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Monday, July 31, 2006 

Harper's Disastrous Foreign Policy

At some point, it has to be said, that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper doesn't have a clue what he is doing with regard to foreign policy! Immediately following Israel's attacks on Lebanon, Harper said that he considered this to be a 'measured response'. Within days, eight Canadians in Lebanon were dead as a result of Israel's bombing AND tens of thousands of Canadians abroad were in physical peril because of the conflict.

Historically, Canada's foreign policy has been pragmatic and sensitive to the complexities of the world we live in. Since the election of the Conservatives, our foreign policy is now determined primarily by Harper's extreme ideology. With typical right wing thinking, he is trying to reduce extremely complex issues down to 'black or white' simplicity. This is the tory way. They do it all the time across this country. Conservatives always seem to have simple solutions to complex problems ... and they are usually wrong!

So in Harper's simplistic world view, Israel is always 'good' and arab states and entities are always 'bad'.

Canada's foreign policy has changed a great deal since Harper was elected. How are you liking it so far??

Hate to break it to philtaj -- the Hezbollah are not "terrorists". Terrorists are those who are defined as being anyone who opposes US corporate globalisation and its client governments.

The Hamas and Hezbollah are democratically elected representatives. Do I approve of their actions? No. But I do not label them terrorists. Their actions are no different than what the US does, only the US justifies it as promoting democracy (US style only of course).

When Israel invaded and occupied Lebanon in the late 1970's - a grass roots resistance group (exactly the same as the French resistance during WWII) was created - that's Hezbollah. They resisted the occupation. After the Shatilla Massacre (that was when Palestinian refugees were massacred in Israeli held territory) Hezbollah went off the deep end and have never moderated their position towards Israel. From that time until now, the ongoing and unresolved problem in the region is that the USA and Israel will not allow the recreation of the State of Palestine in the West Bank and Gaza. Until there is a place called 'Palestine', nothing is going to be resolved. In the meanwhile babies and old women die and you support that. Shame on you!

P.S. you are using the name 'tomy douglas'. It is Buckdog policy to NOT USE the name of any real person,(unless it is the person). So please repost your last post under a different name - we will give you an hour or so before we eliminate the post under that name - copy the text of your post and repost under a differnt name). Thanks!

OK Leftdog, you are opposed to war. But why do you devote all your criticisms for israel and not hizbollah? they have killed hundreds of woman and children with suicide belts. You are missing the fact, and I am afraid that history will prove you terribly wrong, that these people are fascists, bent on establishing a calliphate.

You actually have the nerve to call harper an extremist. My, you really are missing the boat here.

You know, some things never change. The leftists opposed canadian involvement in WWI and WWII....saying it was a war for capitalism etc...you are just as wrong as they were.

Anonymous -- does having electing members automatically mean you aren't a terrorist group? Terrorism is a tactic, not just a label. Hamas and hizbollah are both actively engaged in terrorism.

Leftdog, does "recognizing the complexity of the world" mean never taking a stand? That was great advice in WWII, wasn't it?

EDIT: That policy makes no sense.

Actually the policy DOES make sense - we had someone here a week or two ago trying to post as 'Stephen Harper'. NOW I know that a lot of folks read Buckdog but I somehow suspect that the Prime Minister IS NOT one of them - hence - we would just as soon not let posters use the names of real persons (dead or alive) unless it is actually them (or their spirit).

It's interesting that you mention the Israeli invasion and occupation of lebanon in 1981.

I wonder why Israel invaded southern lebanon. Is it because the PLO had amassed 15,000 soldiers with rockets and tanks and heavy artillary -- which was supplied and funded by Syria?

And why had hundreds of thousands of refugees fled from palestine to lebanon in the first place? Was it perhaps due to failed syrian, egyption, and lebanese invasion of israel?

Maybe it was the fact that the PLO, with increasing armaments and funding, had established a "state within a state" in lebanon, and had continueally launched raids, fired shells and rockets into northern israel.

To compare hezbollah to the french resistance is to slander the those freedom fighters. Hezbollah are murderers of women and children. The french resistance movement fought against fascism, not to promote it. I am amazed that you would use those two groups in one sentence -- this is a betrayal of your leftist brothers and sisters who fought and died valiantly against the nazis.

Yes, hezbollah supports the formation of the palestinian state, but go much further than that. Their israel doctrine is as follows:

Israel is an illegal usurper entity, which is based on falsehood, massacres, and illusions, and there is no chance for its survival.

So if you continue to be an apologist for hezbollah, you support the outright destruction of israel. Therefore, you don't really support "israel's right to exist."

