01.21.2015 08:19 AM

Trudeau and ISIS: the perils of local media

The federal Liberal caucus is in London, this week, planning for the coming Parliamentary session – but also to wave the Grit flag, a bit, and try and recapture the Southwest Ontario strength the party once had under Jean Chretien.

As such, Trudeau has done a lot of local media. And, as is always the case in these kinds of encounters, the local media approach the political leaders in a way that is quite different that the Parliamentary Press Gallery, who see the national leaders all the time.

As a war room guy, I always find these local-reporter-questions-national-leader sessions very valuable – because something often goes wrong. The leaders let their guards down, or they don’t sufficiently prepare, and the local guy delivers a punch that neither the leader nor his/her staff was expecting. The infamous Stephane Dion-CTV Atlantic debacle is an example of what I’m talking about.

Which brings us to Justin Trudeau sitting down yesterday with AM 980’s Andrew Lawton, the full tape of which is found here.

Mostly, I think Trudeau did fine. But it was in this segment about ISIS and military action that things got a bit dicey:

LAWTON: So under what circumstances as prime minister would that be warranted in your eyes?

TRUDEAU: 7:41: I think it’s warranted if there is a reasonable chance of success, if there’s a way that Canada can offer expertise the rest of the world is unable to provide…

LAWTON: 7:52: Just to clarify, are you saying there’s no chance of success with the fight against ISIS?

TRUDEAU: 7:57: Oh, I’m saying, this is going to be a very long, long challenge against ISIS, and Canada’s role in engaging with that needs to be a best suited to…

Everyone can see the problems here, I think. There are two that jumped out at me. One: is Trudeau already saying – while we have men and women over there on the battlefield, risking their lives – we are going to lose the fight? Two: is he saying that we should only ever fight when we know we can win?

You could run a winning national campaign on either question.

I could be missing the point here, of course. But as I listened to the lesser-known local radio guy interview the famous national leader, yesterday, I found myself getting increasingly uncomfortable. I suspect I’m not alone, in that regard.

88 Comments

  1. Brendan Denovan says:

    Or he’s simply saying we should match our resources to better the chance of success. F-18s are symbolic.

    • Warren says:

      A CF-18 doesn’t seem very symbolic when it’s dropping its payload on your head.

      • TrueNorthist says:

        With all due respect Warren, our CF-18s are likely nothing more than hangar queens, soaking up as many free parts as our haggard mechanics can beg, borrow and yes, steal. Sure, a few symbolic sorties so the govt can wave the flag, but then it’s “get those contraptions away from our airspace before somebody gets killed!” We are more of a hazard to safe navigation than a capable air force.

        And if Justin keeps saying what he did he will continue to impress everyone under 40. He is singing exactly the tune they want to hear.

        • Justin says:

          Yep, telling them to bend over and try in vain to find out the ‘root causes’. What my generation has to learn is when it comes to foreign policy, good intentions wont cut it. It’s not a therapy session.

        • Elisabeth Lindsay says:

          Are you telling me that Canada`s JTF forces are “Hangar Queens”?

        • Ray says:

          Sorry to be the techno-geek, but I can’t agree.

          Beginning in 2001, 80 aircraft of the remaining CF-18 fleet underwent substantial upgrades totaling nearly $3B. Avionics, weapons, radar, landing gear and a host of other improvements were made. They’re old, yes, but have been brought up to F-18C/D standards – aircraft that are in use today with the USN and USMC, and every bit as capable (probably moreso) as they were when new. Still a front-line combat aircraft – especially when used as ‘bomb-trucks’.

  2. Brendan Denovan says:

    There’s not much to bomb except pick up trucks. For the cost and logistics involved, is that the best we have to offer?

  3. ABoucher says:

    What jumped out at me was the statement that “it’s warranted… if there’s a way that Canada can offer expertise the rest of the world is unable to provide” – whatever happened to the idea of pitching in to a greater effort? Did we really join in previous conflicts because we had something so unique no other country was able to provide?

    I think “uncomfortable” sums up what a lot of us feel right now.

    • Warren says:

      Good point. Also gives rise to another question: what is it, exactly, that we can do that no one else can? Is humanitarian aid the only thing we know how to do? Was WWII a mistake, etc.?

      • Matt says:

        As an aside, the Devil’s Brigade, a WWII unit of 1,800 Canadian and American special forces (who were just regular guys – lumberjacks ect with survival skills) will be receipting a special Congressional medal of honour in Washington Feb. 2nd.

      • Mark says:

        Reminds me of an old Aislin cartoon about Canada’s involvement in certain military campaigns:

        Scene: a NATO war room (not a political one)
        Participants: USA, Britain, France, Canada
        The caption: “Okay, we’ve figured it out. US – air strikes and ground troops. Britain: logistics and planning. France: Communications and code-breaking. Canada: coffee and donuts”

      • Peter says:

        Is humanitarian aid the only thing we know how to do?

        Why no, Warren, we also know how to bring something called our “distinctive Canadian perspective” to bear on any international issue from terrorism to trade to tsunamis and thus bequeath to the world the solution to solving all its insoluble problems.

        More, seriously, I mentioned in an earlier post how he seemed to be fixated on his family and his father’s legacy. I get the impression he is trying in a not very coherent way to place the ISIS operation in a Pearson/Trudeau context of “honest broker, middle power, UN peacekeeper, foreign aid, etc.”. He seems sharp enough to see it’s a challenge, but maybe not enough to see it’s futile and dangerous.

        If ISIS were suddenly to call for a ceasefire and negotiations, every Liberal should pray his handlers physically restrain him from running to a mike to call for Canada to host them.

      • Domenic says:

        No, WW2 was not a mistake, however our role was not limited to sending troops. The Navy did convoy duty, the Commonwealth Air Training was based in Canada, many POW camps were set up here, and much industry was located here (two big examples I am aware of: Montreal – Tanks, Aircraft; Toronto – Aircraft). Not to mention food production. The principles of competitive advantage apply during wartime as well. Much of what for forms of contribution Canada made were very much informed by domestic politics.

        Also worth noting, the capabilities of any country are not static over time, so we may have been more aligned to sending troops then to fight a war between large armies of established states; counterinsurgency and civil wars are quite another thing.

  4. John says:

    “if there’s a way that Canada can offer expertise the rest of the world is unable to provide…”

    Translation: If somebody else can do the heavy lifting, why should we?

    That’s the one that jumped out at me as the worst.

  5. Christian says:

    Just based on that one excerpt you can understand now why Harper and Mulcair are pushing for more debates during the next federal election.

  6. ian turnbull says:

    Wow. It would have been pretty interesting if the reporter asked ” So what level of military expertise do you believe Canada has that our allies – like the United States – do not have and would need?” Maybe under the scenario where the US military needed unlimited maple syrup, Justin would jump right in and stand strong with our neighbour.

  7. MississaugaPeter says:

    WK, stop analyzing everything through the eyes of an old fart with experience.

    You are past your Best Before date.

    Only Trudeau and his entourage know what will bring victory. They got Trudeau crowned!

    The fact that you have been in winning war rooms is no match to their many experiences on losing campaigns (minus the Trudeau Liberal coronation, which a high school council could have accomplished).

    • Elisabeth Lindsay says:

      “They got Trudeau crowned” …. in a Liberal crowd. Just as Dion and Ignatief were crowned…..in a Liberal crowd. The nation didn`t accept them as their leaders either.

  8. Brian says:

    Imagine if Robert Borden would have said “we can’t fight in WW1, we don’t think we will win”

    • Domenico says:

      That would have been a much better outcome than the slaughter for no reason that was WWI.

      • Wayne says:

        Says the guy enjoying the freedom to type out asinine comments on a message board.

