RE: Damaging Decisions
I was disappointed with Miriam Bart’s column “Damaging Decisions”, published on October 9, 2014.
The author insinuates that the Prime Minister is supposedly an ineffectual global pariah on international relations. On the contrary, this Prime Minister has only initiated military action if supported by the international community (eg. UN-backed no-fly zones over Libya), or invited by the local government (the airstrike campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL).
I was surprised when I realized Ms. Bart was simultaneously arguing for heightened military action, quoting former Liberal Senator Romeo Dallaire who calls for “boots on the ground” against ISIL, while lamenting that the Prime Minister supposedly “draws us into wars we have no place in”.
Ms. Bart also acknowledges that the Prime Minister consulted the House of Commons on this relatively small mission. This government has consistently consulted the House of Commons on issues of military engagement — from extending the mission in Afghanistan, to enforcing a UN no-fly zone over Libya — even when defeat was possible.
In contrast, Jean Chretien ordered Canadian troops into Afghanistan in 2001, and increased Canadian presence in Afghanistan in 2003, all without consulting Parliament. Paul Martin ordered Canadians into Kandahar Province, arguably the most dangerous, again without consulting Parliament.
Ms. Bart then continues to ravage the Prime Minister for highlighting the government’s maternal health initiative at the Prime Minister’s address to the United Nations, and for taking time “connecting with the corporate elite to raise funding for [the government’s] maternal health initiatives”. I’ll let that speak for itself.
I agree with the author that Thomas Mulcair has taken a respectable stance against Canadian airstrikes on ISIL. Unfortunately, the author has taken stances as contradictory as increasing troop presence against ISIL, to opposing any military action against ISIL, and tries to build an inconsistent case against Stephen Harper. She fails quite spectacularly.
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