Did we forget we’re Canadian?

Corey Brehaut

Canada has committed to withdrawing from a combat role against ISIS, focusing instead on training local forces and providing humanitarian aid to the war-torn countries of Iraq and Syria. This has produced a startling revelation about modern Canada, namely that we have become a nation of mouth-frothing warmongers with no regard for the lives of innocent civilians.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberals have announced a plan to withdraw our six CF-18 fighters by the end of March and a poll from the Angus Reid Institute suggests only 27 per cent of Canadians agree with this decision. Some 37 per cent of respondents said the government should continue the current level of bombing and an alarming 26 per cent want to increase that level.

Canada is the nation that invented the concept of peacekeeping, which ostensibly has become a core part of our national identity, yet 63 per cent of its citizens support the wholesale destruction of cities loaded down with innocent lives because of the actions of a militant few.

Did we fall so far under the crushing fist of the Harper government? We vote for sunny ways back home and endorse blackening the skies of faraway nations with the grim spectre of imminent death?

It’s not like Trudeau said we were going to let ISIS run willy-nilly around the world spreading fear and destruction. The commitment the Liberals want is one of mediation, humanitarian aid for victims and training for the local forces that must deal with the militant group on a daily basis. The U.S., France and other countries are already committed to waging a war of attrition against an enemy that is more an idea than a force. Shouldn’t at least one country step up to pick up the debris?

Bombing schools and mosques doesn’t destroy ISIS, it makes them stronger. The idea is that the West persecutes the Muslim world with oppressive tactics, and a pile of rubble littered with the charred remains of schoolchildren reinforces that idea. Every building that is demolished without a pair of feet touching the ground bolsters hatred of the Western boogieman indiscriminately killing from the sky in order to bring Coca-Cola into as far a reach as possible.

Interventionism causes more problems than it solves. It happened to the U.S. in Vietnam, it happened in Cambodia, it happened in Afghanistan, it happened in Iraq and now it’s happening in Syria. Why would Canada want to make America’s sordid legacy as international warlords spreading the gospel of manifest destiny into our own?

And while ISIS are the obvious bad guys in Syria, the answer of who the good guys are is not exactly forthcoming. Is it the Syrian government waging a war on its own people, including the use of chemical weapons on a civilian population? Is it the Free Syrian Army, which engages in kidnappings, torture and other war crimes? Anyone who claims to have a clear answer to this type of question swears allegiance to something more mundane than moral authority.

So who cares what the Canadian population thinks? Let them mire in base animal instincts and bloodthirsty rage. Meanwhile the government and grown-ups must take on the responsibility of making Canada great again.

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