2016 and Canada’s new Mid east strategy

Posted: February 9, 2016 in Canadian Defence
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I am absolutely amazed at the incredible level of conversation that goes on about Canada ending the bombing and the current government plan, and the so called military experts commenting on this. We cannot kill our way out of the ISIS crisis. Obviously no one commenting knows the horror, fear and trauma of living under a bombing campaign, where your town is destroyed, your homes and livelihood shattered and your families killed. We would never in 100 years accept the use of CF18s and massive Paveway bombs, if terrorists were holed up in a mall or apartment building somewhere in a Canadian city, and then just call dead innocent civilians collateral damage. Yet we do this with impunity to others in the mid east.

I am extremely disappointed in the criticism asserting that killing and bombing is what we need to do as an alliance obligation. Where is the media talking about what we are doing to this country, devastating infrastructure and homes, and killing non combatants. This killing although unintended, is 100% foreseeable. Even one child blown to bits, should mean NO bombing. Coalition civilian casualties are acknowledged and mounting.  This number as of Nov 2015 was somewhere around 600 to 700 civilians and children killed. This is totally unacceptable. If you think this is just war, then look at your children and ask yourself what you would think and feel if it was them. We are complicit.

This need to “kill bad guys” mantra is very sad indictment of what we call civilized discourse in this country. We all know full well that there is no current military solution.   Did we learn nothing in Libya and Afghanistan? They wait you out, and return. There are no good possible winners here.  IF THERE IS NO CURRENT MILITARY SOLUTION, THEN WE SHOULD NOT MAKE IT WORSE. I totally agree with Mr Dion and Trudeau. I would go even further. This is a question of how Canada should contribute to peace and stability in the region. I suggest 528 million dollars we spent bombing could save the lives of countless refugees and war victims, build a safe haven for refugees in the region, lead a relentless diplomatic initiative for a ceasefire, and contribute more humanitarian aid.   If we want to do training we should train village level police forces, or the laws of armed conflict and military justice to military forces.. This is who we should be. We should be proud of being peacemakers.

Paul Maillet Colonel retired.


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