susan rice snubs canada

The United Nations General Assembly elected five new Security Council members this week.  India, South Africa and Colombia ran in uncontested races from the Asian, African and Latin American regional groups and will begin serving on the Security Council in January.  But the remaining races were contested, with Germany, Portugal and Canada competing for two seats from the Western European and Others group.  With the European Union already represented by veto-wielding France and Great Britain on the Security Council, and either Portugal or Germany certain to win another seat for the EU, it was critical that America’s close ally Canada win a two-year term.  The U.S. could use the help in pushing for UN reform and advocating pro-democracy policies.  The current conservative government in Canada had been campaigning for months to sit on the UN’s most powerful committee with no public support from the Obama Administration.  In fact, U.S. State Department insiders say that U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice not only didn’t campaign for Canada’s election but instructed American diplomats to not get involved in the weeks leading up to the heated contest.  With no public American support, Canada lost its bid to serve.  That gives the EU more than 25% control of the body and a strong voting block to ensure EU priorities become global priorities.  This was the second time a high profile ally could have used U.S. help yet Rice chose to stay silent. 

Israel was left to defend itself against a full-out assault from the UN after it captured a flotilla aid ship headed to the Gaza Strip on May 31.  Susan Rice never showed up for the marathon emergency UN meeting and left Israel without its most powerful friend.  “It was a crucial moment for Israel and for the top American Ambassador to not even show up to the meeting where Israel was being attacked by hypocritical dictatorships was a powerful sign to others,” one current UN diplomat said. 

While Rice is currently in Africa on an official UN trip and was unable to attend Tuesday’s actual vote, she could have had her team work to Canada’s benefit. Instead she instructed colleagues to steer clear, effectively abandoning Canada.  By contrast, when Venezuela wanted a seat on the Security Council over U.S. objections in 2006, then-US Ambassador John Bolton aggressively campaigned for Guatemala instead.  Bolton met with a plethora of UN diplomats and publicly pushed the UN to vote 48 times over 3 weeks until Venezuela finally gave up its campaign and was denied a seat.  Rice’s actions also differ greatly from the words she used during the 2008 presidential campaign when she promised that the Obama Administration would “lead our friends and allies.” 

Some conservatives in Canada believe that the Obama team worked with Canadian liberals to leave Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s conservative government hanging without vocal U.S. support.  In the past, American ambassadors around the globe were instructed by Washington and led by the US Mission to the UN to work aggressively behind the scenes rallying capitals around the world to support certain countries in crucial Security Council elections.  At other times, vocal American support was needed to highlight a priority U.S. issue.  In Canada’s case, Rice chose to say nothing publicly and declined to lead a global campaign on behalf of our northern neighbor.  Her silence also seemed politically coordinated when Canadian Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff criticized his own country’s policies on climate change and its staunch support for Israel – policies the Obama team disagrees with. 

For Rice, this latest episode highlights her willingness to put partisan liberal policies above representing the American people at the UN.  Ambassador Rice’s consistent silence when faced with difficult issues is exactly what America doesn’t need at the UN and our allies are beginning to take notice of her timidity.

  • A Canadian Perspective

    As a Canadian, I am personally pleased we were not chosen for a seat on the UN security council corrupt throne. Staunch support for Israel has surely contributed to this reality. That is something to be immensely proud of. The UN is corrupt. Perhaps Obama’s administration also snubbed us because, long before the USA injected more troops, we led the charge in Afghanistan – in aid of our Southern neighbour – as well, long before Obama set a date (obviously influenced by his northern counterparts) for Afghanistan withdrawal, Canada had set a definite withdrawal date for 2011. This has not pleased your military. Recently as last week, we had one of your military brass sounding off about this withdrawal. Meanwhile, Obama gets all the applause. Back to the UN, the UN is an organization of corruption. Libya? China? Terrorist/Communist regimes. Portugal? Broke.

    I am more than happy with the outcome. I’d rather have God’s favour than that of a thousand nations.

  • A Canadian Perspective

    Enjoyed your article by the way. Thanks.

  • A Canadian Perspective

    Canadian journalists, you may not use my comments.

  • A Canadian Perspective

    Sorry for the multiple postings! I meant my comments may not be used without accredidation. Overall, the problem I have with the UN security council is how it allows nations that are corrupt and oppressive to sit on the council. The fact Russia and China both have permanent seats is disturbing.

  • Jtrainor

    The Canadian conservative government and Prime Minister Stephen Harper are the last bastion of sanity in North America…..come on Americans, get the vote out in November…as a Canadian who spends considerable time in the States i see first hand the lying and manipulation of the MSM….essentially cheer leaders for Obama and we have the same in this country with the leader of the opposition who is as crazy left as they come….social programs and big taxes to shovel funds to special interest groups….it was only 5 years ago the previous Lieberals were thrown out for stealing half a billion dollars and memories are short because the usual suspects are once again rising from the grave.

  • Winston

    Shame on Obama…

  • Winston

    very well said

  • US Ally

    Nice article.
    I support Harper, I’m not a bic “C” conservative but I agree with most of his foreign policies and I’m happy he didn’t get on all fours for a seat.
    However, if this is the case, that Obama was not on our side, it saddens me.
    Which makes me even more nervous, is if the Liberals here and Obama over there did derail our chances hand in hand … what then? Is it payback for the whole “Free Trade” leak fiasco during the election campaigns? What can we do? Snub the US? Obviously we can’t. Can we charge the Liberals with treason? I guess not, this is just sad….

  • Alex

    “While Rice is currently in Africa on an official UN trip and was unable to attend Tuesday’s actual vote…”

    Rice did attend the vote. Please, get your facts straight. Sad editorial.

    It is funny how no one is able to take its responsability. Canada has failed. Let’s blame it on the USA! Or even better, let’s blame the liberal opposition.

    What if the responsability lies in the hand of the governement that has taken lots of unpopular decision in the past years?