The crimes of summer unaddressed by the federal election
As the leaders of Canada's major political parties continue election campaigning, there appears to be little interest in addressing Canada's role in war crimes and dangerous military escalations. Why?
As the leaders of Canada’s major political parties descend on backyard barbecues, kiss babies, and glad-hand supporters, there appears to be little interest in addressing Canada’s role in war crimes and dangerous military escalations committed half a world away this summer.
Their names are not met with moments of respectful silence along the campaign trail, but among those killed earlier this year in a “Coalition” airstrike in Syria were a shepherd in his late 60s, Ibrahim al-Mussul, and his daughters Jozah (27) and Zahra (25). The Syrian Network for Human Rights reported: “Their bodies were shredded. We found Ibrahim’s hand next to his house, and we were still collecting bits of flesh and body parts into the early hours of the following morning.”
They are among the thousands killed with Canadian military technology and CF-18 fighter jets. And they need to be remembered as lefty partisans dream of an NDP victory in October. Indeed, as many hope for that historic change in government, they need to prepare themselves for an unpleasant reality that will require a major effort in seeking accountability: absent a major grassroots push, a Mulcair government would be in charge of funding and employing – not dismantling – this nation’s tools of mass violence and terror.
Among those tools are Canadian fighter jets participating in a major bombing campaign of Iraq and Syria (which, to its credit, is a campaign that the NDP says it would end). Not so clear is the NDP’s position on the Canadian military readying itself to provoke Russia with October war “games” involving five Canadian warships, assorted bomber planes, and 1,600 ground troops, which will join some 36,000 of their NATO brethren.
Furthermore, the NDP will be faced with decisions about Canada’s close ally, Saudi Arabia, which is engaging in the same crimes committed by ISIS, from beheadings in the public square to destruction of UNESCO World Heritage sites. In addition, the Saudi regime has been violating the sovereign nation of Yemen (with no comment from Harper, who accuses Russia of doing the same in Ukraine) with a horrific campaign of bombing that has created what the Red Cross has labelled a humanitarian catastrophe akin to the war in Syria. […]