      • Domenico says:

        /facepalm. WWI had absolutely nothing to do with freedom of speech, democracy or saving anyone from anything. No one has believed WWI made any sense since 1918.

        Let me quote from the historian Edmund Blackadder here:

        George: The war started because of the vile Hun and his villainous empire-building.

        Edmund: George, the British Empire at present covers a quarter of the globe, while the German Empire consists of a small sausage factory in Tanganyika. I hardly think that we can be entirely absolved of blame on the imperialistic front.

        …..

        Edmund: You see, Baldrick, in order to prevent war in Europe, two superblocs developed: us, the French and the Russians on one side, and the Germans and Austro-Hungary on the other. The idea was to have two vast opposing armies, each acting as the other’s deterrent. That way there could never be a war.

        Baldrick: But this is a sort of a war, isn’t it, sir?

        Edmund: Yes, that’s right. You see, there was a tiny flaw in the plan.

        George: What was that, sir?

        Edmund: It was bollocks.

  9. Lance says:

    “………if there’s a way that Canada can offer expertise the rest of the world is unable to provide…”

    One of the troubles with that statement is that there is nothing that Canada offers expertise-wise that some other nation(s) cannot already do. We’re not a military super power. Nor, for example do we have a massive anti-terrorist response unit. So it becomes a matter of whether or not we are willing lend our credibility as a nation in order to join a wider effort (speaking in generalities here, not any specific issue).

    “……….if there is a reasonable chance of success”.

    So don’t get involved in any fight unless you know you can win? Disgusting weasel words. Can you imagine Britain’s PM saying this in 1940 or Jean Chretien saying this during the Quebec Referendum in 1995? Imagine applying this sentiment to ANY kind of fight; militarily, diplomatically, politically, domestically, etc. Wow……..unreal.

    You could run a winning national campaign on either question.

    Or on the other guy’s answers to the question. You can bet your ass Harper will make it part of a laser-like focus.

    • Warren says:

      The “unable to provide” bit gives rise to unhelpful questions about past wars, viz.: In WWII, we as a nation didn’t provide anything the Americans or the Brits didn’t already provide, on a much larger scale, too. Are you saying WWII [Ed. insert obvious reference to what Trudeau Senior did during WWII here] was therefore a mistake?

      • Lance says:

        Not at all! 🙂 What I am saying is that it is our willingness to do the right thing in and by joining a wider effort. Even if the effort is seen as “smaller” by way of contrast to the other players, our participation lends a moral and credible voice to the effort, which Canada’s surely is.

    • Domenic says:

      “Can you imagine Britain’s PM saying this in 1940”

      Well, actually, yes; at least actions spoke louder than words. Britain was forced to fight WW2 because of a treaty obligation, but didn’t really take the fight to the Germans until much later, when they were able to achieve (along with the Americans, Canadians, Free French and others) superiority in numbers and materiel.

      So, no, unless war is thrust on you in a way that directly threatening your country in a serious way, you only take the battle to the enemy when you have a good chance of winning. Not adhering to that doctrine will result in slaughter of your forces, loss of position and loss of what materiel you already possess, plus the negative effects on morale.

      Incidentally, much the same reasons why the Liberals were afraid to vote non-confidence from 2006 to 2011.

    • Russ says:

      All of this just goes to prove Trudeau doesn’t have the gravitas to be a good prime minister. This is what is making everyone feel uncomfortable.

  10. Lance says:

    LOL Oh by the way, I think you’ve driven another shiv into your chances of ever getting nominated as a candidate by this leader with this take. Not that I bet you really care though; just keep (thankfully) telling it like it is one way or the other. 🙂

    • Warren says:

      I don’t give a shit.

      • Lance says:

        I know……….it is exactly this kind of willing and charming irreverence that keeps me reading everyday, LOL.

