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G7 and NATO leaders didn’t reach their positions by being the nice guys on the block. I hope they recognize that to deal with Donald Trump, they need to return to tactics they used to get elected, not the lofty politeness of diplomatic circuits. He respects only tough negotiators, and among them, those who come out of the gate at a full charge. Otherwise, he may destroy much of what has been accomplished in the past 70 years.
D.S. Smith, Regina
Henry Kissinger, in World Order (2014), lists modern states that regard themselves “exceptions in history.” The U.S., China and Russia are key members of the list, though there are several others. Correctly – however surprisingly – the current U.S. President downgrades China and Russia from Cold War “threats” to post-Cold War “rivals” and even “partners.”
He has also thrown cold water on notions of necessary continentalism or any “special partnership.” Those arguing that Canada’s defence strategy is self-evidently oriented in favour of its American neighbour, because NAFTA or not, it will remain a major buyer of Canadian products, should consider whether, as Canada’s trade with a declining U.S. dwindles, a better-funded and therefore robust military capability – one that is less continentally aligned – might better serve Canada’s evolving interests as the hegemons reshuffle the cards between themselves.
L.W. Naylor, Stratford, Ont.
Miracle in Thailand
It was disappointing to find the article about the successful rescue of the 12 Thai boys and their coach relegated to the inside of The Globe and Mail. Such wonderful news is rare. Over the past two weeks, the world has been following the events unfolding in Thailand. Countries have worked together to ensure a happy outcome. Instead of opening my Globe on Wednesday morning to be greeted by front-page articles about opioids, Britain’s censure of Facebook and AggregateIQ, new tariffs, and even the castration of bulls, it would have much more uplifting to read about something so positive and inspiring as the rescue in Thailand.
Michael Gilman, Toronto
The rescue of those 12 Thai children and their coach was as improbable as it was wondrous. In the end, an international team of divers and knowledgeable support people pulled off a miracle. They did so by working together, by relying on advice offered by acknowledged experts, and by shelving petty nationalistic ambitions and politics. There’s a powerful, vital lesson in all of this, one the myopic narcissist in the White House, his jingoistic supporters, and others who are afflicted with the same myopia would be wise to heed. Sadly, that seems unlikely.
Ken Cuthbertson, Kingston
The human psyche does not seem to be able to exercise empathy when large numbers are concerned. So why not pick 12 Yemeni children and one doctor and follow their progress, with pictures and descriptions of their families? When one dies, you can substitute another. Maybe this way, more people will pay attention to the war Canada is helping facilitate with arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann, Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights 2003-16, Wilfrid Laurier University
Violence, then. Now
Re A History Of Violence (July 7): The display type under your front-page headline read: “A spike in Toronto’s gun crimes has put the spotlight on a group of young men with nothing much to lose. It’s a problem that Canada’s biggest city can’t solve with policing alone.”
California completed two task force reports on street gang violence in the 1980s. Of course, there have been other studies, too. People have known for decades that law enforcement alone is not the answer. Back then, a Los Angeles city councillor decrying the violence protested that he had stacks of reports on gang violence. How many pounds do you want to see? he asked.
Sadly, your Saturday report is a carbon copy of what could have been found in Los Angeles newspapers in the 1980s.
John Crust, Winnipeg
Beginnings are important, so a sampling of what’s to come in the reign of the Premier of “Ontario’s first ever Government for the People” is foreboding (Doug Ford’s Troubling First Week – editorial, July 10). Negating the previous government’s civilizing achievements is the Ford team’s new operating system. Consequently – no cap and trade, no scalping regulations, no civilian oversight, no funding of immigrant refugees, no pharmacare, no revised sex ed, no injection sites, no etc. to be utilized on anything.
History, however, has proven that such an extreme ideology of destroying society with a thousand cuts to save it doesn’t work.
Meanwhile, it’s a sad day in the neighbourhood for people who are a captive audience to this vicious electoral cycle of political reversals.
Pity the people who have to endure a Premier who can only subtract from society, not add to it. That will be Mr. Ford’s legacy.
Ironically, Premier No’s destruction is digging the political foundation where the next new Premier Yes can begin to rebuild.
Tony D’Andrea, Toronto
I have always suspected that given a choice, Ontarians would vote to separate from Canada and become another American state, and the election of mini-Trump Doug Ford as Premier does little to dispel that suspicion.
Hail to the Chief indeed.
Ray Arnold, Richmond, B.C.
Re Theresa May Is Britain’s Best Hope For A Brexit Deal (editorial, July 11): Your assessment that you can’t fault British Prime Minister Theresa May for trying is unreasonably generous. In 2012, as home secretary, she announced her aim “was to create here in Britain a really hostile environment for illegal migration.” Her policy had a direct effect on the Brexit referendum debate.
On arriving at No. 10 and at the helm of a deeply divided country, Ms. May immediately backed herself into a political corner , stating repeatedly the U.K. would be leaving all aspects of the EU, and in so doing, the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.
Brexit, she repeated ad nauseum, means Brexit.
It should come as no surprise that ardent Brexiteers were disappointed with Ms. May’s proposed negotiating position. She failed to manage their expectations, while doing little to assuage the deep disappointment of Remainers. Her time in office may not have been as colourful as Boris Johnson’s, but she has been no less capricious.
Andrew Wigley, London
Britain’s been trying a semi-Brexit
But Boris and Davis chose to hex it.
Usually the British are known to be staid
But soon they may be quite dis-May-ed.
Irv Salit, Toronto