The other war we’re in

Is Canada’s mission in Libya going the way our leaders expected?


Ahead of Tuesday’s debate, Campbell Clark reviews the state of the mission in Libya.

This was not the mission Canadian MPs agreed to join when they unanimously voted to back a deployment this spring. Then, the goal was to erect a no-fly zone, shielding Libyan civilians from attacks by Moammar Gadhafi’s air force. Canada would provide a frigate, six fighters, and surveillance and refuelling planes. But in three months, the NATO effort has escalated into a fierce bombing campaign that have left Tripoli buildings in rubble and centred on ousting the country’s long-time ruler…

While the NATO assault has elicited criticism in other countries, politicians in Canada have yet to grapple in public debate with the fundamental questions about the mission’s shifting goals, and the options for achieving them: Should we be in a war of bombing Libya into regime change? And how will it end if NATO’s air war doesn’t drive Col. Gadhafi from power?

The Prime Minister first announced the mission on March 18. The House debated the mission a few days later and the motion that was unanimously adopted afterwards read as follows.

That, in standing in solidarity with those seeking freedom in Libya, the House welcomes United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973; that the House deplores the ongoing use of violence by the Libyan regime against the Libyan people; acknowledges the demonstrable need, regional support and clear legal basis for urgent action to protect the people of Libya; consequently, the government shall work with our allies, partners and the United Nations to promote and support all aspects of UNSC Resolution 1973, which includes the taking of all necessary measures to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in Libya and to enforce the no-fly zone, including the use of the Canadian Forces and military assets in accordance with UNSC Resolution 1973; that the House requests that the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development and the Standing Committee on National Defence remain seized of Canada’s activities under UNSC Resolution 1973; that should the government require an extension to the involvement of the Canadian Forces for more than three months from the passage of this motion, the government shall return to the House at its earliest opportunity to debate and seek the consent of the House for such an extension; and that the House offers its wholehearted support to the men and women of the Canadian Forces.


The other war we’re in

  1. It is good our MPs have another chance to debate what is happening in Libya. I find it peculiar indeed how little we are talking about it. 

    What’s next? 

    Eisenhower ~ In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable

    von Moltke ~ no battle plan survives contact with the enemy

  2. How little debate for a descent into anarchy and the rule of might.

  3. Woohoo!

    Do we get to pick the puppet, too?

  4. Now that we are afflicted with a “stable Conservative majority government” there will be no chance of reason standing in the way of Harper playing with his military toys.

  5. This is why a set goal and an exit strategy are vital….without them you have ‘mission creep’…..and a quagmire.

  6. I think it’s become very clear that the only thing that will stop Gadhafi from slaughtering his own people is either killing him or getting him out of the country. I suspect even the NDP will support continuing the mission in Libya.

    • What can you say to somebody like you?  In whose interests are it that the so-called “rebels” win?  Mine, yours or Imperial England, France, Italy, America, or of our giving a gift to real Islamic radicals?  So far we had disgracefully participated in the killing of a son and young child relative of Gadhafi and destroying his home. When did Canada become enamoured with foreign regime change and when will the principle, once established as legitimate, be applied to or against us and our form of government and leaders?  But most importantly, why does anyone in Canada care about this piss ant country that we waste so much taxpayer money in it’s execution? What is our national interest in middle east destabilization?  What is it that we will gain by warmongering behavior?  More refugees? Or a pat on the head from the Queen or Obama like we were a good little lap dog. 

      • The whole thing is in the interests of the innocent civilians Gadhafi was slaughtering before we came around. And, defending freedom abroad is in the interest of every Canadian who enjoys freedom here at home. In fact it’s in the interests of everybody world-wide, which is why the current actions against the Gadhafi regime are UN sanctioned, and the whole situation is basically a perfect example of why the Responsibility to Protect exists in the first place.

        In your opinion, which countries’ civilians are worthy of protection? Is it only countries whom we trade with? Only if the population is predominantly white Christians? What does it take to not be a “piss ant country”, that would be worthy of Canada investing taxpayer money into individual and economic freedom?

        • Sure, and the Calgary police didn’t shoot and kill a man this weekend in Calgary who had a butter knife in his hand and we don’t use over powered cattle prods on the mentally ill and on people suffering diabetic reactions and adverse drug reactions and over a 1,000 people, most of which were protesting this or that, were not attacked and arrested and imprisoned in Toronto last year with nary a charge being laid while the police failed to suppress and arrest actual rioters.   

          The country is full of Harper haters who would even appear on the floor of the Senate during the throne speech with a STOP HARPER sign so I take it you would support intervention by UN sanctioned war planes bombing of the Harper government and Harper family to protect the Harper haters if they took up arms against him?  Ya, sure! 

          Your “innocent” civilians took up arms making this a civil war in which we have taken sides when in Syria, no one has taken up arms and unarmed protesters are being killed there every day … not that I care about Syria, but I can tell you the over a million Iraqi Christians will be driven out and/or killed if the current government is overthrown …. don’t believe me. Google “Iraqi Christians” and then Google  “Coptic Christians attacked in Egypt” just to see what you will find when “democracy” rather then a dictatorship rears it’s head in these countries. 

