Archive for the ‘STEPHEN HARPER’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: CANADA’S TRUDEAU SENDS A FRIGATE THROUGH THE TAIWAN STRAIT – JUST THE LATEST BLUNDER FROM A SMILING HANDSOME INCOMPETENT – HIS DEPENDENT RELATIONSHIP WITH A CLOSET-AMERICAN NEOCON FOREIGN MINISTER, CHRYSTIA FREELAND – TRUDEAU’S FATHER PIERRE FONDLY REMEMBERED – GOODBYE TO BRAVE AND WORTHY DEEDS   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN CHECKPOINT ASIA

 

“Trudeau Sails a Warship Through Taiwan Strait While Begging Xi to Meet With Him at G20

“Trudeau demonstrates again precisely the behaviour that has caused the Chinese to decline communication with his government”

 

 ‘Taiwan Strait transits are “very indirect signals” of disapproval toward China’s claims in the region.

‘“Middle powers [like Canada] are about bolstering international institutions and international law so they can restrain the power of very big countries,” Nagy told the outlet. “They view that China is going to present a bigger risk going forward, and they have to demonstrate some resolve through ships in the region.”’

 

Those last words of Professor Stephen Nagy strike me as being rather deceptive, only superficially plausible as is the case for much disinformation.

After all, he does work at a “Christian university” in Asia, and his words were first published on that distinguished website, “Stars and Stripes,” the old internal house organ for the American armed forces.

Sadly, from my point of view, Canada today does everything possible to support the United States in foreign affairs. That might be okay if the policies were above board and had genuinely good intent, but they very much do not have those characteristics. Quite the opposite, they reflect the American establishment’s effort at dominating the globe.

Under such circumstances, Canada would be in a fairly hard place no matter what, sharing one of the world’s longest borders, having no other adjacent nations, and sharing a massive trade in goods and services.  But I don’t think it was hugely different for Pierre Trudeau, Justin Trudeau’s father, who took many opportunities to oppose peaceably the worst American policies of his day.

Pierre Trudeau ignored Washington’s bitter, intense, and violent Cuba policy and worked to establish a genuine relationship with Castro. Canadian investment and regular tourist travel were positive results.

At the height of America’s holocaust in Vietnam, Pierre Trudeau told Canada’s border services to throw open the gates for all American war resisters of any description, even deserters. They did, and tens of thousands of young Americans came, many eventually making good lives in Canada.

Justin is simply not able, by his very nature, to take bold steps like those. He has a pleasant, go-along-to-get-along personality, actually pretty much lacking any real force of character. He smiles a lot. He apologizes a lot. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against smiles or needed apologies, but when it comes to leadership, a bit more is required. Those things are only the froth of the brew.

Interestingly, the Liberal Party was very keen on having Justin run and tried over a considerable period of time to persuade him to do so, knowing his last name literally was magic in the country.

But Justin shied away – except for smiling and lending support and attending party fund-raisers, his name always able to sell tickets. He stayed with what he was doing, and I believe perhaps because he quietly understood his own limits. However, the point was reached in the last part of Stephen Harper’s government when Trudeau gave in to all the behind-the-scenes pleadings and blandishments.

He did handily defeat Stephen Harper, a rather dark and unpleasant figure who enjoyed a long-running minority government precisely because the Liberals had become involved with in-fighting and scandal. And they went through some poorly-chosen leaders, most notably the politically-inept academic, Michael Ignatieff, who was lured by the Party’s talent scouts from Harvard University in the belief he could bring new luster to the Liberal brand. As events proved, he did quite the opposite.

From leading America’s contrived Lima Group (for the overthrow of Venezuela and, in future, some other Latin American governments) to harassing Russia with tanks in one of the Baltic states and from its compliance with an American extradition request for an important citizen of China on trumped-up charges to sailing through the Taiwan Strait, Canada’s current government has set unpleasant precedents for a Liberal Party government.

