Open Collections

UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Conflicting values ; "official" and "counter" meta-narratives on human rights in Canadian foreign policy… Wolansky, Randall 2001

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
831-ubc_2001-0137.pdf [ 2.86MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 831-1.0089779.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0089779-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0089779-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0089779-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0089779-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0089779-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0089779-source.json
Full Text
831-1.0089779-fulltext.txt
Citation
831-1.0089779.ris

Full Text

Conflicting Values: "Official" and "Counter" Meta-narratives on Human Rights in Canadian Foreign Policy - the Case of East Timor by Randall Wolansky B.A., The University of British Columbia, 1995 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in The Faculty of Graduate Studies (Department of History) We accept Jhis thesis as coirforming to the required standard The University of British Columbia December 2000 ©Randall Wolansky JLOO<=> In p resen t i ng this thesis in partial fu l f i lment of the requ i r emen ts for an a d v a n c e d d e g r e e at the Univers i ty of Brit ish C o l u m b i a , I agree that the Library shal l m a k e it f reely avai lable fo r re fe rence and s tudy. I fur ther agree that p e r m i s s i o n fo r ex tens ive c o p y i n g of this thes is fo r scho lar ly p u r p o s e s may be g ran ted by the h e a d of m y depa r tmen t o r by his o r her representa t ives . It is u n d e r s t o o d that c o p y i n g o r pub l i ca t i on of this thesis for f inancia l ga in shal l no t b e a l l o w e d w i t hou t m y wr i t ten p e r m i s s i o n . D e p a r t m e n t of ff I $TDfc{ T h e Un ivers i ty of Brit ish C o l u m b i a V a n c o u v e r , C a n a d a Da te J J j k c e ^ J ^ 7J0O DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT Belief in human rights is a value central to the Canadian self-image. Canadians view the development of Canada's international peacekeeping role and overseas development assistance program in the post-1945 era as the foreign policy manifestation of this belief. It has led to the national myth of the country as a "Humanitarian Middle Power". Canada's response to Indonesia's oppressive occupation of East Timor (1975 - 1999) contradicted this national myth. The concept of meta-narrative, of political myth-making, is used to examine the reasons why the Liberal and Progressive Conservative governments in Ottawa during this period perceived Canada's national interest in maintaining a strong economic relationship with Jakarta over the protection of human rights in East Timor. These "Official" meta-narratives were countered by Canadian human rights activists, such as the East Timor Alert Network, who stressed the primacy of human rights in foreign-policy decision-making. Ultimately, this debate represents a conflict of values in Canadian society. The "Official" meta-narrative has developed since World War II in active support of the capitalist world-system dominated by the United States, whereas the "Counter" meta-narrative challenges the morality of that system. The "Humanitarian Middle Power" myth, which is at the core of the Canadian identity vis-a-vis the international community, is not completely invalid, but it is greatly limited by the firm adherence of Canadian governments to the world economic structure. ii TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract ii Table of Contents iii Dedications iv Chapter I Introduction 1 Chapter II The Concept of Meta-narrative 3 Chapter III The Development of the "Humanitarian Middle Power" Myth 4 Chapter IV The Emergence of a "Counter" Meta-narrative on Human Rights in Canadian Foreign Policy 10 Chapter V Trudeau and Liberalism: The "Official" Meta-narrative, 1968- 1984 11 Chapter VI The "Counter" Meta-narrative under Trudeau 20 Chapter VII Mulroney and Neo-conservatism: The "Official" Meta-narrative, 1984-1993 27 Chapter VIII The "Counter" Meta-narrative under Mulroney 32 Chapter IX Chretien and Liberalism: The "Official" Meta-narrative, 1993 - 1999 35 Chapter X The "Counter" Meta-narrative under Chretien 41 Chapter XI Rhetorical Devices of the "Official" Meta-narrative 42 Chapter XII Rhetorical Devices of the "Counter" Meta-narrative 44 Chapter XIII Conclusion: Canada and Human Rights in the World-System 51 Bibliographical Sources 54 iii Dedications: to the people of East Timor, who now struggle to build a country to those Canadians who worked so tirelessly in solidarity with them to those amongst my family and friends who became interested in East Timor and supported my research to my thesis supervisor, Steven Lee, for his patience and support and to Kevin Randall Wolansky December 2000 Singapore iv It turns out that many of our cherished myths were invented by government agencies or private corporations for quite specific, usually self-serving, purposes. - Daniel Francis, historian The Canadian idea is to stand up for your ideals and find a way around them. - John Hughes, diplomat There is virtually no correlation between the internal freedom of a society and its external behaviour. - Noam Chomsky, polemicist The mark of the modern world is the imagination of its profiteers and the counter-assertiveness of the oppressed. Exploitation and the refusal to accept exploitation as either inevitable or just constitute the continuing antinomy of the modern era, joined together in a dialectic which has far from reached its climax... - Immanuel Wallerstein, historian I. Introduction Belief in human rights is a value central to the Canadian self-image. The exact nature of the much-discussed Canadian identity is controversial, but few Canadians would 2 disagree with the idea that Canada, as a member of the international community, has supported the protection and enhancement of human rights both at home and abroad, in particular since the end of the Second World War. Indeed, the image of Canada as an international peacekeeper and aid donor to developing countries - as an international "boy scout" - has become a cherished national myth. Since 1945, successive Canadian governments have emphasized to varying degrees the importance of human rights in their domestic and foreign policies. Domestically, governments and society in general have become much more inclusive during the post-war era with increased recognition of, and support for, the rights of linguistic, ethnic and religious minorities, women, the disabled, and gays and lesbians, among others. Canadian foreign policy has reflected this value through such activities as international peacekeeping missions and economic and social development assistance to the Third World. However, despite laudable instances of support for human rights in foreign countries, the chorus of voices critical of Canada's lack of support for human rights in other instances has grown more vocal and intense over the decades since the government of Prime Minister Lester Pearson was accused by its critics of "complicity" in the American war with Vietnam. In 1975, the same year that saw the dramatic evacuation of U.S. troops from Saigon, the newly independent Portuguese colony of East Timor - also in Southeast Asia - was invaded by Indonesia in an equally dramatic military action. The political debate that emerged over the response of Canadian governments to the serious human rights abuses which took place in East Timor from 1975 to 1999 can be viewed as conflicting and varied meta-narratives or "political myths" on the place of human rights in Canadian foreign policy. Each of these 3 meta-narratives - the "official"1 meta-narratives of successive governments and the "counter" meta-narrative of those opposed to the government's position on East Timor -attempted to legitimize the claims of its proponents to be the most effective method of realizing the national myth of Canada as a force for international good. The "pragmatic" approach of the official meta-narratives, which underline their pro-capitalist ideologies, have clashed with the "value-centred" focus of the left-wing, anti-establishment "counter" meta-narrative. However, this debate reflects more than just conflicting attitudes toward the role of human rights in Canada's external policy. It is also one manifestation of a larger-scale debate on the legitimacy of the capitalist world-economic system which has undermined the post-1945 social contract in Canada - and the other Western democracies - since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and as a result of the process of "globalization", brought about by the technological revolution of the last two decades. H . The Concept of Meta-narrative The concept of meta-narrative used here is based on the work of Dr. George Egerton, a University of British Columbia history professor, who outlined a helpful approach to analyzing meta-narratives in his article "Collective Security as Political Myth: Liberal Internationalism and the League of Nations in Politics and History", published in 1983. There are a variety of interpretations of the meaning of the term meta-narrative. Egerton's own writing comes to the meta-narrative concept through research in 1 Andrew F. Cooper uses the terms Official debate and Counter debate in his 1997 book, Canadian Foreign Policy: Old Habits and New Directions. 4 sociology and, in particular, the work of Georges Sorel. Egerton himself has discussed it as the historical component of ideology (Egerton: 500). Political myth, he explains, operates in every society, though perhaps in different ways. In the twentieth century, religion was no longer the cultural dynamic it had been in earlier centuries and was replaced in western societies by ideologies. These ideologies, in many cases, filled the void left by the decline of Christianity. Fascism, conservatism, liberalism, socialism, communism, and their variations have formed the core value systems of recent times. According to Egerton, "[E]ach political myth, in its matured from, presents a dramatic, didactic narrative of events, actions, social conditions and human destiny. (Egerton: 501). Thus, the "official" and "counter" meta-narratives on Canadian reaction to the human rights abuses in East Timor can be analyzed in terms of the ideologies they serve and how those ideologies are socialized, the rhetoric used to shape and communicate the meta-narratives, the sense of social urgency that is being addressed, which social groups are being appealed to, what hope or resolution the meta-narratives promise for the future and, finally, whether or not each meta-narrative has been successful. HI. The Development of the "Middle Power" Myth The literature on national myths in Canada is substantial, but that focused on foreign policy is not. A case in point is historian Daniel Francis' book, National Dreams: Myth, Memory and Canadian History, published in 1997. Francis explores several of the "core myths" Canadians hold dear: the CPR, the North, and the Mountie getting his man, among others. Francis argues that Canadians rely on political myths even more than 5 most nations, as we do not share a common language, ethnicity, or religion as many other nations do (Francis: 10). "Ours", he writes, is "a civic ideology, a framework of ideas and aspirations which expresses itself in allegiance to certain public policies and institutions. The CBC, the social safety net, universal health care, hockey - these are just some of the components of our civic ideology." (Francis: 10). To this he might have added Canada as international power broker and humanitarian middle power: a peacekeeper and supporter of human rights. However, Francis does not deal with Canadians' sense of themselves in international affairs. Journalist Charles Taylor, in his book Snow Job (1974), examined Canada's role in the Vietnam War and agreed that Canada's myths are not as easy to determine, as "we still find it difficult to establish what Canada should mean in world affairs. Our brief history is full of potent myths, but these offer little guidance for our behaviour beyond our borders." (Taylor: i). Taylor attributes Canada's good-guy image of itself in the international arena to our disproportionate importance in the post-World WarTwo era: "Canadians gained confidence and pride as their statesmen made major contributions to the establishment of the United Nations and other international institutions and played a key part in turning the British Empire into a multi-racial Commonwealth." (Taylor: ii). Canadian policy-makers began to view Canada as a "middle power" with a particular international role to perform while, at the same time, managing its relationship with the United States and maintaining national unity (Fox: 1). Canada's influence was based on both its membership in the Western Alliance and its support for developing nations, with no colonizing past or imperialist aspirations. The myths of "quiet diplomacy" and "helpful fixer" dominated foreign policy thinking in the 1950s and 1960s (Taylor: iii). Mackenzie King's functionalism 6 and Lester Pearson's liberal internationalism have served as paradigms for Canadian statecraft in foreign affairs. However, diplomatic successes lent credence to the myths. As a result, this period in Canadian statecraft is referred to as the "Golden Era", symbolized by Prime Minister Lester Person's winning of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957 for his resolution of the Suez Crisis by brokering the establishment of a United Nations peacekeeping force. The contributions of earlier peacekeeping missions in Kashmir (1949), Palestine (1950) and Indochina (1954), of Prime Ministers Louis St. Laurent and Pierre Trudeau to the evolution of the Commonwealth, and of Canadian diplomats to United Nations committees enhanced Canada's positive self-image (Taylor: iv). The use of international organizations, focusing on the functionalist principle, seeking to mitigate the United States' influence on Canada, and the willingness to compromise all fit neatly with Canada's self-perception and mirrored the domestic political traits of consensus, accommodation, and volunteerism (Cooper 1997: 20). Indeed, several foreign policy commentators address the myth of Canada's international peacekeeping image. The literature suggests that this aspect of the national myth has its roots in Pearson's Nobel Prize. Pearson's handling of the crisis marked ".. .the high point not only for United Nations effectiveness, but also for Canada's ability to sway international events." (Fox: 6). Canadian historian J.L. Granatstein says of the Suez Crisis that it was "the last hurrah of the golden age of Canadian diplomacy... As such it acquired a mythology of its own, and the accession of Person to the leadership of the Liberal Party in 1958 ensured that this would be so. The managers of Canadian Liberalism traded on Pearson's world repute as a marketable asset" (Granatstein 1986: 237). Granatstein explains the appeal of the peacekeeping concept: 7 Peacekeeping indeed should be viewed as analogous to the missionary impulse that was so much a part of Canada before the 1939 war... The missionary impulse to service abroad was enormously strong and genuine, and nowhere did it live on in deeper form than among the officers in the Department of External Affairs.. The Department sprang full blown from the church and its outposts." (Granatstein 1986:137). In 1992, John English and Norman Hiller edited Making a Difference?: Canada's Foreign Policy in a Changing World, an exploration of whether or not Canada had made a difference in world affairs. Political Scientist James Sewell suggested that Canada's reputation partly stemmed from the high caliber of Canadian diplomats in Pearson's time and, with respect to peacekeeping itself, that it was Canada's "greatest diplomatic achievement." (Sewell: 190). According to English, the conference organizers agreed that "Canadian diplomacy and diplomats had indeed made a difference over a broad range of issues", including peacekeeping (English and Hillmer: vi). In Relocating Middle Powers: Australia and Canada in a Changing World Order (1993), Andrew Cooper, Richard Higgott and Kim Richard Nossal suggested that Canada's image as a "boy scout" in foreign relations could partly be due to its middle power status. "In this view, middle powers are seen as potentially wiser or more virtuous than [other] states. Middle powers have been thought to be more trustworthy because they can exert diplomatic influence without the likelihood of recourse to force." (Cooper, Higgott, and Nossal: 18). They conclude, however, that it is a difficult position to substantiate "when details are examined more closely (Cooper, Higgott, and Nossal: 18). Granatstein also argues that the "peacekeeper par excellence" myth is exaggerated, as Canada's peacekeeping efforts required American financing and logistical support and United Nations consensus in order to act at all. (Granatstein 1986: 237). Nevertheless, it \ 8 appealed to Canadians because it fit our middle power status in the 1950s and 1960s, emphasized our independence from American foreign policy, and it was useful without involving nuclear arms or even much expense!" (Granatstein 1986: 272). A second area of international activity that supports the liberal "functionalist" myth is Canada's overseas development aid program. As T.A. Keenleyside suggested in 1988: It seems appropriate in any analysis of the role of human rights in the conduct of Canada's bilateral relations to examine its place in Canadian development assistance policy. First, many of the globe's worst human rights offenders are developing countries; while Canada may have little influence on their behaviour, its aid programme - as one of the most important dimensions of Canada's relations with these states - is at least a potential instrument for that purpose." (Keenleyside 1988: 187) According to Cooper, international development assistance evolved over the post-1945 period into a "second pillar" - along with peacekeeping - of Canada's international role and was meant "to be a distinctive area of Canadian specialized interest and expertise." (Cooper 1997: 210). The impulse to help less fortunate nations had its foundations in Christian charity, according to Mitchell Sharp, Secretary of State for External Affairs under Pearson, as well as in the rise of the domestic welfare state made possible by the post-war economic boom (Cooper 1997: 211-212). From 1964 to 1967, spending on development assistance rose 280% (Cooper 1997: 212). This economic support for third world countries coupled with military support for keeping the peace in global trouble spots enhanced Canada's reputation abroad and, in particular, at home. The commentary on Canada's role as a good international citizen is not without discordant voices, however. After defining middle powers as more trustworthy in Relocating Middle Powers (1993), Cooper, Higgot and Nossal conclude, however, that the details do not often bear out the truth of the claim: "Contrast, for example, Australian 9 and Canadian rhetoric on Kuwait's sovereignty in the Gulf Conflict of 1990 - 1991 with their silence on Indonesia's invasion and annexation of East Timor in 1975." (Cooper, Higgot, Nossal: 18). The implication is clearly that middle powers do not have a "normal" behaviour with regard to human rights; their actions are often contradictory. Indeed, the gap separating Canadian words and actions on East Timor has led to charges of hypocrisy. Sharon Scharfe's prominent book on the topic of human rights and Canadian foreign policy vis-a-vis East Timor accused the Canadian government of Complicity - the book's title - in Indonesia's human rights abuses in the territory. Cranford Pratt's article "The Limited Place of Human Rights in Canadian Foreign Policy" outlined cases where Canadian governments did not fully support human rights. Pratt wrote that the Canadian governments did not use the International Labour Office during the interwar years to promote economic and social rights. It was tardy in accepting the expanding role of the United Nations Commission for Refugees in the 1950s; and it was rather cautious toward the United Nations Commission on Human Rights until the mid-1970s (Pratt: 171). Pratt states that the Department of External Affairs bureaucracy is "reluctant to give active expression in Canada's bilateral policies to criticisms it makes in the [United Nations] Human Rights Commission." (Pratt 1989b: 171). Cooper pointed to the Canadian government's preference for order and stability over reform and equity in the international system as a reason for downplaying human rights in such places as East Timor (Cooper 1997: 100). In "The Impact of Human Rights Violations on the Conduct of Canadian Bilateral Relations: A Contemporary Dilemma" (1984), Patricia Taylor and Terence Keenleyside noted that in instances where Canada did take concrete action against human rights violators, "[t]hey demonstrated that 10 we have taken such action very largely against those countries with whom our relations are slight and who, therefore, will be unlikely to be much influenced by our moves." (Pratt 1989b: 172). Canada's "altruistic" motivation for its development aid program was increasingly called into question from the 1970s onward. IV. The Emergence of a "Counter" Meta-narrative on Human Rights In Canadian Foreign Policy In the Pearson era, Canadian civil society had little input into foreign policy. Non-governmental organizations, academic and professional institutions, and private sector organizations were gradually invited to comment on policy only in the late 1960s, but even this was limited to the economic and social agenda, while the security agenda was largely a matter for the government and bureaucracy alone (Cooper 1997: 55). Although the government was restricted in its policy choices by such factors as its commitment to the maintenance of the capitalist economic system and the periodic need to appeal to the voters for support, it was remarkably independent of non-state actors in its ability to define the national interest and those policies that would support it (Nossal: 62). Pratt has suggested that, despite the principle of ministerial responsibility, the influence of senior bureaucrats is so great that Canadian foreign policy is likely to be an expression of their idea of the national interest (Pratt 1989b: 171). Nossal concurs: "[T]he conclusion posited here is that the state is relatively autonomous vis-a-vis civil society on foreign policy issues. Officials of state, both elected and bureaucratic, well within the broad parameters established by civil society, pursue their own definition of 'interest'..." (Nossal: 218). 11 Nevertheless, the 1960s and 1970s also saw the emergence of a number of voices raised against, or at least wanting to influence, Canadian foreign policy, as a wave of liberal social movements spread across North America, from the anti-Vietnam War-inspired Peace Movement, to the anti-establishment Youth Movement, to the anti-clerical Quiet Revolution in Quebec, to the Women's Movement attack on male dominance in society and its concomitant Sexual Revolution. In 1968, Canadians enthusiastically elected Pierre Elliot Trudeau, a man who seemed to symbolize these demands for change towards a more "just" society, as prime minister. V. Trudeau and Liberalism: The "Official" Meta-narrative, 1968 - 1984 By the Trudeau era, though, Canadian influence in international affairs had diminished due to the re-emergence of European countries from the ashes of the Second World War, the emergence of Third-World voices, and decreased tension between the West and the Communist Bloc. Canadians had to work harder to make their voice heard. Trudeau responded to the changed reality by initiating a national review of foreign policy that would better suit the nation's role as a more "modest power" (Fox: 7). In 1968, Stephen Clarkson edited a volume entitled An Independent Foreign Policy for Canada? that influenced Trudeau's policy review in that it emphasized "managing" Canada's relationship with the United States and stressed Canada's potential, instead of its limitations, in foreign policy making (Cooper 1997: 16). In 1970, after extensive hearings across the country to consult Canadians on their views regarding Canada's foreign policy, the government issued Foreign Policy for Canadians. Canada would no longer try to be the "helpful fixer" and would, instead, focus on its own national interest. 12 Trudeau's own interest in social justice was reflected in the document, as it was one of the six stated policy goals, a rather non-traditional foreign policy objective (von Riekhoff: 249). Thus, Canada announced its commitment to both economic development and respect for human rights around the globe. Two facets of Trudeau's new-style foreign policy were a more conciliatory posture toward the Soviet Union and a less knee-jerk response to American policy directions. The detente of the early 1970s soured over Soviet contraventions of the 1975 Helsinki Accord on human rights, incidences of espionage, and the invasion of Afghanistan, but Trudeau rejected the stridency of the American rhetoric against "the communist threat" and accepted the Soviet Union and the Communist Bloc as a permanent reality. This effort at establishing a foreign policy that stressed Canadian interests, - which were not necessarily the same as American ones - showed itself in the National Energy Program of the 1980s, a state-interventionist policy that tried to assert Canada's national economic interest. Though some considered it a successful example of Canadian independent action in the face of American resistance (Cooper 1997: 16), ultimately it only served to emphasize Canada's impotence in the face of the United States' overwhelming economic influence, should the latter choose to exercise it. That it chose not to in this particular instance may demonstrate Canadian negotiating skills, but it also demonstrates the significant structural limitations to Canadian economic and, therefore, foreign -policy independence. Economically, the 1970s were characterized by oil shocks, high inflation, recession, and high rates of unemployment. The post-war economic boom had ended. The prime minister, speaking to the Canadian Club in January of 1976 said, "The truth is that we are 13 living in a new economic era. It is time we faced that truth. It is time we decided how to live with it." (Statements and Speeches: 76/2). The finance minister, John Turner, in April 1975 commented to a gathering of first ministers in Ottawa, "First and foremost, the recession in the industrial countries has become more widespread and more serious than had been expected.. The changes in the world economic situation have affected Canada's performance and prospects." (Statements and Speeches: 75/10). One of the strategies decided on for living with the economic slowdown was to seek increased trade with the rapidly expanding economies of East and Southeast Asia, Indonesia in particular. Indonesia was a natural target for increased Canadian business ties, according to the then Secretary of State for External Affairs, Allan MacEachen, speaking to the Jakarta Press Club in August 1976. "The strategic position which Indonesia occupies in the Asia/Pacific area", he said, 'its large population, and its immense natural resources, place this country in a key position to