Last year, the conservative finance minister was a long time trying to jig the numbers so a balanced budget could be produced; the smoke and mirrors involved required considerable manipulation and choreography to make the whole show appear plausible. And the strain involved must have been enormous, because he disappeared immediately afterwards and wasn’t even seen during the election. I know, because he was my member of parliament then and his campaign was nonexistent. The anticipation this year is due more to the national perception that little of a concrete nature has been done by the new government yet. That’s not entirely true and honeymoon may not be over, but the waiting populace naturally expects more action in the budget than consultations and talk. With the election, the country decided that despite all the TV ads ‘the government’s inaction plan’ wasn’t working and something needed to be done.
Today the new P.M. finally cleared the air over one item on his agenda: in the mission against ISIS the F-18s will be grounded. And while not clearing the air about why this promise was originally made as well, he has at least followed through on it. More humanitarian aid and training will be supplied in lieu of air strikes. Those like the new opposition who have barked for more bombings will doubtlessly be saddened by this turn of events and worry that their armaments stocks will go down, but they needn’t. There are always enough buyers of arms and munitions to keep those investments secure and profitable.
I will confess that I have never thoroughly scoured the Internet or other sources for progress reports of the bombing mission, but none have ever been broadcast regularly or made easily available. Neither has any account been given of the effectiveness of the mission or the enemy casualties. We just pay the bills and the bombs keep falling. A lot of non-combatants are no doubt being killed. As in other wars they are quietly listed somewhere as ‘Collateral Damage’ and brushed aside by the usual bullshit about precision bombing. Military strategists have been claiming pinpoint accuracy since WW2 when a hit within a several hundred-yard radius of the target was considered good. Granted the technology has been vastly improved, but just take a look at the facts from the two Iraq wars or even Vietnam and try to find the true number of civilians liberated - by death - during those conflicts. The numbers are staggering.
Maybe the new Prime Minister isn’t comfortable spending our tax dollars to rearrange the sand dunes while killing innocent civilians just so Canada can be considered a member in good standing of the proper political clubs and international associations.
It should be noted as well that wars are won by ground troops, not air strikes. That was shown in the afore mentioned conflicts. Hence, our increased role in the training of such forces may eventually show Canada to have been in the forefront of efforts to resolve this one.