Tuesday evening we will have a vote in our House of Commons on the Conservative government’s plan to join the U.S.-led international coalition in Iraq to contain or defeat—at the very least to degrade—the radical Islamic group known as ISIL, ISIS or simply IS.
Given that Conservatives hold a majority of the seats in the House and the government’s decision to make the vote a matter of confidence, the outcome is a forgone conclusion. It is, therefore, almost certain that Canada will join the United States, Britain, France, Australia and dozens of other nations, including five Arab allies—Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar—in airstrikes intended to stop ISIL from engaging in large-scale military movements or operating bases in the open.
The official opposition NDP is, of course, against any combat mission and especially one supported by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The Dippers couch their opposition in noble sounding predictions of Canada being dragged into a lengthy quagmire and propose—along with the Liberals—a bigger humanitarian role for Canada to help refugees caught in the fighting.
“If the Americans couldn’t get the job done in a decade, we’re not going to get it done in six months,” Tom Mulcair reportedly told CTV. “We have to learn the lessons of the past.”
The danger of ignoring military expansionism by a resolute, fanatic foes is also a lesson of the past Canadians might well heed, but that bit of historical lesson-learning seems to have eluded Mr. Mulcair.
Earlier today, I heard the Liberal party critic John McCallum tell us on TV that Stephen Harper was so gung-ho on joining the U.S. in its second Iraq War, he cannot be trusted with this new military mission.
Left unsaid by Mr McCallum, of course, was Liberal party’s support—while in government—of several other overseas conflicts, including the Gulf War and the Afghan War. Yet, apparently, Canadians are still expected trust in the Grits’ current stand on how Canada should confront ISIL.
Furthermore, Canadians who believe Canada played no part whatsoever in the discredited Iraq War should read this Wikipedia article and learn more about Liberal party duplicity on the issue.
Moreover, nothing precludes Canada from providing humanitarian aid to the victims of ISIL while playing a direct military role within the large international coalition assembled by U.S. President Barack Obama.
Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, however, have made a political calculation that we should stay out of any combat role and leave the fighting to others—this despite the acknowledgement of the grave threat posed by ISIL.
Justin Trudeau’s position is not the majority one on this issue though. The latest polls suggest most Canadians consider ISIL to be a direct, serious threat to Canada. And, while Trudeau insists we stay out of the fight against ISIL and stick to our already-underway humanitarian efforts, those polls indicate majority support for joining the U.S.-led coalition in a combat mission against the Islamic militants.
I’m with the Conservatives on this one.