Friday, May 20, 2011

Why John Baird May be the Best Choice as Foreign Affairs Minister

Aztec legend spoke of a great god, named Quetzalcoatl, who was bearded, ugly, dressed in black with silver armour. It was predicted that he would arrive on their shores on a particular day, to destroy them all.

As luck would have it, the butcher Hernando Cortez, arrived on the very day in 1519, with his group of "fair-skinned bearded strangers", prompting Emperor Montezuma II, out of fear, to offer great riches and hospitality, hoping to spare himself and his people.

I don't know if there are any ancient legends predicting that a loud mouthed buffoon, would arrive one day demanding riches, but given Canada's current foreign policy, that is exactly what is going to happen.

In his book Imperialist Canada, Todd Gordon speaks of the systematic plundering of the Third World, and Canada's role in it.
Just like the other major capitalist powers, Canadian capital is driven by a logic of expansion. The insatiable drive to seek out new markets and territories in which to accumulate wealth in the capitalist game of survival of the fittest drives it deeper into sovereign indigenous lands within its borders and increasingly beyond its own borders. This expansionary process is made possible by the aggressive policies of the Canadian state.

... Driving Canadian foreign policy, for instance, is the goal of creating the conditions for the successful international expansion of Canadian corporations, at the heart of which is forcibly opening up the markets and resources of the Global South. The list of options in its imperialist toolkit is varied, as I will show, and includes both bilateral and multilateral (with its imperial partners) policies. Canada actively pursues one-sided trade and investment agreements with poor countries, forcibly liberalizes markets in the South through International Monetary Fund-imposed structural adjustment policies, ignores flagrant human rights violations committed in defence of Canadian investments and is pouring increasingly large sums of money into the development of a military with the capability to project its power abroad. (1)
This explains the purchase of the F-35s, deemed unsuitable for the Arctic.

When the 2010 budget was brought down, David MacDonald of the Canadian Centre for Policy, questioned our "Foreign Policy shift"
... Canada is cutting foreign aid and increasing spending on expensive military equipment. "Our foreign policy is moving more toward combat military operations and away from the kind of reconstruction operations that are really what's necessary ... The question going forward is once Afghanistan ends, what are we going to do with these choppers?" (2)
Our foreign policy is no longer about protecting human rights or providing needed assistance, but about bullying smaller nations into allowing us to exploit their natural resources and labour force.
There is no bright side to Canadian investment in the South. It is accomplished by displacing indigenous people and poor peasants from their land (to get at mineral and oil deposits, for example), destroying ecosystems and ruthlessly exploiting the sweat labour of typically poor women in the region's export processing zones, where workers' rights are minimal if they exist at all. We can also add to this the steep burden of debt obligations Third World governments are forced to pay Canadian banks, money which otherwise could go to social programs for their own citizens. The significant increase in corporate earnings in the Third World, in other words, is happening on the backs of some of the world's most vulnerable people; it is matched by a corresponding increase in displacement and misery. (1)
Researcher Ellen Gould also spoke of Canada's new aggressive foreign policy.
On the international stage, Canada is a major proponent of financial liberalization. At the WTO, Canada heads a group of delegations pressing developing countries to open their economies to the supposedly superior services of foreign financial institutions. ... The enormity of what's at stake in the WTO financial sector negotiations is revealed in a February 2006 bargaining request sent from Canada's Department of Finance to developing countries. Canada asked that foreign financial institutions be guaranteed rights to "establish new and acquire existing companies" in all financial sectors. This would mean among other things that countries would have to allow 100 per cent foreign ownership of their banks and insurance companies. (3)
Of course much of this is being done under the guise of "spreading democracy", even after many American groups realized that this spreading of democracy was no longer as profitable as it once was.

In December of 2009, Michael Allen from the University of California wrote:
Canada is poised to set up a new democracy assistance organization, based on the experience and structures of existing foundations, but reflecting distinctively Canadian characteristics and priorities. A proposal has been tabled in the House of Commons, with legislation likely to follow next month, to form a Canadian Centre for Advancing Democracy, funded by an annual parliamentary appropriation of $30-70 million. A new poll by the US-based Council on Foreign Relations suggests that supporting democracy has fallen out of favor with the US foreign policy elite. (3)
The Harper government will appropriate 30-70 million a year to spread "democracy", whether recipients of all this democracy like it or not.

So given Canada's new aggressive foreign policy, fast becoming the Third World's bully, John Baird is a perfect choice to act as the "enforcer".

While Canadians may be left dealing with Montezuma's revenge.


Friedman's Gold and Argentina

A Harper Majority and the Future of the FTAA


1. Imperialist Canada, By Todd Gordon, Arbeiter Publishing, 2010, ISBN: 978-1-894037-4507, Pg. 9-13

2. Straight Goods, March, 2010

3. The "D" Word out of Favour? Don't Tell the Canadians, By Michael Allen, December 2009


  1. This is heartbreaking, Emily. I'm almost glad I'm not doomed to live another 40 years to see what kind of damage my country has wrought around the world.
    This is NOT the Canadian way. We have always been a nation of peacekeepers, giving humanitarian aid wherever necessary around the globe.
    How many disasters have happened since Haiti and Harper's ridiculous photo-op disguised as international aid (only because of our then Governor General)? There have been many, and Canadian troops have not been sent to New Zealand or to Japan to help, because they've been too busy fighting a war!
    But to think of Canadian businessmen, in the guise of helping undeveloped countries, actually making a profit on the backs of the poor in far-off lands — this is slavery!
    I'm apt to be around for another 20 years, and I shudder to think of what horrors might then be perpetrated in the name of democracy if we don't get rid of Harper and his ilk in the next election.

  2. It's tragic but sadly who we are now. Bullies.