Canada Kicks Ass
Foreign Policy - A point of Green Party weakness?


Patrick_Ross @ Mon Apr 09, 2007 7:26 pm

Personally, I think so. Here are two points of foreign policy proposals from the Green Party website which I personally find incredibly shortsighted (perhaps even naive): ... 02.04.2007

Green Party calls on government to speak out clearly against accelerating tensions in Iran

Green Party calls on government to speak out clearly against accelerating tensions in Iran....

Ottawa (2 April 2007) – Green Party Leader Elizabeth May today called on the Harper government to speak out clearly against accelerating tensions in Iran and to dissociate Canada from the war games in the region.

The arrests of British military personnel by Iran are part and parcel of the continuing escalation of tensions in the Persian Gulf, said Ms. May. The Green Party is asking Prime Minister Harper to spell out the connection between American military build-up in the region and the recent arrests of British forces.

“The tit-for-tat war games going on at this very volatile time and place in the world are dangerous and irresponsible. Where is Canada’s independence and leadership on this issue? This is no time to take sides. It is a time to take diplomatic action, a tool the Harper government has simply abandoned,” said Ms. May. "Foreign affairs Minister Peter MacKay should be making peace-making efforts in the region a top priority."

The Green Party acknowledged that the spectre of American military strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities is becoming clear. Canada has long advocated that attacks against nuclear facilities can have catastrophic consequences on the environment and human health.

Green Party Peacebuilding Advocate, Shodja Ziaian, called on the Harper government to initiate an open and comprehensive dialogue between American, British, European and Iranian diplomats to resolve the boundary dispute between the United Kingdom and Iran, and urged the Bush administration to abandon its hard-line stance against discussion. Mr. Ziaian also called on Ottawa to name a Canadian peace envoy to assist with diplomatic efforts.

Ms. May has instructed her Critic for International Cooperation, Janina Komaroff, to immediately take the initiative of contacting and exploring the coordination of a common action with European and American Green Parties in this respect.

As International Affairs consultant Jillian Skeet has noted, despite our difficulties with the Islamic Republic of Iran, Canada has never completely slammed the door on contact with the Iranians or their government. This fact, combined with our diplomatic ties with the United States and the United Kingdom, and our status as a non-nuclear country, provide us with an opportunity to actively engage in diplomacy.

Mr. Ziaian further emphasized that “in Canada we have an opportunity to change the tone and restore rationality to this limited dialogue – let’s use it”.

First off, Iran essentially kidnaps British troops from Iraqi waters in the Persian Gulf -- and this is confirmed by examining the first coordinates provided by the Iranian government identifying the location where the troops were "captured" -- and this is "part and parcel" of the escalating tensions in the region.

Secondly, there is no attention at all paid to the danger posed by a nuclear-equipped Iran, especially considering that Iran has:

A.)Pledged to wipe Israel off the map, and
B.)A leader who has, reportedly, asserted his belief that the apocalypse should be induced in order to bring about the second coming of Muhammad.

It's a nice bit of peacenik fantasy, but assuming that a country that brutally oppresses women within its own country can be counted on to make nice with the international community if only the international community does like wise is dangerously naive, in my view.

Case in point #2: ... 09.04.2007

Canada should focus effort on relief in Afghanistan, not combat

Canada should focus effort on relief in Afghanistan, not combat

OTTAWA – Green Party leader Elizabeth May today expressed sorrow at the news that six more Canadian soldiers serving in Afghanistan lost their lives on Easter Sunday. The young men were killed by a roadside bomb west of Kandahar city.

“The Green Party would withdraw Canadian troops from the Kandahar region,” said Ms. May. “Our troops should be pulled back to Kabul and the northern provinces to focus on providing relief and assisting with reconstruction efforts.”

Ms. May stressed that Canada’s role in Afghanistan must shift back from an unbalanced combat mission to providing the diplomacy and support the country needs to achieve lasting peace.

“Canadian soldiers are now less safe, thanks to the decision taken by the United States to ignore Canadian advice and destroy poppy crops after our troops had promised farmers their crops would be left alone. Poppies are a major source of income for the Afghani people and their eradication has left starvation and devastation in areas where Canadian troops are responsible.”

The Green Party would heed advice from the Senlis Council, an international think-tank. The Senlis Council suggests growing poppies under controlled conditions for medicinal purposes, helping farmers to break the cycle of growing poppies for illicit use.

Now, clearly, relief is part of the mission in Afghanistan. No question. But Elizabeth May's proposals are frought with various issues:

1. They fail to recognize Canada's foreign policy interests in Afghanistan - As anyone familiar with the issue should recall, Canadian troops were committed to Afghanistan in order to replace a rogue government, which was known to harbour and shelter terrorists within its territory, with a responsible, democratic government, and to eliminate a state in which terrorists were allowed safety and freedom to plan their attacks against the outside world.

2. A party attempting to promote itself as a part with a progressive foreign policy should not be in any rush to abandon any portion of a state to oppression, as was well known in Afghanistan under the Taliban. Without allied support in Kandahar, the region will fall under Taliban control, and will further destabilize the region as a whole, giving the Taliban solid territory from which to continue to attack allied forces.

3. Removing Canadian troops from any sort of combat role, and restricting them solely to reconstructive efforts would demonstrate a catastrophic misunderstanding of the situation in Afghanistan. Restricting Canadian activities to reconstruction would allow Taliban forces freedom to attack them at will with suicide bombs and other forms of attack. It's ironic that Elizabeth May would express sorrow at the death of Canadian soldiers while advocating policy that will get more Canadian troops killed.

4. The Kabul government of Hammad Karzai is the recognized government of the Afghan sovereign state. As such, any commitment to stabilizing and rebuilding Afghanistan must be recognized as an international commitment, and must be honoured.

The Green party foreign policy, to me, seems an awful lot like the Green party energy policy: back to the drawing board, folks, it needs a dash of realism.


Rihx @ Tue Apr 10, 2007 3:43 am

This isnt surprising, it reflects and overall trend toward nutrality by the western world. If terrorism ever touched our soil I think you would find a drastic change in that attitude.


Patrick_Ross @ Tue Apr 10, 2007 1:53 pm

I think half-baked foreign policy like this only demonstrates that the Green party is, in fact, a one-issue party (that issue naturally being the environment). Foreign policy that reads like it is devoid of any kind of research or consultation with credible (read: credible) sources or experts clearly shows that foreign policy is nothing more than an afterthought for this party.

Criminey. It bloody well reads like the Green party foreign policy was written by Mikey frickin' Moore.