I've said since day one that the HarperCon$ are lacking in wisdom when it comes to their approach to foreign affairs.
Harper's reaction to Chretien's criticism of Harper's absence from the Olympics is a case in point.
What Harper fails to recognize in all of this is the importance of symbolism to the Chinese. His approach has been to snub and upbraid China at every opportunity.
His absence from the Olympic Opening Ceremonies was a deliberate slap in the face to a nation that is still very, very sensitive to such things. Where Canada spent much of the 1990s quietly building its influence with Beijing, and early in 2006 could probably have successfully got Celil brought home, Harper has thrown that away on the altar of neoCon dogma.
Harper's lame attempt to lash out fails to recognize both the political and economic consequences of a swaggering foreign policy where a nation like China is involved.
Perhaps the greatest irony of all this is recorded here, where we find Harper spouting off about the Canadian Government's obligation to stand up for its citizens when they are held abroad. It's a dark irony given how often we see this government ignoring the maltreatment of Canadians at the hands of foreign powers.