02.05.2015 11:21 AM

Here is a question for those who still oppose combat against ISIS/ISIL

At what point, exactly, do you finally admit you were tragically, fundamentally, historically wrong?

(Reuters) – Islamic State militants are selling abducted Iraqi children at markets as sex slaves, and killing other youth, including by crucifixion or burying them alive, a United Nations watchdog said on Wednesday.

Iraqi boys aged under 18 are increasingly being used by the militant group as suicide bombers, bomb makers, informants or human shields to protect facilities against U.S.-led air strikes, the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child said.

“We are really deeply concerned at torture and murder of those children, especially those belonging to minorities, but not only from minorities,” committee expert Renate Winter told a news briefing. “The scope of the problem is huge.”

73 Comments


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    davie says:

    I will reconsider when I read or hear why ISIS could commit atrocious acts for two years, but would suddenly become a terrorist organization threatening global destruction only after they grabbed some Kurd controlled oil facilities that were heavily invested in by Western based majors.

    (…I am also waiting to see when they are going to be dumping babies out of the their incubators.)


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      doconnor says:

      When they beheaded a western reporter, it triggered media outrage that those other things couldn’t.


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    Glenn says:

    I believe Canada should stay out of it. Israel and the US started this long ago, not Canada. We should mind our own business, not go looking for war. IMO


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    Ted H says:

    I don’t think there are many people who truly oppose combat against ISIS, but the fact is, Western combat missions in that area over the past two decades are what has destabilized everything there and actually led to the creation of ISIS. A reflex action isn’t what we need, it has to be well considered.


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      wsam says:

      exactly!


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    Ian Howard says:

    It is necessary to engage ISIS with troops on the ground.

    The question is how?

    Is their a “moderate” Syrian opposition that can be armed to fight both Assad and Isis.

    Is there away to force the Iraqi government to behave like it represents more than the Shia majority or will the country continue it’s disintegration.

    Can the Sunni Arab gulf states agree upon a policy to combat ISIS and stop the funding that has made their existence possible.

    Will Iran and Russia stop their support for Assad which continues to prolong ISIS’s existence.

    Can the underlying economic conditions be changed so that the youth in these countries have an alternative to Jihad.

    The existence of ISIS is the legacy of Bush’s ill considered invasion of Iraq. Without a unified approach to changing the culture of the middle east troops alone will not suffice.


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      wsam says:

      Exactly!


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        Elisabeth Lindsay says:

        Well, it seems that Jordan is going full force since ISIL burned the Jordanian pilot alive. He was the son of a very prominent family.

        The King of Jordan (former ‘special forces’) himself flew a bombing mission yesterday.


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          wsam says:

          The pilot was a member of an important tribe. Who have been protesting against the King. Hopefully they can be rallied toward fighting ISIL. 1/3 of ISIL’s foreign recruits are, apparently, Jordanian. It’s a real problem for the Kingdom.

          It is time other countries stop insisting the United States solve their problems for them. Though, the United States, of course, remains essential to regional stability and will remain in a leadership position. The countries most affected by ISIL should do more to fight it (and stop helping it — Jordan!!)


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            Elisabeth Lindsay says:

            The Queen of Jordan marched with the protestors against ISL yesterday, so I would suggest they are pretty committed.


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    smelter rat says:

    To be fair, we’re not really “in combat” are we?


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      Ray says:

      I’d put forward that a laser-guided bomb dropped on your head could fall into that definition.


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        smelter rat says:

        Fishing in a barrel is not really fishing.


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          Ray says:

          Would you prefer we send the PPCLI in on horseback?


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            smelter rat says:

            No, I’d prefer the government be honest with us. They want us to believe we’re fighting a war against ISIL, but dipping a toe in the water ain’t swimming, is it?


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    Freddie says:

    So are you saying USA was right to go in Iraq in 2003?
    Which is why we are in this situation today.
    Is northern Africa another place Harper should invade?


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      Kelly says:

      We already did invade Northern Africa. Remember Libya? A fantastic success.


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      Matt says:

      There is absolutely no comparison to 2003 and now.


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        Kelly says:

        Actually 2003 is relevant. Some would argue that the rise of ISIS is a direct result of the illegal invasion of Iraq and so, by extension, the US — and only the US (and perhaps the handful of other countries such as the UK and Australia who foolishly followed the US into that mess) — should fight ISIS. Canada stayed out so the right thing to do is provide humanitarian aid. That basically seems to be Mr. Chretien’s view, from what I can tell. The US had nearly 300,000 troops in Iraq at one point and couldn’t hold the country. It might take half a million this time to get control of the region…but who’s problem is that?

