Saturday, March 19, 2011

Stephen Harper Goes to War

I just saw some video of Canadian jets refuelling at Prestwick Airport near Glasgow. I just saw tornado fighters from Lossiemouth, the RAF base next to the Scottish village where I was born, landing in the theatre of action.

I'm glad the world is taking action to stop the degenerate dictator Muammar Gaddafi from slaughtering his own people. But my heart is also heavy.

Because let there be no doubt, the writing is on the wall.

War fits with the Conservative storyline of Harper as a strong, decisive leader. War against a notorious villain contradicts opposition charges of Conservative moral bankruptcy. The inevitable media stories of brave Canadian pilots and grateful Libyan rebels can only distract attention from the Conservative government’s real failings.

If the opposition was thinking of triggering an election this week, now they should reconsider. Because with jingoism sweeping this nation they would be slaughtered.

Most important, voters like wars — or at least those wars that are brief, victorious and relatively costless. They are exciting. They give people a chance to cheer and wave flags.

During the initial days of a popular war, people invariably come together. They support their troops. They support their leaders.

Also, as much as as I welcome military action, I am also troubled by the motives of those leading the charge in this latest "Coalition of the Willing."

David Cameron needs a war to take the spotlight off his brutal campaign against his own people. Nicolas Sarkozy needs a war to bolster his own polls, and make people forget he has been arming the Libyans.

In France, web outlet Rue89 interviews Jean Guisnel, whose recent book on the arms trade has a chapter devoted to Libya. He names French politicians involved in weapons deals with Libya: president Nicolas Sarkozy, minister of defence Michèle Alliot-Marie and her husband, and the Libyan middle-man Ziad Takieddine.

The UAE welcomes a war, because it will help them dodge responsibility for invading Bahrain to put down the freedom fighters in that country.

And we all know Stephen Harper will do ANYTHING to take the spotlight off his scandal ridden government, and win his precious majority.

Then there's the troubling military situation. Can air power alone bring down the Gaddafi regime? When the rebels are brave but poorly trained.

And the tyrant could move his forces into urban areas, where attacking them could result in heavy civilian casualties.

Because let there be no illusions, if he is not overthrown, the maniac will try to strike back at Canada and other countries. Just as he did in 1988, when he brought down this plane over the Scottish town of Lockerbie.

Killing 259 people on the plane, 11 on the ground. And scattering body parts all over that peaceful little place.

Ever since then, I wanted somebody to kill Gaddafi for that crime alone. Hoped that somebody would bring me his ear, so I could feed it to my dog. 

So you can imagine how I feel now. I support our flyers, and the ones from RAF Lossiemouth, to the max. And I'll be cheering on the freedom fighters.

But what horrible timing, what a cruel twist of fate.

What if we set out to save Libya and lost Canada ?

What if we set out to bring down a tyrant ?

And ended up crowning our own....

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers


  1. Harper is likely pining for one of our planes to get shot down, not only for the distraction that it would provide,but so that he can say, look this proves that we need the F35's. He will play politics with anything,no matter how inappropriate.

  2. Even if Layton and Iggy (Duceppe won't; he can afford to play hardball and he knows it) blinked at the last minute, their polling numbers will further plummet at the benefit of Stevie Spiteful's and he would more than likely take a trip to Rideau Hall to pull the plug himself.

    Truth is, he wants an election now, badly. As we know, a federal election can't happen in the fall with all those provincial elections happening.

    In 2012, things would likely get far worse for Steve. Right now, we're seeing a right wing revolution of sorts here, in the US and in Europe (even Sweden, for Christ's sake) and Steve is riding it here. That may not last into 2012.

    In fact, the economy is quite fragile, especially in light of what's happened in Japan. The economy can go south and if Harper is still in power while that is happening, he could easily be voted out then.

    There's also the fact that he's promised that we're switching to that so-called non-combat training role in Afghanistan. If there are more losses of soldiers there and we hear that there is still combat, that could also hurt the Harpercons in 2012.

    The Liberals, on the other hand, despite the bad polling numbers, have been getting their act together. Another thing is that Iggy could well be gone by then and a new leader in place; a new leader folks would perhaps warm up to.

    Given the war room is led by hyper partisan Guy Giorno and his equally hyper partisan bratty assistant, Jenni Byrne, I bet they'd be telling him to pull the plug if the opposition parties blink.

  3. I respectfully disagree about military involvement in Libya or elsewhere and I'm sorry that not a single opposition party has even questioned this move. This is more or less the same as the "coalition of the willing" invading Iraq.

    I'm no fan of Gaddafi and I certainly wasn't a fan of Mubarak. But the contrast between the two scenarios is interesting. The West dragged their feet in accepting that the people had spoken when it came to Egypt. No military intervention required. Libya is a different kettle of fish. The East has already proclaimed a new government while the West continues to support Gaddafi. This is the makings of a civil war with Western Governments getting involved for LESS than humanitarian reasons.

  4. hi Kev...yes I know, I have no doubt that the Harper Regime will use this to beat the drum for those ridiculously overpriced jets. And I hate to think what Great Warrior Leader might do for a photo-op. But most of all I'm disappointed that fate has provided him with a way to distract the attention of Canadians, and so soon before a possible election.
    They tyrant WILL be toppled, but we are going to push that rock up a hill for longer than i had expected...

  5. hi ck...Like you I'm sure Harper wants and election before the accumulation of scandals takes its toll, or the economy goes sideways.
    But he will have to be careful, because it if looks like wants one, after telling everyone he doesn't, he could pay the price.
    I was gunning for an election right away, but now I think we should wait a bit. How do I feel about that? AWFUL...

  6. hi Beijing...I know exactly what you mean. Did you know that today is the eighth anniversary of the day the last war on Iraq started?
    And when I watch CNN, I keep getting flashbacks about that terrible shock and awe day. As you know I'm not usually a supporter of military interventions. But I did support the one to try to stop the genocide in the Balkans, and I'm supporting this one for the same reason. When a well armed dictator threatens to go from house to house killing people, the world should try to stop him. Mubarak may have been a thug, but at least he didn't turn the army on his own people. But I agree with you, the stench of hypocrisy is strong, and the shadow of big oil is everywhere. I just hope the so-called coalition of the willing can destroy the deadly toys they sold Gaddafi,and let the Libyans fight their own war on a more level battlefield. I hope I didn't sound like a warmonger, but if I did blame it on Lockerbie. That was my 911, and for me after that, the world was a different and more dangerous place...