          Smith, Green, Dyer, Leger, Short, Beerenfenger, Murray, Woodfield, Berry, Davis, Wilson, Costall, Turner, Payne, Mansell, Dinning, Goodard, Boneca, Warren, Gomez, Reed, Keller, Ingram, Dallaire, Arndt, Walsh, Eykelenboom, Stashnik. Nolen, Mellish, Cushly, Graham, Morely, Keating, Byers, Arnold, Klulie, Michell. Gillam. Wilson, Williamson, Telford, Storm, Girouard, Meneney, Kennedy, Greenslade, Williams, Stannix, Poland, Lukus, Penland, Stewart, Krumpenhouwer, McCully, Priede, Caswell, Weibe and over 100 hundred more young Canadian men and women died in Afghanistan between April 18, 2002 and 17 May 2011 in the cause of “democratising” that sh*t hole and there was nary a Mohamed of any variety amongst those 160 Canadians so far killed there.  After 9 years when we leave it, what do think it will be?   

          I regret that there was no Omen killed protecting the Afghani/American right to produce and sell heron worldwide because you might then understand.

          • Are you really trying to equate a small vocal minority of Harper haters, who have no respect for our democracy, to people in who are willing to give their lives for the chance to have a democracy? I know it’s hip and cool to call the CPC a “repressive regime” in some circles, but those are people who don’t know what a repressive regime is actually like.

            And you really should stop focusing so much on people’s religion and last names. It’s really quite irrelevant.

          • As to the Harper haters, in principle, how do they differ from the Ghadfi haters …. excepting of course, they have not taken up arms. 
            Do you actualy believe that a peaceful democracy is transferable to peoples whose religion dominates and dictates the conduct of all of the aspects of their lives?
            Don’t you dare disrespect the or call irrelevant the names I wrote here you smuggly complacent SOB … everyone of them I named herein (and I do not know any of their religions or even if they had one) gave his life for his country in their effert to give a chance for a religously repressed people to establish a democracy.  In the main, we are leaving Afganistan this year after 9 years having accomplished very little except the enrichment of a moraly corrupt class, who, having made enough money to live comforably elsewhere in the world, will abandon the people of Afganistan to Talaban rule and the religious executions, intercene civil wars and refugee flows will begin again but in now ernest.
            You, in my view, are a foolish, smug and self deluded man incapable of understanding the consequences of the liberal white man’s always premature interferance (not to mention western ecconomic goals) in the affairs of others.


          • The Harper haters in principle differ from the Gadhafi haters in the simple fact that the Harper haters have a chance to vote. Oh, and the convenient fact that they’re allowed to protest their government without fear of violence. They lost, but that’s democracy. If you think there’s a country in the world where everybody loves their government, you’re delusional.

            If you’re saying Muslim countries are incompatible with democracy, I’d normally let your bigoted statement stand for itself. But in this case I’ll also point you to the country of Indonesia which has a fully functioning democracy, and is also has the world’s most Muslim’s. Square that circle.

          • And the thousand and more in Toronto arrested last year while protesting were taken without violence being used against them?

            Out of the 210 million people in Indonesia, 90 percent of them are Muslim. Throughout history Indonesia is known for tolerating most religions, but recently things have changed.In the Poso district there has been much conflict between Muslims and Christians over control over the local government. This has caused violence to occur leaving children and many others injured or killed. Terrorist groups have also formed in the region, including Islamic militant groups like the Laskar Jihad, who are funded by al Qaida.This militant group seized five Christian villages causing about 8,000 people to be displaced from their homes, according toReligioustolerance.orgIn the Maluku Islands, many homes and churches were burned. Between 1999 and 2000 about 3,000 people have died as a result of religious conflicts.Most recently, in Bali, in 2002, explosions set off by terrorists occurred. It killed over 180 people and 200 more are still missing. The attack was denounced not only by the United States, but also by the United Kingdom and France. Shortly after this attack, the leader of Laskar Jihad decided to disband his group and pull out the 3,000 militants from Maluku.In this region it is the extremists who are causing the most conflict between the two religions, but the results are trickling down to ordinary people who view the other side as being extreme. This view causes much hatred between cultures and can lead to more violence.Although a peace pact was signed about a year ago, violence in Poso is starting to escalate again. Recently, Jakarta sent in troops to help dispel the violence. A Straits Times article reports on a Christian taxi driver living in this region who lies to his customers in the Muslim district by telling them he is Muslim. He has gone to lengths to hide his true identity, including dressing and growing facial hair like other traditional Muslims in the region.
            Ya, its working well in Indonesia.  Circle squared.

      • Relax.  How often do we get a chance to be greeted as liberators?

        This one’s on the house.  Next time we’ll have to funnel money to the National Endowment for Democracy.

        Dang.  Business is booming.

        • Hahahahahaha

    • Joseph … well done!

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