A modified version of this column by Kelly McParland appeared in today’s Post as an editorial entiled “The end of ‘soft power'”:
U.S. President Barack Obama’s sudden about-face on the Middle East has exacerbated the difficulty that self-styled progressives face in sorting out how to deal with the world’s many emerging threats. Mr. Obama came to office preaching a highly progressive approach to confronting rogue, terror-supporting states: dialogue, diplomacy, co-operation and brotherhood, along with a pronounced reluctance to commit U.S. military forces on any fresh foreign entanglement. But it didn’t work. Now he’s trying bombs. He has come to realize that the most problematic actors on the world stage don’t share his enthusiasm for reason, negotiation and peace….
Having contributed military advisors to the effort against ISIS, Canada has a direct stake in this battle. The campaign should be of interest to Canadians for another reason, too. With Mr. Obama’s renunciation of his touchy-feely approach to international relations, it makes it difficult to argue that “soft power” and “honest brokerage,” two of our own foreign-policy establishment’s favourite catchphrases during the Liberal years, ever had much value on the world stage.
Since Stephen Harper came to power, his opponents have crafted the notion that Canada once was a widely respect middle power that now has squandered its reputation thanks to the Conservatives’ renunciation of soft-power shibboleths. …
… People who cut off aid workers’ heads don’t call out for “honest brokers.” They call out for bombs and bullets.
From the comments behind the pay-wall, Stephen Boyling wrote:
This Editorial, although significantly watered down from what most of us have been saying for years, will do, especially after the immoral mea culpa Obama splashed us with during his UN pirouette. The prime minister of Israel gave the speech the president of the United States of America should have given. That, tied to the speech of prime minister Harper and his focus on what it takes, what is needed to suffocate the madness that is born in backwater dictatorships and 5-star sand lots made for a more than compelling argument when it comes to standing up to Islamic madness.
Next year in Canada, God save us from Obama-lite. A man trying to run a race without first learning how to walk.
It’s no secret that essential infrastructure in North America is in a bad way. Neglect driven by tax cutting has led to deterioration in everything from roadways to overpasses, bridges, sewers and water mains. The end result is essential infrastructure in immediate need of repair and replacement.
An illustration of the problem comes from a forced retreat of the “just in time” manufacturing sector.
Well, we’ve always suspected The Mouthpiece takes his orders from the Great Grey Glans. Mr. Mulcair finally called him out on it, and duly punished. On Iraq no less, where the Harper Regime has deployed Canadian troops but won’t tell us anything else a…
The news yesterday was about the RCAF (officers, mostly, save for ‘aviators’) joining the RCN and the Army (officers, entirely) in the back to the future schtick of reverting to pre-Trudeau unification ranks and symbolism.
Judging by the RCAF Faceb…
Sure, it sounds far fetched, but the opposition parties had better be prepared for Harper to call a snap election.Word I’m getting from Ottawa is that the evidence in the Duffy trial will directly implicate the prime minister in the under-the-table pay…
14 January 2026
In retrospect, the US military occupation of the Tar Sands and northwest BC coast to Kitimat and Prince Rupert in 2025 was a little predictable. The confrontation with China over energy resources had been brewing for years.
The 2014 …
Is the China-Canada investment agreement a sell-out for Canada? When an agreement is conducted with so much secrecy and lack of consultation with Canadians that Rick Mercer dedicates an entire rant to the subject, you know something is up. Two … Continue reading →
Until now, Canada is not a country that has openly committed military forces to conflicts where the adversary uses terror attacks on our soil as a weapon. Yes, there have been the occassional half-arsed terror plots in the past decade or so, but unlike…
… and an empty shelf in the pantry where “ethics” used to be… Wandering around the Interweb, I found this cutting piece that brilliantly sums up the CPC modus operandi as follows: The Harper Government is a public relations oriented government. The machine seems to operate in the following manner; get the youngsters in the […]
Where to begin.
The Globe is reporting Harper is resisting a NATO-wide call to increase defence spending to two per cent of GDP. He says it’s our fault apparently because us voters wouldn’t support such an increase in defence spending. Maybe so, but c…
Elle est née en Haïti. En 1968, sous la dictature de François « papa doc » Duvalier, sa famille fuit son pays pour s’établir à Thetford Mines, la ville de l’amiante québécoise au Canada, où il n’y a aucune famille noire. Elle a onze ans.