Monday, July 28, 2014
More Government Propaganda While Canada Once Again Stands Alone
strange Oped piece appeared in the Globe and Mail on the weekend, written by none other than Stephen Harper. It was a follow up to a government announcement that we would be giving the Ukrainian military another 220 million dollars, on top of the 300 million already provided, to assist in their battle with rebel forces.
It reads like a typical propaganda piece, laying all of the blame on Russia's doorstep, for the horrific downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, that killed 298 innocent civilians.
Had this appeared under a different byline, it would simply reflect the views of the author. However, when it comes from the leader of a country, it is something much more.
An official position. And that position is pretty clear. Russia is our sworn enemy.
The United Nations is investigating the incident, and most in the international community are taking a wait and see approach, before becoming judge, jury and executioner.
While there are calls to strip Russia of their right to host the The World Cup in 2018, British Prime Minister David Cameron, is calling for cooler heads to prevail, and FIFA see it as a potential "force for good". It might just be the golden ticket for a diplomatic solution to the crisis, since sanctions don't appear to be working.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot, has actually called Vladimir Putin personally, to discuss the situation. This is something that is no longer an option for Canada, as our government has already burned too many bridges with the Russian leader, making us irrelevant.
Australians still don't approve of Abbot, but do believe he is leading the way in diplomacy, with a position contradictory to Harper's.
It is not inconceivable that the shooting down of the passenger flight was an accident. As the National Post points out, '-Iran Air Flight 655—shot down on July 3, 1988, not by some scruffy rebel on contested soil but by a U.S. Navy captain in command of an Aegis-class cruiser called the Vincennes.'; it's happened before.
The Reagan administration tried to cover it up, but eventually the truth came out, as it no doubt will in this latest tragedy.
Conservative MP, Peter Goldring, is joining Sarah Palin, in calling for an all out war with Russia, reminding us of Harper's Reform Party and their bumper sticker foreign policy. Simple and dangerous solutions to complex issues.
Obama may provide equipment that would help to reveal 'specific locations of surface-to-air missiles controlled by Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine so the Ukrainian government could target them for destruction', but with only 17% of Americans supporting military engagement in the area, I doubt he would consider doing anything more.
Besides, the optics may not be good, given that Joe Biden's son now works for a Ukranian company that is pushing for energy independence from Moscow.
So what is Harper's endgame here? Is he trying to earn some respect, given his abysmal record on foreign policy?
In 2003, when Leader of the Opposition, he spoke out in favour of Canada joining the U.S. In Iraq, and now that country is in shambles, with 63% of Republicans believing that it was a mistake.
He escalated our involvement in Afghanistan, and now the Taliban is stronger than ever, even winning in areas they never held before the invasion.
Canada led in the regime change in Libya, and despite spending $800,000 on a "victory" celebration, Libya is in a bloody mess. Republicans blame Obama, but who should we blame?
Engaging in a war of words, with an enemy he will never have to actually fight, (despite the views of the crazy wing in his Party), is a safe way to inflate his ego. However, I think there may be another motive.
Vladimir Putin was tanking in the polls, until he took a firm stand on Western interference in the Ukraine. Now his popularity with Russian citizens is overwhelming.
Is Stephen Harper hoping that by taking a firm and very public stand with Russia, that Canadians will view him as not so bad after all, despite his horrendous policies?
Sadly, it might just work.