Mark Collins – “Glavin: In Canada, an embarrassing foreign policy debate”

My friend Terry–with very good reason–despairs of our politics:

With voter support for the New Democratic Party surging to heights not seen since the 1980s and the prospect of a tight three-way race in October’s elections emerging as something wholly new to the alchemy of campaign strategies, the one thing that’s showing no signs of any change at all is the pathetic unseriousness of this country’s debates about foreign policy.

…the minor contribution the Conservatives are making [in the campaign against ISIS] still goes too far for a great many Canadians, and Thomas Mulcair is savvy enough to know how to pander to Quebec’s rednecks and reactionary isolationists in a way that requires only a slight repackaging to appear as though he’s forwarding a presentably “progressive” and “anti-war” policy to more delicate anglophone voters.

Mulcair is too clever by half to allow his cynicism to be easily exposed, but Justin Trudeau is another thing altogether. So there was Trudeau on CBC’s Power and Politics, unable to explain against whom, if not even the savage marauders of ISIL, he might ever deploy the Canadian Forces, and calling CBC veteran Terry Milewski’s perfectly sensible question “nonsensical.” Trudeau referred to Canada’s “CF-15” bombing mission (the aircraft are known as CF-18s) and referred to the Canadian Forces’ troops in Kurdistan as “JTF”, by which he appears to have meant Joint Task Force 2 (JTF 2 [website here]), when in the real world those soldiers are in any case from the Canadian Special Operations Regiment [website here].

Some deft editing to make Trudeau sound even sillier, some gruesome background imagery and jihadist mood music and hey presto, a Conservative “He’s Just Not Ready” campaign ad. Then the CBC demands that YouTube and Facebook pull the video on the basis of a transparently lame copyright argument. Then the Conservatives make themselves look ridiculous with the defence that their advertisement was more “truthful” than the news media’s reporting of ISIL. Before you know it, the spin has bent itself into a debate about whether the Conservatives have violated their own anti-terror law by using ISIL footage for propaganda purposes.

This is not the way a serious country should address itself to deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocents…

But it’s the way it’s done in Canadian politics, and it’s probably going to keep getting worse until polls close October 19.

Exceedingly relevant:

Canadian Planes Bombing ISIS, Along With Belgians, Dutch and Danes–But We’re Plain Ignorant of Them

No surprise.  It’s all about us, us, us…

How perishingly puerile our politics are.

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds


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