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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Friday 3 October 2014

Calling a War a War

I'm fine with Canada play an active role against the non-state of ISIL. 
I think that role needs to be clearly thought through and that any military action needs to be one component of more all-encompassing efforts that address the hearts and minds and growth capacity for civilians on the ground in the Middle East, but also looking at some of the conditions here at home which are leading disgruntled Canadians to choose terrorism over citizenship in a democracy.
If we are going to war, though, Team Harper should have the decency to call it such.  Afghanistan wasn't technically labeled as a war, which impacted the compensation available to our soldiers.  If you're going to send them into a war zone, have the dignity to honour them for going through that.
There are political reasons not to want to call a war a war - we like war on video games or watching it play out overseas, but with an increasingly laissez-faire culture (which has been championed by our Prime Minister himself), we are less fond of the notion of sacrifice.  There's no ROI in it.
ISIL, like Nazisim, isn't a state - it's an ideology built on hate.  It cannot be beaten from a distance with technology only - a more concerted effort of boots on the ground, behavioural economics and the provision of better alternatives is necessary.  We have to be clearly seen as placing the lives and livelihoods of ISIL's victims above our own if we are to convince them our way of life is better.
That means going all in.
It's war, people - one that has to be won, and therefore has to be fought.  Sacrifices will be made, including of political capital.
If Harper is really committed to stopping ISIL - and he should be - he needs to put that mission ahead of his own personal electoral successes. 

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