By Michael Petrou - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - 0 Comments
In the West Bank several years ago, I asked a Palestinian activist how he proposed convincing Israel to make some sort of concession to Palestinian sovereignty. I forget now the specific point we were discussing. But I do remember his response. Israel, he said, cannot be convinced of anything. It must be compelled — non-violently, he added.
Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, he said, is old-fashioned colonialism, and throughout history colonizers have never given up their colonies simply because they felt like it. They were pressured to do so. There may be exceptions to the rule, but broadly speaking, he’s right. Colonies are freed when the costs of keeping them outweigh the benefits.
I’d argue that Israel has long since passed this point with the West Bank. Controlling the territory without giving citizenship rights to the Palestinians who live there erodes Israel’s democratic legitimacy; annexing the place and enfranchising all its inhabitants would soon make Jews a minority in all of Israel.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, October 1, 2012 at 10:50 AM - 0 Comments
The prepared text of John Baird’s speech to the UN General Assembly this morning.
It is an honour to address the opening of the 67th regular session of the General Assembly of the United Nations of the world.
Allow me to begin by paying silent tribute to all diplomats, from so many nations, who have lost their lives in the pursuit of deeper understanding among countries and in the service of our common humanity.
With the opening of this session, the General Assembly has passed a milestone.
Since the first session was convened, in Central Hall, Westminster, London, in January 1946, until the calling to order of this new session, precisely 66 years and 8 months have elapsed.
This General Assembly is now two thirds of a century old.
Two thirds of a century during which this Assembly—and the planet—have been witness to both great achievements and grave injustices; have seen both human triumphs, and human tragedies.
By The Associated Press - Thursday, September 6, 2012 at 5:33 AM - 0 Comments
ROME – The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization says current prices do not justify talk of a new world food crisis.
ROME – The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization says current prices do not justify talk of a new world food crisis.
Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva says the latest data is “reassuring.” Agency officials say the food price index of basic foods remained unchanged in August from July.
FAO official David Hallam told reporters in Rome on Thursday that “there is no strong evidence” to suggest another food price crisis, such as that which sparked unrest in the developing world in 2007-2008.
FAO’s latest monthly report found that while there was no overall rise in food prices last month, prices are still high.
While meat and dairy prices rose, sugar prices fell sharply. July’s index had reflected soaring prices amid droughts affecting corn and wheat crops.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, July 27, 2012 at 5:48 PM - 0 Comments
Liberal Senator Romeo Dallaire releases a statement on the tenth anniversary of Omar Khadr’s capture in Afghanistan.
Today marks the 10th anniversary of Omar Khadr’s capture—a Canadian citizen and former child soldier. During his decade at Bagram and Guantánamo Bay, Mr. Khadr’s rights have been consistently violated. He has been denied the right to due process and a fair trial, the right to protection from torture and the rights afforded to him under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
“After years of inertia, Canada finally agreed to Mr. Khadr’s return in 2010, as long as he served one additional year in Guantánamo. That year has passed, and yet the transfer request continues to gather dust on Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews’ desk, awaiting his signature.
By Ken MacQueen - Monday, March 19, 2012 at 12:29 PM - 0 Comments
A new poll funded by the Donner Foundation finds Canadians have increasingly polarized views on world affairs
America’s best days are behind it; the future belongs to China and India. On that Canadians can agree, but not much else. An assessment of Canadians’ world view finds a country riven by fault lines of politics, ideology, education and age. We can’t agree whether our foreign and environmental policies leave us embarrassed or proud, or whether the country is headed for salvation or perdition. We’ve put fears of terrorism behind us, but we can’t agree which threat takes its place. “On issues of international relations, foreign policy and our place in the world, we really have two different Canadas here now,” says Frank Graves, president of EKOS Research Associates, which surveyed 2001 Canadians between March 6 and 11. “We don’t seem to have the same level of unanimity or consensus that would have existed a decade ago, when Canadians were relatively common-minded, thinking, ‘Okay, we’re good guys, everyone likes us out there.’ ”
The poll, Rethinking Canada’s Place in the World, was financed by the Donner Foundation. The full results will be released March 20 at the Walter Gordon symposium on public policy, organized by graduate students at Massey College and the School of Public Policy and Government at the University of Toronto. The symposium’s theme is multilateralism and global governance, and in these areas the poll discovered a profound loss of faith. Just 14 per cent had confidence in the International Monetary Fund, and only one in four were confident in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Most telling are hardening views on the United Nations, where blue-helmeted peacekeepers were long a source of national pride. While 49 per cent of Canadians called the UN “the best current option available for ensuring world peace and security,” 39 per cent agreed it was a “toothless” institution with little relevance to global security. Yet in a 2003 poll, three-quarters held the UN in high regard. “Canadians have always been big fans of the UN and of multilateralism in general,” said Graves.“Very little of that seems to have survived the last decade.”
By Peter Nowak - Wednesday, November 2, 2011 at 5:09 PM - 34 Comments
No sooner had I finished writing about how technology fears are stoked by supposedly learned people and the media that another example rears its ugly head. This time, with the world’s population exceeding seven billion people, it’s new worries of a population bomb.
For those unfamiliar with it, the concept is at least as old as Robert Thomas Malthus, an English reverend and scholar of the late 18th and early 19th century. Malthus believed that if the world’s population kept growing at its then-pace, humanity would run out of food and other resources, and experience a catastrophe that would thin out the herd to a more manageable and sustainable size.
Of course, it didn’t happen and it probably never will, despite vocal kvetching by modern-day Malthusians. Population growth simply does not occur in a vacuum. Everything else–like technology and the economy–grows alongside it. So far, this has served us well.
The reality is that technology, the economy and population growth are interlinked. The more a country has of the first two, the less it has of the third. A quick glance at birth rates confirms this–the rich, technologically advanced countries in North America and Europe typically have the lowest, while those in Africa have the highest. Going by those figures, it’s obvious that the more prosperous a country is, the fewer children its people have, for reasons that are equally clear.
Historically, people had many children so that there would be more hands to work the land, but in a non-agrarian society that doesn’t make much sense. Moreover, with both parents typically working, it’s too expensive and time-consuming to have many kids.
The good news–not that the media ever really reports on this–is that the global economy is doing a fine job of alleviating poverty, despite what the lingering economic crisis and Occupy Wall Streeters would have everyone believe. Over the past five years, about half a billion people (most of them in China) were elevated out of abject poverty, something an op-ed in the Jakarta Globe recently called the “fastest period of poverty reduction the world has ever seen.” As the article put it, “advances in human progress on such a scale are unprecedented, yet they remain almost universally unacknowledged.”
Fortunately, some people are taking these developments into account. The demographers at the United Nations know this, which is why they’re projecting the world’s population to peak at about 9 billion about 40 years from now. Their reasoning is simple: as people become wealthier, they have fewer children. On that end of things–the input, if you will–population growth is slowly but surely sorting itself out naturally.
All of this growth–whether its demographic, economic or technological–that we’ve experienced over the past few centuries is hardly a bad thing. People everywhere–in countries rich and poor–are living longer and considerably better than they did a century ago, largely thanks to technological improvements in food production and medicine. Those inputs will continue to improve, so the dire predictions of how food production will need to increase by 70 per cent to accommodate an even larger population may not actually be all that hard to meet. People who worry that the world is running out of food and water are perhaps not taking this inevitable technological advancement into account, the same way Malthus didn’t consider the improvements brought about by the Industrial Revolution.
The worrywarts are also perhaps being too cynical about human nature. While some are right to point out that rich, advanced countries simply waste too many resources, we do have a certain pragmatism too, which explains all the effort being put into developing alternative energy sources and more sustainable food production. If a shortage problem really does happen, it’s reasonable to expect that people in rich nations will lend a helping hand, the same way they did during the African famine of the 1980s.
Should we waste less stuff? Sure, butpeople know on a subconscious level that the Malthusian population bomb theory is just a myth–no matter how much the media tries to scare us.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 8:45 AM - 3 Comments
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan has released a report into the treatment of detainees by Afghan authorities.