Yasser Arafat got almost everything he wanted in teh 2000 camp david accord -- including west bank and gaza. He walked away from it. He rejected the terms without making a counter offer.

Why did he do this? Because he had no interest in peace. He was only interested in blowin up my passenger airlines. Clinton laid the blame for this failure squarely on Arafat's shoulders. Then there was intifada and Arafat died with billions in foreign bank accounts while his people suffered.

You are right, there is no reason for women and children (mostly israeli over the past 20 years) to die.

But the choice is not in Israel's hands -- it's in hezbollah and hamas.

Until there is a homeland restored for the Palestinian people, this violent nonsense from Hamas, Hesbollah and Israel will continue (and we are all in peril). So let me ask you this .... do you recognize the right of the State of Palestine to exist?

didn't mean to type "my" passenger airlines....meant "more"

Yes I do, reluctantly. Reluctancy because I know what they will become a proxy for Iran and Syria, and Israel will pay dearly, as they always have.

The problem Leftdog, is that the formation a full palestinian state won't solve the problem. I think you are being naive.

If that's what they wanted, they would have accepted the 2000 accord.

They wouldn't have stepped up attacks on Israel AFTER Israel's voluntary withdrawal from Gaza.

BTW -- there are 8,500 israeli settlers in Gaza, and 1.3 million palestinians -- in an area that is 25 miles long and 8 miles wide. These people aren't fans of mulitculturalism.

Why did Isreal claim Gaza? Spoils of war -- after being invaded by Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Syria.

Israel was invaded by armoured columns not once but TWICE. One per cent per cent of the israeli population was killed fighting the first arab invasion (that the equivalent of Canada losing 300,000 soldiers).

But it was the 6 day war that Arab claimed the west bank, gaza, and golan heights -- all of which have helped save the lives of Israeli citizens.

Do you believe the blockade of Cuba (missile crisis) was the right think to do? Do you think Kennedy's committment to invade cuba if the soviets armed it was a justified move?

Thre is no difference, strategically, between taht situation and Gaza, Golan, and West Bank.

After being invaded three times in 40 years by its neighbours, democratic Israel could not allow high lands and sea ports to fall into enemy hands -- just like the united states (and Canada -- we participated in the blockade) could not allow cuba to fall into soviet hands -- just 90 miles away from the florida coast.

We we can sit here and talk about a palestinian state all we want, but that is not what is at stake here.

I suspect you have no idea what you are talking about.

The recreation of the State of Palestine would neuter many of the arguments being made by Islamists and other extremist muslim groups. ( I suppose the whole argument would then move to the status of Jerusalem as capital of Palestine or Israel?) ((althought Pope Paul VI once recommended that Jerusalem should be considered as a joint administrative responsibility of both the state of Israel and the state of Palstine with the United Nations moved there from New York.
The status quo does not work. Killing babies on either side does not work.

The Popes suggestion was brilliant. But that won't do it. Hamas are not "freedom fighters" as you have portrayed them, and neither are Hamas. They are garden-variety fascists who will continue to kill civilians until Israel folds. Look at how the Taleban behaved -- that gives you a taste of life under hizbollah and hamas.

And they don't care for unions much, either. They hang homosexuals in public. You sure do pick strange friends.

You will come to this conclusion too, but it will take way too long.

The 2000 Camp David agreement, if memory serves, placed the holy places in palestinian control, but under international administration. Of course this is a tough sell with jewish people, as they have a deep psychological connection to those places. But that is neither here nor there...israel accepted the terms, and Arafat walked away.

Going back to the original nature of your post, yes, I do like what I see so far.

I see my PM finally taking a strong stand against fascism, as well as appeasement.

Creating a palestinian state, while it probably must happen, will amount to appeasement as well. That is, when history looks back.

Be careful what you wish for.

See you are being EXACTLY like Harper when you call Hamas and Hezbollah 'my friends' - (see how you right wingers ALWAYS try to reduce every thing to simplistic concepts! - So in your world, if I do not TOTALLY, unconditionally support Israel, then I must surely HATE them and all of their enemies are my friends.

Your right wing logic is ILLOGICAL! That is why it is so dangerous for life on this planet to have right wingers in power!

P.S. Oh by the way - your "PM" will not be PM for all that much longer. After his disastrous and amateurish attempt at 'foregin affairs', Canadians are done with him. Goodbye Stephen Harpo!!!