Even Washington’s unwarranted jibes against Russia or Iran or China are echoed by Trudeau’s disagreeable Foreign Minister, Chrystia Freeland, albeit in somewhat quieter tones than the bellowing that comes from blowhards like Bolton and Pompeo, but the essential content is the same.

Canada seems to be tightly hugging American policy everywhere, which is what we might expect from a Conservative Party government, and particularly the Conservative Party of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a man notoriously in line with all things right-wing and American, very much including its Neocons.

The great traditions which gave Canada the international reputation it enjoyed through much of the 20th century were largely the work of leaders in the Liberal Party.

Figures like Lester Pearson, Pierre Trudeau (father of the current Prime Minister), Paul Martin, and still others all came from the Liberal Party. We had some decent, respected Conservatives, too, but they have almost disappeared in a party which is the handiwork of Stephen Harper.

Justin Trudeau as Prime Minister and Chrystia Freeland as his Foreign Minister, the minister he most depends upon, have left those large traditions behind. Almost entirely.

I think it has a great deal to do with the fact that Justin is not a terribly clever or resourceful man, his previous big job having been as a kindergarten teacher. His father, by contrast, was genuinely brilliant, highly educated, with a mind aptly described as Jesuitical.

Justin suffers also from a rather bland personality, one that tries pleasing everyone. Again, by contrast, his father was fiercely independent-minded, once telling a heckler, “Mangez la merde!” and once challenging someone questioning what he was about to do with, “Just watch me.” Justin does a lot of apologizing and uses a great deal of Millennialist yoga-land language that often says very little of substance.

I believe those qualities in Justin Trudeau have caused him to lean heavily upon Freeland. He is photographed with her far, far more than with any other cabinet minister.

She is smart and has a much tougher personality than he does (although one lacking almost any sparkle or charm), hence his dependence.

But, of course, being smart alone does not save anyone from doing wrong or inappropriate things.

Values, integrity and a certain genuine force of character are required to avoid that. Just look at Mike Pompeo or Hillary Clinton or George Bush pere or Canada’s Stephen Harper – smart people all of them.

There is a need for something a little resembling what Flaubert called a sentimental education, and Freeland completely lacks it.

Freeland has made the wrong calls in almost everything she’s done, dragging Trudeau into the fallout. She is regarded by some as a closet American Neocon, and I pretty much agree with that assessment. Her husband even writes for the New York Times, a paper that has been aptly described as the house organ for America’s power establishment.

Her obvious, and inappropriate, anti-Russian prejudice likely comes from being brought up in Ukrainian-Canadian traditions, which, in my experience, were heavily colored by extreme anti-Soviet attitudes.

Today, Canada supports the overthrow of an elected government in Latin America, and never says a truly critical word about such an appalling government as that of Saudi Arabia. Of course, the Crown Prince is a pampered American favorite for his generous help in the task of spreading the blessings of freedom throughout the Middle East.

Even the legacy of Trudeau’s father is fading as Canada recently reduced services at its embassy in Cuba about the time of new American restrictions against Cuba being announced in Washington. The pathetic excuse was offered that some embassy employees had been hurt by unknown “sonic weapons,” a gimmick the United States came up with a couple of years ago, something with absolutely no science to it.

So, it is all quite disappointing. As far as foreign affairs are concerned, Canada might just as well have a Harperite Conservative government. I don’t know, maybe things on the inside with Washington have become a great deal harsher than they were in Pierre Trudeau’s time, but we see not the least effort at independent thought or principle from our present Liberal government.

 

Posted June 22, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: IS CANADA GOING TO CRIMINALIZE BDS? WHAT SUCH REPRESSIVE LAWS ACTUALLY MEAN   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RINF

 

The unpleasant Stephen Harper was definitely headed in this direction, with perhaps even more anti-freedom measures added, as criminalizing criticism of Israel.

We’re hoping our fine new Prime minister can resist this kind of genuinely Stalinist law promoted only by special interests.

But, in any event, all of the ugly laws Israel is promoting abroad and Israel’s tireless building of walls simply scream desperation.

