Staying on the subject of Russia, consider this:
MORE: Canada says the four Russian diplomats have been identified as intelligence officers or individuals who used diplomatic status to undermine Canada’s security or interfere in its democracy
— Reuters World (@ReutersWorld) March 26, 2018
This is a pretty major allegation, one that even two years ago would not have been made without strong supporting evidence. But nowadays, accusations that Russians are “interfering in democracy” can be thrown around like confetti without anyone having to produce the slightest shred of evidence. We’re all just supposed to believe our dear leaders, who would never lie about such things for their own ends.
Now of course Russia engages in mass disinformation, and they have done since at least 1917 and probably before that. But nothing I’ve seen comes even close to what they were up to during the Cold War, when they were deeply embedded in western academia and funding trade unions. The only reason this is an issue now is because Hillary lost in 2016. I don’t mind dealing with Russia in a robust fashion – and we should have after MH-17 and the annexation of Crimea – but not for this reason.
And “interfering in democracy”? If that was an offence which got diplomats expelled from a country, US embassies around the world would be staffed mainly by janitors on local contracts. The US actively supported Boris Yeltsin in elections, and boasted about it, for goodness sake.
I have no problem with Canada throwing out these diplomats in solidarity with Britain over the Skripal poisoning, but spare us the bandwagon-jumping bullshit justification tagged on the end. If these four were doing what Canada accuses them of in any meaningful sense, they should have been turfed out independently of what happened in the UK. I suppose one shouldn’t expect anything else from a government headed by Justin Trudeau, but this smacks of someone wanting to fit in rather than a serious policy decision. This whole business is not being handled well at all.