View Full Version : Marc Garneau: Liberals, isolationist?

01-03-2015, 12:09 PM
Marc Garneau: Liberals, isolationist? Hardly


I found the recent foreign policy article by Postmedia’s Mathew Fisher predicting an isolationist path by a future Liberal government, in contrast to the Conservative policies evidently more to his liking, deeply flawed. It did not merit its description as “analysis.”
Let’s start with the obvious, the conflict in Ukraine. The Liberal position has been in total lock step with the position of the government from the very beginning. To suggest otherwise, as Mr. Fisher did, is simply wrong. How a journalist could be unaware of this is frankly difficult to even imagine.
Since a review is apparently necessary, here are some facts Mr. Fisher may have missed: During an emergency debate in the House of Commons more than a year ago, it was the Liberal party that first raised the issue of tough, direct sanctions against Putin’s cronies, while the other two parties were still non-committal. In fact, the Liberal party continues to advocate stiffer sanctions than the government on certain individuals close to Putin as well as providing armoured vehicle assistance to the Organization of Security and Co-operation in Europe, charged with monitoring the ceasefire conditions in eastern Ukraine. We have supported the government’s commitment to the NATO reassurance mission every step of the way. These deployments include CF-18s in the Baltic States, troops in Eastern Europe and a Canadian warship.
Next, let’s go to Africa, which the author claims we want to avoid. I wish Mr. Fisher would read the transcripts of the Liberal party-initiated emergency debate where we proposed a military presence in the Central African Republic. I wish he had taken note of the Liberal party’s efforts to push for a more rapid and muscular response to the Ebola crisis. I wish he had listened to the Liberal party calling for greater humanitarian assistance in South Sudan. Sadly, Mr. Fisher was totally unaware of any of this — or chose to ignore it.

One last example: Mr. Fisher stated that China is asserting itself aggressively against its neighbours in its adjoining Pacific Ocean waters, and suggested that the Liberal Party is trying to avoid this “hot spot.” So my question is: What precisely is Stephen Harper doing about this issue? Here’s the answer: precisely nothing.
To generalize on the Liberal approach to foreign policy based on my party’s decision to vote against the deployment of 6 CF-18s to Iraq is simplistic and smacks of wanting desperately to make a point no matter what. The decision of the Liberal party to vote against sending CF-18s was based on the fact that the government had not presented a compelling case to justify such a role, as opposed to focusing on a different Canadian role to help defeat the Islamic State. The Liberal party believes the world needs to band together to combat the evil that is ISIS and each country needs to bring to the table what it does best. When a coalition is composed of some 60 countries with 50 or so contributing in a manner that does not include air strikes, there are obviously many options on the table — including other military roles.
To state, as Mr. Fisher did in his opening paragraph, that CF-18s were deployed to “to conduct round-the-clock combat operations” is, to put it mildly, over the top. The number of sorties has been very limited for reasons that were well anticipated beforehand: ISIS is adapting rapidly to airstrikes and there is very real concern about collateral damage. We don’t know how many bombs have actually been dropped by Canadian CF-18s so far, but based on what has been reported, it is probably a very small number.
So what is the highest and best use of Canadian strengths and talents? Yes, we can bomb as well as others, but we can also do other things better than others — like training Iraqi troops to defeat ISIS. We can also be a global leader in humanitarian aid, medical help and reconstruction — it’s all about winning the hearts and minds of local Iraqis and of ISIS’s victims. That’s where the real “heavy lifting” will have to be done. What could be accomplished if we took the considerable dollars we’re spending on bombing and used it for aid, medical support and training?
Our position is the opposite of isolationism. It’s active engagement designed intelligently to be the most effective it can be.
Despite repeated attempts to get the government to provide public committee hearings as well as a cost for our deployment of 600 Canadians and the aircraft they are supporting, the answer has always been the same: “We’ll let you know when the 6 months are up.” Other coalition partners have been willing to release their costs, which is the only way to determine whether our dollars are being spent effectively on this important mission.
The Liberal party will remain engaged on this issue, as we will remain engaged with all the issues that impact Canada and global peace and security. Any suggestion otherwise is simply not in accordance with the facts that are already on record, even if Mr. Fisher would prefer not to acknowledge them.

01-03-2015, 12:13 PM
Sorry Mark,, but the liberals really come out weak on the foreign policy front,, band aids and cepocal seem to be the liberals answer to everything

01-03-2015, 01:12 PM
Sorry Mark,, but the liberals really come out weak on the foreign policy front,, band aids and cepocal seem to be the liberals answer to everything

no doubt, and painting themselves as 'aggressive' on it isn't going to sell.