        • JH says:

          Good points WK and I agree good job in calling it like it is and letting the chips fall where they may. Watch out though, Scot and the Rat will be calling you a closet Con very soon, because you dared point out some deficiencies, in the strategy from the boys in Liberal short pants. .

          • Ronald O'Dowd says:

            JH,

            Too bad we will never see that on the Conservative political field. What I wouldn’t give to see one — a measly single, living, breathing, Conservative letting loose to deconstruct Stephen Harper…not going to happen in my lifetime.

            (Time to cue the singing angels.) All is right in the Conservative world!

  11. Matt says:

    I think the reaction BOTH Trudeau and Mulcair had to news reports that Canadian Special Forces on the ground training forces in Iraq engaged ISIS fighters after the CSF’s came under attack were terrible. No statements about the troops having to defend themselves. Gave the impression they would prefer Canadian forces run away when attacked.

    All they did was claim Harper lied, and tried to claim Canada is involved in the ground war with ISIS, despite Canada’s top general saying our special ops advisors would probably be spending 20% of their time on the front lines. You can’t teach someone to call in airstrikes, which was apparently what they were doing when they were fired upon, in a classroom.

  12. Rod Croskery says:

    Interventions in Iraq and Libya were disasters where North American weapons did a great more harm than good. Of course politicians capitalized on the good feeling which comes from fulfilling a duty to serve.

    Are we to fault Trudeau for wisdom and reward Harper for acting on impulse?

    • Domenico says:

      I agree. Intervening in the middle east has not led to better outcomes for the people there or to political stability.

    • Nicole says:

      Despite the fact that nothing has actually been solved in the Middle East with all the military action there already, apparently just blindly sending Canadian troops without a plan is the sign of a good leader. Let’s not try to figure out alternatives to resolve this. Or ask why ISIS is able to recruit from Western countries. This is not a war like World War II, with an obvious identifiable enemy from an identifiable nation state. We can’t just go in and bomb a territory and kill a few enemy leaders and expect this to end. But nuance doesn’t seem to play well with the general public and that is where Trudeau is making his mistake. He has to pretend that he knows how to solve this crisis, as Harper is doing. And sadly the public will buy it.

      I wonder how different things would be if all Canadians were required to serve in the military for a few years. I suspect they would not be so hungry for war.

    • MississaugaPeter says:

      As a pacifist I was happy with our failure to follow the U.S. into Iraq and unhappy when our involvement in Afghanistan continued after it was obvious that Al Qaeda had left the country.

      I was cynical about Obama’s focus on ISIS. It came out of nowhere and reminded me of Clinton’s Iraq attack (yes folks, all 4 most recent U.S. presidents – 2 Democrats, 2 Republicans – bombed Iraq) during the impeachment process and the movie, Wag the Dog. I initially believed (and it may have been the case since ISIS was taking up large swathes of Syria and Iraq for quite some time before the internet-broadcast beheadings), that it all came about to try to boost Democratic fortunes in the mid-term elections.

      However, Iraq invaded Kuwait. The ISIS folks are evil. No matter what their reasoning, both Bush Sr. and Obama were correct in going to war in Iraq. Clinton and Bush Jr. were not.

      Any decent person out there, that includes JT and Muclair, must realize there is a genuine need to limit the great expansion of psychos that make up ISIS. It is a nation of Al Qaeda. Its threat is real to millions in the Middle East as well as everyone around the world. They seek to kill non-Muslims everywhere. If allowed to expand without bounds, 9/11s around the world could become commonplace.

      For those folks who do criticize our involvement in Afghanistan (me included), we/I must remind ourselves that there have not been any 9/11 size attacks since the War on Terror began and Al Qaeda’s ability to train and mobilize was cut. We need to end the ability of ISIS to train and mobilize before it is too late!

  13. Roger says:

    I suspect Trudeau is tapping into a view that a lot of Canadians have. What is the point of giving up Canadian lives and resources if the whole effort is no more successful than Iraq and Afghanistan have been?