        If anything, Canada should go into Libya to help restore order there. Our idiotic participation in that conflict is now fuelling jihaddism and has provided a training ground for ISIS. Harper helped sell billions of dollars of weapons to Saudi Arabia and has worked to stymie attempts to block international trade in small arms — contributing to the arming of jihaddists and fuelling chaos abroad. It’s all just such a stupid tragedy. Conservatives think they know better. They’re going to go kill bad guys, but all they ever do is cause grief and destruction and enrich arms dealers. Sick.


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    Patrice Boivin says:

    Have you seen this one?

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/shyamanthaasokan/here-is-an-isis-guide-to-life-as-a-muslim-woman

    Amazes me they can lure women from abroad with that philosophy.
    But then a 28 year old wanted to marry Charles Manson last week.


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    Brian says:

    When we start militarily intervening in the dozens of places abuses like this are going on, and when a credible plan for eliminating a terrorist group and producing a sustainable peace in Iraq and Syria where a stateless terrorist group cannot operate is presented. “They’re evil, let’s go” is not a plan, as the wreck of Afghanistan and continued operation of Al Qaeda 13 years later, and ethnic cleansing going on in Libya where terrorist groups can now thrive that followed our chest-thumping, feel-good bombing should have taught people. It’s certainly not a plan when you explicitly rule out the use of ground forces, and fail to secure any from countries in the region.

    We make sober assessments on the impracticality and futility of military intervention in places where abuses are going on all the time. No one felt the need to rush over there without a plan for this one until a few people from the West were beheaded and shown on television, so it certainly wasn’t based on a realistic assessment of what can be accomplished, or because of any abuse that’s being committed over there.


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      Matt says:

      I’m all for having plans, but as someone with military experience, I’ll tell you right now all plans go to shit anyways. Better to have a general intent, and work things out as the situation warrants it.

      Up until 1944, the post-WWII was to raze Germany to the ground, murder 40% of the population, and keep the remaining 60% in servitude in an agricultural economy (called the Morgenthau Plan). Obviously that did not happen. I’m actually quite glad they changed their plan after the war because where would the world be without Germany today?

      So yea, first you gotta win the war, then you can plan when you have a better idea of the variables on the ground. Sometimes Plans sound great at first, but 5 years later become infeasible, impractical, and a wasted effort.


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        Brian says:

        Sounds good, let’s just go with a general intent in the Middle East and try to muddle along as the situation develops. Worked out great in Afghanistan and Libya, we can assume that necessary and missing elements like ground forces will just materialize as needed.


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        wsam says:

        Nice mention of the Morgenthu Plan!!!


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    Christian says:

    It would mean admitting one was wrong. Unfortunately conventional political wisdom states that this cannot be done. So I’m not holding my breath for either Trudeau or Mulcair to admit they were horrifically wrong (and Mr. Chretien too – but of anyone he might just).


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    Peter says:

    I wouldn’t have thought it possible that anyone could react to the horrors of ISIS by just regurgitating the tired old schticks about the West being responsible for it all, no different than American bombing, we backed the wrong people etc., etc. I was wrong.


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      edward nugg says:

      how are the horrors of Isis any worse than those being perpetrated right now in Eastern Ukraine by Putin. the selective outcry against Isis is justified because we still foolishly believe we have nothing to fear but taking on Putin.. not so much.


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    wsam says:

    Foreign policy is serious. Against ISIL, Stephen Harper and our allies are doing the bare minimum. We are not being serious. The opposite. We are pursuing a ‘satisfactory’ foreign policy of the type Republicans often accused Bill Clinton of running.

    If ISIL is so terrible that they must be stopped, then let’s stop them. What is Harper’s plan for stopping ISIL? Right now our plan seems to be letting Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and the Iraqi Shia militias they’ve trained (who have also committed terrible atrocities) do the heavy fighting. We need to be serious. We risk making a bad situation worse.

    Canada is making the same mistake in Iraq/ Syria that, for example, we made in Libya. The result of our and our allies’ actions gave fresh impetus to jihadi elements inside Libya and across North Africa. Libya is a disaster. It barely exists as a state. Canada helped do that. Under Harper‘s leadership we have left the people of Afghanistan to their fate. The Taliban and other anti-Western groups are spreading across the country. If current trends continue, in a few years, it could be as if Canada never had a presence in Afghanistan. This is a tragedy.

