83

Harper, Ahmadinejad and the United Nations


 

Using, oddly enough, the same term he employed to question Michael Ignatieff’s decision to wish Brian Mulroney a happy birthday, the Prime Minister explains why no Canadian officials will be in the room when the Iranian president addresses the UN General Assembly.

“It is important that countries that have a moral compass stand up and make their views known. And our absence there will speak volumes about how Canada feels about the declarations of President Ahmadinejad,” Mr. Harper said…

“President Ahmadinejad has said things particularly about the state of Israel, the Jewish people and the Holocaust that are absolutely repugnant. It is unfitting that somebody like that would be giving those kinds of remarks before the United Nations General Assembly,” the Prime Minister said.

“Canada does not want to be equivocal at all in terms of our view on that. We find it disgraceful, unacceptable and we’re going to be absolutely clear on that.”

If, then, Britain and the United States, for instance, fail to walk out this afternoon, do their leaders lack a moral compass? Are they giving Mr. Ahmadinejad legitimacy?

There is, as well, the argument that the Iranian president’s remarks about the Holocaust are an elaborate dodge.


 

Harper, Ahmadinejad and the United Nations

  1. I have already said it – way to go harper – keep up the good work.

    • Since when is naked pandering to Canadian Jewish lobby groups, or any lobby group for that matter, considered good work.

      • Or you know, it could just be the right thing to do.

        • Nope, it's just the most recent in a long history of naked pandering;
          -Accusing Liberals of being anti-semitic in the House of Commons,
          -The commission to study anti-semitism in Canada,
          -Blocking UN resolutions that criticize Israel,
          -Withdrawal from the Durban II conference.

          None of these have raised Canada's stature in the world. They've only been done for sole purpose of getting the Canadian Jewish lobby groups onside so they will convince Jews, who still mostly vote Liberal, to vote for the Conservatives.

          • Why would you libel me on the Macleans blog. Is it because you just don't care about the legal trouble this could cause them?

          • Why would you write something libelous about me on the Macleans blog. Is it because you just don't care about the legal trouble this could cause them?

          • Apropos of nothing, you know what's fascinating? Truth is a defense to defamation claims in Canada. To say nothing of how you'd have to make out actual reputational damages, if I recall correctly; good luck with that.

          • Apropos of nothing, you know what's fascinating? Truth is usually a defense to defamation claims in Canada. To say nothing of how you'd have to make out actual reputational damages, if I recall correctly; good luck with that.

          • Just so we're clear: some random, anonymous wanker posts a horrible, unsupported accusation here.

            You assume that wanker speaks the "truth" and imply that Robert McClelland really did commit the heinous act of which he's been accused. And you direct your juvenile taunting at Robert.

            Do I understand that correctly? Because that is NOT "apropos of nothing", and much more revealing of you than of McClelland.

          • Panderer. Why pretend outrage when your MO is to foment anger?

  2. If, then, Britain and the United States, for instance, fail to walk out this afternoon, do their leaders lack a moral compass? Are they giving Mr. Ahmadinejad legitimacy?

    Yes and yes. As does the UN, for giving this bigot a stage and a spotlight.

    And good for Harper. I'm only sorry that he didn't refer to Ahmadinejad's illegitimate election victory and subsequent crackdown on protesters in his decision to boycott the speech.

    • I was curious to why Harper ommitted that… maybe becasue of Canada's support of Hamid Karzai? Anyways… no room for us Harper haters on this, Ahmadinejad's time is up.

      Oddly enough,

      "Perhaps I have a bias toward facts over words, but I say the reality of Iranian civility toward Jews tells us more about Iran — its sophistication and culture — than all the inflammatory rhetoric."
      Roger Cohen

      • Islamic sharia considers anything but Muslim second class citizens just ask the Baha'i Iranians.

        • Or the Palestinians!

          …no, wait…

    • I was curious to why Harper ommitted that… maybe becasue of Canada's support of Hamid Karzai? Anyways… no room for us Harper haters on this, Ahmadinejad's time is up.

      Oddly enough,

      "Perhaps I have a bias toward facts over words, but I say the reality of Iranian civility toward Jews tells us more about Iran — its sophistication and culture — than all the inflammatory rhetoric."
      Roger Cohen

      • So he did. It's in the linked article too, I forgot the Wherry rule of always clicking through the link.

