Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The end of "progressive" soft power

A modified version of this column by Kelly McParland appeared in today's Post as an editorial entiled "The end of 'soft power'":
U.S. President Barack Obama’s sudden about-face on the Middle East has exacerbated the difficulty that self-styled progressives face in sorting out how to deal with the world’s many emerging threats. Mr. Obama came to office preaching a highly progressive approach to confronting rogue, terror-supporting states: dialogue, diplomacy, co-operation and brotherhood, along with a pronounced reluctance to commit U.S. military forces on any fresh foreign entanglement. But it didn’t work. Now he’s trying bombs. He has come to realize that the most problematic actors on the world stage don’t share his enthusiasm for reason, negotiation and peace....

Having contributed military advisors to the effort against ISIS, Canada has a direct stake in this battle. The campaign should be of interest to Canadians for another reason, too. With Mr. Obama’s renunciation of his touchy-feely approach to international relations, it makes it difficult to argue that “soft power” and “honest brokerage,” two of our own foreign-policy establishment’s favourite catchphrases during the Liberal years, ever had much value on the world stage.  

Since Stephen Harper came to power, his opponents have crafted the notion that Canada once was a widely respect middle power that now has squandered its reputation thanks to the Conservatives’ renunciation of soft-power shibboleths. ...

... People who cut off aid workers’ heads don’t call out for “honest brokers.” They call out for bombs and bullets.
In the comments behind the Post pay-wall, Stephen Boyling wrote:
 This Editorial, although significantly watered down from what most of us have been saying for years, will do, especially after the immoral mea culpa Obama splashed us with during his UN pirouette.  The prime minister of Israel gave the speech the president of the United States of America should have given.  That, tied to the speech of prime minister Harper and his focus on what it takes, what is needed to suffocate the madness that is born in backwater dictatorships and 5-star sand lots made for a more than compelling argument when it comes to standing up to Islamic madness.

Next year in Canada, God save us from Obama-lite.  A man trying to run a race without first learning how to walk.


Anonymous said...

barrack the magic negro is a total and complete a hole.

Anonymous said...

Well i guess im not the only one keeping track of things.

Ill apologize in advance for this forthcoming rant JR but it needs to be said-

The prime minister is doing Canadians a service by bringing this issue of canadian forces being put in harms way in the battle against ISIS.

Trudeau, unfortunately,has no position he is staking out and therefore looks very wishy washy.

We already are helping people in Iraq with generous donations and non combat aid.Something else he forgot to mention.

Trudeau questioned whether deploying "a handful of aging warplanes" is the best contribution Canada can make.(this quote pulled from NP article "Trudeau accuses..")

So the Liberals wont allow us to upgrade our fighter jets to the F35s citing cost overruns and unfair bidding process or some crap like that, and then turn s around and makes the above comment?

WTF.You cant play both sides of the fence when it comes to our military.You either support a mission or you do not.

Either you support upgrading our AGING FLEET OF FIGHTER JETS, or you do not.

Nuff said.

Thank you JR.


JR said...

I agree. The Liberals and Dippers seem to want to play politics with this, probably in an attempt to paint Harper as a war monger. I think it will backfire as most Canadians favour bombing the crap out of ISIS.

It is bizarre that both the Libs and NDP, who voted for sending our forces to attack Ghadaffi (a mission of dubious utility), are now coming out against attacking an obviously serious (and barbaric) threat.

And yes, those "aging warplanes" are still highly capable (and worthy of upgrade). They're easily capable now, as is, of contributing alongside similar and older F-15, F-16, FA-18 and Tornado fighter/bombers already deployed against ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Trudeau is a wet-behind-the-ears know-nothing.

Dwight Kematch said...

Hahaha, I don't think you should insult Obama like that, but I really liked this posting. Your blog is also good too.

JR said...

Thanks, Dwight.