Wednesday, July 14, 2010

If Harper is the devil, is Ignatieff one of China’s latest Canadian lap dogs?

Further to my recent post about Michael Ignatieff implying that Stephen Harper is the devil, I have noticed that other Liberals seem to share the sentiment. You know, the reference Ignatieff made when, speaking to an audience of Liberal supporters at a Calgary Stampede breakfast on Saturday, the leader of the official opposition said Canadians “can smell the whiff of sulphur” coming off the Conservative prime minister. Apparently, Michael O’Shaughnessy, Mr. Ignatieff’s press secretary, stuck by the chief Grit’s personal insult, and when pressed to elaborate said that the whiff of sulphur is “quite evident when one faces the Conservative government on a daily basis.”

Ignatieff Michael Ignatieff
Photo credit: Edmonton Journal

Whatever happened to the philosophy of respecting the office (of prime minister) even if one does not respect the man? Just one more Canadian tradition tossed on the rubbish heap by the visitor—recently turned tourist—Ignatieff and his underlings.

So, it seems Liberals officially believe the prime minister of Canada and his government are devils surrounded by the putrid odour of rotten eggs—one can only assume the Liberals’ inference is to the Judeo/Christian/Muslim interpretation of the devil. Pretty strong stuff, eh? But surely not surprising since the Liberals have been implying for months now that our senior military command and military forces on the ground in Afghanistan are war criminals—or, at least, that they act like war criminals. Remember that, at the post-World War II Nuremberg trials, “following orders” was not a defence, and those who committed war crimes while “just following orders” were as guilty as those who gave the orders.

In an attempt to blacken the reputation of Stephen Harper and his ministers, Michael Ignatieff and his party had no qualms in smearing the reputations of our military in the eyes of the international community. Even if they have no respect for the Conservative government, I’d have thought the Liberals would have some residual respect for Canada. But that’s, I suppose, too much to expect from Ignatieff.

Earlier this month, while on a trip to China, Michael Ignatieff took great pains to find some moral equivalency in the human rights records of China and Canada. Incredible as it sounds, he actually suggested there could be a comparison between a democracy such as Canada and a one-party dictatorship such as China, a state in which there has been a record of crimes against humanity that caused tens of millions of deaths, with glacially slow progress towards addressing such egregious patterns of human rights abuse.

And, of course, Mr. Ignatieff knows better, for while teaching rights theory at Harvard University, he routinely cited China as one of the world’s worst rights-abusers. But now he follows in the footsteps of Pierre Trudeau and Jean Chrétien, former prime ministers who had an unhealthy/unrealistic regard for China, while ignoring or soft-soaping its human rights record. Trudeau toured China during the height of the Maoist purges, but never once made mention of them in his travel memoirs. Chrétien’s connections to China are odious as many find it unseemly that the former prime minister who was so silent on China’s human rights abuses while in office now makes a tidy fortune cultivating relationships with those same abusers.

Chrétien and prominent Liberal industrialists have a significant financial interest in Canada not rocking the boat and annoying China by expressing concern over human rights abuses in that nation. So, I suppose, it should not surprise anyone that Chrétien’s protégé should travel to China to assure that country’s leaders that, under Liberal Party rule, Canada will be a willing partner and, through its silence, a condoner of China’s ongoing suppression of pro-democracy movements, Tibetan separatists, the Falun Gong spiritual movement, Christian missionaries, Uyghur Muslims and others.

It is a sorry state of modern-day Canadian liberalism, when one of its primary leaders plays lap dog to Chinese oppressors.


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  1. APEC Pepper loving Chretien obliged Suharto from those noisy students at UBC.

    PET did it on a much larger scale in Quebec with the War Measures Act.

    So comparison to the Chinese government treatment of individual under a Liberal rule is not a big stretch.

  2. Mr. Campbell, is do you actually understand and are you informed about China’s long, complex, and rich history that spans several thousands of years? Or, do you understand how vital China is to the world economy (especially their efforts to stop the recession), as well as Canada’s economy?

    What your article demonstrates is a far too simplistic and rhetorical approach towards China. First, there is nothing wrong with comparing Canada with China. Perhaps it’s phoney to compare the two countries on “human rights,” but Canada certainly does have much it can learn from China, such as their cultural conservatism which emphasizes hard work, sacrifice, and filial piety/respect for elders.

    Second, as a long-time Conservative volunteer, I have noticed the shift of Harper’s foreign policy towards one that engages China. Various ministers have visited China. Hu Jintao has recently visited Canada and signed a deal to make our country “approved destination status” and he has vowed to double trade with Canada. The fact is, China needs Canada, and Canada needs China. I despise Ignatieff, but it’s not just the Liberals who are engaging China – Conservatives are too. That’s because they realize the sheer importance of China on the world stage.

    Third, all countries are guilty of human rights abuses. We here in Canada and the US have mistreated the First Nations and other ethnic groups. The Japanese have discriminated against the Ainu. Spain continues to subjugate the Basque people. Britain was guilty of the largest and most brutal slavery regime in the world. Certainly, I am not saying we should ignore China’s human rights record. However, we should work constructively to improve human rights in China, instead of hollowly and tirelessly blasting a country when we ourselves have done wrong to our own people. Sinophobia gets us nowhere, especially when 1/5 of the world is Chinese. Through trade and exchange of ideas, China is changing and growing and reforming – and Canada needs to play a constructive part in this change.

    My uncle is a Christian missionary in China. China is actually opening up to Christianity and the five major religions. My uncle, for example, said that the government has shown positive signs towards church-building in China. Another relative of mine is an ethnic minority in China (Korean) and her family gets special welfare and treatment just for being a minority. China is also investing huge sums of money to develop green and environmentally-friendly technology. In addition, peasants in the countryside are allowed to vote for their officials local elections! I’m sure you did not know these things, and I hope they open your eyes to see that there is actually a lot of rapid reform in China. Let’s not forget their biggest accomplishment – unprecedentedly bringing 400 million people out of poverty in just 30 years.

    I ask you again Mr. Campbell – will you work constructively to improve China through trade and exchange of ideas, or sit on the sidelines and hollowly criticize them?

  3. If they can look the other way on abuse of the Chinese people and not fell the need to speak out, then deep down inside they would probably do the same to us here in Canada if the right (extreme) circumstances arose. Pretty scary thought eh?

  4. the post defending China was such a load of nonsense that it had to be written by a Chinese agent or one of their western progressive stooges and if you don't think the chinese are monitoring then you don't hava a clue about how they operate

  5. Anon 7:32 PM:

    Actually, I have studied Chinese history and Culture extensively. It's a history and culture littered with human rights abuses. The whole concept of human rights is foreign to the Chinese leadership.

    Your words: "My uncle, for example, said that the government has shown positive signs towards church-building in China." Wow, what progress! China has therefore entered the 19th century, finally.

    Your words: "Another relative of mine is an ethnic minority in China (Korean) and her family gets special welfare and treatment just for being a minority." Really? I believe this is spin and part of the "big lie" China is selling to the world.

    Your words: "In addition, peasants in the countryside are allowed to vote for their officials local elections!" How generous of the Chinese state. My ancestors come from a tiny island in the Caribbean and had the vote generations ago.

    Trade with the Chinese? Exchange ideas? Fine, I'm all for that. As for alibiing the cruel one-party dictatorship's policies and rights abuses, shame on you. And as far as trusting the current Chinese leadership? Not for one moment.