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Canada's New (Conservative) Foreign Policy

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a_majoor

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Many people have jumped in ahead of me, so my only point to the poster is that if he is living in Canada and enjoying all the benefits and privileges being in such a country brings, why self identify as being other than a Canadian? I will buy an exception if the poster is here on a student visa, or is a landed immigrant who has not yet applied for citizenship (although if that is the case, he better park those old world attitudes at the door in a hurry). Self identifying as "x" will simply colour the way we view and respond to these posts.

As an incidental, although both my wife and I are from multi national/ethnic backgrounds, we always self identify as Canadian. Personally, I see these attempts to have us "self identify" as something hyphenated is simply a means to divide us into categories for various pressure and grievance groups to push their agendas, rather than allow us to consolidate as Canadians and forge our own identity and destiny. </soapbox>
 

dapaterson

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Journeyman said:
There are opinions, and there are informed opinions; they're not equal, and they're not entitled to equal respect. 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8ukak8P2vY

 

Remius

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Well, Journeyman, this thread is dealing with Canada's foreign policy.  And recently about Canada's stance on Israel.  Yep, it's Canada all right.  Where we have been talking about this exact stance in the media and even here.  I guess only non-palestinian and non-Israeli types should not be left to comment since it might be interpreted as old world hatred.  Plenty of others here have voiced their opinions so I guess that's ok then.

He said he was sick of "this pro-Israeli".  That equates to him being more comfortable being in a Nazi county and is indoctrinated.  Nice.  I'm sick of Pauline Marois (this pro-seperatist) but it does not mean I'm anti french or a bigot. 

You obviously read "Death to Israel" in his statement.  (Obviously the logical disconnected conclusion).

You are right though.  He can defend himself and I'll leave him to it. 

The tone of the responses obviously got my choler up and I'll leave the dogpile for him to deal with.

I'll stay out of this one.

Cheers.
 

George Wallace

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Crantor said:
He said he was sick of "this pro-Israeli".  That equates to him being more comfortable being in a Nazi county and is indoctrinated.  Nice.  I'm sick of Pauline Marois (this pro-seperatist) but it does not mean I'm anti french or a bigot. 

Then why did he qualify his post with"( I am a Palestinian)"?  Without that, perhaps we would not be going down this rabbit hole.

 

Fishbone Jones

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George Wallace said:
Then why did he qualify his post with"( I am a Palestinian)"? 

Perhaps to foment dissent and bickering, as many in the ME do on such a regular basis. Allowing educated discussion to deteriorate to a level of name calling and insult. It is a means for someone with a weak or nonexistent argument to get rid of the truth, fact and detail while railing their point.

It seems to be working well here also. ;)
 

Kirkhill

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Just stating that he is a Palestinian shouldn't have opened up any rabbit holes.

I am many things.  Some of them are even acceptable in polite company.
 

Kamikaze1655

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I am not indoctrinated. I do realize that there are some wrongs commited also by my people. The only real solution is the two state solution. But Isreal is not helping with those illegal settlements  and oppresion which is  quite similar to Nazi Germany. Rather than criticizing those illegal settlements which is a barrier to the two state solution, our beloved Harper whole- heartedly supports Isreal no matter what. I also do realize that  I am only 15 and still have a lot of learning to do.
 

Nemo888

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I gave up on Israel when they killed Major Paeta Hess-von Kruedener(PPCLI) in an "apparently deliberate action". Not my words, that is the UN after action report. Palestine can't be occupied forever. Israel fell in AD 70. You can't leave for 1800 years and then come back and kick out the present residents and found a theocracy. No idea how people think this is alright.
 

Kirkhill

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Nemo888 said:
I gave up on Israel when they killed Major Paeta Hess-von Kruedener(PPCLI) in an "apparently deliberate action". Not my words, that is the UN after action report. Palestine can't be occupied forever. Israel fell in AD 70. You can't leave for 1800 years and then come back and kick out the present residents and found a theocracy. No idea how people think this is alright.

But Israel can be occupied for 1800 years? Didn't realize there was a statute of limitations on Genocide....Babylonian, Roman or German.  The world is a messy place.
 

a_majoor

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Nemo888 said:
I gave up on Israel when they killed Major Paeta Hess-von Kruedener(PPCLI) in an "apparently deliberate action". Not my words, that is the UN after action report. Palestine can't be occupied forever. Israel fell in AD 70. You can't leave for 1800 years and then come back and kick out the present residents and found a theocracy. No idea how people think this is alright.

We seem pretty comfortable in using armed force to settle and secure other borders. Syria and Iraq are totally artificial constructs carved out of the remains of the Ottoman Empire (so were Paliistine and Trans Jordan, for that matter) after the Great War, and Europeans accept the reordering of the German, French and Polish borders post 1945. Lookig at my atlas, i don't see a striped area marked as "Occupied Tibet", and there are no places on the map today called "East Pakistan" or "Tamil Eelam".

