10.02.2014 08:11 AM

Byline: the fog of war


    • Ron says:

      Other than stating the obvious, it’s the same old saw. The liberals did it so it’s okay if we do it too.

      But at least McParland has one thing right. Canada really can’t contribute much to this mission
      because we have little to contribute.

  1. Matt says:

    Warren, are Mulcair and Trudeau members of the Privy Council? If not, what is the process to make them members?

    Only reason I ask is because both are demanding Harper stand in the HOC and give exact details of any possible mission expansion in Iraq. That is ridiculous. You don’t provide your enemy with details of or possible length of the mission.

    BUT, if Mulcair and Trudeau were made members of the Privy Council Harper could provide them with intelligence info and exact details and they would be sworn to keep that information secret, right?

  2. EB says:

    I noticed an article in the Halifax paper the other day, that there is some speculation that we may be deploying Auroras from CFB Greenwood in support of this mission. Personally, this hits close to home, as I have son posted to CFB Greenwood, and there is a possibility that he could soon be finding his way over there.

    What worries me is the feeling I have that the politics of this issue is the primary concern of the Conservatives, Liberals, and the NDP. Why do I have the feeling that they would sooner calculate the political gain they can get from whatever position they ultimately decide to support, rather than the possible outcomes of putting our young men and women in harm’s way?

    I know it is a pipe dream to expect otherwise, but I wish I could get the sense that at some point Canada and its citizens would count for more than the politics involved.

    At the end of the day, we probably should be involved one way or another, which should be open to debate. But, the decision should be based on something other than political gain as the primary goal.

    • davie says:

      I also suspect that the conservatives, some time ago, decided to make ‘standing tall/punching our weight’ types of sell a major part of their re election campaign. You are also right that the NDP and LIbs are figuring out how to counter this campaign direction of using ‘trade’ treaties and foreign wars as a way to re election.

      This group that we armed and gave intel to was committing atrocities for over a year and were not considered a problem. Now they grab some oil facilities and they are a problem.

  3. Liam Young says:

    Yeehah!! Another war we can’t win. When can I stop paying my taxes in protest?

    • Joe says:

      Even worse its a war we won’t even fight to win. While it is a really good idea to ask if the action is wise and doable it is the height of stupidity to limit our actions should we decide to take on any enemy. Flying over and dropping smart or dumb bombs will do nothing but kill the bad guys and a lot of good guys and in the end allow the bad guys to continue their evil ways. I honestly think that Canada lacks the political will to engage in a serious war and therefore should stay home. Especially considering none of our allies are taking this war seriously either. Last I heard the Brits have flown 5 missions and have yet to drop one bomb or fire one missile

  4. MoS says:

    It’s amazing how words like “necessary and noble” roll off the lips of those who have no interest in going into harm’s way. Chicken Hawks like Harper and political hacks, er pundits. Define “necessary” and then, please, tell me what’s noble about bombing these creatures? In WWII, a real war, if you got your head shot off no one imbued that with nobility, you were simply dead, not a hero.

    Let’s remember, too, that All the King’s Horses and All the King’s Men have consistently failed to produce anything resembling success whether it’s Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya. The Brits are already finding targets for their Tornado strike fighters are few and far between. The bad guys aren’t going to offer up juicy, worthwhile targets. They just disperse and keep right on going.

    We need to invoke the Powell Doctrine in our race to send our kids to do the “noble” thing. If we did, we wouldn’t get dragged into wars without end. Christ, we don’t have the money to keep our navy seaworthy and our air force has to raid museums to get parts to keep its aging aircraft in the air. The army’s kit is clapped out from Afghanistan.

    You want to do “noble” warfare? Better bump the defence budget to 3-4% of GDP.

    • socks clinton says:

      The Brits can’t find many targets because ISIS has moved to the cities so any further attacks will cause as much civilian collateral damage as when Israel attacked the Gaza Strip. Right now Canda’s military spending based on GDP is between the Czech and Slovak Republics and they’re from the dismal side of the Iron Curtain.

  5. Lance says:

    “Why aren’t we talking more about the kind of humanitarian aid that Canada can and must be engaged in, rather than trying to whip out our CF-18s and show them how big they are?” Trudeau said.


