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“Diplomats don’t sign up to be soldiers,” Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird observed to reporters on Wednesday. But the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi has made the sometimes dangerous work of Canadian diplomacy more dangerous still.

A volatile world in which manufactured provocations spread through social media inflaming the easily inflamed is made potentially more dangerous by the Harper government’s strong support for Israel, confrontational approach toward Iran, years of fighting in Afghanistan and high-profile contribution to unseating Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi.

“I don’t think these policies are cost free,” Paul Heinbecker, former Canadian ambassador to the United Nations...

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