Trudeau the Second
Most Canadians don’t realise that their country enjoys an exceptionally positive international image. Comparing with other members of the Anglophone Five Eyes clique which once regarded itself representative of western civilisation, Canada is generally trusted and liked by the rest of the world. Though a core member of the “Western bloc”, Canada at least tries — or tried — to be relatively fair and independent minded most of the time.
Canada’s reputation is not by accident. It’s the result of a reasonably consistent tradition crafted by a generation of liberal and sensible (liberal and sensible weren’t contradictory terms back then) politicians, iconised by the charismatic Trudeau the First who befriended Castro while the CIA was making dozens of assassination attempts on the “defiant” revolutionary. By bravely refusing to join Bush II’s “coalition of willing” to plunder and destroy Iraq, Jean Cretien quietly continued liberalism with Canadian characteristics. Statesmen like them helped Canada to straddle a delicate divide for decades, while maintaining a respectable degree of sovereignty. That’s no small feat considering who its neighbour is.
Building trust and respect takes decades. Destroying them takes no time. Trudeau II is working hard at that.
Put aside the rights and wrongs of arresting Huawei’s Meng Wan Zhou who hasn’t breached any Canadian or international law. Enough has been said. Regardless of one’s legal and moral views, Trudeau II has been handling it with baffling immaturity, arrogance, and petulance. Perhaps his Foreign Minister’s idol — the eminent Soros — has something on him? (Watch Freeland and Soros exchange spittle here. Warning: some people may find it vulgar. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdUaEE7mr2w&feature=youtu.be). Maybe he spends too much time in front of the mirror squeezing tears for the environment and the natives he violently arrested for trying to protect their ancestral lands against LNG pipes (https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/01/14/the-tears-of-justin-trudeau/)?
Canada has the defensible excuse of an extradition treaty with its neighbour. But an astute Prime Minister might have found ways to alert China without offending the Big Bully, thereby avoiding an unenviable situation for his country. According to an Australian report (https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/how-the-five-eyes-cooked-up-the-campaign-to-kill-huawei-20181213-p50m24.html), Trudeau II apparently did the opposite in a Five Eyes Spy meeting. Well, he desperately needed to impress Uncle Trump that he really wasn’t “weak and useless”.
China, as expected by those who know what to expect, reacted strongly. It kicked the dog but not the master to discourage similar intimidation repeated in other vassal states of the Empire, thereby impeding China’s commercial mobility and growth. The arrests of two allegedly long-time spy masters by Beijing, both Canadian nationals, are possibly a first stage response. Depending how this fiasco unfolds, there’ll be much stronger retaliations; too much is at stake. Anyways, preciously little is known about the two Canadians, and what they were doing in China, especially Michael Spavor who’s friend of a friend — Kim Jong Il of North Korea. It’s pointless to speculate.
The third case, involving a seasoned drug trafficker, seems unrelated. Amazingly, Trudeau II has picked him as the focal point of his thoughtless ranting, arbitrarily accusing China for “arbitrary death penalty”, while it’s anything but. He should learn to first Google before throwing a fit. Fine, we know his liberal heart lies with hallucinogens, but to appeal for extraterritorial clemency on behalf of a convicted felon takes tact and manners, or big bad muscles. Throwing insults achieve the opposite.
More amusingly, he impetuously hollered for his “allies” to gang up on China, evidently unaware that directing a 21st Century replay of the opium alliance would take infinitely more weight than his slight good-self carries, plus stealthy diplomacy is a first step in geopolitics. Even the Australians who never miss a fight anywhere involving a white brother paid only lip service. The rest fuddle duddled perfunctorily. It’s a self-inflicted humiliation, one that the crybaby hasn’t yet registered. Is he stoned? Next he fired his Ambassador to China McCallum for speaking sensibly and conscientiously, as expected of a seasoned diplomat. Having done something which Uncle Trump would no doubt approve, Justin resumes chanting the rule of law, freedom of speech, democracy, and, uh, the rule of law.
But the legal-minded democrat Trudeau II (aka Tru-dog in less respectful circles by now) is eager to embrace a coup d’état against a democratically elected president — far too eager. He jumped instantly on command to recognise the self-appointed president of Venezuela. Calm down little Justin. Look at your European allies. They’re more measured aren’t they? It’s called maturity. Even Australia waited a few hours, though most likely due to time difference. Your daddy would have smacked you.
Sequels, be they movies, or dynastic politicians produced by the ballot box, are seldom worth the money. Bush II as president was not necessarily more evil than Bush I, but a lot more stupid at being so. Lee II of Singapore is obviously a case of degenerate mutation. Clinton II would have been even more vile than Clinton I had she not been derailed by Trump the Great Again. Trudeau II is defiling his greatest personal asset — his surname — by undoing his father’s memorable legacy. That’s sad and dumb, eh?
James Tam 2019.2.1
Photo from REUTERS/Chris Wattie