    Coming soon to an election campaign near you. This is what you get when Trudeau is let off his leash. “Fog” is the operative word of today it seems.

  6. Matt says:

    Trudeau once again shows he’s a 14 year old trapped in a 42 year olds body:

    “Why aren’t we talking more about the kind of humanitarian aid that Canada can and must be engaged in, rather than trying to whip out our CF-18s and show them how big they are?”

    Whip out our CF-18’s to show them how big they are?

    What a fucking idiot. Not surprising coming from a guy who said Russia was going to step up action in Ukraine because Putin was mad they lost the Olympic hockey tournament.

    • Steve T says:

      Indeed. Not 14, perhaps, but certainly childish and naïve. Sounds like a lot of the NDP caucus is rubbing off on the Libs, or at least JT. These kind of simplistic kumbaya comments (can’t we just all have a big hug, and get along) are not the sort of attributes that voters look for in a mature, thoughtful leader.

      Not saying Harper is great, but this situation is making him look very statesmanlike when compared to Trudeau’s goofy comments, or the NDP’s ridiculous “passive at all costs” approach.

    • Al in Cranbrook says:

      Yep, that he is.

      Worries the everlovin’ hell out of me that this clown actually has a chance at becoming PM.

      …but then again, the old adage remains relevant. People get the government they deserve.

    • doconnor says:

      Trudeau’s colourful metaphor is far less offensive then the offense to accountability, democracy, truth and sanity that is almost every one of the Conservative’s answers in Question Period.

      His few perhaps inappropriate jokes are far better then someone whose every public word, breath and deed are dedicated to implementing his right-wing ideology.

    • davie says:

      I think JT is exactly right.

      It has become clearer each week that the Conservatives election campaign is going to emphasize the virile, brave, decisive Conservative leader versus the effeminately childish leader of the Liberals and the angry but ineffectual leader of the NDP.

      They are willing to use our people in uniform as a part of that campaign. Their uber patriotic supporters will come out with their ‘You’re all chickens if you don’t support making war,’ and they’ll ramp up the ‘terrorists coming out of the water taps’ rhetoric.
      Only Steve can save us.

      JT simply pointed out clearly what the Conservative war room is up to, and most Canadians agree with him.

  7. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    If one Canadian civilian is killed by ISIL Harper is going to wish he had moved to Israel — the only other place where two wrongs consistently and conveniently make a right…

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:


      You just never know for sure, rhetoric aside. Obama, AR 48%, (Rasmussen); Harper, 45% (Ipsos-Reid); Cameron, 37%(Opinium); Hollande, 38% (Le Figaro).

      No one can really predict how that would break. Our showboating aside, it could either make or break a political career.

      • Matt says:

        So are you suggesting Prime Ministers and Presidents should govern by opinion polls?

        Doing what is right, what must be done isn’t always popular with the masses.

        And if you listen to Harper’s full speech, he adresses that. He said, paraphrasing, that heading into an election year, the easy and safe political thing to do is say no to participation in air strikes.

        • Ronald O'Dowd says:


          Of course not. I put up those numbers to show how each leader’s approval rating is already under water. Only ground troops can decisively alter the military situation on the ground. So far, not s single Muslim or Arab nation is prepared to send troops. Translation: they are not prepared to do the heavy lifting, and more importantly, neither are the members of the grand air coalition. Think NATO pin pricks which will be largely ineffectual in changing the balance of power on the ground. Chretien was adept at clear and realistic thinking — Harper, not so much. On with the NATO strategic window dressing show. This isn’t our fight nor should it be.

        • doconnor says:

          No country has offered ground troops, because Iraq hasn’t requested any.

        • Ronald O'Dowd says:


          I find that rather telling considering how the U.S. has been providing equipment and training since 2001. In spite of that, the Iraqi army can not win on the ground…

          As for the Kurds, they will fight to save Kurdistan, not Baghdad. Kurds will either win increased autonomy or outright independence subsequent to this crisis.

  8. Matt says:

    Once again, Trudeau thinks he speaks fo most Canadians with his objection to Canadian jets participating in airstrikes against ISIL.

    Once again, the manchild Trudeau IS WRONG.

