Prime Minister not presenting a clear choice to deal with ISIS
April 2nd, 2015 - 2:30pm
With Iraqi children freezing to death in Turkish refugee camps, Canada has to ask itself if committing to military action that inspires militants and contributes to regional instability is the right course of action for our country. It isn’t a matter of if we can do the job or how much people support our troops, but whether we are doing the smart thing in the struggle against ISIS.
Put another way the choice is not as black and white as whether we should have a combat role or nothing at all, despite what the Prime Minister says. That is a false choice and there are many other factors to be considered than what the Conservatives are using as justification for what amounts to mission creep. With no well-defined objective and no well-defined exit strategy Canadians have every right to ask if we are going down the same road that turned Afghanistan into Canada’s longest military mission ever.
This is a mission that does not have the backing of NATO or the UN. The UN Security council has passed three resolutions dealing with Iraq but none of them have authorized a military mission. They are asking for help preventing the flow of foreign fighters and financing of terrorist organizations, including ISIS and ISIL. They are not asking countries to work with the brutal Syrian regime of dictator and war criminal Bashar al-Assad, but that is exactly what Stephen Harper is suggesting Canada should do.
The Prime Minister is saying that we would have to ask permission from that regime which has used chemical weapons on civilians, snipers against women and children, and actually collaborated with ISIS. A statement that evokes memories of the way Saddam Hussain was treated internationally for far too long.
Clearly we have to move past an emotional response if we want to help promote real change in a region that has been left entirely unstable after years of military interventions. The Americans are still mired in Iraq and we have to consider the incredible cost of that mission that has no end in sight. There is a desperate need for humanitarian support that we are more than capable of providing. Our NATO ally Turkey is dealing with 1.5 million refugees who have poured over its border. That might not be as appealing as hunting down ISIS executioners with a disproportionate response, but it might be more positive and effective.