Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Peter’s Excellent Middle East Adventure

If it is indeed one of Peter McKay’s New Year Resolutions to be more of a diplomat and less of a jerk I applaud him and fully support him in his quest. And it seems our Foreign Affairs Minister would like to start that quest by trying to help bring peace to the Middle East.

Yes, it seems that in the New Year our Peter wants to fly over to the region and see if he can’t get everybody talking.

"I would love to, in some fashion, be able to facilitate a coming together and a discussion," MacKay told CTV in a report broadcast from Ottawa on Sunday, "and that's not to set unreal expectations – but I think we've have to constantly try."

I certainly applaud the enthusiasm, and I think even long shots in the name of peace are worth the effort. Canada should try to be an honest broker. A long shot it will be too, since Peter will have some limits placed on his peacemaking, as talking to Hezbollah and Hamas will be verboten.

"We will not solve the Palestinian-Israeli problem, as difficult as that is, through organizations that advocate violence and advocate wiping Israel off the face of the Earth," Mr. Harper said yesterday in a wide-ranging year-end interview with CTV to be aired Saturday.

"It's unfortunate because with Hamas, and with Hezbollah in Lebanon, it has made it very difficult to have dialogue -- and dialogue is ultimately necessary to have peace in the long term -- but we are not going to sit down with people whose objectives are ultimately genocidal."

I agree with his assessment of the two groups. Hopefully progress can be made through President Mahmoud Abbas. But still, who else can you make peace with but your enemies?

On the plus side, Harper and McKay seem determined to reclaim Canada’s mythical role as an “honest broker” in the world:

Harper says under previous governments, Canada has been “completely absent” in Mideast peace efforts, rather than playing the role as a neutral, honest broker.

Always nice to see the Prime Minister take a gratuitous partisan shot when he’s trying to be a statesmen. Still, whether we were an honest broker before or not, it’s good to see Harper and McKay trying to carve out that role for Canada again.

It’s just too bad his parliamentary secretary, James Moore, isn’t on the same page:

In any case, it is hard to see exactly what even the most honest broker could do in the present situation. The Oslo process is dead…Harper's critics should stop worrying about its mythical status as an honest broker in the Middle East and remember Churchill's dictum about impartiality. Only fools are impartial between the fireman and the fire.

No matter what James says, I wish Stephen and Peter good luck as they try position Canada as an honest broker in the Middle East.

P.S. What happened to Wajid Kahn, I thought this was his thing? Has he filed his report yet?

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

MacKay also wants to fix up relations between China and Canada - don't you think this is admitting that they screwed it up, especially when Harper plays Mr. Bully Human Rights Guy on the plane?

Mind you, he said it on the plane for the reporters and not to their face.

I'm disappointed in James Moore, I thought he was one of the only decent conservatives.