America's Need to Tighten Relations With Canada
From an economic financial crisis to a President that has groveled before America's staunchest foes, America, at a crossroads, shares a border with Canada, a trusted ally that has transitioned from long years of Liberal anti-American governance to a Conservative pro-American government. Canada now stands as a staunch defender of democracy and of Israel, the democratic model for the Middle East. French Commentator and Politician Philippe Karsenty who played a central role in uncovering the Mohammed Al-Dura hoax said in an interview that Prime Minister Stephen Harper "understands more than any other leader the nature of our enemies." Tightening global alliances are threatening, if not succeeding, to supplant the reputation of the U.S. as a global power broker.
President George Bush issued a monumental declaration five years ago that the United States was at war with "Islamic fascists" -- a term that encompasses the scale of the threat from Al Qaeda's call to violent Jihad to the Muslim Brotherhood's ideology of stealth Jihad. Bush's declaration amounted to a summons for democratic allies to unite in this global war to protect American interests and that of other freedom loving Western nations. Although a global overview paints a troubling picture of advances being made by Islamist regimes in their growing ties, nonetheless during his presidency, Obama has alienated traditional American allies while placating America's worst foes, as he demonstrated in an early self-deprecating speech in Cairo when he asserted Islam's and the Koranic common principles of justice, progress, tolerance, the dignity of all human beings, and truth, without apparent knowledge of the fundamental importance of the Islamic doctrine of "taqiyya," or dissimulation.
A tighter, strategic alliance between the U.S. and Canada needs to be formed against aggressors of our freedoms; Canada has proven itself to be the emergent leader and vanguard of democracy, displayed on many occasions:
Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper flexed the nation's resolve when he openly criticized the U.N. and temporarily boycotted the UN Conference on Disarmament to protest North Korea's position as Chair. He stated Canada "will no longer simply go along to get along," while Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird sealed Canada's position on the world stage in stating: "our government received a strong mandate to advance Canada's values—freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law…Canada will not hesitate to take principled stands with respect to our foreign policy decisions." For this, American bloggers and activists took notice.
In its defense of Israel in the so-called anti-racism Durban conferences, Canada was the first nation to withdraw from the 2009 Durban II conference, followed by the U.S. , Australia, Israel, the U.K., and most of the EU . Then on April 20th, 2009—ironically Hitler's birthday-- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad—who has repeatedly called for Israel to be wiped [off the map]-- used the Durban II platform to promote Holocaust denial. A dramatic diplomatic walkout followed. With the upcoming Durban III Conference, Canada again took the lead in boycotting it. This event to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action in September was disparaged by Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney who called it a charade that promoted racism rather than combat it because of its virulent attack and delegitimization of Israel, and ultimate promotion of anti-semitism.
Canada, which also opposes the bid for Palestinian statehood, has endured insults for its unrelenting support for Israel and been accused of breaking away from "decency and fairness" in its foreign policy -- a convenient criticism frequently echoed by leftists and Islamists, who also use the catch phrases of "occupation," "colonialism" and "apartheid" to drive their political agendas, while keeping well hidden the influences of Nazism on present day Iran, and the fact that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas wrote his PhD thesis on holocaust denial. While Iran backs Hizbullah and Hamas in their drives to destroy Israel, the Palestinian Charter, never altered, also calls for Israel's destruction.
With respect to multiculturalism -- declared an epic failure in Europe -- Canada too is governed by multiculturalism. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney explains the Conservative Government's encouraging approach:
"Canada's multiculturalism is hardwired into our political DNA . We were the north star for the underground railroad, we have a proud tradition of being the refuge for victims of persecution. We have always been a country open to diversity so multiculturalism at its best works best for Canada. Yet we must be careful of those who seek to justify barbaric cultural practices under the name of multiculturalism. In Western Europe they've had a pretty significant failure to integrate immigrants. This has created ethnic enclaves leading in some cases to radicalization and violent extremism. We want to make sure that does not become the Canadian experience. We maintain the highest levels of relative levels of immigration in the developed world. That's why I have reformed the multiculturalism program to move away from the superficial celebration of diversity to a very deliberate focus on integration and building bridges."
