Saturday, March 7, 2009

Whatever will make the Tories look good

Canada's naked international ambition
Doug Saunders, The Globe and Mail: In the past, this country has sought and won seats on the [UN] Security Council as a means to something: an approach to peacekeeping, a nuclear-arms-control drive, a post-Cold War reconciliation.

This time, many international observers feel that the tail is wagging the dog. It looks to many as if Canada is using its few actions in the world -- our big sacrifice in Kandahar, our outspoken commitment to the prosecution of Sudanese leaders -- as pretexts for our aspiration to prominence in international institutions. Beyond that goal, our foreign policy seems to be one-dimensional and withdrawn...

If it were just the Security Council campaign, we might get away with it. But we're facing similar criticism over another big international campaign, the one to get Defence Minister Peter MacKay appointed in July as the next Secretary-General of NATO...

Canada's soldiers have suffered the highest casualty rates of any of the 42 countries fighting in Afghanistan. To suggest that they are making this sacrifice simply to win Mr. MacKay a job at NATO or to earn Canada a seat on the Security Council is insulting and completely incorrect. Unfortunately, the government is doing surprising little to prevent the world from coming to that conclusion.
Image source here.