play a major role in international affairs." (Statements and Speeches: 76/25). The minister went on to stress the value of economic ties with Indonesia: Indonesia, like Canada, is rich in natural resources, and both countries face the challenge of developing them in a rational manner which will bring the greatest amount of benefit to our citizens. This involves, for both our countries, the participation of foreign capital and the attendant need to maintain constant communication between the government and the private sector to ensure that the interests of all parties are served (Statements and Speeches: 76/25). Canadian government leaders saw great potential for Canadian businesses in Indonesia that could potentially ease Canada's economic stagnation. This had already been highlighted in 1971 when Trudeau visited Jakarta and Yogyakarta. The giant Canadian 14 nickel producer, LNCO, had already planned to invest heavily in developing nickel deposits in Sulawesi (van Praagh: 334-5). Though located on the eastern half of one of the thousands of islands in the Indonesian archipelago, East Timor was not part of Indonesia itself. Even before Indonesia gained independence from the Dutch colonial rulers of the territory in 1949, East Timor had been part of the Portuguese empire in Asia, the division of the island between the Dutch and Portuguese having been officially recognized by both sides in 1913. With the 1974 revolution, which wiped away the last of the fascist Salazar regime in Lisbon, Portugal withdrew from East Timor after local elections in August 1975. Disagreement over the future direction and ideological orientation of East Timor led to civil war between the right-of-centre Timorese Democratic Union (UDT) and the leftist Revolutionary Front of Independent East Timor (Fretilin). Out of the struggle, Fretilin was emerging as the likely victor when the Indonesian leadership under then President Suharto took the decision to invade and annex the territory rather than see a socialist regime established there. The discovery of petroleum resources in the Timor Sea and the perception that a left-leaning, non-aligned East Timor would be a security threat motivated Indonesia's interest in the territory (Scharfe: 48). On December 7th, 1975, the Indonesian military launched a full-scale attack on the East Timorese capital, Dili, in July 1976, East Timor was integrated as a province of Indonesia. The occupation of East Timor by Indonesia has met with demonstrations by and armed resistance from the East Timorese and this has led to repression and serious human rights abuses at the hands of the Indonesian authorities and security forces in the territory. 15 In response to these events, the United Nations Security Council called on Indonesia to withdraw its forces and to respect East Timor's right to self-determination, a principle of the United Nations charter, once on December 22nd, 1975 and again on April 22nd, 1976. Canada was not a member of the Security Council at this time and, therefore, did not vote on these resolutions, which established the moral tone of the international response, but it was able to make its position clear in the General Assembly. Between December 12th, 1975 and November 21st, 1979, Canada abstained on six General Assembly resolutions also recognizing East Timor's right to self-determination and, between November 11th, 1980 and November 23rd, 1982, it voted against three similar resolutions that it felt were too strongly worded against Indonesia. In fact, Allan MacEachen, the External Affairs Minister, commented in Jakarta in August 1976, "At the United Nations we have not supported resolutions that deplore the action by Indonesia because we felt that the resolutions had not properly expressed the circumstances which led to this particular action or policy" (Scharfe: 105), a reference to the process of decolonization by Portugal and the socialist-leanings of the Fretilin movement. A Department of External Affairs memorandum to Canada's U.N. mission dated October 1978 stated that "[Canada] has accepted de facto incorporation [of East Timor into Indonesia] (Scharfe: 106). At the same time, Canada maintained its development aid program to Indonesia and large infrastructure projects went ahead (Keenleyside 1988: 197). Keenleyside commented that "[t]he decision to maintain aid without strictures in the face of the invasion of East Timor is strikingly inconsistent with the posture adopted in the face of the far less destructive [Indonesian] assault on Malaysia in the mid-1960s (Keenleyside 16 1988: 197). However, tiny East Timor was not Malaysia, a Commonwealth country with which Canada had long-established ties. Also, the economic relationship between Canada and Indonesia did not begin to develop until the 1970s. Cold War tensions no doubt played a role in Canada's response, as Keenleyside has suggested: The reason for the inconsistency seems transparent. In the 1960s, Indonesia counted for little in Canadian foreign policy. In the 1970s and 1980s, however, it has been deemed strategically important, especially since the fall of South Vietnam and the communist ascendancy throughout Indochina. Together with its fellow members of the ASEAN, it has been viewed by Canada as the 'last bulwark against communism in this part of the world'." (Keenleyside: 197-8). While the world economy was largely in recession from about 1973 into the early 1980s, the ASEAN countries averaged growth rates of 6.8 to 7.9 percent, causing the Trudeau government to reverse Canada's traditional lack of interest in Asia, with its underdeveloped resources and cheap, plentiful labour (Downtown: 207), as it did not want Canada to be left out of the Asian economic boom. In June 1982, External Affairs Minister Mark MacGuigan told a Singapore audience that "[commercial relations between ASEAN and Canada, viewed against our global trading patterns, have achieved important dimensions. In the period between 1975 and 1980 two-way trade.. .more than trebled.. .to over $1 billion... [at] a real growth rate of 19 percent" (Statements and Speeches: 82/19). The hard pragmatism of these geopolitical and economic realities, however, left little room for human rights concerns or support for East Timor's struggle to rid itself of Indonesian rule. An earlier Secretary of State for External Affairs, Don Jamieson, had 17 explained the government's position at a seminar sponsored by the Canadian Council of Churches and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops in Ottawa in March 1977: Canada has already established a reasonably good record in international human-rights-oriented activities over the years.. .Unfortunately it seems that.. .there still exist too many gross violations of human rights in many countries, violations that are naturally a cause of concern to Canadians and that all of us would like to be able to rectify or at least ameliorate in one fashion or another.. I should like to stress at the outset that there is a fundamental difference, which it seems is not always readily appreciated, between our domestic activities in the human rights field and the action that Canada can take internationally. The difference between the domestic and international spheres of action is twofold: the first is the problem of standards, the second is the question of enforcement machinery... We in countries of Western traditions too frequently assume that those standards of conduct and behaviour towards our fellow man are perceived as having equal validity by other governments. But the perspective of other countries is, in fact, often different, partly because they may not be Western or democratic in background, or partly because their economic situations are vastly different from ours. Western democracies traditionally accord priority to civil and political rights, while Third World countries often place their pressing economic needs ahead of human-rights issues. It may seem callous or insensitive to Canadians, but we are told regularly that [developing states give priority to citizens' duties rather than rights in order to alleviate starvation] (Statements and Speeches: 77/5). The Trudeau government accepted the idea of "unique Asian values" on the nature of human and civil rights and the idea that economic development necessitates an "acceptable" level of human rights abuses and that, in any case, there was really nothing much Canada could do to effect an improvement in human rights conditions in the developing countries of Asia. In fact, Mr. Jamieson's speech also alluded to the government's use of "quiet diplomacy" as the most that could be done in dealing with human rights violators without causing the bilateral relationship to deteriorate completely. In the same speech, he outlined this "quiet diplomacy" concept. He suggested that, in order to raise issues of human rights with other countries, two criteria were key: 1) Will it be effective? and 2) Is it appropriate? Raising the issue publicly 18 could sour relations, while "quiet" discussions could preserve a good relationship: "We have a responsibility, however, to exercise a delicate judgement as to when to 'go public' and when to continue with 'quiet diplomacy'." (Statements and Speeches: 77/5). In the case of East Timor, the Trudeau government chose not to go public and opted for private discussions with Indonesian officials on human rights abuses in the territory. Indonesia benefitted from Canadian development assistance throughout the Trudeau years. The prime minister's interest in North-South issues led to a focus on aid as a foreign policy tool and a means of gaining legitimacy within the "development community". Under Trudeau, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) was set up in 1968 to co-ordinate and fund Canada's international development aid program. In the 1970s, under the leadership of Maurice Strong, CIDA expanded rapidly. Trudeau hoped the aid program would be a way of enhancing Canada's international status and influence beyond that of its traditional middle power role (Cooper 1997: 215). Although the idea of aid being "tied" to a country's human rights record was rejected by Trudeau initially, human rights garnered greater parliamentary interest at the latter end of the 1970s and tied aid received more support from the Liberal government as one of the factors to be considered when granting aid money. (Keenleyside: 189). The short-lived Progressive-Conservative government of Joe Clark in 1979-1980 supported a similar policy (Keenleyside: 189). The Liberal's return to power saw this position re-inforced. External Affairs Minister MacGuigan told parliament: "Countries of the Third World face desperate and formidable challenges. It is for this reason that we have withdrawn aid programs from those countries where scarce resources are diverted to war 19 and conquest." (Keenleyside: 189). Nevertheless, the government also saw aid as a way of financing trade. CIDA began to co-operate with the Canadian business community very soon after its founding, although its Business Co-operation Branch was not founded until 1984. Through the 1970s and 1980s, Canadians debated which of the motivating principles of Canadian aid should be given more or less weight: philanthropy - altruistic support for the developing world; foreign policy - enhancing Canada's international position; or economics - increasing exports.(Cooper 1997: 220). With the economic downturn during this period came funding cuts to CIDA and an increasing focus on economic concerns. This motivation was mirrored in the reorganization of the Department of External Affairs itself which, in 1982, absorbed the Trade Commissioner Service of the former Department of Trade to form a more streamlined and trade-focused Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). While economic relations played a role in Canada's delivery of development aid, it was not the only factor. The containment of communism in Asia also motivated Canadian aid to Indonesia, despite its disregard for human rights in Indonesia proper and in East Timor especially. Thousands of Indonesians have been arrested and detained without trial and there have been steady reports or torture and vigilantism, but "[m]ore appalling still has been Indonesia's treatment of.. .East Timor... [I]t is estimated that 250,000 East Timorese, approximately one-third of the population, have perished" under the occupation (Keenleyside: 196). However, while aid to Vietnam and Cuba's communist regimes decreased through the 1970s, aid to the anti-communist Suharto regime in Jakarta increased steadily during the same period. By 1980, Indonesia was the fourth largest 20 recipient of Canadian aid and the largest outside the Commonwealth (Keenleyside: 196). By 1981, 130 Canadian companies and corporations were doing business in Indonesia (Downtown: 214). Although geographically equidistant from Canada, politically and economically, Indonesia was close to Ottawa, while East Timor was thousands of miles away. V I . The "Counter" Meta-narrative under Trudeau Despite the traditionally closed-shop nature of Canadian foreign policy which limited policy making to politicians and bureaucrats, Foreign Policy for Canadians began a gradual process of democratizing the system somewhat by encouraging a broader range of voices to be heard on foreign policy issues. Prime Minister Trudeau wanted to broaden participation in policy decisions in order to dilute the power of the Department of External Affairs bureaucracy - which had become an elitist, Anglophone preserve -create more co-ordination between departments of government on foreign policy matters, centralize the process more in the cabinet, and stimulate debate within the cabinet on foreign policy issues (Fox: 12). The effects of this "opening up" were particularly visible in Canada's