So why is only one nation among all the nations on the Earth treated differently in this (and so many other) regards? Hmmmmm.......
 

OldSolduer

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My apologies for opening up this can of worms.

I shall refrain from commenting  - I blew it as I did not fully investigate the young man's post.

 

Edward Campbell

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In a effort to drag this thread back towards the topic I offer Margaret Wente's column on "Harper's principled politics" vs "The Jewish vote" as component of Canada's foreign policy. It is reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the Globe and Mail:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/harper-and-the-jewish-vote/article16540845/#dashboard/follows/
gam-masthead.png

Harper and the Jewish vote

MARGARET WENTE
The Globe and Mail

Published Tuesday, Jan. 28 2014

Now that Stephen Harper’s back from his triumphant tour of Israel, I asked my friend Donna (who’s Jewish) if she feels more inclined to vote for him.

“Ha ha ha ha ha,” she said. “You must be kidding.”

I was surprised. According to some members of our esteemed media, Mr. Harper’s trip to Israel was little more than a naked effort to pander to the Jewish vote, which, presumably, is ready to fall into his lap like a ripe plum. One news analysis calculated that Mr. Harper’s trip could help him win as many as 10 ridings in the next election – something that will only happen if he captures every last Jewish vote.

Some of my Jewish friends can’t decide what’s more offensive – Mr. Harper’s lovey-dovey friendship with Bibi Netanyahu (not their favourite guy), or the casual assumption in some parts of the media that all Jews think alike, that all they care about is Israel, and that their votes can be bought so cheaply.

“I find that completely offensive,” Donna says. “It’s insulting and demeaning.”

There is something about Stephen Harper that makes a lot of people irrational. Israel makes people irrational, too. So I guess it’s no surprise that when you combine Mr. Harper and Israel, a lot of people start saying really stupid things. This applies especially to our progressive opinion elites, who seem to have decided that Mr. Harper has twisted Canada’s Israel policy out of all recognition. Some of them also seem to believe that Canada’s Jews are so numerous, so powerful, and so single-mindedly devoted to Israel that they can significantly influence our politics and foreign policy. I am afraid this vastly overestimates their clout. Although it’s true that their accomplishments are out of proportion to their numbers, Jews account for only 350,000 of all Canadians. That’s roughly 1 per cent of the population.

As for Canada’s Israel policy, it’s pretty much the same as it ever was. Canada supported a two-state solution back in 1947, and that has never changed. The Chrétien regime tilted a little more toward the Palestinians, but the Martin regime tilted back. Those who say we’ve sacrificed our role as an “honest broker” in the Middle East are simply nostalgic for the days when the Liberals were in power. They bitterly lament the decline of a “principled” approach to foreign policy, by which they mean their principles, as opposed to Mr. Harper’s, which they don’t like.

The truth is that Mr. Harper’s trip was both political and principled. (Amazingly, the two are not exclusive). He has been a conviction politician on the subject of Israel as long as anyone can remember. He believes that Israel is a bastion of democratic values in a despotic, dangerous part of the world that is growing more chaotic every day, and that it deserves support despite its flaws. This stance is too crude and unnuanced for our progressive elites, but it’s just fine with millions of Canadians and Americans who basically think the same way he does.

Israel policy in both Canada and the United States has not, in fact, been shaped by the Israel lobby. It has been shaped by a broad sentiment among ordinary people that the Jews deserve a homeland and that Israel is basically a good guy. A 2012 Environics poll found that nearly half of Canadians said the government’s policy on Israel “strikes the right balance.” (Twenty-three per cent said it was too pro-Israel, and 27 per cent said they didn’t know.)

So it’s doubtful that Mr. Harper’s trip to Israel will change too many votes. Many Canadian Jews have already shifted to the right – in the last election, Ipsos-Reid estimated 52 per cent voted Conservative. And most non-Jews seem pretty happy with the way things are. As for those who are under the impression that all Jews think alike, my friends have news for them. “We’re not sheep,” says one. “Jews don’t do anything en masse.”


Where I think Ms Wente is 100% correct is in her assertion that both Stephen Harper and Israel make a lot of people irrational. But, from a policy perspective there has not been a huge shift away from, say, Mike Pearson or John Diefenbaker circa 1964, fifty years ago. It is true that both Pierre Trudeau and Jean Chrétien were a bit more pro-Palestinian in their public statements (but not so much in their actions) than were (are) Brian Mulroney and Stephen Harper, but, again, actions speak louder than words and Canada's actions are, as always, cautious, "even handed," and in keeping with our lack of real power and influence in the region.