        I retract my earlier regret. Good on Harper all around for this.

    • "I'm only sorry that he didn't refer to Ahmadinejad's illegitimate election victory and subsequent crackdown on protesters in his decision to boycott the speech."

      That's a major omission, don't you think?

    • The world is not a blog, and Harper is not some blowhard posting his comments on it.

      • Yet Harper IS a blowhard, no?

    • Giving Mr. Ahm the floor is the best thing possible for two reasons. One, it exposes him for what he is even further and two, it cannot be lost on him or other Iranians that he is allowed to do something in a free speech nation that would never be allowed in Iran. His comments at Columbia U. were a great example.

      I may very well be wrong; most people disagree with me on this, but it's my position nonetheless.

      • YYZ. What you say just plain feels right. Indignation is an emotion better left unvoiced, lest ours be thrown back at us.

  3. Harper's 'moral compass,' whatever that is, is ALWAYS superceded by his political compass.

  4. So will Canada now leave the room every time a foreign leader whose country has a poor human rights record speaks at the UN? That could get awkward.

    • They certainly should don't you think

      • Of course. When Canada's treatment of aboriginals comes up we can meet
        ourselves coming and going.
        And we can sign a trade deal with Columbia without even being there.

        It's so exciting.

        • You mean we could put Canada on our walk out list?

        • So you suggest the Conservative Party really does know whether it's coming or going? Preposterous!

      • After all, the best way to encourage these nations to be better is to avoid any relations with them. Yes, that's sure to work..

        ..in Bizarro world.

    • That's probably the strongest argument against this kind of display.

    • So will Canada now leave the room every time a foreign leader whose country has a poor human rights record speaks at the UN? That could get awkward.

      Or how about this…we transform the UN so that it is not so easily hijacked by dictators with poor human rights records in the first place.

      • john g

        I can feel your pain.

        You cannot influence with petulance. Harper's stance is identical to his governing position — "I dislike you so I'm leaving" or more politely — refusing to cooperate. It goes beyond cowardice. It is a weakness borne of the illusion of strength where none exists. The man behaves like a sheltered denizen of some privileged minor principality that has never had to confront anything more serious than the frequency of garbage collection in the neighbourhood.

        This nation is ill served.

  5. Ahmadinejad's remarks about the Holocaust are an "elaborate dodge"?

    He said that the Holocaust is a lie. He has also called for the destruction of the state of Israel. On the domestic front, he has been criticized by many democratic countries for allegedly rigging his recent election, which led to widespread demonstrations, many of which were quelled by authoritarian brutality and flagrant human rights abuses.

    Aren't these good enough reasons for Canada to walk out of the General Assembly when Ahmadinejad steps on the podium?

    • Yes they are,CritReas, but Harper didn't mention any of the "domestic front" stuff. He seemed to only be concerned about Ahmadinejad's odious comments about Israel.

      Why the omission?

      • From the article Wherry linked to above:

        Mr. Harper said Canada is also upset about Iran's treatment of its citizens and its detention of a Canadian journalist.

        “There are other things that bother us beyond these repugnant comments, also obviously the crackdown in Iran on any kind of legitimate dissent. The fiasco there around the elections is quite disturbing as well.”

    • I think you've missed the "elaborate dodge" point.

      I believe the point is that Ahmadinejad's not stupid, and so he knows that if he just says the word "holocaust" that's all that we'll hear about, and we'll spend an inordinate amount of time discussing Ahmadinejad's thoughts regarding what happened 50 years ago, and that much less time discussing what's going on in Iran TODAY.

      I mean, even look at your own comment. The first three sentences are all about Ahmadinejad's crazy rhetoric, and THEN you get in to the recent brutal crackdown in Iran post-"election". I think Ahmadinejad knows that most of the media are lazier than you. They might not get past the crazy rhetoric at all. Heck, look at our own government's reasons for boycotting: One: Rhetoric about the Holocaust. Two: Rhetoric about the modern state of Israel. Three: Brutally cracking down on their own population, and likely rigging a democratic election. Sure, the first two items are disgusting, but surely the priorities are a bit screwy, which is likely just what Ahmadinejad is going for.

