Sunday, March 16, 2008

Vic Toews does the "World Stage" and falls off

Oh would you looky here. Look what Vic Toews has sent out to his constituents. (Click to enlarge)
Geez. I wonder if Vic remembers one of the icons of conservative dogma? The Iron Lady. It brings up two things.

One. Canada has always been on the world stage.

In 1982, after General Leopoldo Galtieri, leader of the military junta governing Argentina, decided to divert the Argentine population's attention from his "excesses" and invade the Falkland Islands, a flurry of diplomatic activity and meetings took place. One significant meeting was between the British "war" cabinet and a team led by US Secretary of State Alexander Haig.

At that first meeting, after the British had asked the US to intervene with Galtieri, Haig's group suggested a three-stage diplomatic effort to avert war. Part one involves an Argentine withdrawal from the Falklands. Part two, (and this is important), involves returning the Falklands to British administration but under a multi-national arrangement involving Canada, two Latin-American countries and perhaps the US.

Who was the prime minister at the time? Why, Pierre Trudeau. Why would Haig even consider Canada? Because despite our alliances we possessed that unique position on the "world stage" as an honest and reliable broker.

Did Haig, or his NSC advisers even consult Trudeau? We don't know, but one of the reasons it was even suggested is that Haig's team knew Canada would jump in if called. And Haig, despite the fact that people believe he was a consummate war-monger, was fighting both the British distrust of the Argentinians and the extremist right-wing (led by Jean Kirkpatrick) in Washington. He wanted a moderate, measured solution and the one place he knew he could go for support was Canada.

Let's move on to the second point. Thatcher wasn't buying Haig's diplomatic ideas. She didn't trust Galtieri to abide by an international agreement and in any case she had already started spooling up the national mind for a dirty little war. She made a statement which went, "If General Galtieri harms the hair on the head of one British subject... ".

Ignore for a moment that the message was more for the Soviets at the time than it was for Galtieri. Thatcher, even though it was rhetoric, made it clear that no one could violate the rule of law when it came to British subjects, no matter how far flung they may be. Period.

Back to Vic Toews and his propaganda leaflet.

Thatcher is one of the heroes of the movement conservatives. Toews should be worshiping her image.

So why is he ignoring the fact that Canada is being shoved around on the "world stage" by Mexico? Even the conservative movement rag isn't buying it.
Helena Guergis, the secretary of state for Foreign Affairs, was insistent this week that justice should be allowed to take its course in the case of Brenda Martin, the Canadian woman who has been imprisoned in Mexico for more than two years awaiting trial on money-laundering charges.

Yet the events of the past few days have offered more proof that justice as we know it does not exist in Mexico, a country where you are judged guilty until proven innocent. It's a tragedy for Ms. Martin that Mexican prosecutors haven't been as scrupulous about due process as the secretary of state.

Brenda Martin has been refused a proper hearing, has been denied interpreters and has been denied legal counsel. The person with whom she was supposed to have conspired for her crime, now serving a 10-year sentence in the US has sworn in writing that Brenda Martin was no way involved in his criminal activities.

The Harper government's response so far? Oh well.

It's probably worth looking at the front of Toews' leaflet.

Ah yes. The brand. It's all about one person. Nothing else and no one else matters.

H/T Kat.

No comments: