So, here we go again. Thirteen years after the tragedy at the World Trade Center on September 11, and eleven years after the beginning of the Second Gulf War, a coalition of the ‘’willing’’ is being put together to salvage the what remains of Iraqi democracy.
But let’s be clear here. There is nothing ‘’humanitarian’’ about this third intervention in Iraq, and neither will it resolve anything. Sorry Stevie.
When the lessons of the past aren’t learned properly, or when they’re thrown purposefully into the trash bin, the missteps of the past become the fatal mistakes of the future. As the saying goes: History repeats itself first as tragedy, second as farce. But I don’t know what would it be the third time around. A comical apocalypse? The question that must be asked and yet isn’t being asked by the mainstream media is quite simple: Why? Why again? Why us? Why should we think this will help?
Once again, at a frantic pace, the Conservatives and the Liberals are trying to turn the debate regarding the Canadian intervention in Iraq into a Manichean argument, a choice between good and evil: Either you’re for boots on the ground, or you’re with the terrorists! Anything less than military intervention is, apparently, unthinkable. For them, the roots of Islamic terrorism have to be “bombed out,” and obliterated.
But then one must wonder: Isn’t this the same strategy that was also used or attempted in Afghanistan, Libya and Syria? Didn’t the international community, through their sponsorship of radical Islamic organizations, ease the toppling of several governments in the region? Didn’t Western governments, de facto, pave the way for the chaos and massacres that are currently unfolding? Yes, absolutely!
Using the same strategy, with the same problematic actors, yet still expecting a different outcome is insanity.
Blatant, disingenuous hypocrisy fuels the Conservative government’s foreign policy, especially when it comes to the so-called “war on terror.” This is the same hypocrisy employed by the Bush administration, which thought that terror could root out terror, that torture could save the world from cruelty, that bigotry and racism could shun bigotry and racism. Unfortunately, this ideology of fighting fire with fire has left the whole of Middle East in blazes.
The Guantanamo Bay strategy, using brutal and cruel tactics to fight against brutality and cruelty, has utterly failed in the past and will utterly fail again, but this time around Canada will have indelible blood on its hands.
So, this is the non-strategy that the Conservative government and their Liberal allies are offering us on the silver platter of media: Military intervention with no timeline; no real notion of how many Canadian troops will be sent or what role they might serve; no strong local allies except for the dysfunctional Iraqi government, whose lack of legitimacy is the reason behind the current crisis; and no exit strategy.
As for the rhetorical fallacy of acting as “military advisors,” let’s remember, that back in the 1960s, US president Lyndon B. Johnson promised Americans, that the US’s role in Vietnam would only be an advisory one; we all know how that story turned out.
Maybe, deep down inside, Harper is waiting impatiently for his “Bushian moment.” Maybe he has developed some sort of a Bush complex —something that within the neo-conservative ranks is similar to the Napoleon complex — and this is the moment he has been waiting for all of his life?
How many lives will it take for his folie de grandeur to be exorcised?