Musings —03.24.2015 07:47 AM—
So what of the Liberal Party? Everyone agrees they are now in a bit of a dilemma. Justin Trudeau strenuously opposed the mission, and even seemed to mock it – but then subsequent polls showed overwhelming support for our participation, and concurrent decline in Liberal support. Trudeau then went on to support C-51.
In light of that, how would you craft talking points for Trudeau for
tomorrow today? When he emerges from his weekly caucus meeting office, he will be facing a gargantuan scrum, with reporters demanding to know which way he will vote. It will be interesting.
Below is my stab at some talking points, pro and con.
Continue to oppose the mission:
- We support our men and women in uniform. We support efforts to combat terrorism.
- What we do not support, however, is a military effort that lacks definition, lacks transparency, and is wholly different from what the government said it would be.
- The Conservative government said we would not have a combat role. That is what the Prime Minister said, repeatedly. But it is clear to everyone that we are engaged in combat – and we have already lost one of our men in uniform, just a few days ago.
- No one seems to know exactly how how Sgt. Andrew Doiron died. At whose hands? In what circumstances? Why?
- The loss of Sgt. Doiron is a loss for us all. He is a Canadian hero, now gone. We in the Liberal Party believe that we owe all of those heroes – all of those women and men in uniform – a clear sense of their mission. Its rules of engagement. Its strategic objective. Its end date.
- Canadians are owed that, too. And, until we get it, we will stand with our troops – but not with this government.
Support the mission
- Our party – unlike the NDP – is not afraid of a fight. We do not oppose combat in each and every instance.
- The Liberal Party of Canada sent Canadian forces into battle to fight fascism in World War II. To stop genocide, in Bosnia. To contain terror, in Afghanistan. It was Liberal governments who made those difficult decisions.
- Equally, the legacy of past Liberal governments is peacekeeping. Prime Minister Pearson won a Nobel Prize for Canada’s peacekeeping efforts. We are proud of that legacy.
- With that legacy uppermost in our minds, the Liberal caucus this morning agreed to support the international effort against ISIS. We will be voting to extend Canada’s role there.
- We do so for one reason, above all others: the situation on the ground in Syria and Iraq has gotten dramatically worse in recent months. ISIS has revealed itself to be a well-funded, well-organized genocidal cult – a malignant force unlike any that we have seen in our lifetimes. They are not going away.
- We opposed the war in Iraq in 2003 because that American-led effort lacked evidence of weapons of mass destruction. It lacked United Nations support. In recent weeks, however, the United Nations has clearly documented horrors carried out by ISIS – including the murder and enslavement of children.
- In light of the UN’s findings – in light of the radically-changed circumstances – we will now support this international effort, with conditions. We want to know the rules of engagement, our strategic objective, and – of course – the end date. If those conditions are satisfied, we will support this motion.
Personally, I see them sticking with their original position – however wrong-headed that was. I found the “support the mission” talking points were a lot more difficult to compose. Ipso facto, they’re trapped.
Now you take a stab, dear reader. Both sides – not just the one you support!
UPDATE: And…sigh. No one can accuse him of simply following public opinion, I guess. And, at least no one is being called a traitor for taking the opposite view (yet).