Kory Teneycke, Stephen Harper’s director of communication from July 2008 to July 2009, is now a contributor to the CBC. On June 1st he appeared along side Don Newman on P&P to discuss the Israel Flotilla incident. Unsurprisingly he tried to couch his uncritically pro-Israel opinion in the language of “wait-and-see” but in his bout with Newman he betrayed the neoconservative philosophy that the Harper government has been covertly injecting into Canadian foreign policy.
After falsely equating the current situation in the Middle-East with the First and Second World Wars and being corrected by Don Newman (Mr. Newman reminded him that what is actually happening is a “Low grade conflict.”) the conversation went to the United Nations and Canada’s role in the U.N. (with the flotilla attack as the lens.)
On multilateralism, Mr. Teneycke made two outlandish statements that are as divorced from reality as the MP-of-the-Year award going to John Baird. Teneycke says that Canada should not be engaging in multilateral institutions.
“If [the U.N.] had been successful in the Middle East we wouldn’t have seen the wars and bloodshed that we have seen over the last half century in that region. I don’t think it’s been effective there.”
When Newman suggested that Canada needs to win on of the two open seats on the Security Council the former Stephen Harper Communications Director referred to this as “whoring yourself to the highest bidder.”
From 1945 Canada has been instrumental in building the foundation for the current international system. We have always punched above our weight because our leaders have contributed to international law intellectually with our representatives making principled and pragmatic contributions to international debates. This has been true of Prime Ministers during global crises and when long-term planning was taking place from Louis St. Laurent to Mulroney to Paul Martin. Multilateralism is a Canadian value and because of our commitment to multilateralism it is an international value.
Apparently, Mr. Teneycke thinks that the problems in the Middle-East, which are the result of an Ethnic/Religious Conflict that has been going on since the 1200s where every country has been affected by colonialism, WWII and the Cold War, could have been solved in 60 years. The U.N. has actually made progress to resolve some of the conflicts in the Middle-East but the job is so big that it is laughable to suggest, as Teneycke does, that the issues that this region faces could be solved using a unilateral approach.
Kory Teneycke was hired by Prime Minister Harper because they were ideologically similar so one can infer from Teneycke’s statements that this is what Harper also believes. For evidence corroborating this extrapolation just look at how Canada is now opposing an impartial, United Nations led investigation of the flotilla incident.
Stephen Harper’s government is actively seeking a spot on the United Nations Security Council while working against the U.N. in what Kory Teneycke calls a “Principled Approach.” When we strip the Orwellian double-speak from the Conservative approach to foreign policy it’s obvious that Teneycke and Harper think that Canada should go it alone and go against 65 years of post-War Multilateralism.