    Without a concrete plan to achieve a realistic goal, matching means to ends, we are at root playing political games, doing little more than satisfying a domestic electorate craving ‘for something to be done’. Leaders have to make tough choices. Sometimes they must swim against the tide, not indulge in populist rhetoric.


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      Kelly says:

      Well said.


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        Domenico says:

        Wsam that is well said. We need something more than a see outrage = bomb foreign policy.


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      Al in Cranbrook says:

      Canada in no position to act unilaterally with our military, nor have we ever been in our history, nor is it likely we ever will be. Nevertheless keep in mind, we preceded America into two world wars.

      IMHO, the boat anchor in all this is Obama, whom, again IMHO, couldn’t make up his mind if his ass was on fire…assuming he could, in the first place, even find his own ass with both hands. He is the embodiment of Liberal Left guilt for every mistake America ever made, and who can’t reconcile this with all the great accomplishments that have made this world a far safer and better place than had the US stuck to its initial isolationist guns.

      As G. Bush Jr. once noted, to whom much has been given, much is expected. And I am reminded of Australia’s PM Howard whom observed that those who advocate for the US to retreat from its leadership role in world affairs should be very careful what they wish for.

      The world is pretty much become a bloody (literally) mess right now, and this is arguably so because of a lack of DECISIVE leadership from America, which clearly has been interpreted as weakness by its (and thus ipso facto, western civilization’s) enemies.

      What worries me is that there is some degree of parallel currently with the state of world affairs that finally led to WW2.

      I worry more that the next presidential election may not come soon enough


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        wsam says:

        You attack Obama and applaud Bush and Howard (who offered little more than rhetorical support).

        Bush committed the worst strategic decision in US history. Nobody did or has done more to promote and aid Islamic jihadism than George W Bush. It is not like there were not strong voices warning against the invasion. Fellow travellers like Stephen Harper threw a hissy fit in Parliament when Canada refused to go along with his historic blunder. We are still suffering through his mistake. How many people across the Middle East are dead because of his ignorance? Our children are going to be dealing with the violent aftermath of his mistake and probably our children’s children. We need to start being smarter.

        Obama is trying to restore sanity to US foreign policy. He is trying to bring back traditional realism and rational analysis to US decision-making and take the US away from this neo-conservative fantasy-spinning which has proven so disastrous. It is in all our interests that the US remain engaged in global affairs. Obama is trying to fight smart so that the US can maintain its global position. George W Bush and the neo-conservatives did serious damage to the US. Obama is trying to fix it.


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    Pipes says:

    Soon we will have no soldiers given the way the Federal Government treats them and in fact the Royal Canadian Legion has turned their backs on young veterans as of January 23, 2015.


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    John Daly says:

    I understand the passion we feel, the hatred and revulsion that is our natural response to the barbarism demonstrated by these ISIS animals. But violence (and this is shown historically) will not stop their ideology and their behaviour is driven by that ideology. We may collectively feel a little better when we consider a military action has reduced the population of these cockroaches by…whatever number. But they replicate. The conditions that create them persist. The West has played a role by exploiting the resource they place so high a price on. Their own rulers oppress them. Their idiotic tribal associations re-inforce the perpetual passing down of blood oaths. Their self-serving misinterpretation of their holy book provides a rationalization. I think the only hope we have of promoting a change in that septic recipe is to keep evolving our own democratic better angels and export those aspirations. I mean, shit, not even smartphone technology seems to have pacified these bastards like it has us. In the meantime I support actions that provide defence against REAL and PRESENT danger at home.


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    Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Warren,

    The list of terrorist countries and organizations is a mile long. Syria should be the West’s priority given the gas attacks and need for regime change. Next comes the Democratic Republic of Congo. That is followed by South Sudan and finally Somalia.

    I would put all of these trouble spots ahead of Iraq and ISIL. Indeed, Iraq is not about the atrocities. Nope, as said by another poster, it’s all about Texas Tea in Kurdistan. Nothing else.


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    Steve T says:

    So, if I can summarize those who oppose action against ISIS, it goes something like this:

    1. We shouldn’t do anything, if we can’t be 100% assured of victory

    AND/OR

    2. We shouldn’t do anything if the country is in the Middle East, because they produce oil and therefore our intentions must obviously be as selfish imperialist oil-hungry a-holes

    AND/OR

    3. We shouldn’t do anything anywhere, because we can’t do everything everywhere.

    Does that just about sum it up?