I find it interesting that use the word "recreating" palestine. Palestine proper, as a purely islamic state, has never really existed. When the romans controlled the area they kicked out most of the jews. The word palestine comes from the people that were referred to as "philistines" in the bible. After the romans receded, what is now considered palestine was dominated the persians (NOT arab), the byzantines, the egyptians and the Ottoman empire. When the ottomans were destroyed in WWI, the british controlled the area, and by around 1920 they intended to return israel to the jews.

One should avoid language such as "returning....and occupation..." because we are n't really talking about a pre-existing nation state. At best the palestinians are a racial group, that became islamic over time, like the celts were christianized...

You can make an argument that Israel was "returned" to the jews...and palestine should be returned to palestinians(but not necessarily muslims...) but I wouldn't waste my time.

Short and sweet: Palestine has never existed as a formal nation state within its current boundaries. It has always been ruled by others...at least for the past 2000 years or so...

yeah leftdog...when you are losing an argument...start yelling and screaming...that will help.

You haven't countered any of my points, except to take over-offense to a comment abotu yo being a "friend" of hezbollah.

When you describe Hezbolla (then or not) as a "grass-roots "resistance akin to the french resistance...I think those are rather friendly terms....especially for a bunch of homophobic racists and child murderers.

But I see you are just trying to change the subject.

I am not one of those "with us or against us" people. I am just criticizing your unsubstantiated criticisms of Harper and your sharp criticism of israel -- on top of the complete absence of any criticism of hezbollah or context for that matter.

So you can use all-caps and exclamations points all you want -- it only shows your lack of knowledge if these (complex...as you describe it) issues.

Do your homework:

That is cool that you have those coins....really interesting.

But for te preponderance of the past three millenia, "palestine" has existed as a geographical area, more than a nation state. The Palestine you are referring to, I believe includes modern day israel, which also existed in some form 2000 years ago....over what is now palestine...

What happend after teh first world war lasted all of 20 years. Are the palestinians fighting for that state (which included israel maybe) - or the 100 other variations that appeared over history.

I'm not a propagandist...I'm a realist...

your coins prove nothing, but I would love to see them....

You are directing me to a hobby website created by an accountant from united arab emirates?

It has some interesting items.
Palestine exists because the Palestinian people say it exists. As a big supporter of the USA - do you not agree that the nation we now call the United States of America created itself when its founders uttered the words, "We the People" (sheesh that almost sounds 'socialist, doesn't it?). Palestine exists because the Palestinian people say it does!

Leftdog do not waste your time with that guy. He is only trying to tie you up with his arguments. His mind is made up. He is what I think Buckdog is trying to fight and that is the closed minds of those people who support Stephen Harper. No argument you or anyone could make will ever convince him that is position is ridiculous. Anyone who can defend the destruction that is happening in Lebanon is beyond reason. Harper will pay an electoral price for his mistakes in the area. He might survive until the spring but then the Canadian people will throw him out of power. Buckdog please keep up the good work to fight this stuff,

"Canada's foreign policy has changed a great deal since Harper was elected. How are you liking it so far?? posted by leftdog""

'For this reason, we are please to note that increasingly the global community is coming to recognize, each in its own way, what we have understood in Canada for some time now – that Israel’s values are Canada’s values – shared values of democracy, the rule of law and the protection of human rights.'


'Jewish state has friends in the new Martin government, says Owen.
About a year ago, Owen and about two dozen other Liberal MPs formed Liberal Parliamentarians for Israel, which is now an official caucus committee.'

Prime Minister Paul Martin again condemned the president of Iran's threats against Israel and called Canada an unshakable ally of the Jewish people.
"Canada will not stand for such hateful speech or its implications," said Martin. "Let me be very clear, this threat to Israel's existence, this call for genocide coupled with Iran's obvious nuclear ambitions is a matter that the world cannot ignore."


So Leftdog, what has changed? The only difference I see is the party, not the message.

Merlin, what argument has been put forward by leftdog? He hasn't put forward anything. He said that harper doesn't understand the situation in lebanon, that he is too cozy with israelis, and prefers to see things in black and white.

I suggest, for a variety of reasons, that things ARE pretty black and white. I also argue that Harper is on the correct side of the issue.

History will judge him as such.

Wilson61 took apart the other side of his argument -- that harper had radically changed canada's position on israel....which just isn't really the case.

The only thing that has changed is that Harper is not apologetic about his position.

And what do mean by saying I am "only trying to tie him up"

I've put forward my case. Leftdog has said nothing to say I am wrong.

I could be pursuaded to sympathize with the palestinian cause if the facts were on their side. I know it sucks to be a palestinian, but to say that is Israel's fault is another thing....