UNAMA’s detention observation found compelling evidence that 125 detainees (46 percent) of the 273 detainees interviewed who had been in NDS detention experienced interrogation techniques at the hands of NDS officials that constituted torture, and that torture is practiced systematically in a number of NDS detention facilities throughout Afghanistan … More than one third of the 117 conflict-related detainees UNAMA interviewed who had been in ANP detention experienced treatment that amounted to torture or to other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment…
UNAMA’s detention observation included interviews with 89 detainees who reported the involvement of international military forces either alone or together with Afghan forces in their capture and transfer to NDS or ANP custody. UNAMA found compelling evidence that 19 of these 89 detainees were tortured in NDS custody and three in ANP custody.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, September 26, 2011 at 6:24 PM - 16 Comments
The prepared text of John Baird’s speech to the United Nations this evening.
Nearly sixty-six years ago, in 1946, one of my predecessors was privileged to represent Canada at the First Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
It is an honour to follow in those footsteps, and to renew Canada’s commitment to the Founding Principles of the United Nations.
• Maintaining international peace and security;
• preventing and removing threats to peace;
• suppressing acts of aggression;
• respecting the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples;
• strengthening universal peace; and
• promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all.
This chamber symbolizes the promise of humankind and what we can accomplish by working together to uphold those Founding Principles.
By Michael Petrou - Friday, September 23, 2011 at 9:15 AM - 43 Comments
With key regional allies now hostile, the Jewish state appears isolated as never before
Israel has never had a surplus of friends in its neighbourhood. But almost since its founding it could count on an alliance with Turkey, one of the strongest nations in the Middle East. And for more than three decades its southern border has been protected by a solid peace treaty with Arab powerhouse Egypt. Now these two pillars of Israeli security may be crumbling.
Turkish-Israeli relations frayed last year when Israeli commandos stormed a flotilla of ships from Turkey trying to reach the Gaza Strip in defiance of an Israeli naval blockade, killing nine. Turkey demanded an apology; Israel refused. Bonds between the two countries have ruptured further since. This month, Turkey expelled Israel’s ambassador and froze military co-operation with it. Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, says his country is committed to ending Israel’s blockade of Gaza and has pledged that Turkish warships would protect convoys of aid to the Palestinian territory. The “Turkish navy is prepared for every scenario—even the worst one,” he told an Egyptian newspaper.
Erdogan’s boast came as he toured the newly liberated Arab countries of Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. Erdogan received a hero’s welcome. Turkey is a rising power, and for aspirant democrats in the region it is a model. The Turkish prime minister repeatedly denounced Israel during his tour, comparing it to a spoiled child, while urging the Arab League to support a Palestinian bid for full membership in the United Nations.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at 10:45 AM - 64 Comments
“I think there’s no likelihood of this initiative by the Palestinian Authority doing anything to further the peace process. I think it’s possible that it could be counter-productive,” Mr. Harper told reporters outside the UN meeting on Libya. “But I would say, if the Palestinian Authority is serious about establishing a sovereign state, the method to do that is not a declaration here at the United Nations. It’s to get back at the negotiating table and negotiate peace with Israel.”
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 10:00 AM - 12 Comments
The Prime Minister talks about the latest developments in Libya.
“We have to be careful. . . This is the beginning of the end of the Gadhafi regime. I don’t say it is the end,” Harper said during a trip to the Arctic Tuesday. “We anticipate it will be at least a few days for the process of regime change to actually be in place…
“To this point, notwithstanding the fighting and the loss of life, there is good reason to be optimistic,” he said. “This is a revolution essentially affected from within. People have overturned a tyrant. We’ve seen the areas that the rebels control. We’ve seen life go on.”
By Alex Derry - Wednesday, August 10, 2011 at 9:30 AM - 63 Comments
The UN upbraids Canada for its use of the term ‘visible minority’
Canada, despite a reputation for being an inclusive society that celebrates diversity, will have to defend itself against UN concerns about racial discrimination—all over a term designed precisely to combat racial discrimination. Next year, for the second time in five years, a delegation from the Ministry of Canadian Heritage will appear before the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, to answer criticisms over Ottawa’s use of the term “visible minorities.” The committee deems it to be out of step with the “aims and objectives” of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Canada’s use of the term “seemed to somehow indicate that whiteness was the standard, all others differing from that being visible,” says committee member Patrick Thornberry, a professor of international law at Keele University in Britain.
“That’s just crazy,” says Tom Flanagan, a political scientist at the University of Calgary and former adviser to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. “It’s the internal logic of professional bureaucrats gone amok.”
