I have written about the problems that the Tories are having with an entrenched left wing civil service in the past.
The foreign service here, as in the US and the United Kingdom seem to have a particular class of civil servant who believes they know better than all the rest of us. Robert Fowler is a perfect example. This is the man that is giving iffy advice.
A good editorial at the Ottawa Citizen.
Unfortunately, whatever reasonable points Fowler wants to make about the benefits of an internationalist mindset are obscured by his retrograde rhetoric. He is determined to play the caricature of a Canadian foreign policy aristocrat from yesteryear, contemptuous of Americans and, in keeping with the Arabist tradition inherited from the Europeans with whom he identifies, peculiarly hostile toward Israel.
Fowler singled out Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, as the primary source of instability in the region. Meanwhile, a country like Iran -- a totalitarian theocracy bent on obtaining nuclear weapons, which it has already threatened to use -- didn't get a mention. Is that Fowler's idea of an "even-handed" approach to the Middle East?
By externalizing blame for Arab-Muslim dysfunction -- pinning it on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and on Israeli intransigence in particular -- Fowler is playing into the hands of all the Muslim dictators, autocrats and mullahs who use the "Zionist" threat to win popular legitimacy and to justify their refusal to embrace modernization, democratization and economic reform.