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Friday, December 18, 2015

Michael Petrou: Why Trudeau is lost on the Middle East

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has had almost two months since his election win to craft a sensible response to the question of why he’s withdrawing Canada’s CF-18s (and possibly other aircraft) from the combat mission against the so-called Islamic State. He hasn’t come up with one yet, and didn’t again Wednesday when asked by a member of the public at the Maclean’s Town Hall in Ottawa.
You almost want to sympathize with the guy, because his position—by its own logic—is shot through with contradictions.
Islamic State, he says, must be confronted, including militarily, and Canada must play a role in the fight against it. “The question that we have to ask ourselves, as a government and as a country,” he said during the Maclean’s Town Hall, “is how best can we help.”
Trudeau suggested that training local forces to take the fight to Islamic State is the answer. This is a skill, he said, that Canadian troops honed during 10 years in Afghanistan.
Fair enough, although training is hardly the only thing Canadians did over there. But there’s a strange implication here that Canada can’t do both: bomb Islamic State and train local forces. This, of course, is what Canada has been doing for more than a year. Trudeau added: “We know that Western armies engaged in combat is not necessarily the way to solve the challenges in the Middle East.”
This is a popular trope, but in this case it’s irrelevant. No one is suggesting Canada send an infantry battalion to the frontlines in Syria. The question Trudeau was asked is why he’s pulling out the fighter jets...

1 comment:

Reader said...

Trudeau gets his Middle East policy advice from wahhabiist MP Omar Alghabra a public supporter of terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah and former President of the anti-semitic Canadian Arab federation, plus the Prime Minister's rabidly anti-Israel brother Alexandre Trudeau.

What could possibly go wrong?