With Remembrance Day taking place next week, it’s a fitting time to ponder what’s going on in Syria and Iraq and Canada’s involvement in the bombing mission against ISIS.
Just days after Justin Trudeau led the Liberals back into power, U.S. president Barack Obama was on the phone to him, encouraging him to reconsider his campaign promise of pulling Canada out of the mission.
Clearly, many Canadians feel stepping back from the conflict is the right thing to do, while many others, who did not vote Liberal, are dismayed at the thought of Canada leaving its allies to fight terror, while it takes more of a backseat role in the conflict, focusing instead on peacekeeping, which is what Trudeau intends while remaining a strong coalition partner. It’s a policy return to yesteryear when Canada was known a peacekeeper — something that began in the ‘50s when then-prime minister Lester Pearson suggested the United Nations create a peacekeeping force, something that became central to UN activities around the world and earned Pearson a Nobel Peace Prize.
ISIS militants have smartened up to the tactics being used on them, and are hiding out in civilian centres to protect themselves from airstrikes, and now that Russia has entered the situation, the situation is getting increasingly more complicated. While publicly committing to eradicating the ISIS terrorist group, Russia is allegedly also targeting rebel groups that are threatening the ruthless regime of Syrian president/dictator Bashar Assad, that it wants kept in place, which the U.S. has allegedly been trying to overthrow.
With Russia challenging the U.S.’s influence in the region, resolution of this conflict that has resulted in hundreds of thousands of death and millions of refugees is no closer at hand. Canada resuming its peacekeeping role on the world stage couldn’t happen at a better time.