      • LKO, I don't think Ahmadinejad has called the Holocaust a lie on many documented occasions just because he's trying to play some kind of elaborate political shell game. I think he really believes it. He's also a cynical, corrupt politician who tries to fan the flames of hatred in pursuit of his personal authoritarian and semi-theocratic agenda.

        You're reading too much into my sentence order. I don't think that Ahmadinejad's Holocaust denial is more serious than the brutal repression of his own people. Both are equally disgusting.

  6. This is a perfect move by a respected country like Canada. If someone doesn/t stand up to these wacko dictators like Little Az. then they go on their merry way lecturing to the world leaders at the UN.

    I would not worry about the appearance of Canada walking out on this guy—-the important thing is the reason why they are ignoring him. That message is getting out loud and clear to those countries who know they should send a message to Iran and to the Little Az. himself.

  7. It was the right thing to do.

    I'm proud of Canada & Harper

      • "I'm proud of Canada & Harper "

        The two being one and the same of course.

    • Wonderful. Now, go eat a box of doughnuts and see if you can burp "God Bless Harper" afterwards!

      • Let's make a list of countries on our walk out list.

  8. Why did he even go? Please correct me if I'm wrong, but is the chronology of this visit: Harper does not attend the climate change discussions, but does go to the free dinner party and a meet and greet with the mayor of NYC. He skips President Obama's address to have a photo opp at Tim Horton's Innovation Centre somewhere in Ontario. President Obama seemed to take the whole conference quite seriously — why not harp?

    Regrettably, the growth of Tim Horton's bottom line runs parallel to the growth in our bellies spilling out over jeans; we're in an epidemic of obesity, which is costing our health system kajillions and growing.

    Not sure why Canada should celebrate this at all. Of all industries it would be nice to grown, the donut industry wasn't on the list. Plus I find allowing the BigDonuts into the hospitals of our nation also to be counter-productive.

  9. I'm curious…

    Is our delegation walking out on Ahmadinejad because of his brutally repressive tactics on his people, including Canadian citizens, or is this all solely about the Holocaust denial?

    • Can you walk out twice? or three times if you include the brutal treatment of a couple of Canadian Citizens

  10. Funny, I had thought that the whole "let's refuse to engage with our enemies and hope they just disappear" strategery was thoroughly discredited by Bush…

  11. "If, then, Britain and the United States, for instance, fail to walk out this afternoon, do their leaders lack a moral compass?"

    No, they have moral compass' but they just point the wrong way. Brown and Obama have engaged in entirely too much kowtowing to leaders who are little more than gangsters and murderers over the past year and not done nearly enough to reward friends and allies.

    But I guess I should not be surprised that leaders of the left want to play footsie with wicked dictators who do nothing but bring misery to their peoples.

    • “But I guess I should not be surprised that leaders of the left want to play footsie with wicked dictators who do nothing but bring misery to their peoples.”

      The irony contained in that statement would make a saint weep! To whit: Marcos, Pinnochet et al., I can’t be bothered to continue. The sorry list is a long one.

      • Hello kc. How was your summer of sailing?

        • Ah trying to change the channel eh – typical right wing tactic. Actually the sailing was wonderful thanks.:)

    • "But I guess I should not be surprised that leaders of the left want to play footsie with wicked dictators who do nothing but bring misery to their peoples."

      Yes, that makes a lot of sense because…. why, exactly? You think the Left delight in the suffering of other people? The Left is just evil? Show your work here dude, otherwise it's just one of your typically inflammatory, empty statements.

      While you're at it, please explain how the right's actions in South America over the last 30 years, as well as relationships with thugs in the middle east (Saddam Hussein is the easy example) compare favorably to the Left's actions/inactions over the last year.

      • "You think the Left delight in the suffering of other people?"

        I don't think the Left delight in it but they certainly don't mind it and do little to alleviate it.

        "how the right's actions in South America over the last 30 years"

        I am sure we disagree on what constitutes 'the right' but you will get no argument from me about the dire behaviour of many presidents and prime ministers over the past 30 years. I think American foreign policy, and by extension The West, has been far too accommodating of numerous dubious characters.

      • "You think the Left delight in the suffering of other people?"

        I don't think the Left delight in it but they certainly don't mind it and do little to alleviate it.

