Sunday, May 11, 2014

National Interest and Self Interest

Stephen Harper's enemies list grows ever longer.  But, Gerry Caplan writes, the list includes not only persons but nations as well. When asked last week if Canada would support a UN peacekeeping mission to the Central African  Republic, Deepak Obhrai, the parliamentary secretary to John Baird told the House:

“Of course, we are very much concerned about the situation in the Central African Republic, and are working with our allies in the United Nations to address the issue…. What is more important is that the Liberal Party, as well as the NDP, would like to put Canadian soldiers’ lives in danger out in the region. My question to them is this: who is going to pay to have all these soldiers out there? Is it Canadian taxpayers? Have they checked with the Canadian taxpayers to see if they would like to send soldiers out in this zone?”

For Harper, foreign policy has been all about money and votes at home. Consider the nations which ride on Mr. Harper's bus:

Under Mr. Harper’s foreign policy, who gets to ride inside the bus? Israel first and foremost, of course, and its great military pals in Cairo. Saudi Arabia, great mid-East rival to odious Iran; indeed the Saudi tyrants get large shipments of Canadian arms. And those with lots of voters in Canada – Ukrainians and Tamils from Sri Lanka, for example. So significant military support goes to the unelected government of Ukraine with its anti-Semitic cabinet ministers, and none at all to the critical UN peacekeeping initiative for the Central African Republic, since few CAR citizens vote in Canada. And in order to punish the Sri Lankan government for human rights abuses against Tamils, Mr. Harper childishly cuts funding to the valuable Commonwealth Secretariat which has no responsibility whatever for the policies of the Sri Lankan government.

It's not unusual for countries to develop foreign policies which support their national interests. The difference with Mr. Harper is that -- narcissist that he is -- he believes that his self interest coincides with the national interest.


The Mound of Sound said...

Owen, please correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't Harper fiercely anti-Tamil before the uprising was brutally quashed? I seem to recall the Harper government attacking Tamil supporters in Toronto for supporting terrorists.

The Mound of Sound said...

Anonymous said...

Harper is your typical sociopath dictator. He supports what benefits him.

Harper has no votes nor, donation support from Africa. So, to hell with the kidnapped girls. Besides which, little vindictive Stevie is mad at the UN

Owen Gray said...

Thanks for the link, Mound. As I recall, Harper did refer to Tamils as terrorists.

If there are votes to be had, Harper will grovel for them. Just don't ask him what he really thinks.

Owen Gray said...

Precisely, Anon. Harper's foreign policy is all about buying votes at home.

the salamander said...

..once upon a time in a far away 3rd rate country, mr Harper announced that omnibus bills were outrageous ..

Owen Gray said...

Have we forgotten, salamander? It wasn't that long ago.

Anonymous said...

"The Tamil Tigers are considered a terrorist organization by Canada and its members are banned from entering the country."

mogs moglio said...

"Burnaby-Douglas MP Kennedy Stewart is willing to present a petition in the House of Commons asking Governor General David Johnston to dismiss Prime Minister Stephen Harper."

Ahhhh would this not be a fitting end for king Stephen?

"According to Stewart, the petition started by Felton is an indication of a “legitimacy crisis”.

“There is a growing dissatisfaction not just with the current government, but how our democracy works in general,” he said.

Stewart noted that this is a concern that is also shared by some Conservative MPs."

Legitimacy crisis or maybe in King Harpers case it should more aptly be called an 'illegitimacy crisis.'

above quoted from -

mogs moglio said...

Wanna make it to the top of harpers enemies list in a flash?

If yes sign this and spread it around, we could use a few million of them circulating the country. That would make the king harper feel exceedingly unwelcome.

Owen Gray said...

Another sign that dissatisfaction with Mr. Harper is on the rise, Mogs.

The veterans' insistence that the Governor General receive the flag during the Day of Honour is an indication that those who used to be Harper's strongest supporters are no longer impressed.

Owen Gray said...

True, Anon. But not all Tamils are Tigers. Mr. Harper's problem is that he paints them all with the same broad brush.