Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Only Time Will Tell


The Right is up in arms. Rona Ambrose calls the changes Justin Trudeau has made in the battle with ISIL "shameful." John Ivison claims that, "Canada is not playing its full part in the battle against ISIL," and Andrew Coyne writes that "what Canada is about is standing by while others engage in combat on our behalf."

They are aboard the bandwagon -- the same bandwagon that claimed its mission was to destroy Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction -- and which gave rise to ISIL. Shock and Awe didn't work then. And it hasn't worked this time around, either. In its second life, it has brought in Russian bombers on the other side.

And tripling the number of trainers puts more Canadian boots on the ground. Trudeau's strategy is high risk. Jeff Sallot writes:

Trudeau’s strategy also runs a big risk. Canadians will be training ethnic Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq who have a political agenda all their own. Yes, they want to rub out ISIS — but they also want to establish an independent Kurdish state. The Iraqi government in Baghdad — a government that Ottawa says it supports — doesn’t like the idea of partitioning its territory.

Our NATO allies in Turkey also have concerns about the Kurds. Turkey has a substantial Kurdish population of its own along the border with Iraq. A Kurdish separatist revolt against Baghdad in Iraq could quickly explode into a Kurdish rebellion against Ankara.

Not to mention the sight of returning body bags. We are not out. We are in. And only time will tell how it will end.


ron wilton said...

Often preached to me and my siblings by my grandmother, no doubt in moments of complete and utter vexation...

"There are none so blind as those that will not see',

more than likely spoken to her by her grandmother for the same reasons and which I dutifully bequeath to my grandchildren for their anticipated future use, but in these troubled times I now tag on the rest of the quote and send it to them on their gadgets.

Perhaps Ivison, Ambrose and Coyne were also deprived of the rest of the biblical admonition...

'The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know'.

The Mound of Sound said...

Once again Western perfidy a century ago comes back to haunt us. Yes, yes the Kurds. Whatever are we to do with the Kurds? During WWI we promised to restore their homeland, Kurdistan, just as soon as those nasty, German-loving Ottomans were toppled. Immediately after the war came the Treaty of Sevres which fulfilled our promise to the Kurds. In Istanbul, Ataturk arose spoiling for a fight so we folded our hand, signed the Treaty of Lausanne, and screwed the Kurds. We then began carving up the neighbourhood leaving parts of the Kurdish population marooned in Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran and other "designer countries."

The Kurds have spent a century trying to put their Humpty Dumpty together again. Surely we would do the same (I hope). Yet we made one accommodation after another with local swine who would never hear of it including, ahem, Saddam Hussein.

The Kurds are Sunni Muslim but they're not ethnic Arabs and so they do tend to get cuffed about by those who are. Yet, despite our sins against them, they've consistently proved themselves to be reliable allies. We might really consider whether this isn't time to atone for our betrayal and back them.

Peter Galbraith, brother of James, son of John K., was instrumental in drafting a constitution for Iraq's Kurds that, post-Saddam, had to be incorporated into the Iraqi constitution to keep the place from falling apart. Buried inside the Kurdish and now Iraqi constitution is a grenade that the northern Kurds can pull at will. Just sayin'

BTW - we hanged Saddam for using chemical weapons on the Iraqi Kurds. We overlooked that Saddam wasn't the first. That honour befalls Winston Churchill who, as Colonial Secretary, in 1920 ordered British artillery units to shell Kurdish villages that hadn't paid their taxes with left over WWI mustard gas shells. To save money Churchill tried to get the Royal Air Force to develop gas-filled aerial bombs. The RAF lied and said they couldn't do it.

Ain't life swell?

Owen Gray said...

Just swell, Mound. We continue to make a mess of things.

Owen Gray said...

Unfortunately, that quotation is rarely repeated these days, ron.

the salamander said...

.. Argumentation .. from the Harper Rump residue 'war room' - blared from the lickspittle lips of one Rona Ambrose .. if you expected, hoped for, or sought coherence Owen, I'd be concerned.. But accepting the premise, promise or 'gift' of smallpox blankets is one for the foolhardy or ignorant 'base' .. not the informed coherent and concerned like yourself.

When wedge politics of bombing whomever is the villain of the day has become political footsie ball for shrill elected partisan extremists wishing they were back 'in power'.. their end is nigh. The bizarre list of what their so called 'values' are - super petrostate status .. foreign bombing as vague posturing .. contrariness .. denial & obstruction .. are startling in their lack of veracity or real Canadian 'standing' ..

Perhaps Miss Ambrose or her war room cadre have employed partisan losers and posers as 'strategists' .. but the likes of Ken Boessenkool lost in the wilderness, Andrew MacDougall in faraway London, or Jenni Byrne shrieking OpEd's via Globe & White Male with ol Joe 'To Tidewater' Oliver or the Gazebo King - Tony Clement et al are hardly of any use to real Canadians.. They may as well resort to the naked ex emperor or Laureen or Ray Novak .. its all just echo chamber muzak anyway

Owen Gray said...

They keep echoing blasts from the past, salamander, not recognizing that the last election day was also the day the music died.