rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Liberals echo NDP position on Harper's war plan

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca in its summer fundraiser today for as little as $5 per month!

Image: rabble.ca

The Prime Minister has announced that Canada will renew its commitment to participate in military action against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also know as ISIS), for one year.

Canada's role, which began six month ago, is supposed to be limited to air strikes and training of Iraqi government and Kurdish forces, behind the actual battle lines.

Canadian troops are not mandated to participate in ground, offensive action. But it seems, in the field, there is no clear demarcation between active participation in combat and training. So far, one Canadian has been killed in action, by friendly fire from Kurdish forces.

Prime Minister Harper said, during his announcement in the House, that Canada will expand its actions from Iraq to include neighbouring Syria as well. This country will do that without formally informing the Assad government of Syria. Syrian leader Bashar Al-Assad is widely considered a war criminal for having bombed and used chemical weapons against his own civilian population during the current conflict in his country.

It is not clear how Canada will engage in military action in Syria without getting entangled in the Syrian civil war. The Prime Minister did not address that issue.

In his response to Harper, Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair of the NDP did talk about Syria, and pointed out that Canada has now become a de facto ally of the murderous Assad regime.

Mulcair also said that his party opposes this military engagement for a number of other reasons.

Among those are: there is no clear exit strategy; this is not a United Nations or NATO operation; and the current mess in Iraq is the result of the ill-conceived U.S. invasion of that country more than a decade ago, an invasion in which Canada (wisely, said Mulcair) did not participate.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau echoed Mulcair's arguments. 

There had been some doubt about the Liberal position. The NDP had said from the outset that it would oppose continued military action in the Middle East, but the Liberals said they would wait to hear what the Prime Minister announced. 

When Trudeau spoke from a prepared text, however, it was evident that the Liberals had decided well before the Prime Minister rose in the House that they would oppose a military adventure that a number of commentators have said is, at best, redundant (given the small size and scale of Canada's contribution) and at worst, very dangerous.  

The Conservatives have a majority and so it is a foregone conclusion that the House will vote in favour of Harper's plan. 

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.