More “smart power” on display in Canada

posted at 12:15 pm on March 30, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

The art of diplomacy involves working with allies to improve relations, confronting national-security threats from enemies, and getting as much cooperation as possible from nations in between the two.  Generally speaking, that means a nation should refrain from insulting their friends, especially when trying to get them to extend their commitment to a military alliance in a war zone.  Yesterday, Hillary Clinton tried sweet-talking the Canadians into keeping their troops in Afghanistan after 2011:

The United States would like Canada to keep some of its troops in Afghanistan once its combat mission there ends next year, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Monday. …

“We would obviously like to see some form of support continue because the Canadian forces have a great reputation. They work really well with our American troops and the other members of our coalition,” Clinton told CTV television.

“We would very much look forward to having Canada involved in any way that you think appropriate,” said Clinton, who was in Ottawa for a meeting of foreign ministers from the Group of Eight leading nations.

Her remarks followed what diplomats say has been an energetic campaign behind the scenes to pressure Ottawa, one of Washington’s closest allies.

When did Hillary include this in the “energetic campaign”?

It was supposed to be a meeting of polar pals. But a high-level session on the vast opportunities opening up in the Arctic got off to a chilly start Monday, as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton criticized Canada for leaving several players off the guest list. …

Clinton noted that the three other nations in the Arctic region — Sweden, Finland and Iceland — had complained they were not included in the meeting. She said she also was contacted by representatives of indigenous groups in the area that had been left off the list.

“Significant international discussions on Arctic issues should include those who have legitimate interests in the region,” Clinton said, according to a prepared copy of her remarks to the meeting, which was closed to press. “And I hope the Arctic will always showcase our ability to work together, not create new divisions.”

What a great idea!   Let’s convince Canada to have its soldiers die on the Af-Pak theater front by insulting them at their own conference.  After all, the troops that Sweden, Finland, and Iceland have in Afghanistan — not to mention those of “indigenous groups” — are so much more important strategically to the US and its mission in Afghanistan.  While Canada merely contributes almost 3,000 combat troops, Sweden has 500 non-combat personnel in Af-Pak, while Finland has 95.  Iceland has … four.

Canada, not surprisingly, responded by politely telling Hillary Clinton to pound sand.  The extension of the mission in Afghanistan is politically untenable anyway, but Barack Obama’s snub of Stephen Harper last December certainly didn’t help matters.  Neither does a pointless rebuke at a conference hosted by Ottawa.

So far in this administration, we’ve managed to alienate the UK, Israel, and now Canada, while talking nicely towards Iran and North Korea with no results to show for it.  That, apparently, is “smart power.”


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

Maybe someone could explain to Obama that the Canadians are NOT Republicans. He might also react positively if it were explained to him that there are many Iranians in Canada.

snaggletoothie on March 30, 2010 at 3:10 PM

Is there anything about this “administration” that’s “smart”?

The only smart thing this bunch has done was in getting their worthless asses elected and it ended there.

NoDonkey on March 30, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Why, it’s almost as if this administration didn’t know what they were doing !!!111!!!

franksalterego on March 30, 2010 at 3:51 PM

So in response to Hillary’s state visit, Canada announces that they are pulling home all their troops from Afghanistan.

maverick muse on March 30, 2010 at 4:40 PM

Oh, I don’t think we should except help from the Canadians, after all they kill Baby seals.

Observation on March 30, 2010 at 4:40 PM

Your president (I am Canadian) must suffer from some sort of weird turettes syndrom where instead of swearing uncontrollably he insults long term friends and cuddles with long term enemies. I thought he would be bad but he exceeded my expectations and will go down as the worst president ever.

Brian Mallard on March 30, 2010 at 4:42 PM

This will be a loss to our side. The Canadians, especially the Princess Pats, have performed excellently in Afghanistan. Their soldiers have proven worthy succesors to the Canadians who fought in France in both world wars. They will be hard to replace with any but more US, Brits, or Aussies. Of course none of this is understood in the halls of Smart Power.

xkaydet65 on March 30, 2010 at 4:46 PM

Don’t forget Poland and the Check Republic.

burt on March 30, 2010 at 5:01 PM

Be that as it may, Shrillary will come out of this fiasco of a White House smelling like a rose. The PUMAs will be out in force next year.

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 30, 2010 at 5:22 PM

Aww where’s CryWall when you need him?
Oh please Dave tell us what is going on?

Badger40 on March 30, 2010 at 5:30 PM

The troops are definitely out, and I am sure that had the O Admin not been tone deaf, they could have convinced them to stay. Canadians are very proud of their troops and what they are accomplishing.

The only one to advocate for a rescinding of the policy is Hugh Segal, a NeoCon party hack. Think a Canadian Wolfowiz.

There is also lingering resentment in the 705/905 belt around Clinton(Bill). When Clinton was taking political heat over Haiti, the Canadians stepped up and relieved the US troops so they could withdraw, saving face for Clinton. He then turned around and shivved the Canadians.

There is a huge split whether or not O is loved or not. The lefties in Toronto and Vancouver love both O and Clinton (they lined up overnight in Toronto to attend Clinton’s book signing — he got a better turnout there then he did in most US cities), and the attitude couldn’t be more different in the “flyover” country and exurbs.

I was home for two weeks to help my dad get to some medical appointments and check on my mom. Spent the two weeks making maple syrup (for real, they have a lot of trees and it’s a lot of work, but a time honored tradition) and attending Bantam hockey playoffs. Everyone asked me how it was going in “the States eh” and stated they didn’t like Obama and were worried for the US.

