The motion to extend the current military efforts in Iraq, and to also add on the invasion of Syria, passed by only 13 votes (142-129) on Monday. Thanks to the 142 people who thought that more war would be a good idea, Canada will soon launch air strikes by sending fighter jets to Syria. They are choosing to do this despite the fact that they are violating international law. The Conservatives continue to defend their actions by stating that their air strikes are justified, but many legal scholars have come out claiming otherwise. If you'll recall, the Conservatives were also previously adamant that Bill C-51 was justified and legal; a notion which many legal and security experts, judges, and other respected authorities profoundly dismissed.
Without apology for the newly proposed initiation of violence against Syria, Harper had this to say on the matter, “we cannot stand on the sidelines while ISIL continues to promote terrorism in Canada as well as against our allies and partners, [we cannot] allow ISIL to have a safe haven in Syria.” Meanwhile, men who are caught trying to smuggle young girls into Syria to join these terrorists, have made claims that they were working in conjunction with Canadian intelligence authorities. Harper also fails to remind the public of the fact that the West plays a large role in creating, arming, and funding these groups. Why not stop doing that first and address the creation of these problems first, before causing more collateral damage in Syria with an ill-conceived foreign policy.
Several people were absent from the vote, among them are:
It was made previously clear that had Harper needed to, he would've resulted to using his seated majority (160) to garner the support necessary to initiate this extended mission in Iraq, and the new invasion into Syria. The country has already spent over $100 million toward this effort and even though we are facing trillions in debt, the Tories want to sign us up for even more. Harper has perpetually made the promise that the objective for all of this is to make Canadians safer. However, this sort of interventionist foreign policy only makes us less safe. In their attempts at trying to make us safer, they erode our civil liberties with legislation like Bill C-51, and they risk our economic future with poor choices like the extended war while we are in debt.
The opposing parties have proposed that Canada drop the warmonger stance and instead pursue humanitarian aide to Syrian refugees, as well as maintaining efforts to combat radicalization and seek threats here at home. The Liberal party has supported the idea of Canadian forces training Iraqi forces, but they reject the country's new Syrian bombing campaign. We have seen for many years now that the West's influence in the Middle East has only made matters worse and triggered unintended consequences (blowback) in response. “We in the West have shown in the past not very much success in taking strict military action in the Middle East, and the results that have come out the other end have not been predictable and often been disastrous,” said NDP defense critic Jack Harris. As he further points out, the Conservative party is embellishing threats and fueling fear in order to push through their agenda of continued warfare.
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