‘The argument of force’


The Prime Minister considers the lesson of Libya.

And in a continuation of the prime minister’s recent calls for a more robust role for the Canadian military, Harper said the Libyan dictator would still be in power and persecuting his people if action hadn’t been taken by Canada and its allies.

“Which gives some proof to the old saying: ‘A handful of soldiers is better than a mouthful of arguments,'” he said. “For the Gadhafis of this world pay no attention to the force of argument. The only thing they get is the argument of force.”


‘The argument of force’

  1. Ahhh the old ‘the only thing these people understand is force’ gambit again.

    That’s been said about Bolsheviks, Jews, Arabs, Vietnamese and Natives and on and on and….

  2. If force matters and “words” don’t, then Canada only matters when we use our military to help other countries with real “robust” military capacity.

    I’m sure Harepr, the generals and the defense contractors association think this, but I doubt many Canadians would buy into this military-centered foreign policy vision.

    It’s also a bizarre position for a prime minister of country that is and will always be, at best, a 3rd or 4th tier military power.

    • He did not say that words never matter. But in dealing with people like Ghadaffi, there is a time when words are useless. All the UN resolutions and meetings of concerned citizens in teh world would not have stopped his reprisals against the citizens who dared to demand his overthrow. In those circumstances, as the Prime Minister was stating, there is a need for force – and Canada has always been willing and able to contribute to the use of such force when required. I is hardly bizarre for a Prime Minister of Canada to reinforce by actions and public statement a long-standing policy of the government of Canada.

  3. A handful of soldiers?

    So Harper honoured the commitment to pull our soldiers out of Afghanistan by 2011. We had some 2300 soldiers there and the mission has ended, but now we have committed to leave 900 trainers until 2014.  I’m sure they all have education degrees. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    The Afghan mission has been a complete utter failure (and a very expensive one) , though no one seems to be willing to admit this. And Canada is about to spend 9 or 18 or 30 BILLION dollars (pick a number) on the F35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program – a single engine high speed stealth fighter that will supposed be useful for search and rescue missions in the high arctic?

    Turn up the doublespeak knobs to 10 – George Orwell and Nicolo Machiavelli have been an inspiration to Harper, though not for the same reasons that most sane and rational people assume .

  4. For a counter-example of a revolution that didn’t require international military intervention, ladies and gentlemen:  Egypt.

    Oh wait, we don’t like those revolutionaries.  Mubarak was our kind of people.

    Any word on when Canada will send our handful of soldiers to Syria?  Anyone?


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