Wednesday, November 24, 2004
POLITICS AS USUAL: L-20 OR L-OSER?
“But before it starts carrying the weight of the world, Canada must start pulling its own. It's fine to talk about L20 and institution-building and the “responsibility to protect,” but as former deputy prime minister John Manley once put it, Canada heads for the bathroom when the bill comes. Our military spending is a mere 1 per cent of gross domestic product, half of what NATO expects. Our foreign-aid spending has fallen to 0.28 of GDP, or about $100 per Canadian….
If only Mr. Martin could have been in the room this week when a delegation from Human Rights Watch visited this newspaper. Each campaigner asked plaintively why Canada wasn't helping more. Those from Afghanistan wondered why Canada had pulled out its troops instead of staying to stabilize the country. Those from the Congo asked why Canadian and other international troops weren't protecting them as they pursue mass murderers for war crimes. Those fighting for the rights of refugees in Sudan wondered why Mr. Martin had offered flak jackets to the African troops stationed there, instead of Canadian troops or equipment and transport?”
Its called a "commitment-credibility gap", Mr. Prime Minister. I won't support joining another multilateral group until the Canadian government proves its not just another way of trying to be a voice in the global community without working or paying for it. The real "soft power" here is our lack of ability to hold influence on the world stage.
That's what's soft.
If PM Martin really wanted to have influence, he'd back up his grand ideas to change the world with well trained, well equiped, fully dependent and fully functional military.
As I've said before, next time a leftie cries that we are not being heard about our calls for action in plces like Darfur, tell them its because the PM and Party he/she elected isn't stepping up to the plate.
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