Editorial cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday April 1, 2015
Is Canada’s ISIS mission ready for Syria’s moral maze?
In all of Canada’s long military history, we’ve likely never known less about a territory we are about to attack than the Syria we’re going to bomb from on high.
We’re not alone in that ignorance as virtually no one today can figure out the full scale of the explosive, antagonist-rich tinderbox and moral disaster zone that is present day Syria.
Certainly not the U.S., nor the few Arab countries that will be our sole allies in bombing the ISIS operations there.
Our normal Western allies in these kinds of operations, including the British, French, Dutch, Danes and Australians, fear Syria is an impenetrable maze of horrors and want nothing to do with such attacks.
When British Prime Minister David Cameron tried to lead his country into bombing Syria in 2013, the U.K. Parliament acted as if he’d lost his marbles. A free vote of MPs roared a resounding “no way.”
To put it squarely, there is a democratic and Western world consensus — minus only the U.S. and Canada — that feels military attacks on Syria are far too risky for military, political, legal and, yes, even moral reasons.
The moral objections may seem surprising at first, for surely there is “moral clarity,” as Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson puts it, in attacking the murderous ISIS regime almost anywhere you find them.
The problem, however, is that it is not at all clear that Canadian attacks inside Syria won’t make a chaotic situation even more deadly for innocent civilians.
For example, many argue that Western airstrikes would only help and embolden the Assad dictatorship, whose crimes against humanity probably surpass even ISIS itself. (Source: CBC News)