.
But once we started to look into Alberta we’re now still thinking about it. Capital is indeed a nervous commodity. So too are people with some capital. Once they start thinking about a “plan B” who knows where the mental momentum will lead.
The good news is that the old Liberal trap has been sprung.
The question is, will the BA in Gender Studies crowd that still dominate the thinking here in Central Canada hitch up with Iggy and Bob Rae to build a new trap
Are the Coureur de Bois going to become self-sufficient again?
Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-04-01 9:23:10 AM
I agree with cc. I think the implosion is already here. It is incredible to see the polls in Ontario as the chest thumping already escalates with that crowd. Comparing Iggy to Trudeau. As if that's a good thing. Blah blah blah.
The rest of the country, and particularly the west, with Alberta leading the charge has had enough of the totalitarian idea of what's best for Toronto must in turn be best for the rest of Canada. That tenuous relationship has simply come to an end. And we will never again settle.
If the Liberals are seen back in power for at least two terms it will spell the end of Canada. It really is just that simple.
The people in the west have suffered greatly under the central government, but we have endured and so has the country, it is time to see the importance the typical central Canadian places on keeping this country together.
The next few years will tell the tale, the rest of the country is moving on, if Toronto insists on retreating further into their cave, so be it, it will be without them.
Posted by: deepblue | 2006-04-01 9:46:15 AM
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