If Israel wasn’t threatened by the weakness of its own founding’s logic, it would require none of this.

Just as the Soviet Union was built with a faulty foundation – flaws in logic and basic understanding of economic and social principles – so Israel, an unimaginably inefficient state kept afloat on the world’s greatest flow of subsidies.

Israel is, just like the Soviet Union was, a garrison state where the military/security/police forces are completely out of any sensible balance for a healthy society.

And it holds millions of people as prisoners.

Sooner or later, the crunch is coming, and for all these reasons.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: HOPES FOR JEREMY CORBYN IN JUSTIN TRUDEAU VICTORY? – YES AND HERE IS EXACTLY WHY – HONESTY IN POLITICS – THE DARK MATTER OF ISIS – SECOND HOLOCAUST COURTESY OF AMERICA   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN

Yes, there is something to the notion of Justin Trudeau’s experience in Canada having some application to Jeremy Corbyn’s situation in Britain.

Corbyn doesn’t have Trudeau’s good looks or family heritage, but they do share one very important quality.

They are both politicians who speak remarkably honestly.

And the people do come to understand that when they’ve heard from someone enough times.

Insincerity is the hallmark of most run-of-the-mill and smarmy politicians such as David Cameron.

And the people come to understand that, too, just as Canadians understood it about Stephen Harper.

It’s just that they often, or usually, do not have an authentic choice in elections.

Give them a meaningful choice, and the democratic results can be gratifying.

Jeremy Corbyn has before him this possibility, and the hack political establishment knows and fears it.

That’s why they came crawling out of the woodwork, day after day, name after name, at the mere possibility of his nomination as leader.

Imagine the second greatest liar living on the planet, Tony Blair, advising people against an honest man?

And the press gave him generous coverage, too, while he was doing it.

Pretty close to ridiculous.

Now, when we enter the subject of ISIS and other terrorists in Syria, we enter the world of complete dishonesty.

American flunkies like Cameron and Harper can do nothing about ISIS, except making token gestures. They are neither powerful enough nor can they take acts against what is American policy.

ISIS, al Nusra, and other gangs of murderers are doing America’s bidding – Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar serving as America’s chief administrative assistants in the murderous work.

David Cameron’s implicit support for the terrorists in Syria, while blubbering on about fighting them, may be characterized as David’s doing Rupert Murdoch’s bidding.

Rupert is an intense supporter of Israel’s interests, and the effort to destroy a stable Syria largely reflects Israel’s interests, just as the destruction of Iraq did. The cries of the birth of a new Middle East, as Condoleezza Rice once so graciously described subsidized murder and mayhem on a colossal scale.

Only this time, the key players and their associates do not want to take the credit and consequences and lingering sense of blameworthiness and shame involved in another illegal invasion, so they are secretly supporting a big gang of cutthroats – recruiting, training, supplying, and arming them – all while play-acting regret in public about the horrors they inflict. Who knows, such cynical, black-hearted policy may even have included plans to attack their own bloody servants in terror once the job of ruining Syria was done?

It is only because of the apparent contradictions arising from all the stoked-up press propaganda about ISIS – meant to play up their horrible acts as theater for the folks back home, intensifying Islamophobia and support for the existing, highly selective war on terror – that David Cameron feels moved to blubber on about (token) bombing.

But, of course, he has no intention of opposing American policy or Rupert Murdoch’s dictums in such matters. And that would considerably reduce the charm of country-house weekends with Rebekah Brooks.

Cameron wants to have his cake and eat it too, as they say. Talk about the banality of evil – David Cameron surely is one of our chief living examples, much the same as Canada’s now-departed Stephen Harper.

But Russia’s genuine intervention in Syria is changing all of that by revealing the true state of affairs, how a determined attack can decimate these bloody thugs in fairly short order, unlike America’s long-running pretend-attacks and actual attacks on Syrian infrastructure meant to support ISIS against Syria.

