Half measures

For the record, I oppose ALL western intervention in North Africa, the Middle East and South-West Asia.

I believe that we, previously the British and now the US-led West has done more harm than good, beginning with Sykes-Picot and extending to the current “campaign,” if that’s the right word, against Da’esh.

In my opinion, most of the so-called Islamic Crescent (which stretches from the Atlantic coast of North Africa all the way through to Indonesia) needs to sort itself out, without our help. The peoples of North Africa, the Middle East and South-West Asia (the “crescent” from Western Sahara, in the West, to Pakistan in the East) are burdened with a vast array of socio-cultural problems which make bad governance almost a given and which, in turn, lead to poverty, tyranny and religious extremism.

My, overly simplistic, suggestion is that the “bad” part of the “crescent” needs something akin to the religious reformation which we in the West had in the 16th and 17th centuries, including the shock of the Thirty Years War, because that led to the enlightenment of the 17th and 18th centuries. It is the latter that I really believe the North Africans, Arabs, Iranians and West Asians need, but I suspect they need the former, first.

All that to say that I believe the peoples of the “crescent” must make their own difficult (and bloody) choices for themselves and by themselves. the more we, in the US-led West, do to “help,” the more difficult and dangerous (for ourselves) we make the process. If I had my way we would, effectively, isolate North Africa, the Middle East and South-West Asia at a human level: no immigration, not even tourist visas, no students from there in our universities, no cultural exchanges, and no refugees, either … we would sell guns and buy oil, but not much else, except to watch, sadly, from the sidelines while they make their own choices in their own ways.

I understand that we might not be at all happy with the short, medium and, perhaps, even long term choices they make.

That brings me to Canada, today …

A few hours ago Catherine McKenna, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, tweeted:

“And we should all be thankful that multilateralism worked. For the sake of our planet.”

Of course, she was talking about COPO21, but, Minister McKenna how can you, and the government in which you serve, celebrate multilateralism in one field even as you eschew it in another.

Just yesterday, while you were celebrating multilateralism, US President Obama was doing the same, and he singled out five counties for helping with the tough, heavy lifting against Da’esh in Syria and Iraq.

What? No Canada? No, because the Trudeau government has decided that we don’t “do” multilateralism in ways that might offend the sensibilities of the Laurentian Elites, and they don’t like bombs or the American military.

Even though I don’t approve of the US-led West’s interventions in the Islamic Crescent, even though I think they are counter-productive, I want Canada to have a consistent, principled foreign policy:

  • If we are “for” multilateralism then we need to commit not just CF-18s and tankers and CP-140s and army trainers, we may need to send ships and the army’s Special Operations Regiment, too; or
  • We should have the balls to say “we’re outta here,” completely and for good.

Half measures are for halfwits and half-assed governments.

Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister McKenna: I appreciate your party made promises, but you seem likely to break most of them, sooner rather than later. Please break the “Bring the CF-18s home” promise, too … it would be good policy to do that and good policy is something which appears to be in short supply right now.

Published by Ted Campbell

Old, retired Canadian soldier, Conservative ~ socially moderate, but a fiscal hawk. A husband, father and grandfather. Published material is posted under the "Fair Dealing" provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act for the purposes of research, private study and education.

9 thoughts on “Half measures

  1. Further to this, Michael DenTandt, in the National Post ~ http://www.nationalpost.com/m/wp/blog.html?b=news.nationalpost.com//news/canada/canadian-politics/michael-den-tandt-the-hidden-reason-trudeau-wants-our-cf-18s-to-come-home ~ says that the (just a) reason Prime Minister Trudeau is withdrawing the CF-18s is that he believes (fears?) that the next US president will have to commit ground forces and he, Trudeau, fears that is Canada is already involved in a combat role it will be too difficult to avoid sending Canadian ground troops. Prime Minister Trudeau remembers, it is suggested, that:

    1. Canadians massively supported Prime Minister Chrétien’s decision to stay out of the Iraq war; and

    2. Despite their initial enthusiasm, Canadians soon lost interest in the Afghanistan War and wanted the troops bought home.

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