aid program. At CIDA, business groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and volunteer groups began to play an increasingly greater role in the agency's work. In 1963, Canada had 20 NGOs. In 1972, there were 120 (Cooper 1997: 219). Many of these NGOs focused on Third World development concerns and were "part of a radical 'counter-consensus' acting in strong opposition to the official consensus underlying development assistance" (Cooper 1997: 219). Having emerged from the anti-establishment, pro-environment 21 spirit of the 1960s, these "counter-consensus" groups believed that universal ethical standards must be applied to all human beings regardless of national borders and that it was the responsibility of the global community to support these standards (Cooper 1997: 86). Internationally, the practice of the "parallel conference" helped boost NGOs' opportunities to influence governments. At the 1972 Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, CIDA's president, Maurice Strong, initiated the idea of the parallel conference to enable non-state groups to voice there concerns and the practice has continued at various international conferences since (Sewell: 192). Often, however, these non-governmental actors have been critical of the government's policies, revealing a significant ideological gap. In the case of East Timor, critics of Canada's position generally focused on the immorality, as they saw it, of accepting de facto Indonesia's annexation of the territory and the hypocrisy of turning a blind eye to the human rights abuses in East Timor, despite the official protestations of Canadian government leaders that respect for human rights was an important aspect of Canada's foreign policy. Ideologically, this position is grounded in the idea that capitalism, the dominant economic system of the modern world, is itself inherently immoral. The critics claimed that the government's motivation for offering development assistance was not the long-term alleviation of poverty through a more equitable distribution of resources, but maintenance of the status quo through protectionist policies, a cautious attitude toward meaningful systemic change, and a failure to meet its target of devoting 0.7 percent of GNP to development assistance (Cooper 1997: 222). Not only that, Canada's foreign policy tended to stress human rights when the violators were in the communist bloc or when Canada's commercial interests were not at risk. While Canada 22 "went public" on human rights concerns in communist Kampuchea, Poland, and Afghanistan, it resorted to "quiet diplomacy" with respect to violations in East Timor by pro-Western IndonesiafPratt 1989b: 174). One critic who helped significantly to raise awareness of Indonesia's human rights abuses in East Timor in Canada and other Western countries was Noam Chomsky, the American linguist and leftist political activist. According to Chomsky, the Indonesian invasion of East Timor is based in Cold War geopolitics. In 1965, General Suharto received the support of the West in the coup d'etat that overthrew the left-wing President Sukarno. In 1975, when Portugal withdrew from its colony, the West was concerned about a socialist or communist regime being established there. Indonesia's invasion thereby ousted the left-wing Fretilin movement from power and "secured" East Timor in the Western-capitalist sphere of influence. His ideas provided the ideological framework on which the movement of human rights activists who supported East Timor's position against the Indonesia occupation over the last thirty years was based. Chomsky has spent over thirty years critiquing both the dominant Cold-War ideology and the neo-conservative one that replaced it with respect to American foreign policy. Among the first to give the issue of East Timor a public profile, he had a strong influence on the East Timor solidarity movement, as well as the anti-capitalist left, in Canada and around the world. Although Chomsky deals mainly with the United States, his theories are easily transferable to the Canadian context as it operates within the same world-economic framework at the center of which is the United States. In order to convey the message of his own brand of libertarian socialism, he puts the United States' involvement in world affairs - and particularly in Asia - under the microscope. In this way, his political positions are made accessible to those he is trying to reach: those opposed to the modern capitalist system. In the film Manufacturing Consent - produced and directed by Canadians - Chomsky says, "Modern industrial civilization has developed within a certain system of convenient myths: the driving force of modern, industrial civilization has been individual material gain which is accepted as legitimate, even praiseworthy, on the grounds that private vices yield public benefits..." Hence, the core form of domination in American society is capitalism, which he consistently defines as private ownership of natural resources. America's claim to championing human rights in its foreign policy is another red herring attacked by Chomsky. In The Political Economy of Human Rights (1979), he writes that such a claim is "directly contrary to policy" (Chomsky 1979a: 3) and that the real rights to be protected were those of American corporations to economic freedom and the "right" to repatriate their profits. The proof of this, for Chomsky, is suppression of popular uprisings in U.S. client states in order to preserve, however brutally, the "stability" necessary for the operation of American business in the country (Chomsky 1979a: x). The demonization of communism and communist regimes in United States politics, during the Cold War, served to distort and narrow American political life (Chomsky 1970: 80). Anti-communism was the twentieth-century version of Britain's "white man's burden" in the nineteenth century. Both were used to justify each state's hegemony over the world (Chomsky 1970: 8). The function of anti-communism was to prevent independent economic development outside the American economic "empire" and to establish a climate of fear to justify the U.S. government's subsidy of the 24 American military-industrial complex. Indeed, the Cold War was ultimately a technique of domestic control for both sides (Chomsky 1970: 22-3). Thus, the end goal of American foreign policy is "to construct a system of societies that are open to free economic intervention by private enterprise" which is, in fact, subsidized by the taxpayers of the United States (Chomsky 1970: 16). To demonstrate this view of U.S. foreign policy, Chomsky points to several historical events. The American economy came to dominate the world at the expense of the previous hegemon, Great Britain, and the Marshall Plan helped to secure the subjugation of Europe to U.S. economic dominance (Chomsky 1970: 13). Also, the Americans have picked up from Britain the mantra of economic liberalism: free trade, which is mooted as good for all, though it is always best for the hegemon's continued strength. Asia is crucial to the United States as a supplier of raw materials and markets and, therefore, cannot be "lost" from its economic orbit. Chomsky cites speeches by president Dwight Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, regarding American involvement in Indochina in the 1950s, stating U.S. objectives as preventing Asian states, as well as others, from falling into the Soviet sphere of influence: the famous "domino" theory. Chomsky states in At War with Asia that such State Department officials as Dean Acheson, Dean Rush and Dulles actively prevented a peaceful settlement in Indochina (Chomsky 1969: 31). The Cold War was real, but the "mandarins" used it to cloak the true intentions of U.S. policy in Asia and elsewhere. In the end, Asia was a victim of the "American crisis": America's need for resources in its war-materials-production system, which requires the public to feel paranoid in order to continue supporting the system. 25 The hypocrisy of the United States' "defence" of human rights, and the complicity of the mainstream media's role in the system, is revealed through a comparison of the information American's received on events in Cambodia and East Timor in 1975. According to The political Economy of Human Rights, "the difference reflects the concern of ideologues to divert attention to the crimes of the enemies of the state, while obscuring atrocities for which they share a measure of responsibility" (Chomsky 1979a: 131). In the case of Cambodia, the actions of Pol Pot's communist regime could easily be subsumed under the rubric of "communist atrocities" and, therefore, received a lot of press in the American media. However, East Timor was invaded by Indonesia, a friend of the United States whose military hardware it used to kill thousands and thousands of Timorese in a bold grab for land, oil resources, and the control of shipping lanes that Indonesia had no claim to, so the story was largely absent from the American press. Chomsky calls this one of the few "controlled experiments" history offers us for discussion. However, while Chomsky commented that the peace movement of the 1960s and 1970s - aimed at stopping the Vietnam War - proved that a mass movement of the people could affect change and that "activists" could make a difference, change happens very slowly. Chomsky took a leading role amongst a handful of citizens in the West who were trying to make others aware of the Indonesian occupation of East Timor, the human rights violations taking place there, and the East Timorese struggle to oust the Indonesians from their country. In Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada, as well, networks of mostly young activists acting in solidarity with the East Timorese sprouted 2 6 up. One such young Canadian was a British Columbian woman named Elaine Briere, who in April 1974 had visited East Timor on a backpacking tour of Southeast Asia. Its remoteness and lack of Western cultural influence charmed her. When she heard about the Indonesian invasion in 1975, she was appalled and began to try to raise awareness of the event in Canada through talks on campuses and in church basements and by writing articles to newspapers. She eventually became, in 1987, one of the founding members, along with Maureen Davies and Derek Evans, of the East Timor Alert Network (ETAN) which brought together like-minded people who worked to lobby the Canadian government in support of East Timorese independence from Indonesia. Briere and ETAN were not alone, however. Along with other individuals, Christian organizations such as the Canadian Council of Churches and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops - which are concerned with human rights issues - became involved in the growing movement of support for East Timor. The Canadian Labour Congress, concerned about the implications of Canadian companies "exploiting" Indonesian and East Timorese workers, took an interest in the issue. The Canadian branches of international NGOs, such as Amnesty International, became involved as well in the East Timor solidarity movement. The participation of student groups, such as the Canadian Federation of Students, emphasized the youthfulness of those involved. Thus, a small but growing number of Canadians began to oppose, through the late 1970s and 1980s, their government's acceptance of the integration of East Timor into Indonesia. This opposition reflected, not only a rejection of Canadian policy toward East Timor in particular or human rights issues in general, but of the capitalist ideological foundation on which they were built as well. 27 VII. Mulroney and Neo-conservatism: The "Official" Meta-narrative, 1984-1993 In September 1984, Brian Mulroney's Progressive Conservative Party came to power in Ottawa and remained in power for the next nine years. During this period the international context changed dramatically as the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall symbolized for the world the disintegration of the Soviet communist bloc and, as a result, the Cold War fizzled out. At the same time, stiffer international economic competition in an era of increasing "globalization" led to a heating up of the economic agenda just as the security agenda was cooling down. As well, Mulroney gave renewed emphasis to the role of human rights in Canada's foreign and aid policies during his prime ministership The end of the Cold War and, with it, the foreign policy certainties of the previous forty-four years led to talk of a "New World Order" in which the United States was now the only superpower and the economic system it represented, capitalism, emerged triumphant. The bipolar tensions of Soviet-American rivalry which had constrained foreign policy options was gone and the international community became increasingly concerned with economic competitiveness and the "global" social issues, such as human rights and the environment, which cross national borders (Cooper 1997: 18). However, this "transnationalization" (Cooper 1997) of economic and socio-political issues challenged the ability of governments to respond effectively as they tried to manage forces beyond their borders. In 1987, the Tories issued a foreign policy statement entitled Sharing Our Future, which called for increased support for human rights in Canada's aid policy. Joe Clark stated in Foreign Policy Review: 1985-1986, "Not everything is open to question. 28 Canada is a democratic society and this government is committed to the protection of our values...