Two stories caught my eye last week:
First, Vivian Bercovici, a sometime journalist and formerly a law professor and Canada’s Ambassador to Israel (2014-2016) reminds us, in the Jerusalem Post, that “Three days after his resounding election victory in October 2015, an exuberant Prime Minister Justin Trudeau swanned into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs HQ in Ottawa … [where] … He was swarmed by public servants for selfies and basked in the unrestrained and wildly inappropriate display of full-on hero-worship from a work force that extols its political neutrality and professionalism. Very bad form … [very bad form, indeed, and when, not if, a Conservative government comes into power every there needs to be thorough and exemplary “house-cleaning” in the Pearson Building ~ every single person who was a director-general or above in Foreign Affairs and was in Ottawa in the fall of 2015 needs to be posted to Kazakhstan, permanently] … The Prime Minister’s Office billed Trudeau’s appearance as a “spontaneous” drop-in. It was anything but. Standing in the ministry’s cavernous entry hall, Trudeau praised the 10,000-plus full-time employees of the department and commiserated with their contempt and dislike of former prime minister Stephen Harper. Equally important, he endorsed the policy inclinations prevailing in the department – a misty-eyed yearning for the glory days of Canadian leadership in post-war peacekeeping ventures … [because] … Earlier that week, on election night, Trudeau gloated: “To this country’s friends all around the world, many of you have worried that Canada has lost its compassionate and constructive voice in the world. Well, I have a simple message for you. On behalf of 35 million Canadians: We’re back.”“
Of course, Canada never left the world stage. Under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, it pursued a principled foreign policy which put it at odds with the progressive, illiberal, children of the Laurentian Elites who have populated the upper echelons of the Foreign Affairs establishment since about 1970 (when Pierre Trudeau set about destroying a once proud and über-effective foreign service because it was insufficiently French).
“From the very beginning,” Ambassador Bercovici writes, “the overarching foreign policy priority of the Trudeau government became the goal of ensuring Canada’s success in being voted this June to assume one of several rotating and temporary seats on the UN Security Council. Since its founding, Canada had settled into a comfortable and assured routine of taking the coveted seat every decade, more or less. When the 2010 vote came along, and in the years preceding, then-prime minister Harper made it clear he put little, if any, stock in the council. He viewed it as corrupt, virulently anti-Israel and hostile, generally, to Western interests.“
Stephen Harper was right, the United Nations Security Council is all of those things, and worse, but for people, like former Liberal Attorney-General and modern-day China appeaser Allan Rock and former Liberal Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy, the worthless, temporary, second-class Security Council seat was the holy grail. Well, we saw how that worked out. After Prime Minister Trudeau toured the world, abasing himself and Canada in front of tin-pot dictators from around the third-world, that world tossed Canada back into the garbage bin because Justin Trudeau couldn’t buy off Chinese and Russian influence.
Second, The Economist says that the loss of the coveted, albeit worthless, UN seat “was humiliating for Justin Trudeau, Canada’s Liberal prime minister, who had campaigned for a seat for four years. “Canada is back,” he declared after taking office in 2015. “More like back of the line,” foes in Parliament now retort.” The Economist says that “a gap has emerged between how Canada sees itself … [how Justin Trudeau and the Laurentian Elites see Canada, anyway] … and how the world sees it.” The Laurentian Elites look back to Louis St Laurent’s days, when Canada was, indeed, a leader amongst the nations, but their hero, Pierre Trudeau, explicitly rejected St Laurent’s vision and replaced it with a weak, socialistic, isolationist one … one which. many Canada voters found and still find attractive.
In short, what has passed for Canada’s foreign policy for the past five years ~ an incoherent jumble of vanity projects and attempts to get Justin Trudeau on the front page of foreign high-society magazines like Vanity Fair ~ lies in ruins. Canada has annoyed important trading partners and traditional allies like Japan and Australia; China holds Canadian citizens hostage; India, a rising great power and the logical counterbalance to China, looks at us with suspicion and, sometimes, downright hostility because the nincompoops who currently run the Liberal Party of Canada put the support of some Sikh separatists in a few ridings ahead of the national interest; and the ever sensitive and mercurial President of the United States, our greatest trading partner and the guarantor of our sovereignty, thinks our prime minister is a “behind your back guy,” meaning that he is double-dealing and two-faced: simply put, a lying coward.
Now we have another official investigation of another ethical breach by the prime minister … and once again he refuses to admit that he made a mistake.
And once again the mainstream media lets him skate. Remember, for years ago, when Prime Minister Trudeau said (in French) that the F-35 Lightning II “does not work and is far from working?” How in hell would he know? His defence officials, fighter-pilots and aeronautical engineers certainly didn’t tell him that; but the media let him skate They let him skate on the improper visit to the Aga Khan’s private island resort, too. Then they mostly let him skate on LavScam, just as they had done on “cash for access.” When does it end? When does the media acknowledge that Justin Trudeau is a sub-standard human being who has no business at all holding any elected office, much less the highest on in the land?
Does the media share what Vivian Bercovici called “a misty-eyed yearning for the glory days of Canadian leadership in post-war peacekeeping ventures?” As so many journalists and opinion makers so ignorant of history that they do not understand that Louis St Laurent and Lester Pearson, in league with skilled international diplomats like the American Dr Ralph Bunche and Sir Brian Urquhart were practising the art of the possible to hold the Western, anti-communist alliance together despite British and French follies in the Middle East? I understand that many mainstream journalists are progressives who believe that most Conservatives are mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging neo-fascist racists, but is that an excuse to ignore what I assert is the indisputable fact that Justin Trudeau is the worst prime minister Canada has had since his father served in that office? Do anyone’s “misty eyes yearnings” require them to excuse ineptitude, corruption and failure?