- The alleged poisoning of a former spy in Britain.
- The alleged targeting of Saudi civilians by Houti rebels.
- The alleged murder of 18 unarmed Palestinians by the IDF.
- The alleged use of chemical weapons by government forces in Sryria.
If you guessed number three, you're on the same page as Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland. On the Skripal incident, Freeland had this to say in a news release on 26 March; "The nerve agent attack in Salisbury... is a despicable, heinous and reckless act, potentially endangering the lives of hundreds." Freeland goes on to list a "wider pattern of unacceptable behaviour by Russia," including the annexation of Crimea.
As for Skripal, we continue to await the release of evidence, any evidence, that might connect this incident to Russia. Meanwhile, the victims of this attack with a lethal "military-grade nerve agent" appear well on their way to a miraculous recovery. Maybe it was just food poisoning after all.
And why Canadians would want to harp about the "annexation" of Crimea is something of a mystery. Canada has on two occasions been prepared to bid adieu to one of our founding nations on the basis of 50% plus one in a sovereignty referendum. Voters in Crimea beat that bar by an impressive margin, and no serious person imagines a substantially different result were another referendum to be held today.
On 27 March Freeland saw fit to issue another press release condemning a Houti missile attack on Saudi Arabia, telling us that "the deliberate targeting of civilians is unacceptable." The preponderance of evidence shows that the targeting of civilians in the Saudi - Yemen war has been overwhelmingly a tactic of the Saudis and their enablers in the UK and US, but hey, those are our allies, so no umbrage taken there.
Freedland again roused herself to rail against "the Assad regime and its backers, Russia and Iran... (re the) ...morally reprehensible use of chemical weapons..." in a press release from 8 April. "Canada is appalled... our hearts go out to those who have lost family and loved ones." Not only that, but two paragraphs later, "our most sincere condolences go to the families of the deceased."
Freedland concludes by reminding us that "chemical weapons attacks are a war crime... Those responsible must be brought to justice, and the massacre of civilians must end."
Which brings us to the alleged war crime that is not like the others. On 30 March, Israeli troops killed 18 unarmed Palestinian protesters, many of them shot in the back, and wounded hundreds more. Freedlands response?
Our hearts did not go out to those who lost family and loved ones. We offered no condolences to the families of the deceased. No talk of the massacre of civilians having to end or those responsible being brought to justice.
Apparently war crimes are only war crimes when our designated enemies commit them. When our friends and allies commit war crimes, it's just business as usual.
Minor trade spats aside, the Trump White House sees a lot to like when it looks at Justin's cabinet.