Further, Senator Pamela Wallin, former Consul General of Canada in N.Y., is currently Senior Advisor on Canada-US relations at the Council of the Americas in N.Y. She also Chairs the Senate's National Security & Defence Committee. She discussed Canada-U.S. relations:
"My concern about Canada-U.S. relations is not that we are too close but that we are not close enough. Sometimes Canada is naive in the issues we are facing in the western world. Ten years ago, we saw it as an American problem. What we're seeing is a hang-over of old politics; of bad politics…. when things don't go well beat up on the Americans. We don't live in that kind of world anymore. Terrorists cross borders… we have to do what we can together to prevent that. We have moved into the role of an active partner of the war on terror. We have to work cooperatively. We have to grow up and realize that we now live in a tough and dangerous world. This is no time or place for Pollyanna."
And about the killing of Osama bin Laden, Wallin said: No one wants to cheer the death of another human being but he was evil incarnate so we have to be grateful that the head of the snake has been chopped off. It was a good day for the western world. I love our American friends who never give up.
While Canada is leading the charge against enemies of democracy, those enemies continue to gain ground and tighten their alliances.
Shortly after Bin Laden's death, China put America on notice that if Washington attacked Pakistan, "any attack on Pakistan would be construed as an attack on China" -- a grave ultimatum that was likened to Soviet warnings during the Berlin crisis half a century ago. China also pledged its support for Pakistan, after a US decision to suspend $800 million worth of aid.
With the rise of protests in the Middle East, hopes for the so-called Arab Spring have been unraveling, with Egypt showing signs of becoming an Islamic Republic run by Salafis Hamas and Al-Qaeda. Although these are organizations with different motivations (religious versus political), they share the same goals and are now finding ways to co-exist.
Egypt's spiral into an Islamic Republic would have serious implications on the balance of power in the entire region, the global war against Islamic Fascism, and have a unsettling effect on Israel, which might feel it is becoming increasingly isolated in the region.
While relations with Iran were problematic to Egypt during the Mubarek era, Egypt has demonstrated its willingness to mend fences with Iran, a menacing nation that has continued to rebuff global calls to halt its nuclear build-up, and which is disconcertingly influential in Syria as well as other coutries in the area. Egypt's newly-appointed Foreign minister, Nabil al-Arabi, said that Egypt does not consider Iran an enemy state, and hinted that relations will not be the same as before; while Iran's Foreign Minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, stated his hope that the two countries and its people would get closer and that this would provide stability in the region. Iran has also appointed its first ambassador to Egypt in over thirty years. Other concerns about Iran include the fact that much of China's energy market is reliant on imported Iranian oil -- Ahmadinejad and Karzai have discussed bilateral relations between the two countries -- and that North Korea and Iran are jointly working on building weapons, and analysts fear Iraq may be up for grabs as a regional power struggle rages between Shiite Iran to the east and Arab Sunni neighbors on the West.
On an optimistic note, it can be viewed as a temporary reprieve for America that its enemies are in a state of turmoil in the Middle East, providing America with a window of opportunity to strengthen Western alliances, especially with Canada. Iran, for example. is now reeling over the uprisings in Syria. With global pressures, sanctions and a recent UN security council meeting to address the Syrian regime's brutality, Tehran might be nervous about facing the possibility of a shifting relationship with a stalwart historic ally. With all eyes on the rogue nation of Iran, it cannot afford to appear weakened before its own citizens. Two momentous events now present themselves to impact even further this global shift: the outcome of the bid for Palestinian statehood and the U.S. elections. With these in mind, Canada under a Conservative government—even as a multicultural nation—has been an encouraging global leader with its unwavering support for Israel and for democracy.
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