_________________________

Response to a reader saying Trudeau’s victory was all in his name:

 

No, you are wrong. He fought a tough campaign, going from a point of being third in polls to victory.

__________________________

 

Response to another reader calling Corbyn “a dead man walking”:

 

Yours are words which carry the pungent, seamy odor of Tony Blair with them.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ONE OF THE REALLY STUPID THINGS JUSTIN TRUDEAU SAID IN HIS ELECTION CAMPAIGN – SOUNDS LIKE HE IS DRINKING AMERICA’S SPIKED KOOL-AID   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE THE TORONTO STAR

Sorry, but your calling Putin a bully is mighty shabby stuff, Justin Trudeau.

It truly makes you sound like Stephen Harper, likely the most dishonest and disliked politician in Canadian history, a true bully, if you will.

I do not see how there’s really anything you must tell Putin, unless you count repeating some boilerplate phrases borrowed from America’s sprawling junkyard of needless attacks and propaganda.

If there is a legitimate bully on the world’s stage today, it is, without question, America, responsible as it is for the deaths, destruction, and refugees of Syria.

It is America also that is responsible for the mess in Ukraine, putting an illegitimate government in place by coup and then supporting its awful policies of intolerance and war.

And even in the case of Flight MH-17, it is America who has kept things hidden. It never released data from its radars and spy satellite – which was overhead at the time – and that is mighty suspicious. Likely it was afraid of seeing its coup-induced government in Ukraine embarrassed. So we’ve had long delays and much evidence never used and a useless report.

Putin is the most able leader on the international scene today, a totally reasonable man, and a far more honest one than Obama or Harper or Cameron, all of whom lie regularly about matters like Syria. Putin’s country, too, is certainly destined to be a great one in future, given its endowments of natural resources and human ingenuity. It is extremely short-sighted to use American trash-talk about a leader Russians embrace as strongly as they do Putin.

We should welcome working with a reasonable man like Putin for many reasons, but if some chose not to do so, they can at least avoid bellowing undiplomatic nonsense for a few cheap votes, as you did with your campaign statement.

That’s not how your much-respected father would have acted in these circumstances – witness his independent-minded judgment and policies about Castro’s Cuba – and in the case of Russia today, Pierre Trudeau’s way would be far more productive than bellowing.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: CONSERVATIVE PARTY DISMISSES TWO EMBARRASSING PRANKSTER CANDIDATES – BUT IN DOING SO THEY MISSED A GREAT OPPORTUNITY – NATURE OF CANADA’S CONSERVATIVE PARTY   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO A COLUMN IN THE NATIONAL POST

Christie Blatchford seems to have become The Conservatives’ chief apologist.

Her apology here though seems totally unneeded.

I believe in these two cases of dropped candidates, the bone-headed people involved would have made perfect Conservative candidates.

Pranks? Isn’t this the party of robo-calls and frat-boy negative advertising?

Isn’t this the party of never telling the truth to people?

Of never giving a straight answer?

The party of not complying with officials attempting to investigate misdeeds?

The party of hiding the many stupid things it has done?

The party of Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin, Nigel Wright, and other charmers?

The party of slavishly catering to special interests?

The party of giving the finger to many of the world’s serious concerns?

The party of John Baird who resembles nothing so much as a mad dog when he argues with people?

The party of Peter MacKay, a man who had an affair with a subordinate, later harassed her and called her a dog in public, and then lied about it as well as a man who has demonstrated incompetence in almost every portfolio in the cabinet?

The party of the absolute thug, Patrick Brazeau?

The party of Maxime Bernier, who left top secret NATO papers at his biker girlfriend’s house for weeks?

The party of Pierre Poilievre, perhaps the most seriously twisted sister ever in Parliament?

I just cannot believe what an opportunity the party has missed with these two new fellows, each surely potential minister material.

