Saturday, October 23, 2010

As the Reality Sets in We Hang Our Heads in Shame

As the reality of what the UN snub means to this country sets in, as a Canadian, I hang my head in shame.

And to think that it took decades for Canada to achieve it's international reputation, and just four years for Stephen Harper to completely destroy it, makes me angry as hell.

Angry at the spin. Angry at the nonsense. Angry at the secrets.

Our foreign policy is not based on "Canadian values" as Harper would like us to believe, but are the polar opposite to Canadian values. It is now based on everything that Canadians hate.

Eric Walberg wrote a great piece on Canada's shame, which shows how Stephen Harper's disdain and visceral hatred for liberalism, turned on a country based on liberalism. And I don't mean the political party, but the progression that made us who we were. And I mean 'were' in the literal sense.

We are not that country now.
The humiliating withdrawal by Canada from the race with Germany and Portugal for a coveted place on the United Nations Security Council revealed what close observers have long known -- that the current Conservative government in Ottawa has nothing but disdain for the world’s tattered peacekeeper and would most likely just use its seat to serve US and Israel’s agenda. Four years of Stephen Harper’s government was enough for the world to turn its back on a once beloved peacenik.
Points by Walberg include:

-Dubai’s police chief states that Canada is covering up its arrest of a suspect in Israel’s assassination of Palestinian leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.

-blocked former British PM Gordon Brown’s global tax on international financial transactions

-refused to recognise the human right to water -refused to sign the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

-blocked consensus at the Rotterdam Convention to ban the toxin chrysotile asbestos

-supported the environmentally disastrous “tar sands” oil extraction project

-blocked a binding commitment on rich countries to reduce carbon emissions. It even suggested the Kyoto Protocol be scrapped at a UN climate conference session in Bangkok last year, prompting dozens of delegates to walk out in protest.

-Allowing Canadian mining companies to engage in the worst human rights abuses known to man. Some Canadians are sewing American flags to their backpacks, we have become so reviled in some places.

- Afghan detainee abuse scandal and the calculated COVER-UP

-called Israel’s 2006 invasion of Lebanon a “measured response” (Two Canadian UN peacekeepers were targeted and killed by Israeli in the invasion. Harper refused to protest, asking rhetorically in parliament what they were doing there in the first place.)

-refused to condemn the invasion of Gaza in December 2008 or the siege of Gaza (the only “Nay” at the UN Human Rights Council)

-refused to condemn the Israeli murder of nine members of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in May-opposed an attempted IAEA probe of Israel’s nuclear facilities as part of an effort to create a nuclear-weapons-free Middle East [Instead he invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a visit]

-cut off UN humanitarian aid to Gaza because it was going through the Hamas government there.

- Harper and MacKay have hosted NATO Arctic war games aimed at the “aggressive” Russians, and announced plans to spend $9 billion to buy F-35 joint strike “stealth” fighter jets to “meet the threats of the 21st century”.

And the list goes on.

Is this really your Canada?

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