America wants Canada to keep at least some forces in Afghanistan. Canada, after all, makes an important contribution to the war effort there, and Prime Minister Harper has been under pressure to withdraw. So, in the era of Smart Power(tm), how does Secretary of State Clinton go about doing this?
By first insulting the Canadians at a meeting hosted by Canada:
Clinton rebukes Canada at Arctic meeting
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.
The Canadian government invited foreign ministers from the other four countries with Arctic coastlines — Russia, Norway, Denmark and the United States — to hold talks on developing the region, which is being transformed by climate change.
Within a few years, the Arctic’s ice blanket could melt for at least a few months a year, opening up access to huge oil and gas reserves, as well as a new shipping lane. Under a United Nations treaty, the Arctic countries can claim ownership of natural resources up to 200 miles off their coasts.
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.”
You would think the Secretary of State of the United States would understand the basics of diplomacy, including the idea that issues between two nations rarely stand in isolation and that the status of one may affect the other. Or how about common courtesy, such as not chastising a valued ally in public over minor protocol issues?
Of course, this boorish behavior rests on one of the pillars of Obama Doctrine, that the United States has no real friends or enemies, and that conflict is reduced when we are an impartial arbiter between all. As Seth Cropsey described it in his article “Remedial Diplomacy,”
Barack Obama’s theory is that partisanship is the source of conflict. There should be no more red states or blue states. Every political choice is a false choice, an example of old thinking. Similarly on the international stage. If the United States distanced itself from its allies and drew closer to its adversaries, conflict would be reduced. The United States could then serve as the international mediator rather than as the guarantor of global order and an agent of democratic political change.
But, the real world doesn’t operate that way. Cozening up to North Korea, Russia, China, Iran, and Venezuela, while backhanding Great Britain, Israel, Canada, Poland, and the Czech Republic will only signal to our allies that we’re unreliable while telling our rivals that we’re feckless.
This is what they meant by “smart power?” It’s more like a recipe for a weakened United States and, therefore, a more dangerous world.
(via Hot Air)