Canada was last brought before the 18-member UN committee in 2007. Comprised of diplomats and academics tasked with monitoring member states’ implementation of the convention, it found the term itself discriminatory. And it didn’t stop there, faulting Canada’s Anti-Terrorism Act and its potential for racial profiling of ethnic groups, as well as the country’s treatment of undocumented migrants and asylum-seekers, systemic discrimination of Aboriginal people, and a disproportionate force used by police on African Canadians. But the objection to “visible minorities” topped the list of concerns. While the committee (which doesn’t include a single Canadian member) was quick to rebuke Canada’s use of terminology, it refrained from recommending any alternatives—it asked that Ottawa “reflect further” on its use.
After the 2007 rebuke, Ottawa went to work consulting experts and holding workshops. The result was a 74-page report examining “visible minorities” through the years. It said the term is “specific to the administration of the Employment Equity Act,” designed to protect visible minorities, women, Aboriginal people and the disabled against workplace discrimination. While the EEA interprets “visible minorities” as “persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour,” it also specifies that only employees who wish to identify themselves to their employer need do so. Flanagan traces the roots of the term to “the identity politics of the 1970s and ’80s,” when neologisms like multiculturalism entered the bureaucratic lexicon.
The EEA itself emerged from the 1984 Abella commission establishing the principle that employers must use practices that increase minority representation. Nearly 5.5 million Canadians self-identify as part of a visible minority. “I don’t see the point of replacing it, it’s not a pejorative term,” says Flanagan. The government concluded no other category adequately addressed the labour market disadvantage faced by these groups. Further, it encourages proactive accommodation of diversity in the workplace. The report also said that Canada has “no plans of changing its standard usage,” a position it will defend when it appears before the Geneva-based commission again in early 2012.
“Some people consider affirmative action and quotas as racist,” says Jason Maghanoy, a Filipino-Canadian playwright in Toronto, “but sometimes you need to force diversity.” Maghanoy says it’s a matter of choice that he identifies himself as part of a visible minority when he applies for arts grants. “I always identify myself as Asian and I don’t feel discriminated against when I do.”
While many Canadians might dismiss the committee’s concern, it doesn’t mean the EEA couldn’t stand to be updated. Flanagan admits that while “visible minorities” doesn’t need to be replaced, “as a working term, there are some problems with it.” Michael Bach, national director of diversity, equity and inclusion at global accounting firm KPMG, supports the UN recommendation and says that while the legislation was a benchmark for progress in the workplace 25 years ago, he has never been a proponent of “visible minorities.” It’s archaic, he says, and reinforces the view that white is the norm. “We should be asking ourselves what is the right term,” says Bach. One proposed alternative is “racialized communities.” But this makes many people on both sides of the debate uncomfortable: it’s either an example of political correctness gone too far or it reinforces racial stereotypes. Ultimately, says Bach, the government should be involving minority communities in the process.
And real inequalities still exist today. “Decision-makers, those in positions of power,” says Maghanoy, “are still predominantly white men.”
By Patricia Treble - Wednesday, July 27, 2011 at 10:30 AM - 0 Comments
Drought and famine leaves Somalia on the brink of human catastrophe
As drought and an ensuing humanitarian catastrophe tightens its grip on 10 million people in the Horn of Africa, regional authorities are making U-turns. Al-Shabab, the Islamist militant group that controls swaths of southern Somalia, is allowing back the international aid groups that it kicked out a few years ago after accusing them of being anti-Muslim and creating dependency. Now, with around 3,000 Somalis fleeing their ravaged nation each day, UNICEF has been given permission to drop five tonnes of food, medicine and water equipment into a parched town.
In Kenya, the Dadaab camp is overwhelmed by 375,000 refugees. Facing international criticism, the government opened the empty Ifo refugee camp, which was never settled because of fears it would lure more Somalis across the border. The crisis affecting Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia is due to widespread drought, combined with conflict and high food prices. Families have no choice but to make the perilous trek to Kenya’s camps. By then it is often too late for the most vulnerable. The death toll for children in Dadaab for the first four months of 2011 equalled that of the entire previous year.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at 2:49 PM - 5 Comments
At the outset of the Libyan mission, the Prime Minister ventured a prediction of Colonel Moammar Gadhafi’s impending fate.
