September 7th 2012, another dark day in Canadian history. I am pretty sure there is a lot more to come if this is the kind of mentality the current government has. A country that was once known for its positive reputation as a peace-maker, a nation (known for being) devoid of instigating & taking part in wars or provoking others in order to create conflict, has once again shown how fast it and its foreign policies have changed in the last decade or so. It’s reputation in the last decade has degraded just as fast as the Behemoth falls down at Canada’s Wonderland. Today, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird announced that the government has decided to shut down its embassy in Iran and also the Iranian embassy in Ottawa, thus severing all diplomatic ties with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
What’s the big deal you say? Well for starters, it is trying to run before it can even crawl. Most of the countries around the world don’t give a hoot about Canada and its decisions often don’t impact them (just like how this decision won’t impact Iran itself). It is is the ordinary citizen who will have to face the real consequences. Travelling will become difficult and a real hassle, given that there are many Iranians in Canada who have family back home, many Muslims go to Iran for pilgrimage purposes and there are also many international students studying in the seminaries that have been running essentially for centuries. Not to mention the fact that closing one’s embassy is generally the absolute last step taken by any country. Even during full-fledged wars do embassies not shut down, or countries try to keep some form of a presence there. But here Canada is trying to bite off more than what it can chew. The second issue is the justifications surrounding the shallow decision and how it exposes the country’s double standards when it comes to dealing with other nations. According to Baird, a few of the reasons behind shutting the embassy down are as follow:
- The Iranian regime has shown blatant disregard for the Vienna Convention and its guarantee of protection for diplomatic personnel
- The Iranian regime’s support of Syrian president Bashar Assad
- Iran’s refusal to comply with the UN’s resolutions on its nuclear program and its regular threats to Israel
- Iran is among the world’s worst violators of human rights
- Canada views the government of Iran as the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today
Of course we know that there are plenty of other countries who would fall under the category of being the “worst violators of human rights”, but hey our livelihood and oil depends on them so we can’t sever ties with them. A country that should really be exercising peace, particularly at this point in time, goes and gives another green light for a potential military strike against the country by Israel or the USA – which is a delusional thought to begin with – Iran is not Iraq or Afghanistan.
Iran’s support for Bashar al-Assad is a reason to sever ties with Iran? Why aren’t we severing ties with the USA for funding al-Qaeda militants in Syria? Have we forgotten already what happened when the Taliban were last funded in Afghanistan?
The United States and its allies are moving in Syria toward a program of covert support for the rebels that, for better or worse, looks very much like what America and its friends did in Afghanistan in the 1980s.
What baffles me the most is that while Iran is considered a threat, the world fails to see who the real threat is in the Middle East. What about the country with an already existing illegal stock pile of nuclear weapons, a country that has already attacked and killed thousands and thousands of civilians, violated various international conventions, and a country that receives millions of dollar in military aid from the US! Of course, with the rejuvenated ties between Canada and Israel over the last few years, this move to shut down the embassy is not very surprising.
Furthermore, have the masses been this brainwashed or kept aloof from what has occurred already in history that they are not able to distinguish between what is right and what is wrong? Have they forgotten how the road to war with Iraq was set up (by spreading lies, misconceptions and instilling fear), yet resulted in absolutely nothing positive for USA or Iraq itself (besides the removal of Saddam, who was put in by the US in the first place). Why are we allowing our government to be part of yet another lie? Have the Western powers not caused enough damage around the world based on presumptions on what could potentially happen and destroy the lives of millions of civilians in the process? Do we really need to do the same to Iran? I am surprised to see how easily some of us call out for war, as if it is a joke! Not only will you kill others, but you will pay a heavy price for it yourself. A price we (Canadians) can’t afford to pay; not now, not ever.
But if this conservative government insists on severing ties with a country based on its oppressive policies, then by the same principle I would love to see it sever ties with other oppressive regimes that do far more damage than Iran. Countries such as Bahrain (a country our media doesn’t seem to talk much about) and Saudi Arabia. But who am I kidding? We can’t do that, our gas prices are high enough as it is.
In any case, it seems that all these reasoning and justifications were really mere excuses made in order to impress our allies down south and in the Middle-East. All you really did though is join USA & Israel in its pre-invasion prom party, and have made them proud. It is becoming harder and harder to become proud of this nation. A nation that was known for more positive qualities than not, but by becoming more and more like other nations rather than maintaining its own distinct identity, it is losing its credibility very fast. The future looks very blurry at the moment. Long Live USA’s 51st State Wannabe!