  14. Shakemyhead says:

    What jumped the most at me was “the famous national leader”. In whose mind? The media’s, of course. Most Canadians don’t pay much attention to politics, so how famous can that make you? And once the debates are done, he’ll wish he were more like his father and less like his mother. He’ll disappear from politics.

  15. Al in Cranbrook says:

    I do not know one single person who does not literally cringe at the very notion of Justin representing Canada on the international stage.

    He’ll get slaughtered in any debates by both Harper and Mulcair, and no amount of rehearsing and prepping will prevent it, simply because he does not have the capacity. His world view is probably best described as “Disneyesque”.

    Likely at least in part because he was raised by someone who seemed to think that, if one would only look past the murdering tyrant aspects, people like Mao and Castro were regular and interesting guys…if not just misunderstood.

    • GFMD says:

      Outside of the smaller towns in western canada, still more cringe when Baird or Kenney let their gums flap on. Bring on 2015.

  16. Cranston Snord says:

    Painful, just painful, to listen — someone’s made a huge mistake, and that someone is the LPC. Call Survivorman, because the (political) wilderness is calling.

    • Ruth says:

      Still time for a new leader before the next election. He should take that walk in the snow and decide to spend more time with his kids while they are young.

  17. LK says:

    I think though, it’s a little too much tea reading, the CPC have not been forthcoming with updates for the other party leaders, so mulcair, trudeau (though i could see opposition leader being briefed, maybe not 3rd party) are having to base these kinds of answers with limited information. i know what he’s saying, and i’m not uncomfortable, sounds reasonable, we have seen the quagmire that Iraq can become, are our resources being utilized to greatest advantage, are we sending men and women into a fruitless cause, and for those who say we should pull our weight, fair enough, but at what cost? Britain and US helped create this disaster, US is in recovery, we are barely hanging onto to ours, if not in decline, and considering cpc past care of vets, will we be prepared for the vets who will come out of this? Being prudent in these cases is NOT an attack on troops, it’s being cautious and studious on a very serious issue.

  18. Ty says:

    You’re changing the scope of the questions (all wars vs. one intervention) and then using Trudeau’s answers to justify your reinterpretation.

  19. patrick says:

    Fighting terrorism, means fighting a tactic. Which means as long as there is a fanatical nut bag willing to inflict terror because of a misguided belief that it will bring back a now discontinued favourite candy, we as a society are defenceless. No army can beat that tactic.
    So Trudeau, and others who have said the same thing, are correct. The military battle against a terrorist group is always going to be a losing cause. And what analyst has said the battle with ISIS would be quick.
    Further, I don’t know about your view of the world, but I’d prefer my elected representative to be weighing the benefits and costs of the young men and women being sent into battle and not using them as fodder for political gains and to build another monument to death and destruction and moral failure.

  20. GFMD says:

    Colonization failed. bombing everything to smithereens failed. I’m not sure what would work and I don’t know if anyone does, but it looks like Trudeau is the only one not locked into ideas that have had terrible results on the long and the short scale. He’s our best hope, and 2015 can’t come soon enough.

  21. Emil Vargas says:

    Trudeau’s problem is he’s a classic pacifist person just like his dad. He’s probably fine scuba diving with guys like Fidel Castro. Unfortunately, the world has some real evil fundamentalists and extreme people that we may need to engage from time to time. How would Trudeau have reacted after 9-11? Would he have sent troops to Afghanistan like Chretien did? I feel like it’s doubtful. He seems to be taking the NDP line on foreign policy which may either be his personal beliefs or he’s trying siphon off votes. Either way, this could benefit the Conservatives, especially if Trudeau starts bad mouthing Israel and telling them to lay down their arms as well.

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:

      Warren,

      Please correct me if I’m wrong but weren’t our troops restricted to Kabul during the Chretien years? That is my recollection but I could be mistaken. Thanks.

