The UN Security Council — What were the Liberals thinking

It was not surprising that the Trudeau government did not win its coveted United Nations (UN) Security Council seat. Canada's role, presence and effectiveness on the world stage in the last five years has been so diminished by the Liberal government that there was never a chance for Canada to have the votes to win. The fact that the Trudeau Liberals went after the seat in the first place speaks volumes about their own lack of self awareness. Tellingly, the Conservative government of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper garnered more support and votes, in 2008, when Canada's name was last on the ballot for the UN Security seat, than Trudeau got yesterday. It was a sharp rebuke by world leaders to let Canadians know that they are not impressed with Canada's international role under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

In her book, "What to do about the UN" author Claudia Rosett says, "The United Nations is failing abysmally, and dangerously in its mission". She notes that while it was founded in 1945 as a vehicle to avert war and promote human dignity and freedom, today it has become "a self-serving and ever-expanding haven of privilege for the world's worst regimes, rife with bigotry, fraud, abuse, and corruption — both financial and moral." The UN failed to stop the genocides in Rwanda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, and in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). It  failed to halt the nuclearization of the Korean peninsula, the civil war in South Sudan, the terrorizing of the Middle East by ISIS and Bashir Al-Assad's forces. UN troops were present in all these war zones, yet the killings never slowed down.

As early as 2004, Amnesty International reported that youth in Kosovo were involved in illegal sex trade with the UN Peacekeeping forces that were sent there to protect them. An Associated Press report, in 2017, found 2000 cases of child sexual abuse at the hand of UN troops in Haiti. The abhorrent situation continues with no resolution and no accountability — but why would there be? Sudan, which has shown the world what modern genocide looks like, is on the Human Rights council as is Venezuela, where the starving masses of protesters are shot at and run over by government thugs or disappear in the middle of the night at the hand of Nicholas Maduro's death squads.

The UN has become the one place where the world's dictators and despots go for a semblance of legitimacy. Nowhere else could former Libyan dictator Muhammar Gaddafi rub elbows with the likes of the Pope or effectual and moral leaders like Angela Merkel. Justin Trudeau's obsession of having Canada named to a temporary role on the UN Security Council so he could somehow claim Canada is "back", because we have UN security council responsibility, shows his understanding of international relations is as deep as that of a tenth-grade history class. Many Canadian school children are taught that Canadian soldiers are trained as United Nations "Peacekeepers" and not as protectors of the state against enemies, both foreign and sometimes domestic. Never once in a history textbook will you see mention of the Medak Pocket, where Canadian UN troops faced combat against Croatian troops (Carol Off's book on the battle “Ghosts of Medak Pocket” is worth reading). The 1995 Srebrenica genocide happened under the eyes of UN 'Peacekeepers is never mentioned either. Ironic, because the Dutch UN troops allowed the Bosnian Serbs to walk into the town and massacre 8,000 Bosnian Muslim civilians. What about the rape epidemic in the UN? It too is never mentioned. Seemingly, our prime minister does not know of these events either. If he did, he would not be in such a rush to provide our troops for UN commitments.

The mission statement of the UN Security Council says: "The Security Council has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security." It has 15 members, and each member has one vote. Under the Charter of the United Nations, all member states are obligated to comply with council decisions. The Security Council takes the lead in determining the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression. It calls upon the parties to settle disputes by peaceful means and recommends methods of adjustment or terms of settlement. In some cases, the Security Council can resort to imposing sanctions or even authorize the use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security.

The UN has failed to meet these goals. It was unable to stop ISIS, resulting in Russia becoming a global power again by propping up the Syrian regime, itself a genocidal regime. It couldn't get the mandate to allow the use of force. It failed to stick up for Ukraine after Russian separatists seized large parts of the east of the country and it did not affect Russia's annexation of Crimea, which today has become firmly entrenched as a region of the Russian federation.

As ineffectual as the council is, why would any country vote for Canada to be a member? Since Stephen Harper's defeat, in 2015, Canada has been a weight on global security, not a benefit. The Trudeau governments strategy of "Canada is back" included a minuscule deployment to Mali that was not renewed even after requests for our troops continued presence by the UN. The Canadian government's lack of seriousness towards other security issues is telling as well. In June 2016, the Conservatives tried to pass a motion recognizing the treatment of Yazidi Christians by ISIS as genocide. It was defeated by the Trudeau Liberals who would not recognize one of the most blatant genocides in recent history, for no apparent reason. Justin Trudeau told the world there were better methods to deal with ISIS rather than defeating them on the battlefield and pulled Canadian warplanes from the fight. Upon becoming prime minister in 2015, one of the first things Trudeau did was shut down a legal process and provide a controversial $10 million taxpayer settlement to convicted terrorist Omar Khadr. At home, he has let the Canadian Forces continue to rust out, unable to meet our NATO commitments, leading to us be security dependent on the United States, whether we like it or not.

The Security Council is currently presided over by France, a permanent member of the council. France has sent troops overseas to fight terrorism in Mali, its air force to Syria to bomb ISIS, and lost hundreds of its citizens to terrorist attacks at the hands of Al-Quaeda and ISIS since 2015. Why would they vote for Canada?

What solutions or propositions has the Trudeau government made that are worth consideration? Trudeau speaks in platitudes about Canada being a nation that cares about security and global conflict. Yet his government sold weapons to Saudi Arabia, which were used against civilians in Yemen. The Trudeau Liberal government voted for anti-Israeli motions at the UN, providing moral support to Hamas and Hezbollah, both recognized terrorist organizations.

The failure of Canada to win the UN Security Council seat only serves to reinforce a widespread view held by many countries today who view Justin Trudeau as a lightweight and Canada as a country that cannot be counted on when it gets down to it. Trudeau likes the optics of “Peacekeeping” but doesn't want to pay for it. All he really wants is to have the UN-helmet-photo op (which he so conveniently flew to Mali to get) or a photo of him showing off his latest set of socks at a G-8 meeting. Socks over substance aptly describes Canada's foreign policy under this prime minister. It is a sad commentary about our country.

To quote Canadian professor Jordan Peterson, “If you can't even clean up your own room, who the hell are you to give advice to the world?" Right now Canada's metaphorical room in security and defence is an absolute dumpster fire, and the rest of our allies know it. They’re happy not to have us preaching to them at the UN Security Council.