“He simply will not last very long,” Harper said. “I think that is the basis on which we’re moving forward. If I am being frank here, that is probably more understood than spoken aloud. But I just said it aloud.”
By Cynthia Reynolds - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at 11:05 AM - 1 Comment
Indicted former dictators usually keep a low profile. Baby Doc has been sighted at fine restaurants.
While the return of Jean-Claude Duvalier to Haiti after 25 years in exile has generated ongoing calls for his prosecution—including a UN proposal earlier this month for a Truth Commission to investigate the human rights crimes he’s accused of overseeing during his brutal 1971-1986 rule—the former dictator known as Baby Doc continues to live in freedom. That’s unlikely to change anytime soon, as another round of political crises, deadly disease and scandal involving aid organizations pulls attention away from the 59-year-old, who, by all accounts, has had a pretty good year.
It’s suspected that before fleeing to France in 1986 following popular uprisings against him, Duvalier—who inherited the presidency at age 19 upon the death of his father “Papa Doc”—had looted $300 million in public funds. That made for a first-class exile, until he squandered the money on extravagant shopping sprees, luxury cars and a colossally expensive divorce. Before arriving back in Haiti on Jan. 16, Duvalier, reportedly broke, had been living in a one-bedroom Paris apartment.
Typically, most don’t go to Haiti in search of the good life, but his well-heeled network of supporters has boosted him back into it. He’s been spotted socializing with power players and dining at upscale restaurants. He’s said to frequently entertain visitors—staying in a mansion in the hills far above the wreckage of Port-au-Prince.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, July 15, 2011 at 12:49 PM - 5 Comments
Adam Chapnik explains the wisdom of dysfunction at the United Nations.
To suggest, however, that North Korea’s accession to the presidency of the conference on disarmament – not to mention the conference’s failure to play a role in any recent progress on global non-proliferation initiatives – justifies a Canadian boycott, which could eventually lead to the decline of the conference altogether, misses the point.
The United Nations is nothing more than a framework through which its members can sort out their political, economic, and security-related disagreements. It cannot do the negotiating for them, but it can make it easier to negotiate when the time is right.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, July 11, 2011 at 3:57 PM - 11 Comments
John Baird proudly announces a boycott of the UN conference on disarmament on account of North Korea’s chairmanship.
“Our government has consistently taken a principled approach to dealing with North Korea’s nuclear aspirations. As a result, today we are suspending our participation in the UN Conference on Disarmament.
“North Korea is simply not a credible chair of this UN body. The regime is a major proliferator of nuclear weapons and its non-compliance with its disarmament obligations goes against the fundamental principles of this committee. This undermines the integrity of both the disarmament framework and the UN. Canada will not be party to that.”
Liberal foreign affairs critic Dominic LeBlanc is unimpressed. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at 10:46 AM - 60 Comments
In my case, on behalf of the Green Party and my constituents of Saanich—Gulf Islands, I must say no, but I see we have a role as peacekeepers. I believe passionately that we return to our role as peacekeepers as a nation that is so well known around the world for peacekeeping. We have a role within NATO to be the nation that stands and says, enough of the aerial bombardment, now is the time to send in the diplomats. Let us work with colleagues who have some chance of reaching the illegitimate government of Mr. Gadhafi. Let us work with colleagues in the African Union, the Arab League and the United Nations, and be the country that says we do not continue to give a blank cheque to a mission that has no exit strategy.
By macleans.ca - Thursday, June 9, 2011 at 12:40 PM - 1 Comment
A wrongfully convicted woman regains her freedom, while a Boston player gets knocked out of the playoffs by a vicious hit
Boots on the ground
Canada’s combat tour in Afghanistan is entering its final few weeks, but the military is already preparing for its next deployment—wherever it may be. Months after being forced out of their secret staging base in Dubai because of a diplomatic spat, the Canadian Forces have reportedly reached deals to open new bases in Germany and Jamaica, and are in talks with Senegal, South Korea, Kenya and Singapore. As Defence Minister Peter MacKay said, Canada has become a “go-to nation” when it comes to responding to natural disasters and other NATO missions—requiring a much bigger bootprint on foreign soil.