[w]e are determined...to help eradicate human rights abuses." (Blanchette 1994: xiii). Prime Minister Mulroney repeated the pledge to tie human rights concerns to aid in a speech at the October 1991 Commonwealth Conference in Harare, Zimbabwe. In September 1991, at the United Nations, External Affairs Minister Barbara Mc Dougall went even further: "We must not allow the principle of non-intervention to impede an effective international response.. .the concept of sovereignty must respect higher principles, including the need to preserve human life from wanton destruction." (Cooper 1997: 179). The government of Canada, therefore, admitted the possibility of military intervention in sovereign countries where human rights abuses warranted such action. The Mulroney government's support for an end to apartheid in South Africa is an example of its commitment to supporting human rights put into practice. Nevertheless, the Mulroney government espoused the neo-conservative ideology which led to "Reaganomics" in the United States and "Thatcherism" in Britain. After the series of recessions of the 1970s and early 1980s, Canadians realized that they could not take their post-war prosperity for granted and were looking for a way out of the economic doldrums, so the economic agenda became the national priority. While the Trudeau Liberals had, in the first half of the 1980s, retreated gradually from the traditional Liberal belief in state-interventionist economic policies applied in the 1970s, Mulroney's Conservatives fully adopted the main tenet of the neo-conservative platform - free trade - which, they said, would bring better jobs, cheaper goods, and a successful future in the competitive global marketplace (Cooper 1997: 17). In Canada, free trade meant reversing one hundred years' of resistance to "continentalism": greater economic 29 integration with the United States. In Competitiveness and Security: Directions for Canada's International Relations (1985), Secretary of State for External Affairs Joe Clark stated in the foreword that the publication sought to "look at the world and how it affects our prosperity and security, and at our need to respond. It emphasizes that economic issues are assuming an increasingly prominent role in our international relations." The document concluded: The messages are clear. Our economic interests require us to be competitive; we must trade if we are to prosper. Our security interests demand that we play our part in western defence and in arms control and disarmament. Our values dictate that we help the poor, the hungry and the politically abused. At the same time, reality establishes the limits, including the financial limits, of our ability to to act" (p.43). As a middle power, Canada's foreign policy focused on maintaining the stability of a world order that is based on rules established in multilateral organizations such as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, that ensure an orderly transition to any "new economic order" in which Canada can pursue its interests (Cooper 1997: 282). Joe Clark's "reality" meant that choices had to be made between competing interests. The government saw a decreased standard of living as a threat to national unity. Economic concerns thus took precedence over the desire to emphasize human rights and other global social issues that were receiving greater attention in international affairs as a result of the Cold War's cessation. The economic security of Canadians outweighed human rights concerns abroad. With the recommendation of the MacDonald Royal Commission that Canada should negotiate a free trade agreement with the United States, Canada's business leaders were brought into the policy-making process in order to help legitimize it in the eyes of the 30 corporate community, thereby establishing another precedent for societal participation in foreign-policy formulation (Cooper 1997: 57), this time in support of the government's political and economic agenda. The Conservative's attack on the national deficit was accompanied by a 23.3 percent decrease in development assistance funds in the April 1989 budget (Cooper 1997: 225). Economic restructuring called for increased participation of the private sector in delivering services to Canadians and increasing access to overseas markets for Canadian goods in the bid to make the economy globally competitive. In 1991, Mulroney appointed Marcel Masse the new president of CIDA. Masse came to his new post fresh from representing Canada at the International Monetary Fund and was a strong proponent of restructuring (Cooper 1997: 227). Reduced resources and capacity forced the agency to draw on outside actors to deliver programs and, in the process, take on more of a co-ordinating role, which fit the "privatization" model of the neo-conservative ideology and acknowledged reality of the government's reduced financial capacity. Through the 1980s and 1990s, the Mulroney government steadily increased funding of CIDA projects through NGOs (Cooper 1997: 227). The target countries of development assistance, in a time of economic rationalization, focused on those thought to become the best potential trade partners, such as the Newly Industrialized Countries, or NICs, of Asia and also on the former Soviet bloc countries, at the expense of the poorest countries, such as those in Africa (Cooper 1997: 230). Indonesia was amongst those that continued to receive aid from Canada in the 1980s and 1990s. On the 12th of November 1991 Indonesian forces opened fire on a funeral procession in the East Timor capital of Dili. Approximately 271 were killed and over 300 wounded 31 (Scharfe: 118). For the first time since the Indonesian invasion of 1975, East Timor was thrown into the global spotlight. The Canadian government, media and public began to pay attention to the issue. The presence of Western journalists during the massacre ensured wide media coverage. Canadians reacted negatively to the brutality depicted on their television screens. In Ottawa, the opposition Liberals and New Democrats demanded the Conservative government act. On November 13th, Secretary of State for External Affairs Barbara McDougall, who was attending an APEC meeting in South Korea, met the Indonesian Foreign Minister, Ali Alatas, and expressed Canada's "outrage". On the 14th, the Indonesian ambassador to Ottawa was called in to the Department of Foreign Affairs to give an explanation. Canada condemned the massacre at the United Nations. On the 9th of December, Canada cancelled all new aid, valued at about $30 million, to Indonesia and promised to refuse military export licences (Scharfe: 119). Though more symbolic than effective, the principal of tying aid to human rights was thereby applied in direct response to Indonesian human rights abuses in East Timor. Since the 1970s, Canada had targeted Indonesia for increased trade and investment. Indonesia's occupation of East Timor forced Canadian governments to make significant human rights trade-offs in order to benefit from their economic relations with that country. The Dili Massacre, however, made this trade-off more difficult to defend (Cooper 1997: 122) and the government was forced, after decades of declaratory support for human rights, to put its money where its mouth was. 32 VIII. The "Counter" Meta-narrative under Mulroney The neo-conservatism of the Mulroney years created a political division amongst Canadians that led to the rise of vocal opponents of government policies on economic restructuring, free trade, and the reduction of social services provided by governments. A coalition of left-wing political and social groups opposed to the Progressive Conservatives' economic policy focused on the social costs of global competitiveness in terms of people. The gap between the winners and the losers in the new economy was widening, while there was less government assistance for those unable to make the adjustment. Many Canadians supported the perceived benefits of global economic liberalization, but many opposed it as well and made their feelings known by criticizing the government's agenda in the media and in the streets. As Cooper put it, "A rising sense of disenchantment with traditional sources of authority has contributed to multiple demands for the remaking of the political rules of the game. At the very least, governments have had to negotiate and bargain with their publics in a more open and inclusive fashion." (Cooper 1997: 3). The opening up of the foreign policy process begun by Trudeau and carried on by Mulroney allowed those Canadians opposed to "globalization" to focus attention on its negative consequences, such as environmental and human rights violations. This "opening up" was due partly to social pressures, but it also attempted to gain legitimacy for government policies and to provide experience and manpower of NGOs for Canada's development programs (Cooper 1997: 61). These societal groups, like their business counterparts, also became increasingly "transnational". Groups involved in the East Timor solidarity movement, such as ETAN, established connections with similarly-minded groups in Australia, the United States, the 33 United Kingdom, Indonesia, and East Timor, recognizing the shared values and commitments of citizens in different countries, regardless of the national borders that divided them. Societal groups have "moved beyond the sphere of domestic politics and policy, using all of the means and instruments open to them" (Cooper 1997: 216). One such means was modern technology. New communications technologies, such as computers and the Internet, camcorders and faxes, were a key factor in the "transnationalization" of human rights issues, as they were for the business community. They helped NGOs and other groups to share information and raise awareness of issues more quickly and effectively. They helped small organizations reach the larger body politic without need of the expensive mass media (Sewell: 197). The East Timor solidarity movement is a good example of this. It communicated its message through extensive use of the Internet. A website, www.etan.ca> provided information on the organization's work in support of East Timor and a subscription list, called ETAN-News, provided subscribers with regular updates on related news and events. This allowed them to disseminate up-to-date information and to organize "urgent actions" - demonstrations, letter campaigns, or petitions - very quickly. ETAN took full advantage of traditional communication methods as well, such as radio, television, documentary films, conferences, seminars, and public talks and demonstrations. The mass media can play an important role in mobilizing public support for human rights work done by NGOs and other groups. The media are able to give a much higher public profile to an issue or event, but its attention can be sporadic. Topics raised in the House of Commons during Question Period are often taken from the media, as 34 "newsworthy" items are more likely to attract the attention of politicians (Berry and McChesney: 72). Without media interest in their issues, NGOs have trouble influencing government policy. We have seen that the 1991 Dili Massacre helped to draw media attention and, therefore, public attention to East Timor. The awarding, in 1996, of the Nobel Peace Prize to resistance leader Jose Ramos-Horta and Catholic Bishop Carlos Felipe Ximenes Belo was another event that raised the awareness of East Timor's plight considerably. Recognition by the Nobel Committee and, as a result, the world media, helped to raise the profile of East Timor to the level of sustained interest over the next three years. The media had come under sharp criticism from the pro-East Timor interest groups for not reporting on the issue, until events in Dili and Oslo resulted in greater newsworthiness. In Complicity (1995), Sharon Scharfe wrote, "A reason for the Canadian government's ability to pursue such a relationship [with Indonesia] for two decades is the relative silence of the media. Public opinion has not been formed, leaving the government to act with little scrutiny or accountability" (Scharfe: 2). The East Timor solidarity movement supported the Mulroney government's cancellation of new aid to Indonesia. Human rights groups had encouraged the government to tie aid to a country's human rights record. Pressure on the government to do so had been mounting since the 1970s (Keenleyside: 188). The movement was concerned, nevertheless, that the linkage was applied only inconsistently, in an ad hoc manner, when it suited the government (Cooper 1997: 232-3). The morality at the centre of human rights advocates was uncompromising. Sharon Scharfe wrote: It must be reiterated that no matter how economically and politically profitable the relationship between countries, human rights must ultimately take precedence over such considerations. This position is reflected in Canadian foreign policy 35 theoretically, but, in the case of Indonesia, rarely put into practice." (Scharfe: 3-4). One case in point was Canada's continued arms sales to Indonesia throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Joe Clark had promised to stop the sales: "In order to prevent the escalation of regional disputes, the government does not issue permits for the export of military goods to countries that are engaged in or under imminent threat of hostilities." (Regehr: 217). Despite such declarations, Regehr suggested that the guidelines regarding military sales could be easily circumvented as they required only that a country's human rights record had "to be considered" (Regehr: 217): "Indonesia's involvement in hostilities in East Timor has not disqualified it as a recipient of Canadian military and military-related equipment." (Regehr: 217). LX. Chretien and Liberalism: The "Official" Meta-narrative, 1993-1999 In 1993, the Liberal Party returned to power in Ottawa under Prime Minster Jean Chretien. Despite the hopes of economic and political nationalists, the Liberals maintained the Conservatives' neo-conservative focus on international economic competitiveness and reduction of the national deficit. The Chretien government did not reverse Mulroney's pro-capitalist, pro-continentalist reforms, as the costs in loss of international business confidence and, therefore, the county's economic well-being would be too great (Cooper 1997: 119). Under the Liberals, the foreign-policy agenda has been dominated by trade and "quiet diplomacy" has been used to address Indonesia's human rights record in East Timor. 