Opinion

NELSON: Consider source of such praise

Jim Nelson is a Face to Face columnist for The Tri-City News in Port Coquitlam. - phoTO SUBMITTED
Jim Nelson is a Face to Face columnist for The Tri-City News in Port Coquitlam.
— image credit: phoTO SUBMITTED

Under Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives, Canada’s foreign policy has long been going south — literally and figuratively.

Recently, conservative U.S. talk show host Mark Levin interviewed Canada’s minister of foreign affairs, John Baird, about Gaza and the Middle East. Levin is a right-wing conspiracy purveyor who harangues his radio audience of up to eight million with indisputable truths from his bubble of bile, such as: U.S. President Barack Obama is a Marxist who conspired to destroy the American economy in order to reconfigure the U.S. to his socialist specifications.

In short, Levin is one of that cadre of hysterical U.S. right-wing shock jocks who sell fear, conspiracy and U.S. exceptionalism. And this is the guy who’s impressed by Canada’s swashbuckling foreign policy? Yikes.

After Minister Baird had finished his  “Israelis good, Palestinians bad” analysis of the current Gaza and larger Middle East crisis, Levin lauded Baird (and Canada) for being decisive and principled. After the interview, Levin rhapsodized about Mr. Baird to his Tea Party audience, saying: “Imagine somebody of this mindset, these principles, this belief system, being in our Oval Office — instead of some lightweight cheap-shot artist.”

If right-wing crazies like Mark Levin think Canada’s minister of foreign affairs embodies the foreign policies they would want a U.S. president to adopt, we Canadians should have a frank chat with Mr. Baird.

Because it’s one thing to accept Canada’s trying to fight above its weight class or to think we’re restoring Canada to past greatness by taking  “principled stands,”  but it’s quite another to legitimize and beguile the U.S. lunatic right with simple pugnacious pronouncements about complex international crises.

Conservatives are squandering Canada’s internationally respected moral authority as a voice for international peace, international law and multilateral action. They have replaced it with a simplistic, un–Canadian foreign policy of picking sides and name calling; with the blunt swagger of a low-self-esteem lightweight with a big brother.

So while Mark Levin gushes over Minister Baird, Lester B. Pearson spins in his peacekeeping grave.

Andy, had my argument the same level of nuance as Conservative foreign policy, I would probably just call you a terrorist thug and threaten to get my big brother to beat you up.

 

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