October 22, 2008
Former Tory minister fears Prime Minister will destroy country with outdated ideology
The voters may rebuke him for his unfair tactics and lack of trustworthiness or he will win the majority government that he craves. If the latter happens, we will have to live in a country being destroyed by outdated neo-conservative ideologies that have proven financially disastrous for the United States, with more Canadian military commitments leading to a heavy loss of life and casualties for our troops, and a U.S.-style privatization of our health-care system.
October 12, 2008
(This article is an excellent summary of Harper’s policies and actions over the last few years.)
That he has been a clone of George W. Bush on Kyoto, Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay, Israel, Hamas and Lebanon does matter to a whole lot of Canadians.
As is well-known, he muzzled his caucus, including ministers, and the federal bureaucrats, including our diplomats. Never before in my 40 years of travelling abroad have I run into so many envoys at our embassies so fearful of giving even off-the-record briefings on the countries they are posted in. The John Manley commission on Afghanistan found this appalling, saying it has prevented our diplomats from representing our interests.
May 20, 2008
Canada has a long history of supporting Israel. But the nature of that support, particularly under the Harper government, is almost unrecognizable from its earlier form. … Whatever the flaws of that model, one thing is clear. No Canadian official ever advocated what has become the reality today: that a Jewish state would be created, while the much larger Arab population in Palestine would be left stateless six decades later, and in fact living under Israeli military occupation. …. To celebrate the founding of Israel without at least acknowledging the flip side of this occasion – the beginning of the Palestinian diaspora – is to deny that there are two sides to this story. With this denial, Harper – in line with the Bush administration – has become an obstacle to reaching a Middle East peace.
February 5, 2007
The Canadian government is establishing an “Israel Allies Caucus” this week meant to mobilize support for the State of Israel and promote Judeo-Christian values amid a groundswell of Christian support for Israel around the world.
January 20, 2007
G&M – Khan backed Arab plan to revert to ’67 border
(Comment: Harper appoints a special adviser and buries his report.)
Wajid Khan, the Prime Minister’s special adviser on the Middle East, has expressed support for an Arab initiative that would see Israel return to its pre-1967 borders…..
The report from Mr. Khan’s trip has been kept under wraps by the Prime Minister’s Office, feeding speculation it may contain recommendations that differ from present Canadian policy in the region, and fuelling calls for its release after Mr. Khan’s defection to the Conservative Party earlier this month.
October 30, 2006
The following article provides some excellent background on the Straussian ideology of Ian Brodie, Harper’s Chief of Staff.
Both Brodie and Harper are graduates of the Calgary School, a group of University of Calgary political scientists including Tom Flanagan, another right-hand man to Harper, Barry Cooper, David Bercuson and Ted Morton. Neo-conservatives all, they follow the teachings of German-American political philosopher Leo Strauss.
Father of the neo-conservative movement, Strauss had a deep antipathy towards liberal democracy and its supposed moral relativism. He had a number of jarring beliefs: that society had to be governed by a small intellectual — and male — elite who would use “noble lies” to keep the rabble in check, that religion and fear must be used to control the masses and that perpetual war is humanity’s natural condition.
October 8, 2006
….McVety and others on the religious right are equally convinced that Harper is one of their own. “We’ve got a born-again prime minister,” trumpets David Mainse, the founder of Canada’spremier Christian talk show, 100 Huntley Street. They see him as an image-savvy evangelical who has been careful to keep his signals to them under the media radar, but they have no doubt his convictions run deep?—?so deep that only after he wins a majority will he dare translate the true colours of his faith into policies that could remake the fabric of the nation. If they’re right, it remains unclear whether those convictions would turn government into a kinder, gentler guarantor of social justice for all or transform the country into a stern, narrow-minded theocracy. And what would his evangelical worldview mean for international relations?
During this summer’s Middle East war, Harper reversed decades of Canadian foreign policy with his adamant support for Israel, even after its jets smashed a clearly marked United Nations observation post, killing a veteran Canadian peacekeeper. His admirers argue that steadfastness could turn the burgeoning bond between evangelical Christians and Jews into a powerful and unprecedented alliance that could leave him unbeatable at the ballot box. But a growing chorus of critics warns that Harper has already paid a high price for that strategic calculation, irrevocably alienating Canada’s mushrooming Islamic population and leaving in shreds the country’s reputation as an even-handed peace broker. Harper’s stand has also raised more unsettling questions. What does it mean if and when a believer in the infallibility of Biblical prophecy comes to power and backs a damn-the-torpedoes course in the Middle East? Does it end up fuelling overenthusiastic end-timers who feel they have nothing to lose in some future conflagration, helping speed the world on Hagee’s fast track to Armageddon?
IF YOU’VE been given to grim thoughts lately, you might entertain this one: What new havoc will be loosed on the world before George W. Bush leaves office in over two years time? More specifically for our purposes, how deeply will our own Stephen Harper drag us into these adventures?
I am a friend of Israel. Two years ago, I even taught as a visiting professor at the University of Tel Aviv.
But unlike Prime Minister Stephen Harper, I condemn Israel’s disproportionate response to the capture of two of its soldiers by Hezbollah militants last week.