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NATIONAL POST

Bill Graham must go
 
Alastair Gordon
National Post


Canada's foreign policy is a mess. For the past 10 years, we have practised unprincipled appeasement toward militant groups such as the Tamil Tigers and dictatorial regimes such as pre-war Iraq, Communist China and Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe. Today, we hear the warning cries from immigrants across Canada who recognize Canada's failure to support democracy in their homelands.

To begin addressing the mistakes of the past decade, there could be no more effective first step than the removal of Bill Graham as Minister of Foreign Affairs. Why?

- This is the man whose diplomats singled out Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, for condemnation at the United Nations -- or who acquiesced as other nations did the same.

- He shocked the Hindu community last year when his department played host to General Pervez Musharraf, the dictator of Pakistan, whose government has bankrolled terrorist campaigns against Hindus in Kashmir and elsewhere. The previous year, Mr. Graham cast blame on India's democratically elected BJP government for the Gujarat riots in 2002, without condemning the actions of Islamic terrorists who helped spark the riot by attacking Hindu women, children and men on a religious pilgrimage.

- To curry favour with Beijing, he has maintained a policy that bars senior elected representatives of democratic Taiwan from entering Canada.

- He restrained the Commonwealth from taking action against Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe, even after his henchmen murdered more than 30 opposition candidates and charged the leader of the democratic opposition, Morgan Tsvangirai, with high treason punishable by death.

- Lebanese Christians despair over his fixation on Israeli "occupation" while ignoring Syria's brutal military occupation of Lebanon and the horrors inflicted on its Christian population.

- Even after several of their passports "disappeared" into the terrorist heartland of Pakistan, Mr. Graham rushed the Khadr family back to Canada, at which time they openly admitted their al-Qaeda-inspired dream of dying as martyrs in the slaughter of Christians, Jews and other infidels.

- He worked hard to sell Hezbollah as "innocent doctors, teachers, and other people seeking to do charitable and other good works."

- He oversaw a program that sent $215-million to the Palestinian Authority, which uses foreign money to preach hatred and pay off members of terrorist cells.

- He ordered our ambassador to Israel not to visit the grieving family of Canadian terrorist victim Yechezkel Goldberg -- because Mr. Goldberg lived in a West Bank settlement.

- He railed against the Israeli elimination of terrorist leaders, and Ariel Sharon's construction of a security fence -- yet is strangely silent now that these steps have stopped the daily slaughter of innocent Israelis.

- He was the star guest at a fundraiser for Liberal MP Carolyn Parrish -- she of the "Damn Americans -- I hate those bastards!" -- failing to distance his own foreign policy from her xenophobic rants .

Canada needs a foreign minister who will consistently support our democratic allies. We need an individual untainted by anti-American or anti-Israeli rhetoric. He or she must not have flirted with terrorist groups or their political fronts for domestic electoral advantage. Our foreign minister must have a moral compass that is independent of the undemocratic majority at the United Nations. He or she should offer no comfort to those, at home or abroad, who promote death, suffering, hatred, misogyny, tyranny or theocracy.

Alastair Gordon is director of communications for the Canadian Coalition for Democracies. http://www.canadiancoalition.com/

 National Post 2004