A revamped battle plan
Forty years after Richard Nixon declared a “war on drugs,” a new report has confirmed what police, prosecutors—and traffickers—have long known: we’re losing. Released by a consortium of world leaders, including Kofi Annan, the former UN secretary-general, the report says it’s time to start treating drug abuse as a public health problem, not a criminal one, and consider legalizing certain substances to undercut criminal gangs. The war on drugs has cost billions of dollars and countless lives. But, to borrow a phrase, admitting the old strategy is broken is the first step to recovery.
By macleans.ca - Friday, May 13, 2011 at 11:10 AM - 0 Comments
The RCMP officers involved in Robert Dziekanski’s death face perjury charges, while scientists prove Einstein was right
Some justice at last
It’s been over three years since Robert Dziekanski died at the Vancouver airport after RCMP used Tasers to subdue him. Now B.C.’s attorney general has laid perjury charges against the four officers involved for allegedly giving misleading testimony during the exhaustive Braidwood inquiry. While some, including Dziekanski’s mother, Zofia Cisowski, are disappointed the charges don’t relate to the tasering itself, Cisowski still applauded the move. The wheels of the law may be slow, but they do keep moving, and in this sad case the charges offer at least some measure of justice.
Harnessing hot air
Energy sources such as wind and solar could provide 80 per cent of the world’s power supply within four decades if governments provide the cash and policies to make it happen. That is the landmark conclusion of a UN panel that says it’s not too late to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a “safe” level. In the meantime, farmers are enjoying the heat. According to separate research, Canadian crops have been largely spared from the scourge of climate change—and our historically hard-luck farmers are profiting from increased demand.
When the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded this year’s Peace Prize to imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, it was a blow to China’s human rights record. But the big winner may be Scottish fish farmers. In a fit of pique, China has stopped buying salmon from Norway—its biggest supplier—and signed a deal with Scotland. Perhaps that contributed to the unprecedented majority won by Alex Salmond’s Scottish National Party in the May 5 elections. Good news for nationalist politicians, not so much for fish.
It’s all relative
A NASA study has confirmed two of the “most profound predictions” about Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity: that space and time are both warped and pulled by Earth’s gravity. Astrophysicists say the results, based on data measured by an orbiting space probe, will have implications “beyond our planet.” In other physics news: engineers have developed a golf ball that won’t slice. Now there’s a breakthrough we can relate to.
In the post-Mubarak era, Egypt is transitioning, but to what? Christians and Muslims clashed in Cairo, leaving 12 dead and two churches in smoldering ruins, amid signs Islamist hard-liners are asserting their power. At the same time, Syria continued its crackdown against anti-government protesters, killing scores of people and injuring hundreds, while in Libya, forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi hammered rebels. Clearly the fight is far from over for the pro-democracy movement across the Middle East.
Tens of thousands more baby boomers will face retirement without a company pension plan, Statistics Canada reported this week. Since the recession, membership in private sector plans has fallen below that of the public sector for the first time ever. Which is why Canadians should be cheering the Canada Pension Plan’s tripling of its 2009 investment in Internet-calling-company Skype, recently purchased by Microsoft for US$8.5 billion. Unless you work for the civil service or at a university, the CPP may be all the help you will get.
Lord Triesman, the chair of England’s failed bid for the 2018 World Cup of soccer, is alleging at least four FIFA members demanded bribes for their votes, including a knighthood for Paraguay’s representative. Trinidad’s football head wanted $2.5 million cash for an “educational centre.” London’s Sunday Times reports two West African delegates were paid $1.5 million to support Qatar’s winning bid. And in France, the national team is embroiled in scandal after it emerged officials considered quotas to limit the number of African and Arab-born players on their development squads. The ugly side to the beautiful game.
A good marriage isn’t necessarily built on love or even physical attraction, suggests new research in the Journal of Politics. Among the strongest shared traits between U.S. spouses is their political attitudes, the study found. The political bond forms early in marriages, but it’s not always enough to keep them together. Just ask political power-couple Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, who separated this week.