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      Peter says:

      You forgot # 4. “Sure ISIS is abominable but there are lots of abominable outfits in the world and it is hypocritical for us to target ISIS without targeting all the others.”


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        Kelly says:

        You forgot #5…Why should Canada go in there and clean up the mess made by the US, UK and Australia? We stayed out of it. Let’s provide humanitarian aid. If we want to go and fight, let’s go to Libya. We directly helped make that mess. Better yet, let’s push to put together a proper UN mission with a diverse range of countries instead of a sort-of NATO led mission that, to people in the middle east, looks suspiciously like more crusades.

        Root causes matter. And frankly the root cause of all of this dates back to the time of Napoleon and the notion that Europeans — and subsequently Americans — have the right to invade countries and take control of their resources. The stench of hypocrisy permeates every bit of this fiasco.


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          lance mclean says:

          Yup, lets all do nothing and let them have at it over there. We will really see how well that turns out when ISIS/Al Qaeda/Boko Haram controls everything in the middle east and north Africa. Man the world will be a much friendly place then?? Then we can talk to them and make it all better, I can’t wait!!


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    S Stuart says:

    For some, it’ll be when they think that the consequences of holding on to their position outweigh the risk of being painted a flip flopper.
    For those with less skin on the political game, it’ll probably be when the public image of “western military intervention in the Middle East” is no longer defined by America’s failure to prevent Iraq from descending into civil war.

    While I am personally all for providing air support and maybe even certain kinds of ground support to the Kurds in their fight against ISIS, I totally get why some people are unconvinced. It’s not that they don’t want to intervene unless victory is assured, it’s that they think any intervention will ultimately be ineffective or detrimental in the long run.

    And I don’t want to cause offense here, but I don’t think pointing to the latest reports of atrocity in an exasperated tone is a good way to deal with these people. Frankly, I remember encountering such people on other occassions where I’ve been anti-intervention, and they always pissed me off and made me get my back up. It felt like they were trying to batter me into submission rather than debate a solution on logical grounds. Instead, I’d set the story straight on Iraq. Yes, American troops were ineffective in preventing Iraq spiralling in civil war. That doesn’t mean Kurdish troops can’t roll back ISIS’s gains with the right support. And frankly, nothing in that kind of intervention compares to the monumental stupidity of not only going to war to dispose a defanged dictator with his worst atrocities ten years behind him, but disposing the country’s entire military and political elite. Making large groups of people with access to weapons have hard feelings against you is just bad policy.

    (Although… if it ever turns out that we provided air support to Shiite militias who then engage in revenge killings of civilians… that would be monumentally stupid as well. There’s a reason I say I’m all for providing support for the Kurds rather than saying I’m all for providing military support to Iraq or Syria in general)

    The other thing comment I’d make is that despite everything I just said, I think Trudeau’s mistake was less his position than the flippant and not well principled articulation of it. While I think Canada should participate in the coalition against ISIS from a “spread the burden” perspective, I’d be hard pressed to say the coalition really needed a half dozen more fighter jets. On the other hand, there’s a massive need for humanitarian aid to refugees in Syria.


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      edward nugg says:

      What a terrific summary. Further to your point if the following is true
      http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/the-mask-of-u-s-saudi-friendship-is-finally-slipping-1.2947156

      And I don’t doubt it for a moment, then the Saudi’s begat Al Qaeda which begat 911 which begat Bush which begat Invasion of Iraq which begat Bremner which begat dissolution of Iraq army which begat Isis which begat chickenhawks like Harper which begat his testifying to greatness of dead Saudi King which begat well you get the drift


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      Peter says:

      You are right that it is perfectly reasonable to ask hard questions about strategy, objectives, tactics etc., but that takes work. Maybe a little humility too seeing as it goes against the analyses of so many countries. What we are seeing from many on the left is not hardnosed analysis and criticism but rather the repetition of rote, fatalistic shibboleths about inevitable failure, making the problem worse (worse than ISIS?), our fault, etc. Plus predictable generic calls for that great Canadian soul salve, humanitarian aid. I feel like I’m not being challenged with reference to actual realities on the ground or dangers to real people, I’m listening to a congregation recite some kind of leftist Nicene Creed.


