Saturday, March 28, 2015

Only Making Matters Worse


As Canada prepares to enter the Syrian civil war, red flags are everywhere. The latest comes from Yemen. Tom Walkom writes:

In Yemen, it’s hard to figure out who the good guys are. The Saudis and Egyptians back President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, the person they regard as the country’s legitimate leader.
He was the consensus choice of the country’s two main political parties in a 2012 election where he was the only candidate.

Both the Houthis and southern secessionists boycotted that vote.

Hadi’s enemies now include the Houthis and forces aligned with Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen’s former president.

Saleh used to be Washington’s man in Yemen, helping America in its fight against Al Qaeda terrorists. At that time he was viewed as a good guy.

But the U.S. eventually decided he was no longer useful. As part of U.S. President Barack Obama’s embrace of the so-called Arab Spring, Saleh was persuaded to step aside.
Now, for the time being at least, he is a bad guy.

The problem in the Middle East is that the good guys and the bad guys keep exchanging white and black hats. Stephen Harper lives in a world where it's easy to tell the bad guys from the good guys -- and where international law has no meaning.

Given Harper's simplistic view of the world, foreign military intervention only makes matters worse.


Lorne said...

I read Walkom's column this morning, Owen, and, as they say, you can't tell the players without a program, in this case a very nuanced and detailed one. Even though I follow politics fairly closely, I find the shifting alliances and configurations difficult to follow. I guess it is a blessing, eh, to have a prime minister who distills everything into a Manichean world view? ;)

Steve said...

Some people make the argument that child molesting has increased because the internet makes like minded individuals comfortable. The same goes for dictators and despots. Canada used to be a champion of international law just for this reason. Of course after six years of Harper that ideal has also been stamped down and will be near impossible to bring back again.

Owen Gray said...

The spin machine has distilled the message that Harper is a sharp cookie, Lorne.

The truth is that he is no towering intellect.

Owen Gray said...

Mulcair correctly named the problem, Steve. It's idiocy.

Anonymous said...

"Given Harper's simplistic view of the world, foreign military intervention only makes matters worse."

I don't think Harper ever thought and certainly never had an original thought he does what his handlers tell him. Other than that he is boring and old...

Mogs Moglio

Owen Gray said...

I suspect Harper was born old, Mogs.