Candice Malcolm: Chrystia Freeland should blame Obama, not Trump

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(This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun)

The Trudeau Liberals appear to be in denial about the world around them.

Earlier this week, foreign affairs minister Chrystia Freeland delivered a lengthy speech about the many problems around the world, and Canada’s role in helping to fix some of them.

Freeland’s remarks outlined a pretty standard view of the post-war era of peace and stability in the West, with all the expected smugness and virtue-signaling about Liberal foreign policy.

As has become standard, Freeland blatantly conflates Liberal Party of Canada principles with broader Canadian values.

Her thesis was that America had turned inwards — heavily implying that Trump is to blame — and asserted that Canada has a unique opportunity to fill the void and play a more forceful role on the world stage.

It’s a fair assessment, again pretty standard, and yet, there was something distinctly wrong about Freeland’s remarks.

She chided American voters who, she claimed, in the 2016 election were motivated “in part by a desire to shrug off the burden of world leadership.”

“To say this is not controversial: it is simply a fact.”

Freeland stated, as fact, that it was conservative and Trump voters who have turned their back on the world. It’s almost as if Freeland has been in a coma for the past eight years.

In 2008, after the world economy came crashing down and while American troops were entangled in two messy and unpopular wars in the Middle East, Barack Obama was swept into office as a populist outsider who made promises about withdrawing America from the world and focusing on domestic policy instead.

Obama was supposed to sooth the country’s domestic rifts, while pulling America away from its role as the global police force.

In her remarks, Freeland warned about the dangers of ISIS – without acknowledging the rise of the terrorist army came under Obama’s watch. Obama abandoned Iraq, withdrew American troops and then flippantly denied the Islamic State was even a threat.

Freeland boasted about Canada’s generous Syrian refugee policy, without mentioning America’s role in allowing the Syrian civil war to unfold.

Despite being provoked and challenged by Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, Obama turned his back on the Syrian people in a vain attempt to cozy up with Syria’s closest ally, Iran.

Freeland warned about Russian president Vladimir Putin’s aggressive takeover of Ukrainian territory, noting it “was the first time since the end of the Second World War that a European power has annexed by force the territory of another European country.”

Again, this is true, and again, it happened under Obama, not Trump.

So, while Trump is certainly leading America down a path of protectionism and isolationism, Obama was the man who started this trend.

The world objectively became less safe and less stable during Obama’s tenure. His lack of leadership caused chaos and uncertainty throughout the world.

That’s not controversial, it’s fact. And yet, the Trudeau Liberals prefer to simply blame it all on Trump.

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