As far as Hillary taking them to task for who was invited: yes, they are very sensitive about that, and it was again seen as over-reaching by the American contingent.

The day I was leaving to come back home, the headline on the local paper was something about Obama dissing hockey.

Oh, that smart diplomacy.

YTZGal on March 30, 2010 at 5:38 PM

It’s only fair – Canada had Trudeau, the US has Obama – both flim-flam artists with no real policies. The difference is while Obama is inept, Trudeau was cruel and heartless – the Canadian Pinochet.

KillerKane on March 30, 2010 at 5:49 PM

t’s only fair – Canada had Trudeau, the US has Obama – both flim-flam artists with no real policies. The difference is while Obama is inept, Trudeau was cruel and heartless – the Canadian Pinochet.

KillerKane on March 30, 2010 at 5:49 PM

Equating Trudeau with Pinochet? You clearly don’t understand Trudeau.

Drawing similarities between Trudeau and Obama is appropos tho’. Trudeau was considered a young outsider, and won his party nomination in a campaign that was based on emotion, not reason. The press at the time dubbed it “Trudeaumania” and drew analogies between the fervor for the Beatles.

Trudeau was also a socialist who abandoned the CCF (the progressives) because he didn’t feel they could win, and entered the more centrist Liberal party. Like Obama, he was very disingenuous on the campaign trail about who he was.

Like Obama, Trudeau had ethnic resentments and used his office to further exploit tensions between predominantly Catholic Quebec and the rest of Anglo Canada, with the effect of decimating the Anglo population in Montreal.

Trudeau was also a proponent of Keynes and his policies pretty much destroyed the economy of Canada. He also tried to nationalize as much as he could; he created Petro-Canada, much to the anger of Western Canada.

Most Americans who have fond memories of Trudeau as a dashing and debonaire debater forget that it was Trudeau who befriended both Cuba and China; and who imposed martial law (“The War Measures Act”) in response the FLQ crisis.

Like Obama, Trudeau was praised for being “hip” and “progressive”.

Canada is still recovering from his policies– economic and social.

YTZGal on March 30, 2010 at 6:59 PM

Good grief, if she hadn’t said anything you would be saying “Why is Clinton alienating Sweden, Finland and Iceland when Canada is going to pull their troops from Afghanistan anyway??”

You guys are all about Blame America First these days. That’s weird.

orange on March 30, 2010 at 7:11 PM

So is Trudeau more like Pinochet or what? The man attacked innocent people with military force to go after a handful of criminals. He robbed Alberta blind with the NEP. He should have been removed from office for either one of these actions. The man was a heartless thug eager to please his masters in Toronto. He sounds a lot like Pinochet.

I’m just glad he wasn’t in Europe in the 30s and 40s when Nazis, Communists and Fascists ran amok. Then there’d be no telling what he was capable of doing.

KillerKane on March 30, 2010 at 7:14 PM

Pinochet was right wing military dictator. He rose to power in a coup, he assassinated his opposition, he privatized everything.

Trudeau was on the opposite end of the spectrum. And Trudeau did not carry out political assassinations.

As far as “his masters in Toronto”, LOTFLMAO.

You truly don’t understand the “Two Solitudes”.

Blacklisted and unable to teach at UofMtl, he was offered a teaching position at Queen’s Univ and turned it down. He would rather not work than work in Anglo Canada.

And the NEP was his middle finger to the chattering corporate classes on Bay Street.

YTZGal on March 30, 2010 at 7:54 PM

You guys are all about Blame America First these days. That’s weird.

orange on March 30, 2010 at 7:11 PM

It’s more than that. She was deliberately rude, and of all external affairs ministers, she of all people should know better — Hillary was much loved in the 8 years as First Lady and she knows the Canadian mentality vis-a-vis, “the ugly American”.

Her behavior is in endless loops and it’s all that they’re talking about on the three little TV stations that service the area where my parents live.

FWIW, the Toronto Star is a very lefty Liberal paper, and this is their take on it:

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/787841–hillary-clinton-stirs-the-pot-on-afghanistan-abortion-and-the-arctic?bn=1

YTZGal on March 30, 2010 at 8:05 PM

God, this woman has the worst people skills ever!! How the hell did she ever get taekn seriously? Call me a sexist, it’s true- this fool’s a joke!

abobo on March 30, 2010 at 10:35 PM

Oh, I don’t think we should except help from the Canadians, after all they kill Baby seals.

Observation on March 30, 2010 at 4:40 PM

Get stuffed, you ignoramus; what do you REALLY know about the seal harvest?

rightsideupinthegwn on March 31, 2010 at 7:23 AM

Smartest woman in the world my ass. Stupid is as stupid does.BTW,who is Bill porking today?

nukeemnow on March 31, 2010 at 8:42 AM

“So far in this administration, we’ve managed to alienate the UK, Israel, and now Canada, while talking nicely towards Iran and North Korea with no results to show for it. That, apparently, is “smart power.””

Honduras and Columbia do not feel the love either.

davod on March 31, 2010 at 9:38 AM

I have no doubt that Clinton wanted Canada to move out the Canadian troops. The more pressure that is put on the U.S., the better for the Dims.
Remember, the more problems that the Dims cause, the more they can claim that they are the ones to fix the problems.

JakeRightThought on March 31, 2010 at 11:08 AM

Please, my American cousins, I am begging you: vote for someone better next time.

(And I’ll keep voting for Stephen Harper’s Conservatives.)

Josephine on April 1, 2010 at 9:21 PM

Comment pages: 1 2