Canada, so totally back


Three of a kind.

Paul Koring in the Globe. “Although ministers told the House of Commons last spring that Abousfian Abdelrazik, a Canadian citizen, had received full consular assistance, the documents show a senior Foreign Affairs official explicitly ordered Canadian diplomats in Khartoum to stay away from the interrogation by U.S. agents.”

Wesley Wark in the Citizen. “The Conservative policy has hit a realpolitik wall. The United States has a new president-elect, Barack Obama, who has committed his government, repeatedly, to the closing down of Guantanamo Bay. Even if this promise is delayed in its execution, the trial of Omar Khadr will never lead anywhere; its wheels will come off, just as so many others are doing at Guantanamo Bay.”

Michael Petrou in Maclean’s. “Vafaseresht, a man who surely would have been a valuable witness and source of information for any legal case Canada might compile against Saeed Mortazavi, hasn’t been in touch with any Canadian diplomats or government officials since. It’s a stunning oversight, if one assumes that Stephen Harper was sincere when he said that Canada had not “dropped” the matter of Kazemi’s murder. But the available evidence suggests that Canada still isn’t serious about building a case against Mortazavi.”


Canada, so totally back

  1. My sense is that the CPoC has been trying to be a good partner to the US in its “War on Terror” and therefore reluctant to step on American toes worldwide. Nevertheless, as Wesley Wark points out, there’s a new wind a-blowin’ south of the border that may reduce the value of this effort.

    Given that, it seems a no-brainer for the CPoC to take a new, aggressive stance in defending Canadians abroad. It seems like an easy political win: lots of tough talk at home paired with focused diplomatic efforts to free Canadians from jail, protect them from torture etc. A few diplomatic successes could be parlayed into big (and badly-needed) PR successes at home.

    What am I missing? Is it just a matter of time before the Harper gov’t pivots to a stronger stance in support of Canadians abroad? Or is there some other driver (maybe ideology) that’s preventing this? It certainly seems like an easy opportunity for the Liberal party – I’m surprised nobody has jumped on it.

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