Credits: JOEL LEMAY/QMI AGENCY
Justin Trudeau doesn’t talk much about foreign policy, which is wise. But occasionally he can’t avoid it.
At a “Ladies Night” fundraiser last year, Trudeau was asked about his favourite foreign country. He said, “there’s a level of admiration I actually have for China because their basic dictatorship is allowing them to actually turn their economy around on a dime.” He likes their dictatorship. He actually said that.
Then Trudeau gave another unscripted answer about foreign affairs, as Russian troops massed across the border from Ukraine. He told a Quebec TV show he was worried, “especially since Russia lost in hockey, they will be in a bad mood.”
It was a childish joke when he said it. After Russia did invade and annex Crimea, it became a sick joke.
And now comes video footage of an editorial board interview Trudeau did with an Iranian newspaper in Canada, called Salam Toronto.
Again Trudeau said shocking things – and again, he showed an abnormal affection for dictatorships.
Trudeau condemned Canada’s decision to shut down its embassy in Iran. (At the same time, Canada kicked out Iranian diplomats in Ottawa.) Iranian refugees in Canada had reported they were harassed by Iranian agents directed from there.
Trudeau raised the embassy closure as an example of Canadian policy he disagrees with. “It’s important to talk to each other and it's especially important to talk to regimes that you disagree with and that disagree with you, and make sure that there is means of communication.”
The Iranian regime has murdered and raped Canadians, including Zahra Kazemi. Iran threatens the world with nuclear weapons. It actively funds terrorist groups around the world. The world is trying to tighten its grip on Iran, both diplomatically and through trade restrictions. But Trudeau wants to reward Iran with diplomatic status – and somehow thinks we cannot communicate our disapproval to them, unless the ayatollahs are allowed a base of operations in Canadian soil.
At Salam Toronto, Trudeau mocked Stephen Harper’s recent solidarity mission to Ukraine. Harper and Foreign Minister John Baird flew to Ukraine for one purpose: to physically stand with Ukraine, to show Canada believes it is a sovereign, independent nation. The foreign ministers from France, Germany and Poland had done the same, too, but Harper was the first G7 leader. It was a touching symbol, and if Barack Obama had done the same thing a month ago in Crimea, perhaps Vladimir Putin would have thought twice about annexing it.
But at Salam Toronto, Trudeau called that trip “a three-hour photo op.” He mocked it. And he said that Canada’s principled opposition to Putin’s annexation – an opposition shared by the rest of NATO countries – wasn’t genuine when it was done by Harper. Here’s what Trudeau said: “to understand Canada’s present foreign policy, one has to look at it through the lens of domestic electoral concerns… and the lens through which he looks at foreign policy is always – is this going to help my electoral prospects back home?”
Trudeau mocks Harper’s visit to Ukraine. And he says it’s about sucking up to Ukrainian-Canadians.
And then Trudeau talked about the Jews.
When he’s courting donations in Montreal, Trudeau claims to be a friend of Israel. He appointed one of Montreal’s richest Jews, billionaire Stephen Bronfman, to head up his fundraising.
But when he’s alone in a room with an Iranian newspaper, he nods along as his hosts bad-mouth Canada’s foreign policy, including Harper's pro-Israel stance. And then he says this: “whether it’s his positioning around Israel, or position around working closely with the United States, he’s very, very much focused on what is going to play well at the ballot box.”
So Harper standing up to Putin’s illegal war is about trying to win Ukrainian votes. And Harper standing up to terrorism is just trying to suck up to Jews.
It was all very revealing. But so was the gratitude by his delighted interviewers: “I hope you will get a majority government,” said one.
Of course. And so does Iran, China and Russia, too.