War Aims: Doing the Right Thing

OK, kudos to the Liberals in Ottawa, someone is finally getting the right words into some mouthes … sometimes, according to an article in the Globe and Mail.

Global Affairs* Minister Stéphane Dion is quite right to emphasize that we ought to be somewhat less concerned with Iraq and Syria, both of which are very likely to fail, to collapse and to morph into something else, and to be more concerned with the fate of Jordan, which really is a “partner for peace” in the region, almost the only one, and Lebanon, which is important to the region and to many, many Canadians. Focusing on what we can do for Jordan and Lebanon rather than about Iraq and Syria is good strategy and good politics, too.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan is also very correct to say that:

“… the U.S.-led coalition risks paving the way for another generation of conflict with jihadis if it can’t shrink the appeal of Islamic State. “Today, we are dealing with the son of al-Qaeda,” he said, referring to the terrorist group that dominated the region before Islamic State. “If we don’t get the next piece right – the next piece is not the military piece, it’s that political piece – we will be dealing with the grandson of al-Qaeda.”

Both statements are important steps in the right direction, but …

There’s always a ‘but,’ isn’t there?

Canada is, or should be, a “top table” nation, we are a G-7 nation and a charter member of the fortunate rich, sophisticated, modern, democratic, capitalist and stable West, we have the capacity to do more, much more.

Notwithstanding the fact that Minister Sajjan (maybe just his speechwriters) and I share grave concerns about the US’ strategic vision and its leadership of the West, we, as a charter member of the Western ‘club,’ need to, in pursuit of own, selfish, vital interests, “get with” the US led West in the project to disrupt Da’esh/ISIS, the “son of al-Qaeda,” so that regional powers can sort out their own business, including the restructuring of Iraq and Syria, in their own ways ~ unpleasant as both the process and outcome may be to us. That means staying with combat (air) operations, with our allies.

The question is: since we have the capacity, does Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have the commitment to lead Canadians towards doing the right thing? Or will he, as I fear, allow his campaign managers to set policy with only the next election in their field of vision?

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* What a silly, pretentious title, even the (too often) silly and (almost always) pretentious people in the Lester B Pearson building must be blushing.

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