I must admit that I am tired of the feigned nobility and ridiculous superiority voiced by many Canadians, particularly men like John Baird, concerning the various protests in countries like Libya and Syria. People are so quick to condemn the governments of those nations for acts of violence committed against their own people. But it is mostly disingenuous noise by people who a) don't care a whit for the people in those nations (recall Harper in opposition speaking happily about how Mahier Arar was sent to Syria because the Syrians know how to deal with terrorists) and b) they would do exactly the same thing in the same situation.
The G20 prostests in Toronto were almost all non-violent efforts to bring important issues to the public eye and the government responded by rounding up everyone in sight and holding them without cause or charge, as well as assaulting many innocent by-standers. It was a total suspension of human rights with absolutely no consequences for the government or the police and there was not even any threat to the system whatsoever.
We live in a system in which about 25% of the adult population voted for a government that has more or less the power to do ANYTHING it wants. (Keep in mind they were just about to legislate the employees of a private corporation back to work - not government workers - and no one was going to bat an eyelid.) Yet if Canadians rightly took to the streets in the tens of thousands to call for an actual democratic government the police and the army would be called out immediately and they would not even flinch at gunning people down at random. They would kill anyone who got in their way and if the international community said anything they would tell them all to mind their own business They would kill and abuse with an efficiency that would make the Syrian police look like amateurs. Again I reiterate that the G20 protests did not even present a threat of any kind yet they were willing to completely suspend the constitution and human rights. Imagine what they would do in the face of a real threat to their power..
And if you don't believe then you are just hopelessly naive. Until John Baird (and the rest of disingenuous Canadians) are prepared to condemn the violence, anti-democratic spirit, and criminality of their own Government then they should stop shamefully making political hay out of the deaths of Syrians who are really struggling.
So the next time you hear someone condemning the Syrian Government for their oppression, ask them if they condemn their own government for the G20 and if they would stand behind protests in this country to overthrow a government that has less than 40% percent support of the population and can govern with more or less the power of a dictatorship.