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http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/01/19/canada-not-invited-to-paris-meeting-to-discuss-islamic-state-fight.html After decades of honourable military service, Sajjan is been castrated by his own party and PM. So sad to see such an important and dedicated guy reduced to having some snivelling politico try to spin this disaster with "we will still be at the NATO meeting on Feb 11". DUH!!!!! We are NATO members (at least for now). I was embarrassed when we elected such a lightweight as PM, but I am deeply ashamed now.
Let's take a step back to get past some of the semantics. In fact let's take two or three steps back, and try to gain some perspective. Let's acknowledge that there is a War on Terrorism, and that that war was both declared because of the deaths of innocent civilians and continues to result in the death of innocent civilians. Innocent civilians continue to die in large numbers. Some of these civilian deaths have been non-Muslim Westerners, but the vast majority have been Muslims. There have also been tens of thousands of people imprisoned without trial, abused and even tortured, and again the overwhelming majority of these innocent-until-proven-guilty victims have been Muslims. Civilian victims of this so-called War on Terrorism --be they Western or Muslim-- have relatives, friends, neighbors, coworkers and acquaintances that are affected and influenced by what is happening to those around them and their loved ones. The War on Terrorism is instilling terror, hatred, and a desire for vengeance in many innocent victims, their loved ones and acquaintances, regardless of whether they are Westerners or Muslims. Once the semantics are removed, and no distinction is made between innocent civilians who died from suicide bombers, improvised explosive devices, the appropriation of civilian airliners etc. on the one hand; and civilians who died because of invasions, bombing raids, missiles, drone strikes etc. on the other hand; when when no distinction is made between those who are wrongfully abducted and held hostage and those who were wrongfully imprisoned without trial, abused and often tortured; then it becomes clear that there have been far more innocent civilian Muslims victims, mostly within the borders of their own countries, in this so-called War on Terrorism than Westerner victims. It further becomes apparant that the War on Terrorism itself, as well as the reluctance to accept its reffugees, is doing more to radicalize Muslims than diminish a largely imagined and greatly exaggerated terrorist threat. worst of all it is actually confirming ISIS' narrative that the West has declared war on all of Islam, and helping them recruit, while the West circles the wagons in their own countries. Instead of promoting peace and the universal human rights we espouse, our strategies have made us into the very evil we set out to defeat.
What should Canada's role be in fighting terrorism and ISIS in Iraq and Syria? I suggest that Canada's role should not be a military one, and we need to think creatively about how to effect change in the middle east without contributing to the perpetual cycle of violence that military action invites and contributes to. I suggest Canada's role could be focused on fostering bottom-up internal change within those nations. One means to foster this sort of internal change is to advocate international oversight of judicial reforms that will help to stem the proliferation of local and regional violence. It is apparent that the justice system is broken in Iraq: https://www.hrw.org/ne…/2013/…/31/iraq-broken-justice-system and corrupt in Syria: http://www .daoonline.info/…/BACCI%20-%20The%20System%20Of%2… If we want to "fight ISIS" our efforts are better spent in bottom-up development of internal systems of justice. This is obviously a complex and expensive problem. However, given: 1. the billions that are allocated to bombing campaigns and military responses that seem only to generate more resentment and violence; and 2. the billions that are invested in humanitarian and medical aid that are obviously necessary, but yet short term with little affect on fundamental societal issues that include distrust and disaffection at many levels, I am suggesting a creative alternative with long term implications for change in the region. Let Canada be part of a dialogue on justice reforms in Syria and Iraq, and coordinate an international review of how justice reforms can be encouraged and in some cases imposed if necessary (rather than imposing bombs!). Canada can play a role in promoting international cooperation to improve systems of justice in those countries while reducing the need for direct military intervention.