By Luiza Ch. Savage - Monday, April 4, 2011 at 10:00 AM - 2 Comments
The secretary of state backed intervention—but she’s seen first-hand what horrors inaction brings
When Barack Obama chose rival Hillary Rodham Clinton to be his secretary of state, he was praised for shrewdly uniting Democrats who had been divided by a bitter primary campaign. But he also picked a hawkish senator who had voted in favour of the use of force in Iraq. It was Clinton, after all, who ran campaign ads that implied Obama was not up to the task of handling foreign affairs: her infamous 3 a.m. telephone ad contrasted Clinton as more experienced, “tested and ready to lead in a dangerous world.”
Now that experience has left its mark. Yes, Clinton is denying reports that she persuaded Obama to enter into an unlikely intervention in Libya, while Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a veteran of the George W. Bush administration and its military misadventures, resisted. But while many Americans are drawing foreign policy lessons from Bush’s experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, Clinton is clearly drawing hers from having witnessed her husband’s administration deal with genocides in the Balkans and Rwanda, where the U.S. intervened late, or not at all.
By Michael Petrou - Monday, March 28, 2011 at 9:25 AM - 4 Comments
The West plunges into another brutal Mideast conflict. How long will we have to stay this time?
A coalition of mostly Western nations, including Canada, has entered a war with loosely defined objectives and an uncertain end.
Following much-delayed approval from the United Nations Security Council for a no-ﬂy zone and the use of “all necessary measures” short of occupation to protect civilians, France, Britain and the United States launched a barrage of air and cruise missile strikes against Libyan air defences, armour and command centres last weekend. Canadian CF-18 fighters flew their first sorties over Libya Monday. Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi’s expansive Bab al-Aziziya complex in Tripoli was attacked Sunday night—suggesting, despite conflicting statements from nations fighting in Libya, that Gadhafi himself is a target.
British Prime Minister David Cameron told MPs Monday that the Security Council resolution “does not provide legal authority for action to bring about Gadhafi’s removal from power by military means.” Britain’s chief of defence staff, Gen. David Richards, said targeting Gadhafi was “not allowed under the UN resolution.” But Defence Secretary Liam Fox said striking at the Libyan leader was “potentially a possibility.”
U.S. President Barack Obama, who for weeks appeared reluctant to involve American forces in the Libyan war, said the mission’s goals centred on protecting civilians rather than regime change. Asked if these goals might be achieved with Gadhafi still in power, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said, “That’s certainly potentially one outcome.” Speaking in Chile Monday, Obama said Gadhafi “needs to go,” but suggested this might be accomplished using “a wide range of tools” besides military action.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, November 2, 2010 at 1:55 PM - 0 Comments
Michael Ignatieff lays out his foreign policy vision to an audience in Montreal.
But none of this will be possible without the talents of every Canadian. Foreign policy is no longer reserved for diplomats, development workers, and soldiers. We used to talk about a “whole-of-government” approach. Our Global Networks Strategy requires a “whole-of-Canada” approach instead.
The next generation of Canadians will be the most international ever. Young people studying and working abroad will be Canada’s best ambassadors, and their experiences will shape the future of our country. We must rebuild our leadership in the world so that our young people can be proud again to live in a country that helps to improve our world.
And we must always support the youth of this country, when they go abroad to serve Canada. They are our finest representatives.
In the centre of our engagement with the world, we must restore our finest Canadian traditions, inspired by peace, justice, and mutual aid. We must show the world – and ourselves – that Canada can inspire us again.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, October 28, 2010 at 4:01 PM - 0 Comments
As referenced by John earlier, here is Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon’s exchange with reporters on the subject of child soldiers and Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 at 9:07 AM - 0 Comments
Talks to end the war in Afghanistan involve extensive, face-to-face discussions with Taliban commanders from the highest levels of the group’s leadership, who are secretly leaving their sanctuaries in Pakistan with the help of NATO troops, officials here say…
The Taliban leaders coming into Afghanistan for talks have left their havens in Pakistan on the explicit assurance that they will not be attacked or arrested by NATO forces, Afghans familiar with the talks say. Many top Taliban leaders reside in Pakistan, where they are believed to enjoy at least some official protection.
In at least one case, Taliban leaders crossed the border and boarded a NATO aircraft bound for Kabul, according to an Afghan with knowledge of the talks. In other cases, NATO troops have secured roads to allow Taliban officials to reach Afghan- and NATO-controlled areas so they can take part in discussions.
The coordinator of the UN’s Al-Qaeda-Taliban monitoring team considers the way forward.