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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Stephen Harper - The Ugly Canadian

Below is an article from Now Toronto  and a publisher's website description of a book describing just how hypocritical giving Harper a Statesman of the Year Award was. He loves everything about the Ugly American so much he wants to turn us all into them.


Yves Engler on Stephen Harper’s humanitarian award

By Yves Engler

At a ceremony in New York City on Thursday (September 27), the NY-based Appeal of Conscience Foundation will present Stephen Harper with its World Statesman Of The Year award, honouring him as a “leader of integrity who has earned the respect of his people for his commitment to democracy, freedom, human rights and peace.’’

What’s this? Sorry, but far from being a world statesman, Harper has shown a distaste for multilateral diplomatic forums. In fact, he’s designed Canadian foreign policy to please the most reactionary, short-sighted sectors of the Conservative party’s base: evangelical Christian Zionists, extreme right-wing Jewish leaders, Islamophobes and the military-industrial complex, not to mention mining and oil executives.

Harper’s foreign policy is responsible for a long list of global crimes. His government was complicit with coups in Honduras and Paraguay, supported Israel’s bombing of Gaza and Lebanon and deployed troops rather than our Heavy Urban Search and Rescue teams to post-earthquake Haiti.

Additionally, Harper has repeatedly expressed support for controversial Canadian mining operations and has blocked efforts to have Ottawa regulate mining corporations’ behaviour abroad.

The Conservatives have made Canadian society much more militaristic by increasing the Canadian Forces budget, size and cultural standing, and the PM continues to deploy 1,000 soldiers in Afghanistan as well as special forces despite the fact that most Canadians want to bring the troops home.

Another element of Harper’s bad foreign policy regards the climate. With hundreds of thousands already dying annually in poor countries due to climate disturbances, the pro-tar-sands Conservatives have lobbied aggressively against international efforts to curtail carbon emissions from fossil fuels.

Similarly, Harper withdrew Canada from the Kyoto Protocol and has blocked progress on setting minimally serious targets for reducing CO2 emissions.

Canada has repeatedly been crowned by civil society organizations with the “colossal fossil” at international climate negotiations for being “the country that has done the most day after day to prevent a climate treaty.” That’s the only award our prime minister deserves.

Oh, and by the way, former U.S. secretary of state Henry Kissinger, he of the vicious 1973 Chilean coup, will present our PM with the Appeal of Conscience prize.

Yves Engler is the author of The Ugly Canadian: Stephen Harper’s Foreign Policy (Fernwood).

The Ugly Canadian

The Ugly Canadian

Stephen Harper’s Foreign Policy

Yves Engler

Stephen Harper’s foreign policy documents the sordid story of the Canadian government’s sabotage of international environmental efforts, a government totally committed to tar sands producers and a mining industry widely criticized for abuses. Furthermore, this sweeping critique details Harper’s opposition to the “Arab Spring” democracy movement and his backing of repressive Middle East monarchies, as well as his support for a military coup in Honduras and indifference to suffering of Haitians following the earthquake that devastated their country. The book explores Canada’s extensive military campaign in Libya, opposition to social transformation in Latin America and support for a right-wing Israeli government. With an eye to Canada’s growing international isolation, The Ugly Canadian is a must read for those who would like to see Canada adopt a more just foreign policy.

Praise for the book...

”Stephen Harpers’ government has fundamentally changed Canada’s foreign policy in a way most Canadians do not understand. The notion of the Ugly Canadian may be hard to accept but it is true and I for one am deeply grateful to Yves Engler for this important book.”- Maud Barlow, National Chairperson of the The Council of Canadians

”A damning chronicle of Stephen Harper’s international misdeeds.”–Michael Byers, Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law, University of British Columbia

”Ugly Canadian is a well written, thoroughly researched, powerful indictment of the Harper government’s radical shift to the right in foreign policy. Whether it is demonstating callous indifference to global eco-issues, taking an absolutist pro-Israel Middle East stance, meddling militarily in Libya, Haiti and Afghanistan, or rebirthing the notion of a warrior spirit, Canada can no longer be considered a peace loving middle power. This book is more than a wakeup call, it is a call to arms for Canadians to take note of where we are headed on the international stage–before it is too late.”–Scott Taylor, Editor Esprit de Corps Magazine

”One of Yves Engler’s previous books helped give me the idea to hold a Stop Harper sign in Parliament. This book provides rich evidence why Harper must be stopped.”–Brigette Depape (rogue Senate Page)


Introduction • Tar Sands Diplomacy • Mining the World • Against the Arab Spring • Bombing Libya • Best Friend of the Israeli Right • At War with Iran and Lebanon • Canadian Warrior • Lying About Afghanistan • Militarizing Post-earthquake Haiti • Stopping Social Change in Latin America • Conclusion: Making Foreign Policy an Election Issue

About the Author

Former Vice President of the Concordia Student Union, Yves Engler has been dubbed “one of the most important voices on the Canadian Left today” (Briarpatch), “in the mould of I.F. Stone” (Globe and Mail), “ever-insightful” (rabble.ca) and a “Leftist gadfly” (Ottawa Citizen). His six books have been praised by Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, William Blum, Rick Salutin and many others. 

”Yves became a foreign-policy expert by working as a night doorman in Montreal...He’s in the mould of I. F. Stone, who wasted no time with politicians, who all have an agenda, but went instead straight to the public record.”
- Rick Salutin, Globe and Mail