Monday, December 3, 2012

The Harper Foreign Policy Mantra

In light of the Harper government's recent tough stance on the Palestinian state, I thought I'd take a look back to see what Mr. Harper had to say about Canada's presence on the foreign stage while the Liberals were in power in 2002:

"The moral equivalence approach to foreign affairs and domestic security is not simply misguided or wrong, though it is both of these.  The real danger of moral equivalence is that its outcome is exactly the opposite of what the Liberals claim to desire.

It makes Canada's influence ever more irrelevant on the world stage, our military more dependent on the United States and our citizens ever more susceptible to renewed threats of terrorism.  For the past eight years, the government has championed the slogan of "soft power" or the use of persuasion and diplomacy to advance Canadian objectives internationally.  However, in the process, Canada's "hard power" capabilities - intelligence, financial aid oriented to strategic stability and military power - have all been ignored.

In essence, the government has pursued "soft power" without the requisite "hard power" to back it up.  As a result, Canada is no longer taken seriously by our major allies because it brings almost nothing to the table."

Why should Canadians have been so shocked that the Harper/Baird duo took a hard-line stance against Palestine?  Mr. Harper wants throw his "muscle" around and play with the world's "big boys"; he made this quite clear in this speech from February 2, 2002.

And, as an aside, perhaps this explains the government's desire to pick up a few billion dollars worth of F-35s.

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