The Great International Convoy Fiasco
As America puts the Canadian Prime Minister's unmentionables in a vise over a truck protest, it's clearer than ever: the world's leaders have forgotten how to govern
The White House issued a statement Friday, after Joe Biden chatted with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:
The two leaders agreed that the actions of the individuals who are obstructing travel and commerce between our two countries are having significant direct impacts on citizens’ lives and livelihoods… The Prime Minister promised quick action in enforcing the law, and the President thanked him for the steps he and other Canadian authorities are taking to restore the open passage of bridges to the United States.
Translation: Biden told Trudeau his testicles will be crushed under a Bradley Fighting Vehicle if this trucker thing is allowed to screw up the Super Bowl, or Biden’s State of the Union address. Trudeau’s own statement that day came off like the recorded video message of a downed pilot:
I’ve been absolutely clear that using military forces against civilian populations, in Canada, or in any other democracy, is something to avoid having to do at all costs.
An anxious Trudeau promised to deploy law enforcement in a “predictable, progressive approach” that would emphasize fines and other punishments. Because demonstrators will see that the “consequences” for those continuing to engage in “illegal protests” are “going to be more and more extensive,” he said, “we are very hopeful” that “people will choose to leave these protests peacefully.”
Switching gears just a bit, he then added, “We are a long way from ever having to call in the military.”
Such a move, he said, would only be a “last resort.”
And, er: “We have to be ready for any eventuality”:
Trudeau’s speech was clearly designed to convey to protesters that he was under heavy pressure to call in the air strike, making the New York Times headline covering all this — “Trudeau Rejects Calls to Use Military to End Protests” — particularly humorous in its disingenuousness.
Now that the “Freedom Convoy” is inspiring similar protests not just in the United States but in France, Belgium, Australia, New Zealand, and other places, it’s clear every Western leader from Biden to Emmanuel Macron on down wants Trudeau, rather than any of them, to take the political hit that would ensue from any use-of-force resolution to this crisis. All of these leaders seem equally to be laboring under the delusion that a decisive enough ass-kicking in the Great White North will make this all go away. Until then, there seems to be no plan in any country that doesn’t involve tear gas, truncheons, or getting Facebook to blame troll farms in Bangladesh for stirring up the “discord”:
As for talking to protesters, that’s out of the question. As Politico recently put it, the “conspiratorial mindset” of the demonstrators means “sitting down with them could legitimize their concerns.” Since we can’t under any circumstances have that, the only option left is the military “eventuality.” Or, as former Obama Deputy Homeland Security Secretary and CNN analyst Juliette Kayyem (the same person who went nanny-bonkers over the Southwest Air “Let’s Go Brandon” incident) put it, “Slash the tires, empty gas tanks, arrest the drivers, and move the trucks.”
Any sane person should be able to see where any of these ideas would lead. The problem is, we’re heading into our third decade of Western leaders embracing not thinking ahead as a core national security concept. It’s like these people went to anti-governing school.
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