Interim Liberal Leader Bill Graham says the Conservative government's response to the deepening conflict in Lebanon threatens Canada's credibility as an arbitrator in world crises.
The former foreign affairs minister said Tuesday that for Canada to take a position in one crisis that could detract from its traditional role as an intermediary is a "great error." Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Israel's bombing of Lebanon was "a measured response" to aggression by Islamic extremists.
Graham said Canada's past practice has been to take a more nuanced approach to such complex situations, allowing it to be an intermediary capable of diffusing international incidents.
"Mr. Harper is proud of the fact he wasn't nuanced about this," Graham said. "Nuance has kept us in a position where we could help. Lose the nuance and you lose you capacity to act and help others. If you abuse that position, we lose our position to work with moderates."
Graham said Canada has a reputation of being able to work with embattled forces and bring them together to achieve peaceful results.