The thing is, it's not even as though our efforts have been producing any meaningful and lasting results. Remember how we 'saved' Kosovo and created it as an independent state? Today, Kosovors are the EU's third largest migrant problem.
Now the spotlight is on Syria and, true to form, we're picking sides. One side is wearing white hats, the other is wearing black. We're for the anti-Assad rebels but we're against everyone else, including the Russians. Brown University's Stephen Kinzer writes that we're being wilfully blind to what's really going on.
For three years, violent militants have run Aleppo. Their rule began with a wave of repression. They posted notices warning residents: “Don’t send your children to school. If you do, we will get the backpack and you will get the coffin.” Then they destroyed factories, hoping that unemployed workers would have no recourse other than to become fighters. They trucked looted machinery to Turkey and sold it.
This month, people in Aleppo have finally seen glimmers of hope. The Syrian army and its allies have been pushing militants out of the city. Last week they reclaimed the main power plant. Regular electricity may soon be restored. The militants’ hold on the city could be ending.
Washington-based reporters tell us that one potent force in Syria, al-Nusra, is made up of “rebels” or “moderates,” not that it is the local al-Qaeda franchise. Saudi Arabia is portrayed as aiding freedom fighters when in fact it is a prime sponsor of ISIS. Turkey has for years been running a “rat line” for foreign fighters wanting to join terror groups in Syria, but because the United States wants to stay on Turkey’s good side, we hear little about it. Nor are we often reminded that although we want to support the secular and battle-hardened Kurds, Turkey wants to kill them. Everything Russia and Iran do in Syria is described as negative and destabilizing, simply because it is they who are doing it — and because that is the official line in Washington.
For the past 15 years Canada has outsourced its foreign and military policy to the Americans. Sure, Chretien kept us out of Iraq but, let's be honest, that was a no-brainer. Instead he got Canada committed to what became a futile, whack-a-mole war in Afghanistan. Harper extended Canada's Afghan war and got us into the Libya fiasco plus the 'air war' against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. All those things seem to have done is to get us rubbing elbows with an ever greater gang of thugs and bandits.
It's time to disengage. Let's stop the charade of picking a good guy and a bad guy when there's really no good guy to pick. That goes for the Ukraine and Israel to boot.