36 The Liberals carried out their own foreign policy review in 1994, which produced Canada's Foreign Policy: Principles and Priorities for the Future, written by a Special Joint Committee of Parliament. The committee listened to submissions from NGOs, human rights groups, churches, academics, native groups, the private sector and individual citizens (Scharfe: 16). In response to the Special Joint Committee's recommendations, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade issued Canada in the World, in February 1995, which stated three government-foreign-policy objectives: prosperity and employment, Canadian security in a stable global framework, and projection of Canadian values and culture. Clearly, the first priority is "prosperity and employment". The prime minister himself has been active in promoting Canadian goods and services on several highly-publicized "Team Canada" trade missions to Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Nevertheless, Chretien envisions a more modest role for Canada in world affairs than either of his two predecessors. He is much more in the mould of Lester Pearson, emphasizing liberal internationalist support for rules-based multilateralism. As he has stated, "We are not a superpower... and we don't want to be. We are a bilingual, incredibly diverse nation, a G-7 nation that is also a middle power. These advantages will continue to give us the edge in the years to come." (Cooper 1997: 12). The "edge" referred to is, of course, an economic one. It is Canada's economic security through competitiveness in a global marketplace that is his chief foreign policy concern. On the issue of linking trade with human rights, as the Mulroney government made an attempt to do, the Liberal government was cautious. Canada and the World suggested that trade with countries with poor human rights records was tolerable since, "[a]s wealth is created and middle classes grow, democracy is also taking root." (Scharfe: 26). A Maclean's article on the prime minister's trip to Asia to attend the APEC summit in Jakarta in November 1994 quoted him as saying, ".. .the way the walls fall and the freedoms come" is opening countries up to trade, not making speeches about human rights (Maclean's: 28 Novemeber 1994: 28-9). Canada in the World refocused overseas development funding: 25 percent would be targeted at "basic human needs". However, the debate on "tied aid" was downplayed, focusing instead on increased public participation in foreign policy making and sensitivity to individual situations. (Cooper 1997: 235). With respect to Indonesia and East Timor, Chretien remarked at the Jakarta APEC summit, "This is the biggest and fastest growing market in the world... As a member of APEC it's a bit like the commercial you see on TV once in a while - membership has its privileges." (Canadian Press Newswire: 15 November 1994). Here too the desired "privileges" are economic in nature. At the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Vancouver in May 1995, Foreign Affairs Minister Andre Oullet stated that Canada would continue to pursue "aggressively" new trade opportunities in ASEAN, confirming the position that trade led to increased democracy (Scharfe: 29). The Liberals have been afraid that Canada would miss benefiting from the potentially huge markets of Asia, including Indonesia. Having declared economic security the priority, the Liberals relied on "quiet diplomacy" as their approach to human rights issues with the Suharto regime in Jakarta. Canada supported two resolutions passed by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in 1993 and 1997, signalling a concession to the raised profile of the conditions in 38 East Timor in Canada and the demands by human rights groups for more concrete action in support of the Timorese. At the 1994 APEC summit in Jakarta, Chretien met with President Suharto. With particular respect to East Timor, he told reporters, "I said that we want to have good trade relations, but we want too, the respect of human rights" (Canadian Press Newswire: 14 November 1994). Chretien also committed to sending a Canadian Human Rights Commissioner to Jakarta to work with the Indonesian Human Rights Commission "to provide his expertise" (Canadian Press Newswire: 14 November 1994) , as a concrete step toward improving the situation. In March 1995, Canada's head of delegation to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights placed East Timor on the country's list of the worst abuses in the world (Canadian Press Newsire: 1 March 1995) , thereby acknowledging the reality and seriousness, in the eyes of the Canadian government, of the rights violations in East Timor. Even so, it was at the same conference that he announced $30 million for new aid projects in Indonesia, after three years of the freeze put in place by the Tories (Scharfe: 171). The Liberal government was anxious to appear to be making the most of "quiet diplomacy" in aid of human rights in East Timor. Nonetheless, its words and actions left no doubt as to the overriding importance of Canada's own interest: the maintenance of its economic ties with Indonesia. Idealism made way for pragmatism. The Asian "Economic Crisis" of 1997 had extreme repercussions for Indonesia and the Suharto regime and this, in turn, had dramatic implications for East Timor. The collapse of the Indonesian rupiah cut the purchasing power of Indonesians in half and many in the growing Indonesian middle class fell back into the ranks of the working poor, while many others were left unemployed. Indonesians had tolerated the political 39 repression and corruption in the government as long as the economy developed and their standard of living improved. However, in early 1998, frustration and dissatisfaction led to demonstrations in the streets demanding the removal of the president. On May 21st, 1998, President Suharto stepped down - after thirty-three years in power - and was replaced by his handpicked successor, B.J. Habibie. But Habibie, as a member of the ruling Golkar Party, was distrusted as a Suahrto puppet and demands for a national election rose along with popular support for the presidential candidacy of the daughter of Indonesia's first president, Megawati Sukarnoputri. Megawati's relationship to President Sukarno helped to legitimize opposition to the remains of the Suahrto regime and provided a rallying point for the discontented. Political violence increased throughout 1998. The growing instability in Jakarta provided the East Timorese with an opportunity to press for a renegotiated relationship with Indonesia. The Indonesian government talked of the possibility of some form of "autonomy", while in East Timor there was growing hope that a referendum on independence might take place. This debate on East Timor's nature was unpopular with Indonesians who had moved or been relocated to East Timor, however, and both pro- and anti-independence militia groups appeared, which lead to violent clashes in efforts to intimidate the other side. With the tacit and, often, active support of the Indonesian military stationed in East Timor, the anti-independence forces were especially violent. The brutality of the pro-Indonesian militia groups helped to turn international opinion in favour of a referendum on independence. In January 1999, President Habibie announced for the first time that Jakarta might allow East Timor to go if it rejected his autonomy offer. The international community called for a solution to the mounting 40 violence there. Canada's Foreign Minister, Lloyd Axworthy, deplored the violence and called for the release of East Timorese resistance leader Xanana Gusmao. A DFAIT news release in February 1999 said the minister noted Canada's relationship with both Indonesia and East Timor and promised to continue Canada's political and economic support for Jakarta, especially in the wake of the financial crisis. However, the news release also pointed out that Canada was the third largest aid donor to East Timor, providing aid worth $1.1 million annually (DFAIT New Release: Feb. 26/99). The Liberal government followed the lead of nations such as Australia in recognizing the momentum of East Timor's right to self-determination, but it continued to work to preserve good relations with Jakarta at the same time. In February, Gusmao, who had been serving time in Jakarta's Cipinang Prison, was moved to house arrest in Jakarta, further signaling the change in the government's attitude toward East Timor. The stage for a referendum in East Timor on a new relationship with Indonesia was set on May 5th, 1999 when the foreign minister of Indonesia, Ali Alatas, and Portuguese Foreign Minister Jaime Gama, representing East Timor, signed an agreement in front of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Canada's Liberal government supported the process as the best hope for a peaceful solution. Foreign Minster Axworthy called the referendum "an opportunity to exercise self-determination in accordance with their status as a non-self-governing territory." (DFAIT News Release: No. 43). August 30th, 1999 was the date set for the United-Nations-supervised referendum that would see 98.6 percent of eligible East Timorese vote overwhelmingly, with 78.5 percent of the vote, to reject the offer of special 41 autonomy within Indonesia. The East Timorese thereby declared themselves for an independent state. X. The "Counter" Meta-Narrative under Chretien The counter meta-narrative contested the Chretien government's subordination of human rights to economic security. The government's pragmatism was contrasted with the values-based position of its critics. Morally, human beings should always come before business and, they argued, there should be a universal set of human rights standards (Cooper 1997: 124). Their moral tone was uncompromising and they demanded the same from the government. The East Timor solidarity movement focused, in particular, on the government's continued sales to Indonesia of arms used to oppress the people of East Timor (Scharfe: 21). East Timor resistance leader Xanana Gusmao explained the Canadian government's lack of support for a small nation's rights as the result of the fact that Indonesia was Canada's largest trading partner in Southeast Asia and a major recipient of its development aid. Said Gusmao, "Human rights, the fundamental rights of peoples, universal principles, international law; they are all just omong kosong - empty words - when huge profits are at stake." (Scharfe: xiii). The government's "quiet diplomacy" did not satisfy the East Timor solidarity movement either. Human rights issues should not be left to "private bilateral meetings and multilateral action at the United Nations." (Scharfe: 119). Some NGOs, in fact, began to withdraw from partnerships with CIDA, and the government generally, rejecting the post-1945 aid regime as no longer relevant, as development and human rights groups demanded.a more equitable development regime based on equity with civil society in the 42 South (Cooper 1997: 238). The East Timor solidarity movement in Canada echoed the words of Charles Taylor writing in 1974 on Canada's diplomatic stance during the Vietnam War: "[TJhere are times... when Quiet Diplomacy and Helpful Fixing serve only to mask the fact that a Canadian policy has gone bankrupt." (Taylor: 192). XI. Rhetorical Devices of the "Official" Meta-narrative The liberal and neo-conservative ideologies of Canadian governments froml975 to 1999 underscored the need for international political and economic stability in which Canada could achieve economic security in an increasingly competitive global environment. From 1975 to 1989, the anti-communist rhetoric of the Cold War was used to maintain the integrity of the Western Alliance. The "domino theory" stated that the loss of any nation to communism could lead to the fall of others. This meta-narrative operated on fear of the threat to Western freedoms presented by the Soviet communists. Its function was to preserve the dominance of the capitalist system in which the power of Canada's political and corporate elite is vested. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, though, the Cold War rhetoric had weakened in effectiveness during the period of detente and Trudeau's policy of co-existence. The rise of neo-conservatism in the 1980s under a Republican President, Ronald Reagan, led to increased stridency in the anti-communism of the United States. The Mulroney government was ideologically influenced by the Republicans. Nevertheless, the focus of neo-conservatism was economics. The neo-conservative meta-narrative took the form of a critique of government regulation of the economy. "Efficiency" and 43 "competitiveness" in the economy are emphasized. If left to itself, the "invisible hand of the market" described by 1 S^ -century economist Adam Smith would lead to economic efficiency and prosperity. The central tenet of neo-conservatism in foreign policy is its advocacy of global free trade. If tariffs and taxes were removed from trading relations, all countries could compete fairly for markets on a "level playing field". All nations would prosper and the resultant wealth would lead to political freedom, as prosperity and democracy walk hand-in-hand. With democracy, respect for human rights would increase naturally. Communism perverts this process by placing the government at the centre of the economic system instead of removing it as much as possible. This meta-narrative serves to maximize the areas of social relations in which capitalism can function unrestricted. It was a response to the stagnant economies of the Western industrial democracies in the 1970s and early 1980s, which, it was believed, were overly burdened with state-welfarism and the resultant government debt. The neo-conservative meta-narrative created a sense of urgency by focusing on the "globalization" process. Being left behind in the new international competition for market share meant a decreased standard of living, while the rest of the world was prospering. Unemployment would result if "rationalization" of the economy did not take place. Indonesia was an important trading partner for Canada. Canadian corporations were successful there. Conservative External Affairs Minister Joe Clark announced "concrete Pacific initiatives" towards increased market share in the Pacific Rim in a speech to the Vancouver Board of Trade in October 1985 (Statements and Speeches: No. 85/17). 