    New Ipsos shows 64% of Canadians support the mission. Support across ALL demograpghics:


    • Al in Cranbrook says:

      PM Harper just nailed JT’s butt to the wall.

      Time for him to man up and back this cause.

      • davie says:

        ‘…man up…’ yep, we gotta go over there to Iraq and Syria show that Conservatives really have big ones.
        This is exactly what JT referred to…this manly manliness.

      • Ridiculosity says:

        You’d REALLY prefer that your government send over a few aging planes (Big Boys with Even Bigger Toys) than helping to combat ISIS by providing tangible support in the form of diplomatic and humanitarian aid, military training, strategic airlifts and medical support?

        If so, we’re not nearly as far out of the cave as I believed.

        Going to war with Iraq and sending over some CF-18s will not restore Canada’s reputation as a respected global citizen and peacekeeper – something that has been on a steady decline since Harper & Company came to power.

        • Al in Cranbrook says:

          Global Peace Keeper???

          For Gawd’s sake, grow up already!

          This ain’t the GD ’60s, Pearson ain’t PM, and ISIS will butcher every bloody “peacekeeper” they can lay their blood soaked hands on!

          You’re exactly the audience JT is playing to…the kind who live in each their little personal Disneyland.

          • Elisabeth Lindsay says:

            Ridiculosity…Apt name there. Could you please inform us where the peace is in all this for us to keep?

        • Matt says:

          Are you serious?

          Diplomatic? To whom are we to have diplomatic discussions with pray tell?

          Peacekeeping? There is no piece to keep. ISIL want you dead. They want your family dead. They want the West destroyed and a worldwide Caliphate.

        • Matt says:

          Moving to a combat mission doesn’t stop those strategic airlifts of equipment to our allies like the Kurds who are fighting ISIL on the ground, nor does it stop the humanitarian aid.

          In fact CTV reported tonight a second C-17 will be going to the region.

    • Kevin T. says:

      And EVERY poll shows that a majority doesn’t support/like Harper.

      • Elisabeth Lindsay says:

        Except he has gotten elected the last four times.

        • Kevin T. says:

          There won’t be a fifth, no matter how deep the rose is on your rose-coloured glasses. Harper Cons desperation will be on major display as we count down towards the next election. Karma is warming up in the corner and a defeat to a Trudeau is inevitable.

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:


      Have you ever heard of a war that didn’t start off with a positive bang in polling. Trouble is, as soon as it starts to go south, the government begins to fudge and withold information. Oh yeah,
      that’s what happened last night. The government is already “ahead” of the game.

  9. davie says:

    And to think that our allies in the region are all authoritarian regimes, one using decapitation dozens of times a year as a state policy.

    This little army that the West armed and supported has been committing atrocities for well over a year, and it was not problem, but once they moved on Kurd held oil facilities, USA, still eager to get at the Assad regime, rolled out all the right to protect rationales and created its coalition. (Besides a list of who is in this coalition, you can easily find what each is contributing.)
    Oddly, thought, the BRICS do not seem much exercised by this global threat.
    We have been treated to a video of a kid from Calgary, supposedly in Syria, ranting self indulgently against Canada and I hope, I really hope, that is not he evidence that is being used to argue that Islamic State is a threat to Canada that our military has to go into combat for

    Conservatives, – aye, sir, ready sir – have seized on this opportunity to use tax money in their re election campaign by sending our people in uniform over to Iraq. The next few months should feature Conservatives and their supporters pointing out the manly manliness of the grown up Conservatives versus the adolescent effeminacy of the Liberals and the angry but cowardly NDP.

    • Matt says:


      It’s already started. Those hard ultra right wing Harperites Bob Rae, Ujjal Dosanjh, Romeo Dallaire, and Lloyd Axworthy are publicly supporting Canadian military action against ISIL.

      What’s that? These guys AREN’T ultra right wing Harperites? They’re all LIBERALS? Surely you jest!

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:


        Thanks so much for highlighting how much of our most distinguished and impressive talent have got it dead wrong. I really appreciate that!

        Notice how Michael has yet to speak to the issue of this combat mission. Should be interesting when he does.

  10. Ray says:

    Finally – Neville Chamberlain – he’s the first person I thought of after listening to Tom & Justin.

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