Wednesday, February 07, 2007

No shades of gray

I’m not a good party girl and I mean that literally as well as politically. That’s just one of the reasons I never signed up to join the Blogging Tories. Nor am I overtly fond of a number of political Tories currently holding seats in the provincial and federal parliaments, but I gotta say; I still think Harper’s the Man. The National Post covers a Harper speech:
Mr. Harper's vocal support for Israel has been unswerving despite criticism from the opposition that the government has abandoned Canada's traditional neutral role in the Middle East. The Prime Minister said there are no "shades of grey" when a battle pits a democratic state against terrorist groups seeking to destroy it and its people.
Amen.
(h/t National Newswatch)

12 comments:

Michael said...

The more Mr. Harper talks, the more I like him. I sure you canucks can keep him in office for a while...

Kateland, aka TZH said...

I like Harper but his FM is such a bonehead, and much to my horror - another election will be probably be forced on us shortly - being how the liberals are such sore and whiny losers.

Canadi-anna said...

It's good news. And it seems as though Dion has felt obliged to concur.

Chris Taylor said...

Regrettably, the Minister of Foreign Affairs absolutely needs the ability to be two-faced and he has to be damn good at it.

The senior Fort Pearson folks do get extensive background on their counterparts in other lands, and they will know not only what their official duties are, but what they do in their spare time, who they do it with, how often, and so on.

One of the key abilities for any ambitious diplomat is to be able to shake hands with friend, foe and fiend and have them all believe you see them as equals. There are plenty of bad apples amongst allies, too, but you still have to shake hands and have dinner with them, pretending that you don't know they (for instance) have a penchant for little boys. Or something we would find equally repugnant.

I am sure MacKay is well aware that plenty of folks and governments do not have clean hands in professional (or personal) dealings, but he has a game to play representing our interests, and sometimes it is in our interest for the Foreign Minister to lie through his teeth so that somebody agrees to go along with our strategic imperatives. And it isn't always explained nicely to us in our press, because that would give the game away.

Rob Huck said...

Also from the article: 'In separate remarks, Liberal leader Stephane Dion also struck a supportive chord, telling the audience that when Israel's right to exist is threatened; it is an "attack on the values of every democracy."'

Perhaps it's just lip service, but I'm actually also glad to see Stephane Dion echo the prime minister's remarks.

Kateland, aka TZH said...

Chris, there is a fair amount of truth in what you say. But Mackay didn't have to go to the Israeli conference and give the 'blame the settlers' for the lack of peace between Israel/Palestinians speech. He could have given the standard let's all love one another and get along speech. I just fail to understand how it is in Canada's best interest to demonize the Israeli settler population in Judea & Samaria? Perhaps, if he's back home and was to give an after dinner speech at Palestine House in Toronto it would make a certain amount of sense, but why participate in a libel while in Israel? The man is a bonehead.

Kateland, aka TZH said...

Rob, I know that the papers reported Dion said it. But could anyone who was there - really understand what he actually said in English? I realize I am cynical about Liberal's alleged support of Israel. Last summer's pro-Hezbollah's rallies where Liberal MP's attended to show support left a really bitter taste in my mouth.

Chris Taylor said...

Kate, I am guessing that the primary audience for Minister MacKay's earlier remarks was not Canadians of Palestinian descent, nor even Canadians in general.

As you note, it seems like a bit of shameful pandering, and while I don't think Minister MacKay is above pandering, I do think that on an issue like the Mideast these things are a little more carefully calibrated than most.

That sort of statement goes against the typical Tory foreign office grain, and I am a little more inclined to see it as a quid pro quo for something. Especially since MacKay did not exactly get hauled up on the carpet for it.

Chris Taylor said...

I just fail to understand how it is in Canada's best interest to demonize the Israeli settler population in Judea & Samaria?

Perhaps we needed some kind of cooperation from people who would appreciate that kind of statement. Iranians, Syrians, Pashtun chieftains in Afstan, whomever.

I find it hard to believe a minister of the Crown would be that tone-deaf, especially since it goes against the grain of all Tory foreign policy moves (with regards to Palestine) to date. If he had been that tone-deaf, he would probably have been reprimanded. If he wasn't reprimanded, perhaps it served some purpose.

Think plea-bargains or out-of-court settlements. There are plenty of ugly bargains struck across the land every year, for expediency's sake. They are not all just, or fair, or serving the interests of the Canadian public. But they had to have some redeeming value to somebody, or they never would have been agreed upon by either party.

Kateland, aka TZH said...

Chris, I started to write a response a few times and just got muddled up. I think this actually requires its own post. In the end, its all about whether you can believe in your government and its leadership to stay upright and moral or not. I lost the faith and the belief.

Chris Taylor said...

If he makes a habit of it, I will definitely be in your camp. But as a one-off I can deal with it. I don't like it very much, but I accept that in politics and diplomacy we are going to occasionally make kissy-faces at extremely repulsive individuals and indeologies. I would prefer that it is not so, but as long as it is serving a more important national imperative, I can deal with it.

As for whether it actually served any greater purpose -- well, only Mr. MacKay and Mr. Harper will likely know the answer to that. And that is the frustrating part. I completely understand your perspective on this, I am just willing to give Mr. MacKay the benefit of the doubt.

Kateland, aka TZH said...

Chris, that's just a testament to what a throughly decent human being you are. I wish I could believe the same about our alleged political betters...sigh, sigh, sigh.