Even Americans praising Harper’s stance

GUEST COLUMN: Now, more than ever, the world needs its western leaders to stand up for human rights, democracy and decency

There is violent conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to exercise his geopolitical muscle in Ukraine.

Violence has erupted in Libya. The Taliban are regaining strength in Afghanistan. And in Iraq, jihadist fighters continue to cause angst.

Now, more than ever, the world needs its western leaders to stand up for human rights, democracy and decency.

Unfortunately, in the United States, President Barack Obama’s muted response to all these tragedies has usurped his country’s role as an international peacemaker.

But in Canada, while we admittedly yield little international influence, it’s good to see Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird standing up for Canadian values.

Over the past several weeks, the Conservative government has been resolute in its unconditional support for Israel.

Minister Baird has put out regular statements chiding the  “international terrorist group Hamas” for its actions.

As for Russia, it could be argued that no other world leader has come close to matching Harper’s verbal lashings of Putin.

Last weekend, Harper took the unusual step of publishing an op-ed in The Globe and Mail calling Russian separatists — who allegedly shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 — an “extension of the Russian state.”

The Harper government’s principled positions are even being noticed south of the border.

Popular American conservative radio host Mark Levin recently raved about Harper’s foreign policy on his talk show. My colleague opposite, of course, is ranting about how a Tea party talk show host is praising the Harperites. But, in this case, the praise is justified regardless of the source.

Hamas is recognized as an international terrorist group that has for years, inflicted terror on the people of Israel. And, as explained by Harper, Russia is persisting with  “the politics of intimidation and aggression.”

These things need to be said, action needs to be taken. There’s no benefit to sitting on the fence or sugarcoating the truth.

In the summer of 2011, Harper talked about a new, liberated global vision for Canada, one where we no longer try  “to please every dictator with a vote at the United Nations.”

The Harper government has delivered: We now do what is best for Canada, our values and our future. Promise made and, thank goodness, promise kept.

Andy Radia is a columnist for The Tri-City News in Port Coquitlam.