Getting back in the game

By Gerald V. Paul; 

Pierre Trudeau is shown in a Nov. 8, 1993 file photo.
Pierre Trudeau is shown in a Nov. 8, 1993 file photo.

As the Eyes Guy is re-reading Getting Back in the Game, a foreign policy playbook for Canada by the brilliant former Canadian ambassador to the UN Paul Heinbecker, I would like to welcome Eyesers to a new Canada: A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian.

It’s a compelling vision for the future of Canadian foreign policy from one of Canada’s foremost diplomats in which Canada can work with all parties and take a stand and effect change on issues from climate change to the Middle East, in which this country has a key role in the rehabilitation of global governance.

Rewind: “Prime Minister Harper’s trip to Israel and the West Bank … beyond the ‘comms plans’ and optics, though, it is the substance that matters, as the visit falls in the middle of some of the politically and strategically fraught negotiations of our times – the quest for a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine and the curtailing of the Iranian nuclear program,” writes Heinbecker in his Time to Be a Statesman, Not a Partisan article.

“Success or failure in each of these talks will have profound consequences, including for Canadians. The national interest requires the prime minister to be more statesman than partisan.”

Heinbecker, who wrote foreign policy speeches for Pierre Trudeau, posits, “But for Israel, the road to Teheran runs through Washington because the decision-makers on Iran are the decision-makers on Palestine. In addition to intrinsic merits, an agreement on a two-state solution would give Washington greater “cover” in the Middle East and in the Midwest too, for military action if Teheran proved intransigent.”

And as know Harper, proved a Christian / Jewish huddler. But the Palestinians are people, with souls, too. How can you love one and hate The Other? Lord have mercy.

Heinbecker stressed Canada’s foreign policy should be about statecraft, not stagecraft.

“Mr. Harper’s foreign policy has been more presentation than performance. It is foreign posture not foreign policy. As we do know, foreign policy is a statement of intent, not a prescription and the desired results are not pre-ordained.”

Pierre Trudeau said at the University of Alberta in 1968, “In the long run, the overwhelming threat to Canada will not come from foreign investments, or foreign ideologies, or even – with good fortune – foreign nuclear weapons. It will come instead from the two-thirds of the peoples of the world who are steadily falling farther and farther behind.”

Indeed, he believed the world’s poor ought to be a priority in foreign policy.

As for the son, Prime Minister-Designate Justin Trudeau faces some foreign policy priorities:

  • The G20 leaders’ summit in Turkey; the APEC summit in the Philippines, the Commonwealth leaders’ summit in Malta and the international summit on climate change in Paris. Due to forming a government Nov. 4, Trudeau has committed to the latter.
  • Fighting ISIL in Iraq and Syria. Trudeau said Canada will “continue to engage in a responsible way” but will end combat missions.
  • Trudeau must study the Trans Pacific Partnership (TTP) 12-country trade pact that covers 40% of the world economy and decides whether he supports it.
  • His pledge to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by year’s end.

Indeed, Eyesers welcome to a new just society as we open our windows to (“sunny days, my friends, sunny days”) to real freedom and democracy after 10 years of Conservative dictatorship and police state where an emperor ruled without ethical and moral garments, a man who like ah boss underestimated David and his slingshot only to come tumbling down.

Harper even declined to serve as opposition leader, knowing that in facing the son of Pierre he would be reminded of his failure to destroy the liberalism the senior Trudeau stood for.

So Eyesers, as former prime minister Jean Chretien said, we hope Justin Trudeau will engage in a dialogue with a variety of international leaders including, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Cuba’s Fidel Castro and reopen an embassy in Iran.

The Eyes Guy says: Right thing to do!