I watched a video clip over at Liberal Video Depot of Michael Ignatieff explaining his view of the Canadian Forces' role in Afghanistan and the future roles they may serve in peacekeeping.
After rambling on about a job well done in Kandahar, MI discussed possible future deployments in other trouble spots for Canadian Forces. One point he stressed was that our troops should never be sent in anywhere with only sidearms, suggesting he would send them armed to the teeth.
You go heavily armed to places where you're expecting to fight. Once you show up with the full array of weaponry, you're not a peacekeeper, you're a combatant. You're not setting yourself up as an honest broker, a negotiator, but as a potential adversary. You're not seeking lasting consensus but temporary compliance.
Canadian peacekeepers must be armed and they always are given what's required for self-defence - sidearms and light automatic weapons. Heavy firepower isn't part of that equation.
It all comes down to Iggy's lesser evil philosophy. He has never disavowed himself from that world view. He believes coercive interrogations, pre-emptive wars, etc., are all legitimate acts of a liberal-democracy. It's an astounding belief for someone who claims to be a human rights activist. Nevertheless, as anti-democratic and anti-liberal as it may seem, he believes trading in evils is a good thing.
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