        "how the right's actions in South America over the last 30 years"

        I am sure we disagree on what constitutes 'the right' but you will get no argument from me about the dire behaviour of many presidents and prime ministers over the past 50 years. I think American foreign policy, and by extension The West, has been far too accommodating of numerous dubious characters.

        • Good – we agree that this doesn't make sense as s right/left issue.

          As for what to do about the thugs around the world – what do you suggest? There are far too many to invade, sanctions tend not to hurt the thugs (look at the US/UN trade restrictions against the Hussein regime, which may have killed as many as 500k Iraqi children). Doing nothing isn't an option but the usual strategies have been abject failures.

          I'm not trying to be provocative with this but I struggle to think of a single example of the West not accommodating a thug and successfully doing something about it.

          • In my dreams, the Marines are sent on a expedition through Northern Africa and into the Middle East to sort things out.

            In reality, there is not much you can do about wicked people becoming leaders of their countries. All The West can do is cut all ties with dubious countries – no more trade, end diplomatic/cultural/sports missions, citizens can't enter certain countries … etc.

            I think it was FDR that said, about some foreign leader I forget, that he 'was a son-of-a-bitch but he's our sob' and that encapsulates US, and a couple of others, foreign policy for the past 70 years. I think that policy/idea has been disastrous and needs to change.

            All I know is that if you reward bad behaviour, you will get more of it.

          • "In my dreams, the Marines are sent on a expedition…"

            I don't think it was the Marines sent to Iraq, but your dreams have partly played out there. That's your model for foreign intervention in oppressive countries?

            If there's not much one can do, then it's hard to condemn the Left for working with one model within a limited sphere of possibilities, vs. what you think they should do within that limited sphere. Also, condemning someone's "moral compass" (ie passing high-minded judgement) within that limited sphere is just silly, for Stephen Harper and for you.

            I don't necessarily disagree with your 'cutting ties' position, it's just tiresome to constantly have to deal with your self-serving condemnations of the "Left" when you're clearly capable of much more insight than that.

          • The problem TJ, as I"ve pointed out on this thread, is that when it comes to issues defending Israel and the Jews things always seem to split on ideological lines. I find it curious, it wasn't always that way. This thread is a good example, the left/lib commenters are against Canada's principled stand against the whackjob that holds the Iranian presidential office while the conservative and right-leaning commenters support it. It was the same thing on the thread about the Carleton University prof who was wanted in France for a bombing of a synagogue – a pronounced right/left split.

          • This thread is not about defending Israel or Jews. Read it again – Jolyon and I were talking about what to do with a country ruled by a thug.

            If you're just looking for an excuse to come back to "Lefties hate Israel and are anti-semitic!!!!" bullsh*t, spare us all.

          • My point – and you know this – is that to single out the left on foreign affairs and ignore the right is self-serving nonsense.

  12. Aaron wrote,

    "Using, oddly enough, the same term he employed to question Michael Ignatieff's decision to wish Brian Mulroney a happy birthday…"

    I nominate this as one of the sillier observations you have made. Perhaps it can make Spector's "Idiocy of the Day"

    Moral Compass is commonly used term, see this simple google search.

    http://news.google.com/archivesearch?q=%22moral+c

    Harper saves a baby from a burning building, Wherry blogs, "Harper fails to calm crying baby."

    • Back away from the koolaid, Vince.

      It's a term of judgement based on one's own values, not a great quality in someone whose job it is to govern for us all, irrelevant of what direction he thinks we're headed on his moral compass.

      • Your misisng the point. Wherry implies something nefarious by the use of term he used question MI calling Brian Mulroney….like there is some kind of equivalence being set up……I dont think anyone would ever have linked them. I am pointing that it is a term that shouldnt be seen as so uncommon.

        I wasnt speaking to the content of the term being used. That is a seperate discussion.

        • "Your misisng the point. Wherry implies something nefarious by the use of term he used question MI calling Brian Mulroney…"

          What?

          • Thats the original reference. Harper said MI lacked a Moral Compass for calling Brian Mulroney…..its in Wherry's original link

    • "Moral Compass is commonly used term…"

      Used by hypocrites and moral imbeciles, usually.

      • Like those who use the term "moral imbeciles", apparently.

