JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: WHAT EVERY CANADIAN SHOULD KNOW ABOUT CANADA’S FOREIGN MINISTER, CHRYSTIA FREELAND – AND WHAT JUSTIN TRUDEAU’S SAD LEGACY AS PRIME MINISTER WILL BE   3 comments

John Chuckman

COMMENT ON WHAT EVERY CANADIAN SHOULD KNOW ABOUT CHRYSTIA FREELAND

 

The following recent revelations are things of which every Canadian should be aware:

 

‘The US State Department boasted in a declassified memo in March 2017 that Canada had adopted an “America first” foreign policy.

‘The cable was authored just weeks after the centrist government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed Chrystia Freeland as foreign minister.

‘The State Department added that Trudeau had promoted Freeland “in large part because of her strong U.S. contacts,” and that her “number one priority” was working closely with Washington.’

 

While I hadn’t seen the reference before, I had concluded as much just from the actions of Chrystia Freeland and Justin Trudeau, but there is nothing quite like cold, hard facts from an important source.

Justin Trudeau is a rather weak and inept leader, not overly bright, qualities he has demonstrated an embarrassing number of times. His success in the last national election depended on handsome looks, a smile, rather overly-precious Millennialist attitudes, and a famous name. Name recognition in politics is something as important as it is in sales of dish soap.

It didn’t hurt, too, that his main opponent was someone Canadians had grown pretty tired of after a long run, Conservative Stephen Harper, a man whose government was more right-wing than anything Canada experienced in its modern history.

Justin Trudeau’s father, Pierre, was one of the most memorable and independent-minded leaders Canada ever had, and, decades later, the name has resonance for many Canadians. A lawyer with a Jesuitical mind and a politician of many substantial achievements, including effectively opposing such terrible American policies as those against Cuba and that creating a holocaust in Vietnam.

There’s an old saying about strong fathers often having weak sons. I am not sure that I subscribe to it, but this is an instance that couldn’t be clearer.

Justin’s weakness means he depends a great deal on the unpleasant Freeland. She is definitely quite bright and far more hard-nosed than he is. He is photographed with her more than with any other minister. However, history is loaded with examples which tell us that brightness is no defense against evil.

It’s pretty obvious with every word coming from her mouth where her loyalties are, and they very much are not with the values that gave Canada its international reputation in the 20th century. The values of Pierre Trudeau, Lester Pearson, Jean Chrétien, and Paul Martin have been put away in on the shelves of an unused closet to be forgotten.

After all, Freeland’s previous big job was as an editor for Reuters News Agency. That requires brightness, but it very much requires something else. Reuters had a reputation right through the Cold War of being in the CIA’s hip pocket, of being one of a number of journalistic outlets it used for “getting stuff out there,” the stuff being suggestions, slants, propaganda, and disinformation.

In those Cold War days, of course, “the stuff” was largely against the former Soviet Union, but do we observe in American society, and in that of Western Europe under America’s intense influence, any real change? They use different words now, but the intent is much the same.

The USSR and the Red Army and the Soviet Empire have long disappeared, so we don’t hear about “commies” and “Reds,” very common words in the 1950s and 1960s, but we still receive daily tales about Russian influence and Russian interference and even Russian aggression.

Russophobia has replaced the old anti-commie stuff, and how very easy it was to make the replacement. After all, America went through decades of what can only be called the bitterest, most hateful cult campaign during the Cold War, and nothing has ever been done to exorcise that awful spirit.

None of the accusations about Russia today ever come with evidence or even serious analysis. Indeed, sources of clear evidence are ignored. For example, no one in Washington has ever even tried to interview Julian Assange about where the 2016 WikiLeaks material on the Democratic Party came from.

We know from world-class experts outside of government that the material was not hacked, by Russia or anyone else, that it was a straightforward leak of copied material from someone with inside access. But what we hear from the corporate press and politicians are constant variations on the themes of Russian hacking and Russian interference in elections.

It’s especially annoying for those who make an effort to be informed because the accusation comes from the world’s greatest meddler in the affairs of other states, the United States, a nation which very much goes beyond simple meddling to open threats and violent overthrows and black operations regularly.

All of the Russia “stuff” represents a constant effort to “poison the well” of public opinion. There’s an old principle in political and corporate marketing, “Throw enough crap at the wall, and some of it will stick.” That, truly, is the level on which the capital establishment of the world’s most powerful country works. It’s pathetic and repulsive at the same time.

For America’s establishment, Russia has long represented “Carthago delenda es” simply because it was the only country capable of totally destroying the United States. China, with its new wealth and increasing military capacity has joined the same rank.

Well, if you have heard Washington on Russia or China or Syria or Venezuela or Iran or Saudi Arabia, there’s no need to waste time listening to Freeland. She is saying the same things, only with less bluster and overt harshness, a delivery calculated to appeal to another market segment, if you will.

It has been disturbing to see. I do blame Trudeau because he should have known he was too weak and lacking in hard skills to be a national leader when the Liberal Party insiders tried luring him from his previous career as school drama teacher with other stints as camp counselor and snow-board instructor.

He put off the decision a while, a fact which leads me to conclude he had his own private doubts, and how could he not, given the things we’ve seen, not just in foreign policy but in domestic affairs and horrific, embarrassing blunders on trips abroad, as on his one to India. He literally made a fool of himself.

But the Party insiders were determined to get him because of the magical name. They won him over and did win the election, but what a mistake. Here’s an example of a win in seats in Parliament which literally represents a loss for the nation.

You see, with someone like Conservative Stephen Harper in office, we expect complete subservience to American interests, but the Liberal Party has long represented something else. A number of its more capable leaders have given Canadians something of which to be proud. But Justin Trudeau, and his Igor-like assistant, Chrystia Freeland, have suffocated that tradition.

Trudeau is likely to lose the next election in October, so frequent have been the scandals and embarrassments coming from his efforts to play leader. The Conservatives have no alternative who will change Canadian foreign policy, and our third major party, the NDP, which has sometimes come up with remarkable leaders, has let us down with an extremely weak choice.

So, the net effect of Justin Trudeau’s time in office will have been the removal of even a touch of independence in Canada’s foreign affairs, one of the substantial things his party represented for decades.

For those concerned about a world where one nation, one with less than five per cent of the world’s population, claims the right to tell almost every other nation and every international organization what it is to do, one that claims the right to apply its own domestic, narrow-interest legislation as though it had international legitimacy, one that even interferes at the level of telling other nations what to buy and where to buy it, it is distressing to have Chrystia Freeland representing Canada to the world.

Her behavior in office diminishes Canada and the fine reputation it enjoyed over much of the 20th century. And what can I say about the Prime Minister who put her in that position, one who frequently makes a public fool of himself while supporting her in activities like trying to help the United States overthrow a democratic government in Venezuela or echoing Washington’s ugly name-calling of Russia or Iran or getting Canada mired in a completely-avoidable ugly mess with China?

AFTERNOTE:

Here is a very perceptive discussion of Chrystia Freeland and what she represents, one written some months after my comments:

Freeland’s New Role as Deputy Prime Minister Put’s Her in 2nd in Command… of the Titanic

Posted July 14, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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