JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: REFLECTIONS ON CANADA’S FOREIGN MINISTER, CHRYSTIA FREELAND, AND THE APPARENT ABANDONMENT OF THE COUNTRY’S TRADITIONAL VALUES IN INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, FAIRNESS AND DECENCY   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN CBC NEWS

 

“’Full steam ahead’ on trade deal now that tariffs are lifted, Freeland says”

___________________________

Response to a comment which suggested Chrystia Freeland take over from Justin:

 

I see Freeland as an exceptionally disagreeable Canadian politician, a Liberal who might easily and comfortably have served under Stephen Harper.

She’s smart, but so was Harper, and being smart is no guarantee of other emotional and personality qualities. Please recall her cutting public remark, completely gratuitous, about Jody Wilson-Raybould early in the SNC-Lavalin scandal. It was truly character-revealing.

Our distressing situation in Foreign Affairs is largely her doing, from making China justifiably angry to supporting America’s coup in Venezuela against a democratic government, from echoing Washington’s ugly remarks about a law-abiding Iran to saying virtually nothing about Saudi Arabia’s on-going slaughter in Yemen, in Syria, and at home against its minority Shia.

Not a word about record numbers of beheadings in Saudi Arabia, many of them simply people voicing criticism and a couple of them including teen-age boys. That is not the traditional approach of Canada in foreign affairs, but it very much is the approach of someone closely supporting American policy, Saudi Arabia’s ghastly new government being an important element in that policy.

I believe Trudeau has depended on her far too much, even for his own political good, precisely because he feels himself uncertain and ill at ease in large matters, and she seems sure and decided. This has given her an outsized influence, an influence which has not been in keeping with the reputation Canada enjoyed in the world for much of the twentieth century, a reputation earned by people like Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau and Paul Martin.

By all observation, she is reasonably comfortable with America’s bleak current foreign policy. She even joins in on the slighting comments from Washington about Russia and Iran and Venezuela, comments not justified by any objective matter, not required of someone who isn’t a genuine partisan, and not representative of Canada’s traditional values of fairness and decency.

 

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