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    Domenico says:

    Why would we prioritize fighting ISIS over Boko Haram? Because they get more headlines? Because they kill Westerners? Because there is oil involved? What about the Ukraine? Somalia? The Congo? Or is it because Harper can look macho and score cheap political points off the easily outraged while contributing a whole six aircraft?


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      wsam says:

      Harper is ‘going-along to get-along’ while acting like he is a lone cowboy riding into town to rid it of outlaw vermin.


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      Peter says:

      You are right. The U.S., Britain, Australia, France, Holland, Australia and fourteen another countries participating in the airstrikes are all prioritizing ISIS over Boko Haram so Harper can look macho and score political points. I tell ya,’ the man is one wicked, powerful dude.


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        wsam says:

        Riding into town to rid it of outlaw vermin is how Stephen Harper and the Conservatives are acting. This is the image they are projecting. Therefore, in my opinion, they are not engaging Canadians in a conversation about the reality in Syria and Iraq; they are not laying out the broader context we are operating within, the tangled and self-defeating nature of the difficulties Canada and her allies face there; and what exactly we hope to accomplish. They are harrumphing that Canadian soldiers are killing bad guys. Learn to read!

        This has always been the broad point.

        The Conservatives are getting Canada into a potential endless war, offering very little Context regarding the situation besides atrocities committed by one specific group of bad guys. Once again we are in the Context of No Context.


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        wsam says:

        ‘acting like’

        Learn to read.


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          Ray says:

          ‘going-along to get-along’

          Like Canada’s 2001 deployment to Afghanistan? Or the 1997 deployment to Kosovo? I’d argue these missions were equally warranted.

          Six CF 18’s don’t give the appearance of a cowboy. Far from it. If anything (and to paraphrase Andrew Coyne), Harper looked like the reluctant warrior on this one, not the blood-thirsty right-wing psychopath you & several others on this thread (routinely) make him out to be.


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            wsam says:

            The cowboy comment comes from how the Conservatives are presenting themselves and our involvement in Iraq. The reading comprehension on this website is quite low.

            It was Stephen Harper who declared the era of Canada ‘going-along to get-along’ in foreign policy was over. Under him the Conservative Party was going to fashion a new era of strong, principled foreign policy, based on Canada’s values and interests. He was criticizing the Liberals and their supposed lack of moral clarity and, as he saw it, blindly tagging along with the latest international trend.

            According to Stephen Harper’s criteria Kosovo and Afghanistan would fall under the rubric of ‘going-along to get-along’. I raise the point to question what, in fact, he is doing differently than the Liberals. Stephen Harper spent more than 10 years sniping at ‘Liberal Foreign Policy’ from the Calgary suburbs. He gave speech after speech declaring that under his leadership Canada would act differently. Our current involvement in Iraq is many things, one of which is clearly ‘going-along to get-along’. Politicians need to be held accountable.


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          Ray says:

          Held accountable for doing what 6 in 10 Canadians see as prudent?

          That’s a mandate.


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      Ray says:

      Tough spot.

      Had he done nothing, you’d be screaming that he should be doing something.
      Had he committed 2 squadrons of CF-18’s and 2500 combat troops, you’d be screaming bloody murder.


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        Domenico says:

        No, my point would always be: didn’t get involved in 2003. Don’t get involved now. 48 countries were involved in the “Coalition of the Willing”
        in 2003 and that turned out well……

        When George W. Bush disbanded the Iraqi Army it was apparent that blunder would take decades to fix. This is part of the fallout of the initial stupidity.


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    wsam says:

    Since the 2003 invasion of Iraq maintaining that country’s territorial integrity has been one of the US’s strategic touchstones. That is one reason why the US has been hesitant to give the Kurds heavy weaponry or provide close air support. Doing so means recognizing that Iraq no longer exists and will never exist again. Thus confirming every conspiracy theory regarding Western intentions in the Middle East. Strong, independent Arab states get smashed (this is what some Sunnis say and which the US goes to great lengths to attempt to disprove). An Iraq shattered into separate Shia, Kurdish and Sunni pieces is a huge propaganda victory for anti-Western groups like ISIL.

    There is another reason to tread lightly. Nato-ally Turkey. Until recently the Turks were not allowing Kurds entry into Syria and Iraq to fight ISIL and aid their fellow Kurds. For more than a year Jihadists have been entering Syria through Turkey and joining ISIL. The Turks have been turning a blind eye. helping ISIL and hindering Kurdish attempts to combat it. Why? The Turks hate Assad. Because Assad has been helping the Kurds. Turkey is at present fighting an insurgency against Kurdish separatists in its South-East. The Kurds Turkey are fighting inside Turkey are aligned with the Kurds fighting ISIL. In asking Turkey to work with the Kurds we are asking them to work against what they believe to be their national interest. I would love to know what pressure Obama used.

