So far, despite mass murder in Paris, our new government still seems committed to its election campaign promise to withdraw the RCAF Hornets bombing ISIS in Iraq and, much less, in Syria. Surely however the sensible thing to do in the current situation–if Canada is to be taken seriously by our major allies and by that segment of our population that remains not intrinsically pacifist–is for the prime minister to make a television statement along the following lines:
My fellow Canadians: During the election, and immediately after forming the government of Canada, we Liberals believed that this country’s most useful contribution to the international coalition’s efforts against the so-called Islamic State did not include continuing with the our air force’s combat operations in Iraq and Syria.
But things have changed. And changed dramatically. The savage, the appalling, the senseless mass slaughters in Paris have led this government to re-examine Canada’s contribution to the common effort. I have in particular discussed the changed outlook with President Hollande of France and President Obama of the United States.
Our government has accordingly decided that the air force will continue carrying out the operations that were authorized by Parliament in March this year until that authorization ends in March next year. At that time, and taking into careful consideration the evolution of events, we will present a new motion for Parliament’s approval on the nature of on-going Canadian military involvement in the region.
That motion, as in all that this government will do, will be evidence-based and fully transparent. The Canadian people, and especially the brave women and men serving in our Forces, deserve nothing less.