Saturday, March 31, 2007

Conservative Foreign Policy

I must start this with a brief apology to regular readers. Due to some unforeseen circumstances last week, I literally did not have time to do any significant writing.

- Grog

It seems that our geniuses in Ottawa haven't figured out the concept of nuance. Apparently, Harper's government refuses to Acknowledge, or meet with the newly constituted Palestinian government.

Per se, this doesn't surprise me at all. Harper and his pet puppy Mackay were first out the gate last year with condemnation after a free vote in Palestinian lands elected a Hamas government.

This is, in my view, nothing more than a demonstration of how rigidly mindless our Conservative government is. Instead of working with the language of diplomacy and persuading others of Canada's position, Harper is taking rigid, absolute positions on matters which are far from clear.

Is a Hamas-led government necessarily a bad thing? Perhaps, but perhaps not. In the world of international politics, Canada's strength has always been its ability to play a nuanced hand. On one hand close enough to the United States to be able to get the American ear; but distinct enough to be listened to by countries who otherwise feel alienated by American foreign policy.

By taking an even harder line than the White House (is that possible?) on this matter, Harper is signalling not merely a different foreign policy, but one which in fact is ultimately damaging to Canada itself. The neoCons are quickly waning in the United States - Bush has a little over 1.5 years left, and the voter mood down there doesn't look too promising for another Republican president at this time. Canada is not big enough to throw its weight around by force, which means a hard line approach to foreign policy will do little but isolate Canada on the world stage.

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