    It is akin to asking Stephen Harper to develop a workable, realistic plan to combat climate change and then implement it.

    There are also two main Kurdish groups. They do not get along, violently.


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    wsam says:

    I agree Trudeau was too flippant. The horse is out of the barn. Canada is in Iraq.

    I believe this exposes Harper. Trudeau should be questioning if Stephen Harper’s conservative government actually understands the mission. He should be taking direct aim at Harper’s leadership. Harper`s weak spot is his core beliefs. Expose them. Demonstrate how radical he actually is. How out of step with other world leaders. Compare him to Angela Merkel, for example. A sober. Rational. Careful. Conservative leader. One who weighs her country`s interests and acts to further them.

    The Conservatives have no plan. They have no foreign policy. We are going-along to get-along. Harper`s famed moral clarity and values-based foreign policy is proving to be as much a mirage as his boast of Canada as an Energy Superpower. We don`t set global Energy prices. Saudi Arabia does. We don`t draw up strategies to fight Islamic jihadism. America does. We are not even at the big kids table.

    Make the Conservatives respond. Attack Harper and his ministers for offering simple answers to complex questions. Stephen Harper’s way of thinking, his world-view, is what caused this mess in the first place. And he expects us to believe he will get us out … That he will solve anything …


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    ottlib says:

    They do not have to admit they are wrong because they are not wrong.

    The bombing campaign against ISIS has been going on for months yet they are still able to commit these atrocities with impunity. Their ability to commit them has not been curtailed one whit.

    A military defeat of ISIS by means of air power alone is not in the cards and anybody who states otherwise is delusional at best or criminally dishonest at worst.

    The whole air attack strategy was designed for domestic consumption and nothing more. It was designed to show the voters at home that their governments were doing “something” to defeat ISIS. It is window dressing to cover up the fact that Western governments are completely helpless in the face of the ISIS threat to the increasingly shaky stability of the Middle East.


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      smelter rat says:

      Bingo. Also, Harper’s sabre rattling with Putin over Ukraine is going to cost us LOTS in the end. A shitstorm is brewing.


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    patrick says:

    Wrong about what?
    Using kids as human shields to stop US bombing. What them to stop doing that, stop bombing.
    Wrong about the position that fighting a war against a tactic is pointless? What terrorist group has been defeated by military action?
    Wrong about the idea that bombing a landscape is an effective way to stop terrorists. Really the billions of dollars of munitions dropped in the middle east for the last 10 years has proven this tragically false.
    Wrong about pointing out the hysterical fucking bullshit spooned to a pathetically gullible public that “they hate our freedoms” is the reason for hatred of the US. This is nothing but a political action under the veil of religious hysteria. I suppose the shit storm result is appropriate since it has all been fantasy since 9/11.
    You want to stop ISIS make sure the Middle East knows of every single atrocity committed against every muslim. Don’t make a big deal about it. Only get into a battle if they engage. ISIS will get worse and worse to get more attention and outrage and they will lose people every day with their monstrosity. ISIS has nothing to offer the ordinary and sane and it will die from their own rot. It will be awful for the tortured but more will live, less will suffer and the terrorist existence will die of it’s own accord.


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      davie says:

      On your final point, it could be that a fair number of people do not believe most of what our politicians and media are saying and showing about ISIS.


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    wsam says:

    You want to stop ISIL help Iraq develop into a decent country. Offer Sunni, Shia and Kurdish Iraqis a better governance model than ISIL is offering. ISIL is trying to set up a new type of state. Demonstrate that their ideas about what makes a good state suck. Of course, you would need to have a Western leadership who believed in the concept of ‘The State’ and its ability to improve to improve lives. So not Stephen Harper; his ideological fellow travellers are what caused the problem in Iraq and people sharing Stephen Harper’s world view are incapable of fixing it.

    Same with Ukraine. Cauterize the Russian held-parts of the country, put a wall around it, and pour billions into the rest of Ukraine, transforming it into a prosperous, western-style government. An efficient, modern state, transparent and under the rule of law. The kind of place Stephen Harper abhors. That is ultimately the only way to stop Putin.

    Harper’s fate is not tied to security or the economy. It is tied to Duffy.

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