Musings —11.16.2015 08:14 AM—
In the past week or so, nearly 600 people have been murdered by ISIS or its affiliates – in Kenya, Lebanon, France and on a Russian airliner. The battle, once mainly confined to Iraq and Syria, is no longer. As I wrote in Unholy Alliances 23 years ago, outlaw Islamist nations will always export war to Western democracies, because they feel they have a divine mandate to do so. We are at the start of a potentially 1,000-year military struggle – a Crusades in reverse.
So, what should we do? Since Friday night, everyone I have met has mentioned the Paris attacks, Canada’s role in Obama’s coalition, the 25,000 Syrian refugees, or some combination thereof. And, since Friday night, no one has known what to do.
Justin Trudeau, as a Prime Minister leading a majority government, has a clear mandate: to withdraw from the air campaign against ISIS, and to get 25,000 Syrian refugees here before year end. You may not like that, but that’s what he was elected to do.
As regulars know, I strongly – strongly – disagreed with the former promise, and was somewhat skeptical about the latter. I disagreed with the withdrawal promise because I have always felt that, when genocide is taking place on a wide scale, we have an obligation to react with more than mere words. And I was skeptical about the refugee promise because I felt – as do most refugee settlement agencies – that it is impossible to humanely settle that many people in that short period of time.
But that’s me. What do you think? Already, Liberal-friendly pundits – here and here and here – are suggesting that Trudeau must reconsider. Personally, I’m not so sure: notwithstanding what I feel, and what I said above, I am above all a democrat – and Trudeau’s position was clear, and it was legitimized by the millions of votes he received. He has a mandate.
That said, this poll, to give others their say. I’ve tried to give what I think are the real options; if I’ve left any out, I apologize. But by all means, let me know what you think.