I would agree with Hezbollah if I thought Israel was unjustifiably oppressing southern lebanon. That has never been the case.

And I will never justify, diminish, or ignore the fact that hezbollah has strapped explosives on themselves and have killed women and children by the hundreds. I will never ignore the fact that they use children as shields for their rockets -- which are packed with ball bearings to kill as many innocents as possible.

If palestine spent their time and money on building roads, schools and hospitals and not on firing home made rockets into israel, I might be more sympathetic.

I have laid the most important aspects of my thoughts on this issue, and merlin accuses me of being "closed minded".

Based on the blind ideology expressed here, I think the accusation more accurately fits Leftdog and the gang.

Again, I am open to rational thought here. God knows I've spend a lot of time thinking about this issue over the past 15 years or so. Have you?

The original post here spells out the opinion that Harper doesn't have a clue what he is doing with the foreign affairs file. I believe that Leftdog is correct. "The artist formerly known as..." is trying to defend Stephen Harper so I have to assume he/she shares the Prime Ministers world view on the Lebanon situation. The lengthy arguments remind me of the old line, he 'doth protest too much'. Our PM has made a number of mistakes which in his defense might be attributed to his inexperience. That being said, the stakes are too high for newcomer learning curves on the PM's part. Harper will pay a political price in Quebec.

I was just watching the supper news and they stated that 1 in 5 Lebanese civilians is currently displaced or homeless as a result of Israel's incursion. A total of 500,000 persons. That does not sound like a measured response to me. This is a human tragedy.

mistakes such as?

no doubt it is a human tragedy. Caused by the islamic fascists. Who forced Israel to show their hand. Do you think hezbollah gave far warning to civilians before they blew themselves on city buses?

Israel told hezbollah to give the soldiers up, get out of lebanon, or face war. They chose to destroy the entire country of lebanon instead.

It doesn't matter to them -- it's not their country anyway. Iran is far away from teh battlefield, as is syria.

When you say proportionate, what would have been proportionate? Kidnapping some lebonese soldiers?

Israel has a right to destroy hezbollah. They have no choice.

Any idea how many people were displaced by the allied invasion of europe?

it has been several hours since I posted my first comment here and I still haven't heard one substantial argument out of anyone.

I have heard smears like I am "closed minded" or that I am "just like harper."

The extention of that being that since I agree with harper, I must be wrong, because harper is always wrong.

I have been posed false questions, ridiculous hypotheticals.

Really good stuff guys. Well done.

Isn't it time for your medication?

Wow...another great anonymous contribution to buckdog....well done...keep it up!

Your brilliant mind is obviously being wasted on the lefties. You should go to smalldeadanimals where such brilliance will be appreciated.

Artist etc etc etc
Where in all your posts do you come up with a solution?
You say terrorism is a tactic.
You say that leftists opposed WWI and WWII.
You idolize killers of any faction which supports Israel.
I say to you that each and any of these combatants have done dire things in the name of their gods or their ideology.
I say that nothing much has come of all this bloodshed.
I say that terrorism is not confined to tribes, countries, urbanites or rural.
I say people have to start thinking of the real toll taken on the world, its people, its ecology.
I say you have to start thinking of solutions, not playing the blame game ad infinitum.
What is being done to the people of the middle east is all about oil.
Oil will kill most of us.
Oil is the armageddon that both sides have been lusting after for ages.
Wealth is what will choke this planet. How much wealth does it take to flatten a village, a town, a city?
A lot.
I read an eye-opening item on Creekside tonight which made me decide that you're all nuts.
I've had an inkling for some while now, way back in the Ayatollah Khomeini days if I am true to myself. Peace marches aside, I could have done more in all this time.
This has nought to do with religion, god or any afterlife or blessed existence.
It is the entire earth that is in the hands of oil hungry, greedy greedy people bent on making more and more.
No amount of dead bodies, men women or children, will make a dent in the face of the lucre that is striven for.
Democracy here, there or anywhere is just a dream.
So, dream on.
Some dream of a death where 70 virgins will be his. No mention of her. Telling, that.
Some dream that they will be virgins till they are the bride of Christ. Telling also.
Some dream they will live to an old age and see grandchildren.
Some dream about breakfast.
Canada, not the land of milk and honey, but the land of freedom, opportunity and making a life. Some still dream of that.
Canada is a good dream. Canada was/is made up of people who knew hardship, lived hardship, and still had the heart to welcome others to a new land, a new way. And for most of you/us, it was a NEW land.
I and my ancestors will be saddened and lessened if you all can't keep our village a place of peace, friendship and welcome.

