Saturday, February 13, 2016

“They don’t need our vengeance, they need our help.”

I was supremely pleased this week when the Trudeau Liberals announced they will end Canada's CF-18 bombing of Arab lands this month, and instead ramp up training, diplomatic, and humanitarian efforts to combat Daesh, or ISIS as many in North America still call them.

Where Harper's Conservatives, blinded by their far-right ideology and love of warfare, stood proudly next to Western forces intent on bombing the Middle East indefinitely, the Trudeau Liberals are charting a more effective course that will actually make Canadians safer. 

I wrote about this issue recently.  It's clear any bombing campaign, whether done by fighter jets or more precise drones, produces mostly innocent deaths and is counterproductive to our efforts to defeat radical Jihadism.  Instead, Western bombing efforts are exactly what ISIS want because they mostly kill ordinary local civilians.  Thus, producing new generations of Muslims who hate the countries who killed their loved ones.  Even if Daesh is defeated or somehow severely weakened, some other force just like them if not worse will come along to take their place.

The local issues are obviously extremely complicated.  But to put it in simplistic terms: If radical Jihadism is to be truly undermined, it's going to be mainly by the hands of moderate local forces and populations, with the support of Western countries like Canada, not through ramping up violent Western military action that inevitably kills mostly moderate Muslims unfortunate enough to be in the line of fire.  

Conservatives ignore this reality and instead focus on the satisfaction they feel knowing bombs are dropping on "bad people."  They don't really distinguish between Daesh and other Muslims, I guess.  

In ending the limited Canadian bombing mission, Trudeau said this week the people in Iraq and Syria who are suffering at the hands of the Islamic State “don’t need our vengeance, they need our help.”

This article today by Tony Burman is a great read for those interested in the best role Canada can play in this ongoing struggle. 

In it, Burman puts the Trudeau government's decision in proper historical context and Burman outlines the three major reasons why the government has wisely changed course away from the previous regime's bombing mission:

"One: Bombing is not the sole answer, and never will be.  
Two: For any long-term solution, only local forces can triumph.
Three: Canada needs to be laser-focused and strategic in its approach."

I couldn't agree more.