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Acting Nice for Politics Sake (HMCS Calgary in Brunei)

Colin Parkinson

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Pretty interesting topic.

Yes this is more hypothetical but I can easily see sailors posting complaints about this on Social Media.

We're giving troops voices. Giving them the illusion of renaming ranks. Telling them to email the admiral directly if they have a problem with the orders (paraphrasing). We're telling troops their opinions are super important, so of course they're going to voice them.

Is a gay sailor going to be honoured to work with a country who persecutes or executes gay citizens? Probably not.
Writing his MP about what Canada does and with whom and their displeasure about it, is a valid approach, if they frame it as "As a gay Canadian, I am disappointed that Canada has such contacts with X who discriminates against people like me".
 

Humphrey Bogart

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I can assure you the Regime that controls Brunei doesn't give two hoots about what we think. They are very rich and don't need us. A visit to Brunei isn't about our disdain for their laws and making it about that, while admirable, is also incredibly naive and foolish.

This is about economics, trade and China. Brunei is a signatory of CATPP but they are being pulled in multiple directions and have options. If we don't approach them, someone else will.

China is making massive investments in to Brunei, they just built a $14 billion dollar petrochemical plant in Brunei and have pledged to help Brunei diversify away from Oil. A Brunei that is our ally, is still better than a Brunei under the grip of China.
 
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Lumber

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I can assure you the Regime that controls Brunei doesn't give two hoots about what we think. They are very rich and don't need us. A visit to Brunei isn't about our disdain for their laws and making it about that, while admirable, is also incredibly naive and foolish.

This is about economics, trade and China. Brunei is a signatory of CATPP but they are being pulled in multiple directions and have options. If we don't approach them, someone else will.

China is making massive investments in to Brunei, they just built a $14 billion dollar petrochemical plant in Brunei and have pledged to help Brunei diversify away from Oil. A Brunei that is our ally, is still better than a Brunei under the grip of China.
I get diplomacy guys, I'm just curious to ask LGBTQ members of the crew currently aboard CAL if they really felt "honoured" to be visiting Brunei.
 

Humphrey Bogart

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I get diplomacy guys, I'm just curious to ask LGBTQ members of the crew currently aboard CAL if they really felt "honoured" to be visiting Brunei.
I don't think they felt honoured at all, in fact, I know they didn't. Put it this way though:

Brunei was nice enough to let us come alongside, give us a bunch of really high quality gasoline, land our garbage, take on critical supplies and even did some exercising with our Navy. They didn't need to do any of that and we would be SOL as we don't exactly have many real friends in that part of the World.

It should also be noted that Brunei possesses a dual legal system with part of it being based on British common-law and the other being based on Sharia law. There is presently a moratorium on Sharia penal code and no one in Brunei has had the laws used against them. If you read in to Bruneian politics, many believe the Sultan brought the laws in to effect to shore up his support and deflect away of some of the excesses committed by members of his family, specifically, his brother Prince Jefri, who is a legal hand grenade.
 

CBH99

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While governments talk to each other, court each other, and look for reasons to invest economically in each other's countries -- we also have to remember that good diplomacy isn't just about 'formal, nice gestures' between governments and their representatives.

The message of "We're honoured to be welcomed here" is just as important to be extended to the people of the country, and not just the government in power. While I doubt many folks in Brunei are following the RCN twitter feed, it does help foster a good image and good relations with the average citizen also.

0.02
 

Halifax Tar

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Canadian have to realize there are places in the world where we do not share common beliefs. But that does not mean we cannot be friendly.

If we want to be players on the world stage that means remembering that our internal policies should be left internal and when conducting foreign diplomatic missions diplomacy trumps internal policy.
 

rmc_wannabe

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We spent over a decade drinking tea and shaking hands with Afghan warlords who sell us down the river to the Taliban. No one batted an eye to their stance on LGBTQ2+ rights or the other atrocities they committed.

We needed to win them over before someone else did.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Meanwhile HMCS Calgary's crew is still doing positive things like saving sea turtles!
 

OldSolduer

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Canadian have to realize there are places in the world where we do not share common beliefs. But that does not mean we cannot be friendly.

If we want to be players on the world stage that means remembering that our internal policies should be left internal and when conducting foreign diplomatic missions diplomacy trumps internal policy.
It’s also practical. Great assessment.
 

Weinie

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Canadian have to realize there are places in the world where we do not share common beliefs. But that does not mean we cannot be friendly.