 

Colin Parkinson

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Funny I have found the Conservative's foreign policy one of the more lucid and well thought  out polices then some of their domestic ones.
 

Edward Campbell

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I think Scratch that ... I know that we all have socio-political "blind spots," and we need to recognize them.

I am just reading David Schmitz' relatively new (2001) biography of Henry L Stimson, one of my political heroes. I recognize in Prof Schmitz' catalogue of Colonel Stimson's several weaknesses many of my own: a closed minded, even blind faith in the righteousness of my country and its causes, a small smattering of racism ~ even though I both know better and try to dress it up as a matter of culture rather than race, another closed minded faith in the superiority of a very few, quite narrowly defined cultures over all the others, and so on. I know these colour my views on policies and politics. I see only the very best in both classical, 19th century English liberalism and 2,000 year old traditional Chinese Confucian and Doaist values, and I see the worst in the values based on sundry forms of Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and whatever else.

I try, I really do, to offer what I hope is fair and balanced commentary here in Army.ca even as I do recognize that my views are one-sided.

Being anything, an old White, Anglo-Saxon, a young Palestinian, blue eyed or left handed, means nothing. On the other hand, being open to the notion that e.g. Britain and Canada have conducted themselves in (far) less than ideal manners, that not all our wars have been "good," or "just;" and that France, for example, might not be totally incapable of a moral strategic position, are important ... but the place to start is to recognize that we are all both a) 'informed' by views that are irrational (especially if they are communicated by a pope or an iman or almost anyone associated with an organized religion, except a devadasi temple prostitute) and b) loaded down, usually with realizing it, with prejudices of all sorts, inherited and acquired.

 

Kirkhill

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E.R. Campbell said:
....France, for example, might not be totally incapable of a moral strategic position...

Naaah.  ;D

It's the French, Sir, the French...
 

Colin Parkinson

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Culture and race are often very closely associated, actually less so in the modern west than in most parts of the world. Pretending that we are not biased is a fault that our society has. Accepting that you have biases, understanding what they are and how they colour your view, allows you to adjust the "telescope" you use when viewing other regions/races and cultures. This way you can retain your cultural bias and still get an understanding of the issues in other parts of the world. It's not like they are going to be letting go of their biases any time soon either.
 

Edward Campbell

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There's a rather lengthy essay in this week's Time magazine by Suketa Mehta in which he suggests that many people ~ people like me, I think he's saying ~ use culture as a euphemism for racism.

He cites one example that is pertinent to this discussion: "Then there is Stanford University's Thomas Sowell, who in Migration and Cultures: A World View identified six model "middleman minorities" who exemplify the entrepreneurial virtues he thinks the U.S. desperately needs. Last year he took the argument to another level, writing that there are some cultures that are just incompatible with Western values, primarily (surprise!) Muslim culture." Some readers will note that I have, more than once, made a similar argument. Am I a racist? I don't think so but you may be forgiven for thinking I am.

Mr. Mehta also says, and I agree, 100%, that:

    "Which is not to say culture is meaningless--even if "bad culture" is a convenient way to throw blame at struggling groups, as opposed to dealing with the structural causes behind those groups' disparate outcomes.
    We all have a linguistic, religious, racial, ethnic or national culture that shapes much about us. The cultural values of a group are an important part of the answer to the question of why certain groups seem to do better,
    at particular times, than others.

    But cultural values are never the whole answer--even as we've come to privilege them over all other explanations for success and failure, such as political and economic ones. And culture is rarely either an unambiguously
    good force or an unambiguously bad one. Thus, Confucian values of education and family fealty certainly are one factor in explaining why Chinese students from low-income backgrounds do better than their peers.
    But as we've seen, that's not the whole story. Meanwhile, many in China would like to see less conformity in their culture, believing that it inhibits much of the freethinking that powers creativity and innovation in America
    and that it results in a citizenry that passively tolerates suppression of dissent and censorship of the Internet."


 

Colin Parkinson

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What people forget is that the only way "multiculturalism" can flourish here is that the Canadian culture remains predominate and acts as the insulator and arbitrator of cultural clashes. So you can be a Canadian Muslim, a Canadian Croatian, a Canadian catholic. but all must accept they are Canadian first and uphold that cultural imperatives as preeminent over their imported culture. So when a Canadian Muslim and a Canadian Jew disagree, the Canadian culture requires they go their separate ways and write a strongly worded letter. Anyone who has immigrated here has made a pact with the rest of us to live a life acceptable to Canadian Culture. It's somewhat more murky with people born here and technically the First Nations don't have to abide by the cultural norms on the rules above, but have to accept it's the predominate culture because it is.   
 
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