Conrad Black | Feb 9, 2013
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Canadian Foreign Policy with Conrad Black
It is natural for Canadians to think that their foreign policy as a minor side show under the shadow and direct leadership of the
USA. Yet that has never been true. Historically Canada has been able to often do what the USA could not and be well ahead of Washington on many
I expect current Canadian policy toward
as decisive and important and it turns out even timely. The newly emergent Arab political consensus
must reach a satisfactory settlement with Israel
and all others are either self excluded or tainted as is the USA.
The next three years will see oil pipelines to the East Coast and the West Coast established on a priority basis however quickly the Keystone pipeline is approved. This will allow
to secure markets in SE Asia and the Eastern
Gold is a commodity that satisfies human hoarding instincts. It is now been produced on a scale never contemplated because of this.
Otherwise, our policy toward emerging nations is typically targeted and surprise, surprise is also actively reviewed. We no longer are prepared to send hand outs to assuage a false sense of guilt or some such argument. Obviously some do not like this.
Conrad Black: A foreign policy for an ascendant
Conrad Black | Feb 9, 2013
In May, I will be publishing a book about the history of the strategic policies that guided the
United States from its colonial status prior to the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763) to the achievement of absolute global paramountcy after the fall of the Wall. (The fact
that the subsequent years have been less successful takes nothing from the
astonishing and almost uninterrupted rise of that country prior to the collapse
of the U.S.S.R.) Berlin
This has put me in a receptive mood for the Canadian defence and public policy think-tanks that occasionally ask me for my opinion about
’s stance in contemporary international relations. In general, I think the Harper government has been commendably hard-headed on a variety of fronts but perhaps overly cautious on others. Canada
On climate change, for instance, the Harper government has been cautious about hurling itself into the deep end of carbon taxes and the like (in contrast to former Liberal leader Stéphane Dion, who came close to infringing animal-cruelty laws by naming the family dog “Kyoto,” after the farcical accord agreed to in that Japanese city). Most Canadians support Mr. Harper’s approach, but his lack of environmental bona fides is a constant subject of attack by liberal media and activists.
The same can be said of the Harper government’s policy regarding the
Middle East. Non-governmental opinion, and
apparently that of many officials within the Foreign Relations and National
Defence departments also, seems to oppose the government’s pro-Israeli policy,
and to purport to believe that has lost influence in the
Arab world. But it is a complete chimera that Canada ever had any
influence in the Arab world, and only the occasional tourist buying carpets in the soukh is all the proverbial Arab street would know of Canada. Canada
As Israel has demonstrated in Gaza and Sinai that it will uproot settlers to achieve a durable peace, those who rankle at Canada’s policy should reconsider their fantasy that Canada would have any influence with the Arabs if it aligned its position against Israel. It would merely be joining the ranks of witless dupes in Europe and
who echo or acquiesce in the anti-Semitic blood libels of the United Nations.
As I have written here and elsewhere before, the Palestinians are entitled
to a viable state (to which they may return), but not to a blank cheque from the world to violate every agreement they make with Israel as they have . The Harper-Baird foreign policy
correctly reflects this. Oslo
There also seem to be reservations in politically fashionable circles about the comparative recent de-emphasis in Canadian aid to Africa in favour of aid to
Latin America. But surely official
policy is correct. Latin America has made much swifter and more uniform
progress than Africa in recent years, and is in our hemisphere where we can make common cause much more easily and plausibly than with the polyglot Babel of 53 African states.
Most of Latin America has even reached the level of political maturity of being able to preserve democracy after electing a leftist government (as in
and possibly even Venezuela
and even ).
As a member of the Organization of American States, Canada can work with the
sensible Latin American countries and provide a salubrious influence
independently of the historically uneven positions taken by the United States in
a region that it essentially considered an American suzerainty under the Monroe
Doctrine from the 1820s until recently. Nicaragua
leaders will not seriously attack demand for drugs in their own country, they
shouldn’t expect neighbours to fight the ‘drug war’ for them America
There does seem to be a slowly bubbling consensus in official and foreign policy establishment circles to propose reform of international institutions, especially NATO and the United Nations. Canada, as I have noted before, is well-qualified to do this.
There is also some enthusiasm for another complete review of foreign, defence and trade policy in
. Such a review should result in a defence policy that was less dependent on passive confidence that the Canada U.S.
national interest would require that country to include Canada under its defence umbrella as if it were
part of the .
Such a policy has not been entirely reliable since the end of the Cold War, as
the two countries, though natural allies, do not have identical interests. United States
We should join a continental missile defence system, but we should also encourage the Latin Americans not to reduce themselves to Civil War in support of the insane American “war on drugs” (which the
has lost). If the
United States will not seriously attack demand for drugs in its own middle and
upper classes, as opposed to just trolling through poor African-American
districts and imprisoning a half-million of their inhabitants each year, and
will not use the world’s greatest national military forces to assure their own
borders in adequate numbers to avoid stifling legitimate commerce and tourism,
it should not expect its neighbours to do it for them. United States
Canada should explore defence consortia with foreign groups, especially in regard to the acquisition of war planes; and if we stick with the F-35 fighter, we should ensure that we derive benefit from its production. There is no economic stimulus as effective and benign as national defence, nor any adult education program as effective as the Armed Forces.
Canada will raise its influence in the world and its national self-confidence with a larger and more capable military, including some naval vessels that show the flag proudly. (We could show a little more panache with uniforms also.)
There are two other areas that need immediate attention.
In energy, we must complete the oil pipeline to the Eastern provinces at once. It is insanity for the eastern half of our petroleum-rich country to import oil at a cost substantially above what we receive for much of our own Western oil exports.
And the Bank of Canada should stop accumulating U.S. dollars (which as a matter of American policy are being steadily devalued), and should aggressively stockpile gold, which is certain to increase in value over time and of which our current reserves, in a gold-producing country, are 84th in the world, on a par with Mozambique and Sri Lanka, and only 1/13th of our U.S. dollar reserves.
Successive governors of the Bank of
prior to Mark Carney sold
hundreds of tons of gold at prices that were clearly disadvantageous. This too
is insanity, and insanity rarely is effective as national strategic policy. Canada
It is not a flattering comment on Parliament and the media that the public policy debate on some of these issues has not been more enlightening.