So, I see yet another incoherent blathering against the current PM. Rather then whining about all that is wrong in the world, would it be possible for someone on the left to present feasible solutions?

What am I thinking... That is just nonsense.

The PM has to play politics, he is a politician. The Israelis are buggered as far as I am concerned, just as buggered as the terrorist organisations of Hezbollah and Hamas. They are both engaging in terrorism.

The Israelis however, in the recent past, have proven they are willing to negotiate for some stability and peace.

They pulled out of Lebanon, and more recently gave up Gaza. For thanks, they get well planned terrorist attacks. These kidnappings would have taken months to plan. The terrorist organisations who par took would have foreseen this response.

To reign in one of the sides (the side most oopen to negotiaton), one must first try to gain some of the trust necessary.

If one can not understand world politics, I fail to see the use in gnashing ones teeth at the subject.

During the recent election campaign, Stephen Harper never said anything about a massive shift in Canada's foreign affairs policy. We have been known as a peace keeping nation since the Suez crisis and he has unilaterly changed that without consultation with the Canadian people. He will be toast next voting day.

Again, more ignorance. There is no massive shift in foreign policy. There was a little bump that PM Martin of the Liberals made.

I would suggest that the current PM is not doing as badly as you would like to dream. Hell, a PM that keeps election promises... That is a novelty we haven't seen when dealing with Liberals. In 6 months, he kept more election promises then the Liberals even attempted in the past 12 yrs.

Anonymous asks for a solution. I know you guys are going to jump all over me for this, but their is only one solution to this particular situation (the hesbollah israel war, not the entire middle east).

They need to militarily defeat hezbollah. I'm sorry guys, but that's the only way. I don't love war, I am not some sort of crazy imperialist. In some cases, things are actually fairly black and white...if you take a birds eye view of things.

Once hezbollah and hamas are dealt with, hold peace talks, bring back the 2000 camp david accord, establish a permanent palestinian state.

Place the holy site under international administration and place international peace keepers led by Canada and Norway along the israeli palestinian border.

Any such peacekeeping mission must have ROEs that will allow for the engagement of any hostile party, including the Israelis. The Israelis are far from innocent bystanders in this conflict.

I agree. There has to be a zero-tolerance policy for violence on either side. The borders are drawn, and that's it.

Peace keepers (NOT UN) shoot to kill.

when Iran gets a nuke, and lets it fly,I wonder how you will blame Israel for it. Not to worry, If it happens there will not be any Israel,Syria,Lebanon or Iran ever again!

Hey - artist former known as... you have proven here in this thread over and over again what my basic argument was: right wing extremists want the complex issues of the 21st Century to be reduced to 'black and white' and 'good and bad' simplicity. It is the kind of nonsense that we get from the Conservative party - the Saskatchewan Party and the Taxpayers Federation.

You simply will not (or should I say can not) look at life any other way.
That just shows how 'simple' brain functioning actually is for those on the right wing end of the political spectrum! I have often wondered how a human being could end up that way.

Wow leftdog... Talk about blinders, and an inability to think.

First off, your difficulty in identifying an extremist is alarming. No one that has responded to date comes off as an extremist from any spectrum of the political rainbow. Labelling people with points counter to your own as a "right wing extremist" detracts from any pretext at rational discourse.

Secondly, once people start dying, it is a black and white picture. There is no turning back from that. Neither side in the conflict is demonstrating a willingness to discuss a peaceful resolution. The Israelis, Hezbollah, and Hamas all share in responsibility for perpetuating the current violence. The difference between the three is Israel has demonstrated a willingness to negotiate, whereas Hezbollah and Hamas have not.

Pretty black and white. Pick a side. One side will negotiate now... The other side will negotiate when Israel is no longer a state.

Noticed my own contradiction...

... Neither side in the conflict is demonstrating a willingness to discuss a peaceful resolution...

Should read.

Neither side is currently demonstrating a willingness to discuss a peacefull resolution, however...

Up until today, there were only three countries (US, UK, Canada) supporting Israelis in killing of innocent women, children and civilians of Lebanon. After today's news of even UK backing off this apparent human tragedy and war crime, Canada is now the only country left. Yes ladies and gentleman, at this moment we live in the only country in the whole globe that its head of state hasn't yet condemns Israel or at least asked for Israeli restrain (somthing that even Bush has done). "A wise person does at once, what a fool does at last. Both do the same thing; only at different times." - Peace.

Why should Harper condemn Israel,or ask for restraint.They are using restraint,if they were not,there would be nothing left of Lebanon.

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