44 XII. Rhetorical Devices of the "Counter" Meta-narrative Noam Chomsky is truly the spiritual leader of the "counter" meta-narrative forces in Canada. The East Timor solidarity movement based its critique on human rights in Canadian foreign policy on Chomsky's critique of American foreign policy. In 1997, Elaine Briere produced a documentary film entitled Bitter Paradise on the history of Canada's policy toward East Timor since the Indonesian occupation. Briere used several clips of an interview with Chomsky in Vancouver to support the intellectual foundation of her claims. Sharon Scharfe's book, Complicity, examined Canada's policy on East Timor through Chomsky's ideas on the nature of capitalism and of state violence and the inter-relationship of the media and the government. The "counter" meta-narrative adopted Chomsky's anti-liberalism. On the cover of Bitter Paradise, the promotional blurb reads, "This... documentary tells the story of one people's struggle for survival in a world dominated by the search for raw materials and new markets." Scharfe stated clearly that, in East Timor, "human rights take a back seat to an economically profitable relationship." (Scharfe: 1). Corporations such as Nike and Canada's Bata Shoes were often the targets of well-organized demonstrations for their complicity in working with the oppressive Suharto regime. The East Timor Alert Network organized many of these protest across the country. They also published lists of Canadian corporations doing business in Indonesia or East Timor and asked their members to boycott them. In the journal Peace Research (May 1997), ETAN published an article entitled "Canada - Indonesia Relations: Human Rights, Military Sales and 45 Trade" which outlined very specifically the Chomskian elements of their dissatisfaction with Canadian foreign policy. The meta-narrative''s anti-liberal ideology united such left-leaning groups as the Canadian Labour Congress, the Canadian Action Committee on the Status of Women, CHOICES - a social justice coalition based in Winnipeg, the Canadian Federation of Students, academics and left-of-centre politicians illustrate the anti-corporate, pro-environment, people-power message of the movement's disenchantment with the political and corporate establishment in Canada. The human rights aspect of the meta-narrative, however, attracted other groups from other ideological points of view. Christian groups such as the Canadian Council of Churches and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops leant support to groups such as ETAN. The majority of East Timorese are Catholic as a result of their history as a Portuguese colony. The Catholic New Times often carried articles on the topic highly critical of the government's policies there. One article in 1996 carried the headline "Team Canada trades away rights" (Catholic New Times: January 21st, 1996), referring to one of "Team Canada" trade missions to Asia. The same article criticized the Chretien government's "quiet diplomacy" toward the Suharto regime. Non-Catholic groups such as the United Church of Canada also lent support to the East Timor solidarity movement. The function of the "counter" meta-narrative was to jolt Canadians into an awareness of the hypocritical position successive Canadian governments took toward human rights in East Timor and show them the degree to which governments' actions contradict the humanitarian "middle power" myth. Canadians were told that the pragmatic economic interests of the Canadian business and political elites outweighed human rights concerns 46 in a Third World country. The meta-narrative criticized liberal and neo-conservative arguments and implied that the forces of global capitalism did not have to render human beings mere cogs in the economic machinery of profit-seeking multi-national corporations. Human rights are one of the foci of the new wave of social activism amongst those who feel disempowered and disenfranchised by the current political and economic power structure in Canadian life. In order to bring their alternative viewpoint to the public, several tactics are used to give it force. Once again, many Chomskian techniques were incorporated into the meta-narrative. Firstly, careful research was done on Canadian activities in Indonesia and East Timor and publicized as widely as possible. Much research was done by Amnesty International and the Indonesian Human Rights Campaign (TAPOL) on the extent of rights abuses in East Timor. The information was then disseminated by groups such as ETAN and the various church groups. Sharon Scharfe researched the link between Canadian arms sales to Indonesia and Canada's refusal to condemn its invasion of East Timor. Some high-profile supporters provided additional credibility. Chomsky himself helped to attract attention in some circles. However, Canadian politicians such as the New Democratic Party's Member of Parliament for "Burnaby-Kingsway" (Vancouver), Svend Robinson, and the Liberal Party's MP. for Notre-Dame-de-Grace (Montreal), Warren Allmand, helped give a voice to the solidarity movement. Both men brought the issue up in parliament on several occasions. Robinson visited East Timor to investigate conditions there for himself and to focus Canadian public attention on the issue. He spoke of East Timor to the United Nations decolonization committee in July 1995. He 47 said, "There is indeed ample evidence that human rights violations in East Timor are continuing to mount under the illegal Indonesian occupation" (Canadian Press Newswire: July 11th, 1995) and called on the committee to request the General Assembly to vote to demand Indonesia's withdrawal. Warren Allmand, as head of the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development, continued to support the East Timor issue. Speaking tours by East Timorese Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jose Ramos-Horta and compatriot-in-exile Isabel Galhos helped to spread awareness in the country. Ramos-Horta's intelligence and passion make him a powerful speaker. The story of Galhos' escape to Canada through a Canada World Youth program exchange with Indonesia gave, to those who hear her speak, a personal face to the tragedy taking place so far away. ETAN, in particular, organized many conference and campaigns to disseminate information and garner support for the cause. ETAN-News often published lists of events in support of East Timor happening across the country. These ranged from a benefit concerts in St. John's organized by Oxfam Canada and the Memorial University Students' Union to a screening of Bitter Paradise in Montreal at the Universite de Quebec a Montreal to a vigil for peace held in downtown Vancouver. Writing campaigns - both by post and by e-mail - were a big part of the movement's strategy. ETAN's internet list serve was used to forward information on which government minister, Indonesian official, or corporate executive to write to in order to protest their actions in with respect to East Timor. In March 1997, ETAN-Vancouver hosted a symposium -one of many similar conferences - on the campus of the University of British Columbia. The symposium, as the flyer stated, was "a collaborative effort involving the Portuguese 48 Universities Foundation; the Institute for the Humanities and the Centre for Education, Law and Society, Simon Fraser University; the Centre for Southeast Asian Research, UBC; ETAN-Vancouver; and Take Back The News". This particular symposium took place on campuses around North America and involved three days of panel discussions with representatives of both sides of the conflict (Indonesia and East Timor), screenings of Bitter Paradise, a talk by Svend Robinson, various discussion groups and presentations, and a "keynote address" by Jose Ramos-Horta. The flyer contained a Simon Fraser University website that listed other similar conferences in Canada and the United States. ETAN's dedication, organizational skills, and use of technology contributed to their success at spreading the word on what they referred to as Canada's "complicity" in East Timor's subjugation. Diction is another device used to convey the meta-narrative to Canadians. The Chomskian use of words usually used for the "other side" and using them for "our side" is common. Words such as "genocide", "holocaust", "torture", "hypocrisy", and "shame" leave no doubt as to the seriousness of Canadian "complicity". These words demand attention and force one to think. On the cover of Bitter Paradise is a quote from Vancouver Sun reporter Stephen Hume about the film. He wrote, "A raw, riveting shame-inducing examination of a culture in extremis and of the smug, exculpatory hypocrisy of those Canadians who serve as Faustian accomplices to an ongoing crime against humanity". On the back cover of Scharfe's book, it states, "In failing to take a strong stance on the gross and systematic human rights violations ongoing in East Timor, the Canadian government emerges as an accomplice in the bloodshed." 49 Sympathy for the victims is crucial in eliciting support for a cause. The portrayal of the East Timorese was often one of valiance in the face of the extreme odds against them. The video title Bitter "Paradise " sums up the projected image of pre-invasion East Timor, described in the video as having "delightful little villages surrounded by gardens." "The people were gracious an dignified" and "devoted to family and clan". They were "kind and hospitable to strangers". The profile of the exile - Ramos-Horta and Galhos - speaking wistfully of the difficulty of being from home while those you love are tortured and repressed creates pathos in the observer. The meta-narrative focussed on making the"other side" look foolish. Bitter Paradise portrays Canadian political and business leaders as silly and unconcerned about human rights. Quoting Ron Richardson, the Media Officer of the Asia-Pacific Foundation at the time, we learn, "Everyone, except maybe Portugal, would really like the situation to go away. I think the rest of the world pretty much accepts that there is no prospect of an independent East Timor; that the best resolution for the problem would be for the Timorese to go quietly." Thus, the business community is made to appear both poorly informed and lacking in humanity. Its enthusiasm for investing in Indonesia underscores the greed of Canadian corporations. Human rights are not their concern. In Chomsky's work, the media function as a means of keeping the electorate ignorant of events they might no support and, therefore, it filters out information that is too contentious. As a result, East Timor, according to Chomsky, got no coverage in the mainstream press. "Counter" meta-narrative supporters took up this line of argument for Canada as well. Reports in the Canadian media tended to come from Jakarta-based sources throughout the 1970s and 1980s. However, events such as the Dili Massacre in 50 1991 - which took place in the presence of Western journalists, some of whom were injured - and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996, helped to gradually attract media attention, as has been seen. In Canada, these events led to rather extensive coverage of the topic, which was, for the most part, critical of Indonesia and of Canadian governments. In 1995, The Montreal Gazette published an article on East Timor with the headline "Trade and human rights: Team Canada should give Indonesia a miss" written by ETAN's David Webster. In 1996, The Globe and Mail, The Calgary Herald and The Winnipeg Free Press all reported on the harassment of Isabel Galhos' family in East Timor. On December 11th, 1996 British Columibia's The Province newspaper ran an article with the headline, "Students take a stand: Canada linked to genocide" The article was sympathetic to the students' criticism of the government. In the February 27th to March 6th, 1997 editions of Vancouver's left-leaning Georgia Straight, the paper published a six-page aricle entitled "The Politics of Greed" with photos by Elaine Briere of pre-invasion Timorese life. In April 1999, CBC Radio's Avril Benoit hosted Jose Ramos-Horta on "This Morning" (April 23rd, 1999) to discuss Canada and East Timor. The mainstream media did not shy away from the story's implications for Canada's "Boy Scout" image once they took it up. The "counter" meta-narrative in support of human rights appealed to those in the left-wing social activist movements already critical of the Canadian political and economic establishment and of the capitalist system globally. However, the "rightness" of the cause and the increasingly evident brutality of the repression in East Timor eventually led to wider criticism in Canada of its official position in tacit support of Indonesia's occupation. 