      • cgh says:

        You are correct. It was Paul Martin who accepted the combat commitment to Khandahar in 2006.
        He did so on the basis of the centrepiece of Canadian defence policy: collective defence.
        Something Son of Pierre seems to have forgotten about.

      • Ray says:

        No, not quite.

        JTF2 personnel were committed to combat in December 2001. Regular combat troops arrived in Kandahar in early 2002 and remained there until summer 2003, at which time they relocated to Kabul.

    • Elisabeth Lindsay says:

      Remember that his father was NDP before he realized that he could never win the Nation that way and crossed to the Liberals.

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:

        Elisabeth,

        Remember that Stephen Harper and Jason Kenney were Liberals before they were Conservatives. If I’m not mistaken, Jason even worked for Ralph Goodale in another political life.

  22. dave says:

    The Liberal Party had a choice between a space-man and a space-cadet, think they chose the wrong one.

  23. EB says:

    I don’t believe that comparisons to WWI or WWII are fair or appropriate. They were traditional wars fought by opposing troops with significantly different technology than is available today. As many soldiers as could be mustered were needed to win that war. Canada’s contribution of troops was important and meaningful.

    The situation we find ourselves in today, is entirely different and without comparison. We are fighting an enemy that does not wear a uniform and hides amongst the civilian population. In addition one country, the United States, has the firepower to annihilate any country in the Middle East several times over, if it chose to do so. Apparently, we don’t fight wars that way any more. If the goal is to defeat the enemy (it is isn’t it?), then in this context Canada’s role is really insignificant.

    We are there because the optics of providing geo-political ‘cover’ to the USA is what is required, so that it doesn’t look like the US is acting alone.

    I think I understand Trudeau, even if he doesn’t explain it well. The history of the last decade / decade and a half suggests that we are playing Whack-A-Mole in the Middle East. The net effect seems to be that we are sacrificing a lot of lives, spending a lot of money, and generally accomplishing very little. As a matter of fact, if anything one could argue that we are just making things worse. Every time we Whack one group of terrorists, it seems that another, more terrifying group, can be recruited more easily.

    I know we aren’t supposed to figure out or understand ‘root causes’, but if we aren’t prepared to annihilate these bastards with the tools available, then what? How does this ever become ‘winnable’?

  24. graham watt says:

    I listened to the whole interview and don’t see what the potential problem was
    with Trudeau’s answers. I mean in turning off Canadians. Just as I didn’t see any problem with Trudeau answering the recent Putin/ Harper incident, in a more colloquial tonality than either Harper or Mulcair for that matter, would. Both (I’m not including Putin here) are trapped in a rhetoric that is both old and meaningless because it’s been around for many, many years. I’m not talking about graciousness or politesses but the tonality that Canadians in daily life use in their own rhetoric. It’s more direct because it’s more natural, not like clichéd parliamentary political jargon, which is hackneyed and often used as an excuse to avoid answering a difficult question. It used to be called honesty, an ironic word these days. When Trudeau commented that Mr. Harper was just “…waving his f-18s around to show everyone how big he is” he was being more truthful about what Harper was actually doing than any other currently used tonality might explain. Younger people have no problem with this directness. Unfortunately for some of our commentators and pundits on all political sides, Trudeau speaks with people rather than at them. Whereas the comments of many politicians come forth in the “speaking at them” context. That’s both a reason and a result of the pathetic ‘talking points” syndrome we now must live within. Trudeau comes along and many in the press and pundit brigade piss their pants in indignation and criticism. Maybe we’ve forgotten that persuasion relies on a tonality in the rhetoric transmitted to confirm its believability in the sender. “Waving his CF-8 around” might fit that context. I think those things that critical types see as gaffes don’t read that way to the majority of Canadians who don’t live in that bubble on the Ottawa. I could be wrong. Have been many times in a long, long life.
    So there it is.

