Harper’s foreign policy of American convenience.
Stephen Harper has been making much of himself lately, promoting his version of how to achieve global peace and prosperity, with talks and presentations on Afghanistan and Columbia. The central tenet of his global approach is apparently to support those ideas and governments that are of convenience to American foreign policy. He visited Columbia, a country ravaged by decades of insurgency and para-military violence supposedly centred on the cocaine drug trade. Uribe, Columbia’s leader, has ties to the paramilitaries, ties to the drug trade (the two are strongly related) and his election, if not outright fraudulent, was a result of a population in which mainly the rich right wing elite voted, the others having opted out through fear and futility. The under-riding problem here is the United States interference in the economy and politics of the country through the advancement of the rights of large corporations over those of the people – Coca-Cola and Cochabamba (think Bechtel) are two examples of this. The process also works through its ongoing multi-billion dollar decades long “war on drugs” that has only increased the insecurity of the area through, in part, the paramilitary training received by the right-wing death squads at the School of the Americas in Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia. (now known as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Operations). Harper also spoke out on Afghanistan, starting with the two dozen Canadians killed in the World Trade Center attacks, collateral damage using western definitions of such atrocities. Harper complained about Canada’s “disproportionate” share of the military burden in Afghanistan, saying that without more support it would, “slip back into the status of being a failed state that represents a threat to the security of the planet.”
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