        • I wouldn't know. Although I use the term "moral imbecile" extensively (reserved for people who believe that the ends justify the means, usually), I never use "moral compass." It's sounds like something you use to explain morality to a two year-old.

      • And the last thing I need is a cheap career politician like Stephen Harper moralizing to me.

  13. "There is, as well, the argument that the Iranian president's remarks about the Holocaust are an elaborate dodge."

    They are. Why do think he's always got that serene smile on his face. He enjoys watching the various vassals of the Western Empire go into infantile furies every time he sticks his tongue out at them.

    Harper's natural petulance has served quite nicely in this regard.

  14. "Canada does not want to be equivocal at all in terms of our view on that. We find it disgraceful, unacceptable and we're going to be absolutely clear on that.”

    So this government will stand up and be counted when it comes to defending Jewish-Canadians and Israelis against such abuses, as it should.

    However, that same government will gladly find itself dragged into court over and over again because of its "unequivocal" determination to refuse help to its own citizens stranded abroad, facing human rights abuse?

    What's wrong with this picture?

  15. In an extra-mature follow-up display, the honourable minister will run around with his fingers in his ears and repeat "la la la la not listening can't hear you" in a loud, sing-song voice.

  16. This is what is foolish and repugnant about Harper's behaviour:

    The United Nations is one forum where (almost) all governments of all countries have a right to speak. Listening to a speaker at the UN does not signify agreement.

    Given this, there is no reason to boycott any country's speeches. However, if you choose to do so, then why stop at just one country?

    Does Harper now intend for Canada to boycott the speeches of all the governments he doesn't like? If not, why not?

  17. Interesting how the ones having problems with Harper's principled stance are the left/lib crowd. Walking out on a hate-monger's speech at the U.N. is, according to the latest commenter, foolish and repugnant.

    I'm sure Denis Coderre is having a seizure as we speak, he who marches in parades with Hezbollah sympathizers. Maybe they'll be organizing a parade on Parliament Hill to protest Canada's position, you won't have to walk very far this time, Denis.

    • Try reading everything he said. Although i wouldn't have said it was rugnant or foolish myself.

    • All critics of Obama are racists, I seen the signs at the teabagger protests.

  18. "There's a part of me that thinks showing up just for the optics of leaving gives this nut way too much attention. Just completely and utterly ignore the guy's speech. I'm not sure he's really of all that much consequence anyway. "

    True but the point here is to bring attention to Harper, not Amahdinejad. In that sense, it is Ahmadinejad who is giving Harper a platform, not the other way around.

  19. It is all a bit ridiculous and childish. They're gonna hear what he said afterwards anyway. Why does he & others, non-muslim I might add, believe the jewish holocaust is a lie? Give them the proof if it is there, take him to Germany or something. Why in fact does it matter if he believes it happened or not?

  20. I believe his resentment towards the Jews may have something to do with the fact these people have been given the land of another all because of a so-called promise or deal made thousands of years ago, which had been broken on many occasions, with a group of people and a something called God. Whom half the world see in a different light or call by another name and many others do not believe exists at all. This is written in a book that takes stories and ideas from earlier cultures and religions. Things like monotheism and a set laws like the commandments are ideas are far older than Judaism.
    Every culture or native religion has a story that bounds them to their land or their god. Many contain promises, deal and contracts made with thier land and/or God. How are their stories less creditable than the Jews', even though we know without doubt they have been there maybe tens of thousands of years? Is there any sort worthy state solution for the aboriginies of Australia? We dont have to go back to far to work out where their land was. We know who lived on Diego Garcia up till 50 years ago. Take land back from the Boers to give back to the rightful owners? Northern Ireland back to the Irish?
    The double standards are crazy!

  21. "Elaborate dodge".

    Right up there with the kid who makes up a good one to skip school, or the husband who tells the wife he was working on the yard instead of watching football. Yup, just like denying the deaths of six million and the vows to repeat it all over again (sarc)

    It's interesting to juxtapose Harper's appropriately harsh condemnation with…

    Harper's detractors' willingness to minimize that which is abhorrent, in order to undercut the messenger.

    Sad, yes, but so very interesting.

  22. A-Jad is always good for a laugh. But unfortunately now hell be forced to exterminate himself.

Sign in to comment.