  25. Brian says:

    Good, some caution about charging in. Perhaps it means Trudeau has a more realistic assessment for the prospects of success in Iraq and Syria than the people who weigh the decision on the back of a napkin and are gung-ho to get over there and bomb someone without any idea what the mission is. The cornerstone of this strategy is that apparently we’re going to bomb until we’ve trained the Iraqi army to adequately perform on the ground. A minor flaw in this strategy is that we weren’t able to train the Iraqi army to adequately perform on the ground over the course of 10 years, and that was when the country was occupied. After the experiences of Afghanistan (disaster), Iraq #1 (major disaster which we thankfully took no part in), and Libya (ethnic cleansing and civil war way worse than the situation was previously), it would be nice to be more sober about these things. So far, 14 years into The War on Terror, terror hasn’t surrendered.

    This realistic assessment of the prospects of success appears to have been calculated in the same way re: Nigeria, but there was no uproar to go over there because they didn’t behead a few Westerners, put the video on the Internet, and let the media run with it.

  26. Christian says:

    First ISIS now the economy.

    http://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2015/01/21/keep-running-deficits-until-economy-stabilizes-trudeau-dodges-question/#.VL_2EkfF-Ck

    You can’t criticize and than refuse to say what you would DO differently. Opens you up to accusations like (among others): “has no plan” or “a hidden agenda” or “doesn’t know what he’s doing or talking about”. The term snatching defeat from the jaws of victory springs to mind…..

  27. Al in Cranbrook says:

    The stuff I’m seeing in the news from Mulcair and Trudeau makes me wild; it’s deliberately misleading and playing on ignorance regarding modern warfare.

    JTF2 operatives are involved in designating (lasing) targets for our pilots to strike, so they have to be out there getting down and dirty, and exposed.

    They’re doing this because it’s much more accurate from ground level than 20,000 feet at mach one. But more to the point, it goes a long way in preventing errors and/or causing civilian casualties.

    Couple days ago they had to defend themselves, and no doubt did so with extreme prejudice and proficiency.

    So, now Harper’s a liar because we have troops involved in “combat”.

    What utter bullshit! Just once in my life I’d like to hear a lefty in either of those two parties telling our military to go out there and kick some GD enemy ass!

    Gawd people get tired of this morally ambivalent crap from all the usual suspects!!!

    • Michael says:

      “The stuff I’m seeing in the news from Mulcair and Trudeau makes me wild; it’s deliberately misleading and playing on ignorance -”

      How dare they steal a page from Harper’s playbook.

    • GFMD says:

      Too bad Harper didn’t say that when he was asked in advance about the mission instead of weasling around and essentially lying to Canadians about it, eh?

      There’s an adage about the consequences of making one’s bed, if I recall…

      • Al in Cranbrook says:

        He didn’t weasel around anything. He sent 6 CF-18s to Iraq to strike targets with precision munitions, and all that entails…which includes JTF2 ops lasing targets. Standard stuff, jr.

        The only weaseling going on is from the clowns who don’t have clue in hell about such missions.

      • Elisabeth Lindsay says:

        Just because ill-informed Mulcair and Trudeau call the Prime Minister of the country a liar does not make it so. Although to be honest, I think Trudeau just copied what Mulcair said.

    • Doconnor says:

      Do you have a source for your claim that JTF2 is in the field doing targetting? It is the first I heard of it.

  28. annie says:

    I think he was saying (and poorly, he needs to work on this more) that simply engaging with extremists groups in other people’s countries for the sake of being able to say “We are doing something!” has basically gotten the West nowhere.

    It’s been a dozen years since the United States introduced the notion that military intervention is the be-all/end-all answer and we’re pretty much back where we started – in Iraq – and things are even worse than they were before.

    So Trudeau’s idea of “success” – to my ears – means not rushing into a situation where energy, materials, money, and more importantly, lives are put at stake only to have nothing concrete come of it.