If we want to be players on the world stage that means remembering that our internal policies should be left internal and when conducting foreign diplomatic missions diplomacy trumps internal policy.
Beliefs, cultures, and ideologies all blend, from a global perspective. I agree with your approach where differences are minor.

But in a world where peace and prosperity are broadly regulated by a rules based international order, sometimes you can't be friendly. Neville Chamberlain tried.

The USSR wasn't interested in being friendly during the Cold War.

I submit that apartheid in South Africa had to be vehemently opposed (and Canada was a leader in this effort), along with attempting to stop the slaughter in Rwanda.

Those who ensured Afghan boys had sore bums weekly were not deserving of our friendship, only our contempt.

And the Uighurs in China would likely also disagree with a friendly for diplomacies sake approach.

There are myriad other examples. China, for one, seems to be placing itself on a collision course by placing self-interest and a misguided read of history and their economic clout as their approach to diplomacy. It is garnering significant pushback.

So I would say, friendly where it makes sense, fair where logical, and firmness/force where necessary.

.02
 

Eaglelord17

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Beliefs, cultures, and ideologies all blend, from a global perspective. I agree with your approach where differences are minor.

But in a world where peace and prosperity are broadly regulated by a rules based international order, sometimes you can't be friendly. Neville Chamberlain tried.

The USSR wasn't interested in being friendly during the Cold War.

I submit that apartheid in South Africa had to be vehemently opposed (and Canada was a leader in this effort), along with attempting to stop the slaughter in Rwanda.

Those who ensured Afghan boys had sore bums weekly were not deserving of our friendship, only our contempt.

And the Uighurs in China would likely also disagree with a friendly for diplomacies sake approach.

There are myriad other examples. China, for one, seems to be placing itself on a collision course by placing self-interest and a misguided read of history and their economic clout as their approach to diplomacy. It is garnering significant pushback.

So I would say, friendly where it makes sense, fair where logical, and firmness/force where necessary.

.02
You make it seem as though we are always the good guys. Reality is our own actions are flawed as well, but the moral indignation we provide other countries with isn't applied with the same vigour locally.

WWII was just a continuation of 18th and 19th century politics just in the 20th century where the 'powers' of the era wanted to protect their hold well preventing others from growing theirs.

The USA wasn't too interested in being friendly during the cold war as well, almost dragging the world into nuclear war to retain a tactical advantage (Cuban missile crisis) despite having nukes similar distances away from the USSR (Turkey).

Canada and the USA weren't much better than apartheid was in South Africa. Until the 60s the USA was segregated and treated their black citizens terribly. Canada treated our Natives terribly until very recently, having been committing genocide on them for the last couple hundred years.

Our modern moral stance is one based off a continually changing ideal set which we were guilty of much that we push against until very recently. Gay rights, equal treatment under law, not committing genocide, etc. are all things that we within the last 20-30 years have decided is wrong and shouldn't be done.

Not saying we shouldn't take a stand internationally, but that our attempts to be the upright morally correct global citizen are somewhat lacking credibility when you look at our history.
 

Weinie

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You make it seem as though we are always the good guys. Reality is our own actions are flawed as well, but the moral indignation we provide other countries with isn't applied with the same vigour locally.

WWII was just a continuation of 18th and 19th century politics just in the 20th century where the 'powers' of the era wanted to protect their hold well preventing others from growing theirs.

The USA wasn't too interested in being friendly during the cold war as well, almost dragging the world into nuclear war to retain a tactical advantage (Cuban missile crisis) despite having nukes similar distances away from the USSR (Turkey).

Canada and the USA weren't much better than apartheid was in South Africa. Until the 60s the USA was segregated and treated their black citizens terribly. Canada treated our Natives terribly until very recently, having been committing genocide on them for the last couple hundred years.

Our modern moral stance is one based off a continually changing ideal set which we were guilty of much that we push against until very recently. Gay rights, equal treatment under law, not committing genocide, etc. are all things that we within the last 20-30 years have decided is wrong and shouldn't be done.

Not saying we shouldn't take a stand internationally, but that our attempts to be the upright morally correct global citizen are somewhat lacking credibility when you look at our history.
Perhaps, but when I look at things, I assert that we have been, and continue to be, more on the moral side of the line than some other countries. Not looking to get into a past wrongs debate, although Canada has apologized repeatedly for those that they inflicted, and have provided reparations, and learned from many of them, including legislation. and the U.S. is currently undergoing an introspection of how they treat BPOC. I am not sure that you can say that about many of the countries, or their practices, that I currently have some degree of disdain for. Moral relativity, especially when applied on an historical basis, is a fallacious argument.
 
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