Like Chris Hedges, Michael Harris speaks truth to power. Today he takes on the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians -- and the Harper government's Middle East policy:
Question for Stephen Harper, John Baird, Jason Kenney and Peter MacKay: if you were in Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, instead of sitting in front of a fire in Ottawa with an NFL game on TV, if you were in the morgue in Gaza looking at the men, women and children now dead even though they were not members of Hamas, would you still say it was okay? Would you still write that blank cheque to the government of Benjamin Netanyahu?
Is making war on men, women, children and journalists to get at your declared enemies acceptable? Is that what Canada now stands for?
But he's equally hard on the Liberals and the NDP:
The Liberals and the NDP have been equally gutless in the struggle for justice on the Middle East file (the outstanding exception is MP Libby Davies), equally egregious in their sickening hunt for political advantage — or more accurately, the avoidance of political damage.
That process apparently extends to silently endorsing the lawless notion of group punishment and a breathlessly excessive use of force, and a big middle finger to the Geneva Conventions. A nuclear power against people in tents? A terror group with Iranian rockets running a rag-tag government that wants the other side annihilated? These are the groups that are left to decide the issue?
We have come a long way from the days of Lester Pearson. And the journey -- like our tax system -- has been all about regression:
If one were looking for a quote that shows the extent to which we have lost our moral clarity in this world — on this festering issue in particular — this one would do as well as any: “Human sovereignty transcends national sovereignty.”
Think about the resonance of those words. Where did they come from? Who spoke them? They just happen to have come out of the mouth of the only Canadian ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize. In fact, then-minister of External Affairs Lester B. Pearson was quoting prime minister Mackenzie King. Both men believed that the world would be a better place if individual nation-states gave up some measure of their sovereignty to an international authority in the interest of peace and security.
Surely, Mike Pearson would despair over what has become of his Canada.