Joined: 16 Dec 2009
|Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:48 am Post subject: Will Chrystia Freeland Ruin Canadian-Russian Relations?
|Will Chrystia Freeland Finally Ruin Canadian-Russian Relations?
Authored by Michael Jabara Carley via The Strategic Culture Foundation,
On 10 January 2017 Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau fired his minister of external affairs, Stéphane Dion, and replaced him with Chrystia Freeland, who was then minister of international trade. This cabinet shuffle might not have gotten much public notice except that Dion is a distinguished parliamentarian, former leader of the party and leader of the opposition, and a former key minister in the Liberal government of Jean Chrétien. Freeland, on the other hand, is a well-known Ukrainian ultra-nationalist and self-declared Russophobe and hater of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
On 10 January 2017 Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau fired his minister of external affairs, Stéphane Dion, and replaced him with Chrystia Freeland, who was then minister of international trade
The sacking of Dion was also noteworthy because Trudeau had run on an electoral platform in 2015 promising, inter alia, to improve Canadian relations with Russia, spoilt by the Conservative government of Stephen Harper. When Dion became minister of external affairs, he confirmed the Liberal commitment to re-establish more constructive Canadian-Russian relations.
He kept to this line even though Prime Minister Trudeau said that Canada would continue its close relations with the government in Kiev including the maintenance of Canadian military advisors in the Ukraine. Essentially, Trudeau said he intended to continue Tory policy on relations with Russia. No one paid much attention to the contradiction between Trudeau’s affirmation of Harper’s policy, and Dion’s periodic statements to the contrary.
Dion could make little or no progress in improving Canadian-Russian relations, most certainly because the prime minister and Minister Freeland were against it. Nothing much was said publically because Trudeau had promised a different policy during the election campaign. Was he just another fork-tongued politician? Perhaps he is, and wanted to divert attention from un-kept electoral promises. Nor would it have been desirable to publicise a policy split inside the government.
While Dion is a distinguished parliamentarian, former leader of the party and leader of the opposition, Freeland is a well-known Ukrainian ultra-nationalist and self-declared Russophobe
When the news broke that Trudeau had replaced Dion with Freeland, Liberal sources whispered that Dion was not really suited to be a diplomat. He was irritable, they said, and had not mastered the diplomacy of using speech to conceal his thoughts. Radio Sputnik contacted me at the time for an interview. I commented that Freeland’s appointment was «a catastrophe» for Canadian-Russian relations, as indeed it is. Some elements of the Mainstream Media (MSM) in Canada picked up on my comments saying that Russian sources had claimed the sacking of Dion was a catastrophe. I rejoined that it was me, a Canadian citizen, who had so characterised the Freeland appointment, and not Russian sources.
Is Trudeau just another fork-tongued politician?
Why should Canadians care one way or another whether their government supports the Ukraine and sends arms and advisors there to strengthen Ukrainian military forces? Well, the most important reason is that the present government in Kiev is illegitimate in spite of democratic appearances. It is the spawn of a violent coup d’état in February 2014, brokered and supported by the United States and the European Union, which overthrew the democratically elected president Viktor Yanukovich. The vanguard of the Kiev coup d’état are neo-Nazi, fascist or ultra nationalist political and paramilitary organisations, notably the political party Svoboda, the paramilitary Pravyi sektor and various other paramilitary forces such as the so-called Azov and Aidar battalions. These paramilitary units were and are used to crush opposition in those parts of the Ukraine controlled by Kiev. Politicians, journalists, anyone speaking against the putsch government in Kiev could be, or were killed, beaten, jailed or forced to flee. The Ukrainian communist party was declared illegal. The governing Party of Regions has disappeared, some of its members being charged with criminal offences for having contacts with Russian counterparts. Others abandoned the party because it was neither safe nor practical to remain as members.
The United States claims that the neo-Nazis are freaks and «a few bad apples». But the signs of fascism can be observed everywhere in the Kiev-controlled Ukraine. Nazi or SS symbols are readily observable. The Nazi swastika can be seen as a frequent tattoo amongst fascist militiamen. Torch light parades redolent of Nazi Germany are often staged in Kiev and other cities to frighten people opposed to the coup d’état. As with Nazism and Italian fascism, violence, force and atavistic masculinity are exalted to intimidate any opposition. Nazi collaborators during World War II are now transformed into national heroes, Stepan Bandera, for example, or the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) which perpetrated mass murders amongst Soviet and Polish civilian populations.
Neo-Nazi violence and intimidation worked in many places, but not in others. In the Crimea, the population united almost to the last man and woman, to toss out the putschist authorities and to vote for reunification with Russia. In the east, in the Donbass, the anti-fascist resistance repulsed Kiev punitive forces with heavy losses. These remarkable feats of arms, redolent of so many others in Russian history, were wasted by Moscow, which disregarded a first principle of war that one never lets an enemy withdraw to fight another day. «He who spares the aggressor», Stalin once remarked, «wants another war.» It may shock some people to hear Stalin quoted, but Plutarch, Sun Tzu, or Clausewitz might have said the same thing. Moscow supported the so-called Minsk peace accords which were never respected by the Kiev authorities. Ultra-nationalists even boasted that they had agreed to Minsk solely in order to rest and refit their beaten forces. It was only a ruse de guerre.
Perhaps this is why Trudeau knee-capped Stefan Dion?