    People, imo, spend far too much time trying to find flaw in Trudeau’s understandable and justifiable reluctance to go the war-mongering, chest-thumping route. Response to actual threats and assisting imperiled populations and legitmate govts is one thing but signing on to tag alone on another of Uncle Sam’s pointless crusades should be questioned and resisted as much as possible.

  29. Liam Young says:

    I’m curious why you think AM980 is local. It’s controlled by Corus Entertainment, a large media conglomerate based in Toronto. This ‘gee whiz it’s local’ bullshit has to come to a stop.

    Corus does NOT want the Liberals to win. There’s a risk that if they do, the endless parade of advertising of the Cons (at taxpayer expense) may come to an end.

    Any opportunity to take down anyone opposed to the Cons will be played. Period.

    Also, I’m stunned that you missed the fact that London is dependent on military contracting, especially with General Dynamics, a company that just closed a $15 billion contract with the Saud family, people who engage in ruthless human rights abuses. Turning London against the Liberals is easy when you make their military policy look ‘wishy washy’ and pacifistic.

    I would suggest this is an extremely well played media coup by Corus and the Cons.

    • Cranston Snord says:

      Liam, the point isn’t whether this was or was not a “media coup.” The point, (to me, anyway), is JT’s complete and utter inability to answer questions with even a semblance of lucidity. All he seems to do is regurgitate pap and platitudes without a hint of intellectual rigour. When you look up “gravitas” in the dictionary, he must be listed as its antonym. The only hope for the LPC is that JT becomes the recipient of the sympathy vote when PMSH and his war room start replaying JT’s non-answers and stumbles ad nauseum.

  30. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Warren,

    Many people believe it is better to be proactive rather than simply reactive where ISIL is concerned. The next debateable point: by being proactive, are we encouraging terrorist attacks in Canada that might not otherwise have taken place? Of course, we can never know with any certainty.

    Makes me wonder what was the actual motive for the two terrorist attacks in Ottawa and St-Jean-sur-Richelieu.

    How can terrorism be defeated when the multi-headed hydra keeps growing a new head every time one is cut off. There are answers. But are any of them really any good?

  31. Philippe says:

    You sound like a Conservative Warren. History has proven that rushing into these fights ends in failure most the time. Chretien Iraq, etc etc.. There is always hotting and hollering to join in at first. In my opinion, Trudeau is proving to be Prime Ministerial but not acting like a reactionary.

  32. ian turnbull says:

    As someone with general conservative leanings I find I agree with Warren more often than I would have expected. He lured me in with his taste in music . However I would never make the mistake of saying anything like “Warren sounds like a conservative” . Aside from getting myself banned from this site I would also never be able to face some of my conservative friends. I would end up in some sort political version of Superman’s Phantom Zone.

  33. Joe says:

    About the only good thing I can say about JT is that he has made the choice of who to vote for a whole lot simpler. I can not vote for a party whose leader is not serious. I couldn’t vote for Joe Clark or Stockwell Day because they were not serious leaders. JT is likewise not a serious leader. As his non answers to simple questions indicate = if intellect were horsepower he couldn’t turn the blades on a lawnmower.

  34. Peter says:

    I support the mission, but I realize there are perfectly legitimate questions about objectives, who the enemy is, duration, etc. that need answers, but I don’t detect a coherent exploration of those and reasonable alternatives from JT. He seem to just be throwing out wispy musings without any sense we are in an actual multilateral operation against an enemy that likes to taunt with video beheadings, mass rapes and terrorist atrocities against civilians. I think too the public is past the stage where it sees this as some kind of extension of nation-building in the Middle East. The focus is on whether their kids are in danger when they go to school or visit the local shopping centre.

    • Elisabeth Lindsay says:

      The enemy is ISIS.

      The objective is “to degrade ISIS”

      Duration is “as long as it takes”. To be re-evaluated and put to Parliament for a vote in April.

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