Friday, 21 October 2011

Canada's Warrior Prime Minister

All hail the warrior prince, Stephen Harper!

As pronounced in the Globe and Mail today, he has won his first war. We can now all bask in the glory that is Stephen Harper's Canada.

In his fawning post about our Prime Minister, Campbell Clark boasts that the "mission's success bolsters Harper's argument for a muscular Canada with military assets and the will to deploy them". It does not. Harper will no doubt make the claim, but it does not follow logically. This was not a war won by Canada. It is, instead, a blight on our international reputation. And further, it is both an absurdity and an obscenity to characterize the murder of a head of state -- however odious -- as a righteous act, a "war victory", much less one that in any way belongs to Stephen Harper.

But there he was, our new 'war prime minister', as quoted by the breathless Mr. Clark, expressing satisfaction at the end of a dictator,
"Gaddafi's days are over. Never again will he be in a position to support terrorism or to turn guns on his own citizens. The Libyan people can finally turn the page on 42 years of vicous oppression and continue their journey toward a better future."
Always play the terrorism card. For domestic consumption, always link safety and security at home with the need -- as per the sage words of George W. Bush -- to fight them over there so we don't have to fight them here. And in so doing, it is entirely acceptable to ignore the rule of international law that forbids any aggression toward a sovereign nation for any reason other than imminent self defense. Link the struggle against terrorism to the cause of liberty and a better life for others, and bind them together to strengthen your broader domestic agenda. This Stephen Harper has done, ably assisted by the likes of Campbell Clark.

It was not so long ago that Col. Gaddafi had been rehabilitated and returned to the community of nations, lauded by a parade of world leaders. But in the end he, too, suffered the shifting fortunes that plague all usefully useful dictators. Sadaam Hussein comes to mind. And like the Butcher of Baghdad, who was dragged up from a hole in the ground, Gaddafi was found hiding in the muck and mire of a drainage ditch. The similarities, in the end, are striking.

And, too, like Sadaam's Iraq, Gaddafi's Libya is now available for the taking. As Paul Craig Roberts says in this post, Libya will likely become another American puppet state. Roberts notes that much of the Libyan infrastructure has been destroyed by air strikes -- air strikes that so satisfied our own warrior prince -- and that lucrative new rebuilding contracts will reward the invaders.

But more than bridges and roads are in play here. As Roberts makes clear,
"With Libya conquered, AFRICOM will start on the other African countries where China has energy and mineral investments. Obama has already sent US troops to Central Africa under the guise of defeating Lord's Resistance Army, a small insurgency against the ruling dictator-for-life. Washington has revived the Great Power Game and is vying with China. Whereas China brings Africa investment and gifts of infrastructure, Washington sends troops, bombs and military bases. Sooner or later, Washington's aggressiveness toward China and Russia is going to explode in our faces."
So the Prime Minister of Canada can congratulate himself, or have surrogates act on his behalf, for winning the war of Libya (!), but the game is far beyond him. In touting a muscular Canadian foreign policy (laughable, really) as a central part of his domestic agenda to become the ruling party for a generation, Stephen Harper has become a minor though clearly committed partner to a new imperialism that may well have devastating consequences far beyond his own limited vision.

By David.


Your musical accompaniment for the day:  Big Change is Gonna Come, Peter Green Splinter Group, from the album Destiny Road. Enjoy.

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