51 X H L Conclusion: Canada and Human Rights in the World-System The opposing "official" and "counter" meta-narratives do not only indicate the attitudes of their adherents towards the issue of Canadian foreign policy towards human rights in East Timor, but also towards the world-economic system in general. Immanuel Wallerstein wrote in the first volume of The Modern World-System that "[t]he mark of the modern world is the imagination of its profiteers and the counter-assertiveness of the oppressed. Exploitation and the refusal to accept exploitation as either inevitable or just constitute the continuing antinomy of the modern era..." (Wallerstein 1974: 357). The official meta-narrative views the capitalist world-economic system as "inevitable" and natural. Its adherents are the "winners" of capitalism. Cooper wrote: Canada was "the archetypal system follower in the post-1945 global system. Followership.. .meant that Canada... shared to a considerable extent the larger vision or belief system advocated by the United States (as leader or hegemon) to underpin the system." (Cooper 1997: 73). Despite marked policy differences on the domestic scene, both Liberal and Conservative governments supported the essential structure pf the world-economic system. Canada is vulnerable to disturbances in the world-system. There are natural limits to its ability to play power politics, such as its economic dependence on trade and, in particular, trade with the United States: The rivalries of the great powers, the pressures of revisionism, the limited capabilities Canada has to bring to bear to achieve its objectives, and its economic dependence on trade and a pacific trading environment, all combine to have a powerful influence on what the government in Ottawa does, what it can do, and what it must do." (Nossal: 217). 52 Viewing Canada as essentially a middle power, Canadian governments sought to stabilize the system - not to dominate or change it - in order to pursue Canada's interests (Cooper 1997: 282). The interests of the governing elites, as the beneficiaries of the system, became those of the country. Pratt agreed: "Respect for the principle of sovereignty, the power of Cold-War perspectives, the centrality of the U.S. relationship, and the special responsiveness to Canadian economic interests are.. .features of the world-view that is dominant in Ottawa", which explains the government's limited responses toward human rights issues. (Pratt: 176). Consequently, threats to the system had to be checked, even at the expense, regrettably, of social justice issues, such as human rights. The "counter" meta-narrative, in contrast, viewed the world-economic system as exploitative and oppressive, in Wallerstein's terms. Its critique of the capitalist system made an explicit call for systemic change. It demanded a morally-based international political-economy. Noam Chomsky's critique of the capitalist system was at the core of the "Counter" meta-narrative ideology. In 1978, he wrote: Ruling groups throughout the 'First World' of industrial capitalism also have a stake in the reconstitution of American power and particularly in ensuring that underdeveloped countries do not strike their own independent course but remain subordinated to the fundamental needs of the industrial democracies. (Chomsky 1978: vii). Carlos Otero has summarized the Chomskian view of the capitalist world-economic system and its impact on the conduct of foreign affairs: In the State capitalist societies of the Western World, objective power is based ultimately on control of capital, not on party membership or expertise... Since World War II there has been an accelerated tendency towards economic concentration and centralization of decision-making in the executive (which are closely related), with a vast increase in overseas investment, marketing and resource extraction. These developments have greatly increased the stake of masters of the corporate economy in foreign affairs. The privileged segments of 53 Western industrial society benefit disproportionately from their substantial control over global resources.. .human and material, and will attempt to maintain it." (Otero: 23). East Timorese independence leader Xanana Gusmao saw East Timor as a victim of the world-system's econocentric ideology. The Cold War created an international system balanced by popular repression of the Third World in both the communist and the capitalist camps under pro-Eastern or pro-Western dictatorships in Asia, as well as Africa and Latin America. Indonesia's Suharto regime secured the country's vast resources and a 200,000,000-strong market for Western industry. East Timor threatened Indonesia's territorial and ideological instability and was, therefore, to be sacrificed in order to keep Indonesia united and firmly in the U.S. sphere of influence. The end of the Cold War offered hope for human rights in a freer international context. The promise, however, let down East Timor. "In contemporary society", Gusmao wrote, "where consumption is politics, the politics of consumption manifests itself in all of the major acts of the world's rulers. Everything revolves around interests, and these interests are valued in dollars." (Scharfe: x). Profits took precedence over people. East Timor was one blatant example of "contested space" in Canadian public policy where the "counter" meta-narrative supplanted the "official" meta-narratives as it was legitimized by consistency with the national "middle power" myth. However, the continuing dominance of the neo-conservative ideology has led to the perception of an increasing economic divide in Canada, as "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer". This abandonment of the "losers" of capitalism has caused civil society to resist the reduction of human society to mere economic relations. 54 B I B L I O G R A P H Y Achbar, Mark, and Peter Wintonick, Manufacturing Consent, National Film Board of Canada, 1992 (video). Alberta Report. Anderson, Benedict R. O'G, "East Timor and Indonesia: Some Implications" in Peter Carey and G. Carter Bentley, eds., East Timor at the Crossroads: The Forging a Nation, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1995, pp. 137-147. Berry, Victoria and Allan McChesney, "Human Rights and Foreign Policy-Making" in Robert O. Matthews and Cranford Pratt, eds., Human Rights in Canadian Foreign Policy, Kingston: McGill-Queen s University Press, 1988, pp. 60-76. Blanchette, Arthur E., ed., Canadian Foreign Policy, 1977-1992: Selected Speeches and Documents, Ottawa: Carlton University Press, 1994. Bothwell, Robert, The Big Chill: Canada and the Cold War, Toronto: Irwin Publishing, 1998. Elaine Briere, "Bitter Paradise: The Sell-Out of East Timor", 1996 (video). The Calgary Herald. Canada, Department of External Affairs, Communique, 1978-1987. Canada, Department of External Affairs, Foreign Policy for Canadians, 1970. Canada, Ottawa: Department of External Affairs, Statements and Speeches, 1975-1986. Canada, Department of External Affairs/Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canadian Foreign Policy Series: Statements and Speeches, 1986-1993. Canada, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, News Releases. Canadian Press Newswire. Catholic New Times. Chomsky, Noam, American Power and the New Mandarins, New York: Pantheon Books, 1970 (first printing: 1967). 55 Chomsky, Noam, At War with Asia, New York: Pantheon Books, 1970 (first printing: 1969). Chomsky, Noam, For Reasons of State, New York: Pantheon Books, 1973 (first printing: 1970). Chomsky, Noam, "Human Rights" and American Foreign Policy, Nottingham, England: Spokesman Books, 1978. Chomsky, Noam and Edward S. Herman, The Political Economy of Human Rights, volume I, Montreal: Black Rose Books, 1979a. Chomsky, Noam and Edward S. Herman, The Political Economy of Human Rights, volume II, Montreal: Black Rose Books, 1979b. Chomsky, Noam, Radical Priorities, Montreal: Black Rose Books, 1981. Chomsky, Noam, Jonathan Steele, and John Gittings, Superpowers in Collision: the Cold War Now, Markham, Ontario: Penguin Books, 1982. Chomsky, Noam, Towards a New Cold War: Essays on the Current Crisis and How We Got Here, New York: Pantheon, 1982. Chomsky, Noam, Deterring Democracy, New York: Hill and Wang, 1992 (first printing: 1991). Chomsky, Noam, Rethinking Camelot: JFK, the Vietnam War, and US Political Culture, Boston: South End Press, 1993. Chomsky, Noam, World Orders Old and New, New York: Columbia University Press, 1994. Chomsky, Noam, Powers and Prospects: Reflections on human nature and the social order, Boston: South End Press, 1996. Cooper, Andrew F., "Multilateral Leadership: The Changing Dynamics of Canadian Foreign Policy" in John English and Norman Hillmer, eds., Making a Difference?: Foreign Policy in a Changing World Order, Toronto: Lester Publishing Ltd., 1992, pp. 200-221. Cooper, Andrew F., Canadian Foreign Policy: Old Habits and New Directions, Scarborough, Ontario: Prentice-Hall Canada, Inc., 1997. Cooper, Andrew F., Richard A. Higgott, and Kim Richard Nossal, Relocating Middle Powers: Australia and Canada in a Changing World Order, Vancouver: UBC 56 Press, 1993. Downtown, Eric, Pacific Chanllenge: Canada's Future in the New Asia, Toronto: Stoddart, 1986. Egerton, George W., "Collective Security as Political Myth: Liberal Internationalism and the League of Nations in Politics and History" in The International History Review, vol. V, No. 4 (Nov. 1983), pp. 496-524. English, John and Norman Hillmer, eds., Making a Difference?. Canada's Foreign Policy in a Changing World Order, Toronto: Lester Publishing Ltd., 1992, "Preface", pp. vi-viii. Fox, Annette Baker, Canada in World Affairs, Michigan State University Press, 1996. Francis, Daniel, National Dreams: Myth, Memory and Canadian History, Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 1997. The Georgia Straight. The Globe and Mail. Granatstein, J.L., "Canada and Peacekeeping. Image and Reality" in J.L. Granatstein, ed., Canadian Foreign Policy: Historical Readings, Toronto: Copp Clark Pitman Ltd., 1986, pp. 232-240. Grantstein, J.L., "Peacekeeping: Did Canada Make a Difference? And What Difference Did Peacekeeping Make to Canada?" in John English and Norman Hillmer, eds., Making a Difference?: Canada s Foreign Policy in a Changing World Order, Toronto: Lester Publishing Ltd., 1992, pp. 222-236. Gusmao, Xanana, "Preface" in Sharon Scharfe, Complicity: Human Rights and Canad-ian Foreign Policy, Montreal: Black Rose Books, 1996, pp. x-xiv (written in May 1995 at Cipinang Prison, Jakarta). Holmes, John, "Canada and the Vietnam War" in J.L. Granatstein, ed., Canadian Foreign Policy: Historical Readings, Toronto: Copp Clark Pitman, Ltd., 1986, pp. 198-208 (originally published in 1971). Iriye, Akira, The Cold War in Asia: A Historical Introduction, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1974. Keenleyside, T.A., "Development Assistance" in Robert O. Matthews and Cranford Pratt, eds., Human Rights in Canadian Foreign Policy, Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1988, pp. 187-208. 57 Keenleyside, T.A., "Canadian Aid and Human Rights: Forging a Link" in Irving Brecher, ed., Human Rights, Development and Foreign Policy: Canadian Per-spectives, Halifax: The Institute for Public Policy, 1989, pp. 329-353. Lee, Steven Hugh, Outposts of Empire: Korea, Vietnam, and the Origins of the Cold War in Asia, 1949-1954, Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1995. Levant, Victor, Quiet Complicity: Canadian Involvement in the Vietnam War, Toronto: Between the Lines, 1986. Maclean's. McDougall, Barbara, "Introduction" in John English and Norman Hillmer, eds., Making A Difference?: Canada's Foreign Policy in a Changing World Order, Toronto. Lester Publishing Ltd., 1992. The Montreal Gazette. Nossal, Kim Richard, The Politics of Canadian Foreign Policy, Scarborough: Prentice-Hall Canada, Inc., 1985. Otero, Carlos P., "Introduction to Chomsky's social theory" in Noam Chomsky, Radical Priorities, Montreal: Black Rose Books, 1981, pp. 11-5. Peace Research, May 1997. Polanyi, Karl, The Great Transformation, New York: Octagon Books, 1975 (first published: 1944). Pratt, Cranford, "The Limited Place of Human Rights in Canadian Foreign Policy" in Irving Brecher, ed., Human Rights, Development and Foreign Policy: Canadian Perspectives, Halifax: The Institute for Research on Public Policy, 1989, pp. 167-178. The Province. Regehr, Ernie, "Military Sales" in Robert O. Matthews and Cranford Pratt, eds., Human Rights in Canadian Foreign Policy, Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1988, pp. 209-220. Scharfe, Sharon, Complicity: Human Rights and Canadian Foreign Policy, Montreal: Black Rose Books, 1996. Sewell, James Patrick, "A World Without Canada: Would Today's United Nations Be 58 the Same?" in John English and Norman Hillmer, eds., Making a Difference?: Canada's Foreign Policy in a Changing World Order, Toronto: Lester Publishing Ltd., 1992, pp. 183-199. Taylor, Charles, Snow Job: Canada, the United States and Vietnam [1954 to 1973], Toronto: Anansi, 1974. van Praagh, David, "Canada and Southeast Asia" in Peyton V. Lyon and Tareq Y. Ismael, eds., Canada and the Third World, Toronto: Macmillan of Canada, 1976, pp. 307-342. The Vancouver Sun. von Riekhpff, Harald, "The Impact of Trudeau on Foreign Policy" in J.L. Granatstein, ed., Canadian Foreign Policy: Historical Readings, Toronto: Copp Clark Pitman Ltd., 1986, pp. 249-261. Wallerstein, Immanuel, The Modern World-System I: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World-Economy, 1600-1750, New York: Academic Press, 1974. The Winnipeg Free Press. 

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
http://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/dsp.831.1-0089779/manifest

Comment

Related Items