Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday January 15, 2020
Harper says change needed in Iran to bring peace to region
Former prime minister Stephen Harper says peace in the Middle East will only come after change comes to Iran.
Speaking at an international conference on global challenges in New Delhi Tuesday, Harper said he does not believe Iran would have shot down a civilian aircraft deliberately — but the fact that Tehran knew it could happen and still allowed normal civilian air traffic “tells you something about the nature of that regime and its priorities.”
“I do believe we need to see a change in Iran if we are going to see peace in the Middle East,” he told the international audience at the Raisina Dialogue conference.
“I see an increasing number of states in the region — Israel, that I’m close to, certainly the Sunni Arab monarchies, others who are increasingly trying to work together and see a common future and common interests — and you have this one actor that quite frankly is … based on religious fanaticism and regional imperialism and, as I say as a friend of the Jewish people, frankly an anti-Semitic state.”
Iranian leaders confirmed Saturday that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard shot down the Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800 using surface-to-air missiles, killing all 176 passengers and crew on board. Of those passengers, 138 were destined for Canada, but it’s not known how many were permanent residents or were travelling on visitor or student visas.
Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne has said that 57 of the victims were Canadian citizens.
The aircraft was shot down just hours after Iran launched missiles against two military bases in Iraq where U.S. and Canadian soldiers were stationed. Those strikes were ordered in retaliation for a targeted drone strike on Jan. 3 by the U.S. that killed Iran’s top general, Qassem Soleimani.
This week, Canadian Jewish and Iranian organizations called on the government to list the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist entity in response to the attack on the Ukrainian aircraft. (CBC News)
Letters to the Editor, The Hamilton Spectator, Saturday January 18, 2020
Ignore Trump lovers
It’s good that you recognized the PM’s leadership since you condemned him the day before in your editorial cartoon for not being tough enough. Sounds like the writer and the cartoonist are not on the same page.
Yes, there are people who think Trudeau should be more like Trump in his dealing with Iran. But if he followed that advice, the families of the victims would pay the price. It’s easy for Trumpians to whine. Good thing Trudeau is acting for the rest of us.
Helen Bonham, Burlington
Be thankful for Trudeau’s leadership
I usually find Mr. MacKay’s works amusing and/or thought provoking. This one I did not.
Justin Trudeau is not perfect, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but he is certainly not begging for anything from Iran. I have been very impressed with his calm but clear expectations about this horrific tragedy. Unfortunately society has normalized blustering, bullying, lying, name-calling and threatening behaviour from elected leaders.
I am thankful that our Prime Minister is acting responsibly and not reacting impulsively. Let’s continue to support the families who are dealing with this terrible situation and our elected leaders who are trying to sort it out.
Sharon McKibbon, Hamilton