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....
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