It’s a shame, I guess that’s the price you pay for political correctness.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ARTICLE ABOUT “FOREVER CAMPAIGNS” RAISES THE ISSUE OF AMERICAN PLUTOCRACY REPLACING CANADA’S DEMOCRACY – AND ONLY STEPHEN HARPER IS RESPONSIBLE   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE NATIONAL POST

The article is technically well done, but it seems to me there is such an important set of facts understated in, or missing from, the article that, taken as a whole, it becomes inaccurate and misleading.

I might call it polished propaganda.

There is only one source for the election phenomenon we see now in Canada, and that source is Stephen Harper. It has little to do with “competition run amok.”

Harper is on record for admiring the American system, a system which is so dominated by big money that many astute and knowledgeable observers have said America is no longer a democracy but a plutocratic oligarchy.

Harper is also on record as hating many of Canada’s traditions in politics. His past assertions are so unpleasant and “Canadian self-hating” one wonders why he did not long ago seek a career in the United States. His total set of views and attitudes would have done him well in a place like Texas. They are in perfect keeping with politicians of the quality of Dick Armey or Phil Gramm or Tom Delay.

His major obsession in his entire political career has been to destroy the Liberal Party, the institution he holds largely responsible for the Canada he dislikes so intensely.

His basic method has been simple. Remove as much government funding as possible. Remove as much quasi-judicial oversight and rules as possible. Bend national policy in the direction big contributors want to see. Collect as much money from these special interests as possible. Lengthen the election period so that you can spend more than ever under laws you yourself have created.

Added to those structural changes are changes in practice completely learned from America’s example. Throw lots of dirt through advertising, knowing that if you throw enough, some will stick. Use third-party organizations to fund these whenever possible. Avoid direct contacts with press and interviewers as much as possible, and never answer a question in an honest and straightforward way. Use any costly frat-boy trick – such as robo-calls to misdirect voters – which might make gains for you in a swing area. Afterward, sandbag government officials investigating such matters. These approaches take full advantage of having a treasure chest full of private funds with which to play.

It is a formula guaranteed over time to badly damage Canadian democracy, and it is a formula favored by no other party.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: STEPHEN HARPER AS PUBLIC SPEAKER – HARPER FACES ELECTION WITH A MUCH REDUCED BENCH – WHY I THINK SO MANY HAVE ABANDONED HIS GOVERNMENT   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN

COMMENT POSTED TO THE NATIONAL POST TO A CCOLUMN BY REX MURPHY

What is Mr. Murphy on, medical  marijuana?

An excellent speaker? Harper? The guy who addresses us as “friends” much in the manner of a tent preacher?

Harper is only comfortable either giving a set speech on a topic with which he is comfortable or in delivering a cheap, fast put-down in Question Period.

Hardly the skill range of a good speaker.

Add to that his basic dislike of people and the kind of stiff arrogance we saw in Ignatieff, and you do not have a winning combination.

Really great speakers always possess a kind of honesty in wanting to communicate something – even if its selective in nature – and Harper is likely the most dishonest personality ever to hold office in Canada.

Harper is driven by negatives.

He doesn’t like Canada and its traditional way of doing things. He said so himself.

He hates the Liberal Party and would love to destroy it. Again he said so himself.

He admires the way things are done in the United States, a country which today approaches no longer even being a democracy.

This is a man full of resentments with not a lot positive to contribute.

I almost suspect he was bullied as a kid in Toronto and has never forgiven his tormentors. He works hard to get back, possessing a genuinely destructive personality.

He has little popular appeal, naturally enough, and I think it fair to say his career is largely one of circumstances, of having lucked out with the Liberals so divided.

His lack of genuine feeling – except for a warm feeling about power – comes right through. He can’t hide it.

I believe the Conservative Party associates who have left before the election have done so for a generally unobserved reason: they are tired of his private tyranny and relentless suppression of individuality. They’ve put up with it long enough, likely believing he should have retired as leader and given someone else a chance, but, no, his negative personality listens to no one and his love of power has reached badly corrupt levels. Most of them will return after he is defeated.

And he is going to lose and lose big, no matter what polls may say.