Understanding Harper’s actions takes some mental acrobatics

Understanding the Harper government’s foreign policies requires great mental flexibility. While Mr. Harper misses no opportunity to denounce Russia’s land grab of the Crimean peninsula, he fully supports Israel’s land grab in the Occupied Territories. Harper also proclaims it is absolutely illegal for Ukraine’s eastern provinces to strive for separation from Ukraine and that Russia needs to be punished with stiff sanctions, conveniently forgetting that, in the 1990s, when the Serbian province of Kosovo was striving for separation from Serbia, NATO went on a bombing campaign to assist Kosovo in gaining independence.

Along with other western leaders, Harper believes it is essential to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, yet when Mr. Obama threatened, “All options are on the table,” including attacking Iran, there was no word of dissent from Mr. Harper. So it’s OK for countries that have nuclear weapons to attack other countries for wanting to develop them. What is more, the nuclear countries signed a nonproliferation treaty, obliging them to dismantle their nuclear weapons. They did not follow through on this agreement. Instead, they modernized their nuclear weapons, making them even more lethal. The double standard is breath-taking.

Harper wants to protect us from Isis terrorists who are decapitating their enemies. In his view, they are a great threat to us so he has sent the Canadian Air Force to bomb Isis targets in Iraq and Syria. The fact is that of the few so-called terrorist acts planned in Canada, none have been linked to Isis. They were all planned by home-grown, disillusioned psycho cases on the margin of society. Nonetheless, Harper sent in the air force to bomb away!

Harper is shocked, and rightly so, by the brutality of Isis in its campaign to capture territory in Iraq and Syria. Our corporate media does a good job keeping this brutality front and centre in the public eye. Yet Harper seems undisturbed by the brutality of drone attacks, air force bombardments and the high civilian casualty rates – brutalities that our corporate media does an excellent job at keeping out of the public eye. Further, our staunch ally, Saudi Arabia, publicly decapitates and/or stones to death some 90 people each year. Of course, our corporate media does not bring us that news.

Harper publicly states he is baffled why young Canadians want to join Isis forces. Could it be these young people want to boot out foreign military bases? (How would we like it if Iraq had military bases in our backyard?) Could it be they are fed up with drone attacks and resent that Iraq’s oil, which Iraq nationalized during the 1970s, is once again controlled by the big multinationals? Could it be they resent the sweetheart deals Iraq’s oil industry was forced to sign while under foreign military occupation? Might they be fed up with puppet governments kept in power by foreign money and foreign intervention?

If there is one common theme in Harper’s foreign policy, it is that right or wrong, fair or unfair, peaceful or violent, if it is lucrative and/or gains votes, it becomes Harper policy.

– Reimar Kroecher, North Vancouver

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