Wednesday, June 24, 2015

In Defence of Justin

Justin Trudeau got sideswiped today, predictably so, by a self-identified Liberal (who, curiously, can't seem to get the time of day from Team Justin) for saying he would stop Canada's participation in the bombing campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria and that he would even restore diplomatic relations with Iran. Apparently that will cost the Liberals Canada's Jewish vote.

So what?

That sounds awfully creepy.  Canada's Jews are somehow going to hold the Liberals hostage?

That particular writer is a tad susceptible to sensational news stories and a bit weak on reality.  Unfortunately he rarely lets facts get in his way.

Here's a fact. It was the West's failure to forge an inclusive government in Baghdad that fueled Sunni resentment that sparked the creation of ISIS.  It was the West's failure to deliver on any and all of its promises to Afghanistan that now sees ISIS spreading there.

Here's another fact.  It was NATO's bombing campaign that helped allow murderous Islamist radicals to get established in Libya.  It dragged on and on and on - 8 months in all - which gave al Qaeda (now superseded by ISIS) time to realize its promise to use the continual chaos to establish a foothold in North Africa.

The current bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria features most of the same players, on our side at least, and is achieving very similar results - little or nil to be precise. It's just another round of whack-a-mole conducted mainly for appearances. If we wanted to rout ISIS we and our allies have the means but that would cost money and lives and, as in Afghanistan and Libya, we're all about doing this on the cheap.

How then is anyone going to defeat ISIS?  Who can prevail without Western air power to vanquish these murderous Islamists?  Well, why not ask the Libyans?

You've probably not heard about it but they happen to have turned the tables - without our intervention - and now they've got ISIS on the run.  The downside is that the battle is being fought between ISIS and an al Qaeda affiliate allied with the Libyan National Army (our guys).

On June 9, fighting broke out in the eastern city of Derna between IS fighters and the forces of the Mujahideen Shura Council (DMSC), a militia linked to Al Qaeda. The clashes broke out after IS militants killed one of DMSC’s leaders. In one day, the DMSC fighters rose up and expelled IS from the city, forcing them to retreat to their hideouts in the remote Green Mountains.

These developments are important for several reasons. First, the city witnessed something of a popular uprising against the Islamic State. Unarmed people, angered by the alien and repressive practices IS has implemented in the city since it seized power last year, took to the streets in protest. As was perhaps to be expected, given the group’s zero tolerance for peaceful opposition, IS fighters opened fire on the crowd, killing at least seven and wounding more than 30. According to my own conversations with sources in Derna, the ensuing confrontations lasted for several days. In the end the DMSC effectively joined forces with the Libyan National Army, which is loyal to the internationally recognized Libyan government. The Army targeted Islamic State positions with air strikes. The tacit alliance between these two sides, otherwise mutually hostile, would have been unthinkable if it wasn’t for IS.

That's the way these things play out in the Muslim world.  It's all shades of grey. Today's bad guy turns into tomorrow's not-so-bad guy and sometimes picking sides is a repeatedly shifting crap shoot.

When you bomb ISIS in Iraq, you're providing air support for the other side which, at the moment, includes both Iraqi and Iranian Shiite forces (the latter being the real fighters).  Saudi Arabia is our nominal ally and yet it's bombing Yemen's Houthi rebels who are fighting their own ground war against ISIS and al Qaeda forces.  We know that much of the initial support that got ISIS off the ground came from the Sunni sheikhs and princes of the Gulf States, also our dear allies.

There's a precise term for the Western intervention in the ME right now.  It's FUBAR which, for self-identified Liberals, stands for F__ked Up Beyond All Recognition.

America and Britain achieved none of their objectives in their invasion of Iraq. America and her ISAF allies (Canada et al) achieved none of their objectives in the notional war in Afghanistan.  The NATO coalition achieved none of its objectives in the air war in Libya. We've been banging away pointlessly in Iraq and Syria for months and, predictably, getting nowhere.

So Justin's only chance of winning the Canadian Jewish vote is to promise to keep playing FUBAR in Iraq and Syria and to continue to snub the very country that America itself made the dominant Muslim power in the region?

I'm no Liberal but if I was I'd see that as a pretty pernicious bargain.

Then again, if we want to do some good in the Muslim world, we could muster our forces to help the Tunisians defend their fledgling democracy against the Islamist contagion. However the Likudniks prefer military and monarchical despots to democratically elected governments in the Arab world so that probably wouldn't do much to help Justin curry the favour of this apparently vital segment of the Canadian electorate.


the salamander said...

.. the smartest guy in Canada.. Stephen Harper and the 2nd smartest guy.. Jason Kenney, are both military strategists, immigration experts, economic genius's, not to mention authorities on domestic spying, teen jihadists, floating diluted bitumin.. and they have backing from Ray Novak, Jenni Byrne, Stephen Lecce, Arthur Hamilton.. and the Harper Senate.. So.. Foreign Policy is a snap to these raging raving evangel Heroes of Canada.. who declare they are in fact, obviously, clearly.. the Voice, Concience & Values janitors of The Country Called Canada

rumleyfips said...

The anti-lberal venom from the blogger who must not be named ( litigation ! ) was puzzling me until the tweeter explained himself a few entries ago. Trudeau won't pay him so Martin is out to get him so he hates liberals. Apparently if they paid him he woulds love liberals.

A principled stand indeed.

The Mound of Sound said...

In his business you're only as good as your last gig which, for him, was Ignatieff and that's not something you would highlight on your resume. He worked for Pupatello in the Ontario Liberal race and that went bust. Then it was on to Olivia Chow in the Toronto mayoralty runoff and that turned sour.

I'm a bit surprised he hasn't flipped to the Tories. Harper's policies seem closer to his views than anything coming out of the Libs.

WILLY said...

The Tories bought his ad space and imho the latest barrage of Trudeau chirps. A package deal I assume.

Anonymous said...

Oh, have you guys seen "self proclaimed Liberal's" blog today?

He is actually questioning whether the Cons have done their job too well on Justin and is suggesting his readers come out with attack lines on the NDP ... "until the Dippers are gasping for air" (his actual words).

Hard to know if he was just saying this tongue in cheek but if one were to take his words at face value, it would seem self-proclaimed-Liberal-who used to spend time with the Sun News-crowd is trying to console himself that it is only a Forum poll that is reporting the NDP leading both the Liberals and, I suspect, his favored party, the Harper Party.

However, this guy had predicted that Hudak the Conservative was going to win a majority in Ontario and was dissing Wynne the Liberal, so I would not be surprised if he is even more averse to an NDP win federally. Lol

The Mound of Sound said...

I wasn't aware of that, Willy. Rarely do I visit his site. Any comment I leave seems to be blocked.

I don't say this in a pejorative way but I think his instincts are more aligned with the Tories than the Libs any more. I also notice that most of his commenters are anything but Liberals. Well, to be more accurate, they sure come across as Tories.

I get the impression that he's burned his bridges with the party of Laurier, Pearson and Trudeau and I wouldn't be surprised at all to see his switch flags. With the political spectrum so compressed these days since the Libs went "conservative-lite" and the NDP abandoned the Left it creates a lot more opportunities for migration between camps.

The Mound of Sound said...

As for the Tories buying his ad space, I seem to recall that he's long said that it was available to any and all on a first come first served basis. The Tories must have been the only takers but a buck is still a buck.

Anonymous said...

The two crucial Middle-East players are missing from your story about ISIL, Mound. Junior, in any case, is late waking up at the switch and trying to catch up with Mulcair. We shall see if the electorate will wake up...