Friday, March 18, 2011

Who Needs Canadian Fighters in Libya?

Steve Harper has decided that it suits his "tough guy" self-image to order six Canadian CF-18 fighters to Europe, somewhere, to enforce the UN "no fly zone" edict over Libya.

This is about as blatant a stunt as they come.    Six jets, what is that?   Compared to Canada, Libya is on France's and Italy's doorstep.  It's just a carrier deck away for the US Navy.  It's barely a stroll around the block for the Brits.   They can run air patrols virtually out of their backyards.   For us, it's another matter entirely which is why we're sending just six aircraft and a legion of support personnel to some place to maybe do something, somewhere.

Think of the field day Gaddafi can have with this?   Look at the Crusaders doing what they always do, coming to kick Muslim butt.   And there are plenty of people predisposed by our adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan and our blatant support of Arab tyrants who won't have any trouble believing it.

It's not like there's any shortage of Arab muscle to do the job.   Egypt is right next door and it has scads of every state-of-the-art vehicle and trinket necessary to deal with an old clown like Gaddafi.

But Canada?   To enforce a meaningless no fly zone?   With a massive force of six planes?  That's a joke.


Anonymous said...

Why do you think Canada is looked upon in the manner it has been lately the environment aside. Good for Harper and by the way...I am NOT a supporter of Harper. Haven't voted for him and will not ever. At least for once, he is supporting the allies. Get off your high horse.

The Mound of Sound said...

"Supporting the allies." Oh please. This is about SHarper making a case for the F-35 and, frankly, it's laughable. The "war" is over. Gaddafi used the three weeks of our dithering to good advantage. He's recovered almost all of the country and doesn't need jets, tanks or artillery to consolidate his control. Meanwhile, as it'll be a solid slate of Crusader jets boring holes in the sky over Libya, he'll be handed that delightful narrative to use with the Muslim world.

After our adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan and our unflagging support for anti-democratic Arab tyrants including, most recently, the murderous monarchies of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, it's a narrative that powerfully resonates with Arabs, even those who hate Gaddafi.

Harper is at least acting out of personal political ambition. You don't even have that justification. Sometimes it's better to be atop the high horse than stepping in the shit.

sassy said...

Interesting article in Aljazeera about the involvement of the west in Libya

Sixth Estate said...

Ironically, if we did have the F-35, we might choose not to send any because they'd be too expensive to risk in combat.

"At least for once, he is supporting the allies."

Which allies are those? I'm not aware that any of our allies are in danger.

GAB said...

I agree we should stay out. Once again Harper's ego and desire to play with the big boys make shis actionlooks like silly tokenism. "Over here, over here, look at me I'm important too"

We have no stake in this fight, no reason to place a target on our backs for the sake of the F35 sales pitch, its not as if they'd need them to knock down 35 year old mirages anyway

The Mound of Sound said...

Gaddafi has us in a spot. He's ordered a ceasefire. So long as that holds we don't seem to have a legitimate basis to attack his weaponry and infrastructure. This is the very sort of situation the US and Britain found themselves in on resolution 1441. There they blurred the plain wording to contend that it gave them legal authority to invade Iraq when it plainly did nothing of the sort.

The West is running an enormous risk of handing a very great victory to radical Islamists and other petro-rivals such as China. Given the hapless political and military leadership we've persistently demonstrated over the past decade, this is not a good position to place ourselves in.