I'm assuming he's refering to THIS article:

http://www.canada.com/news/national/Fisher+2015+election+determine+Canada+role+world+f ull/10688064/story.html

In fairness, the article barely mentions justin. It just says that he has isolationist policies and there's a lot going on in the world and do we want to be isolationists or not?

In fairness - suggesting the libs are absolute isolationists wouldn't be fair. The libs haven't really opposed what harper has done in the Ukraine. Although other than sanctions we haven't "done' much. although harper has personally put a lot of pressure on Putin. But the libs HAVE FREQUENTLY berated harper on his usual hard line stance on China's human rights, which harper has only recently toned down. They WERE extremely crticial of the war in afghanistan, despite the fact they started it, and justin has been VERY vocal that what we should be doing against isis is NOT 'whipping out our cf-18's, but rather sending pamphlets on how to survive cold winters. That is absolutely true.

They've been VERY critical of support for isreal when they were being shelled by the palistinians. Yet - it was the fact that the palestinians werne't winning world support that caused them to stop the attacks. They knew the attacks would do no real damage, they were looking for public sympathy over the retaliation and if we'd followed justin's thinking we'd have seen a longer and bloodier war.

And really other than that justin tries NOT to have a policy. He didn't go against the ukraine actions, but he didn't really propose anything that wasn't already on the table either. And he didn't really support it. He hasn't offered ANY policy position about china, other than he really likes their dictatorship.

He says we have to do 'something' about isis, but other than sending cold weather living tips to the refugees he's proposed nothing to actually address the issue.

The only way you can argue that he's NOT an isolationist is to argue that it's not that he supports isolation, it's just that he has no clue what to do instead and so proposes nothing. Well - fair enough but that's not what we're looking for in a prime minister.

Justin is weak on foreign policy. But at the end of the day, he's been weak on everything. On the economy - "the budget will balance itself". Really? On guns- 'the registry is failed policy because it failed, but it didn't fail because it failed, it failed because people didn't like it. We will do "something" different." Well what the hell does that mean? Is the proof da proof there big guy? He supports pipelines, but not all pipelines and it depends but he won't say what it depends on specifically other than 'science'. He supports the "middle class' but was unable to define that when asked. He supports 'infrastructure' projects but won't say what qualifies as 'infrastructure' or 'project'. Just that we need more of it.

About the only thing he's actually come out firmly on is that his mp's shouldn't have a say in any restrictions at all on abortion no matter how late in the term and dope should be legal.

OH, and that albertans should never be allowed to run the country. He was firm on that.

WHere is he on health care? On privacy issues? On how to reduce crime or violence? How will he improve interprovincial trade and mobility? Where is he on giving bc its fair number of seats? What will he do about gun laws? How about prostitution - they were going to vote on that at their convention then pulled it at the last minute. How about taxes? (other than they've said they'd kill the cpc tax breaks handed out recently). Transfers to the provinces? Will they download costs again like chretien did? How will they handle EI donations? Chretien stole 60 billion dollars from that fund, the CPC put a process in place to stop that. Will they keep that.

What about party financing? Will they bring back the per vote subsidy? Will they allow corporations to donate again like they did in the past? (they just capped corporations, it was the cpc that shut that down).

Sorry marc - As an astronaut you SHOULD be able to recognize when something is still sitting on the pad instead of taking off. Justin is soft on everthing, and yes - he's a bit of an isolationist when it comes to foreign policy. I think his only defense is that he's an isolationist because that's the easiest thing to do and he doesn't know what else he should be doing. But that hardly makes him a good candidate for office.

Rory McCanuck
01-03-2015, 07:31 PM
^^^It's a bit of a read, but could we sticky this post? ;D
Maybe "isolationist" was the next adjective in the thesaurus after "idiot"?

01-03-2015, 08:43 PM
What sort of isolationism is in question here?

Military? Economic? complete?

Any time trudeau proposes anything militarily or economically about another nation, i would be suspect of any involvement by powercorp or it's associated holdings.

enter pierre karl peladeau. With enough money to make the Taj mahal into an outhouse. Watch out for that sob as well. His holdings are vast, his cronies are world wide and he will pull strings that will cause all of us to dance and whistle.

01-03-2015, 11:17 PM
^^^It's a bit of a read,

Yeah. Sorry. I do that a bit sometimes.

01-05-2015, 10:02 AM
Isolated from reality. :D

01-05-2015, 10:33 AM
Isolated from reality. :D


01-05-2015, 11:53 AM
Isolated from reality. :D

Wow! A real Liberal Space Cadet.