The long road that will inevitably lead Stephen Harper to commiting Canada to the war against ISIS

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      Prime Minister Stephen Harper has given the clearest indication yet that he's ready to commit Canada to the fight against Sunni Islamic extremists who've created a de facto state carved out of Iraq and Syria.

      On Friday, Harper said that a "terrorist caliphate" (often called ISIS) constitutes "a direct threat to the security of this country".

      "We do not stand on the sidelines and watch," Harper said yesterday. "That's how this country has handled its international responsibilities. And as long as I'm prime minister, that's what we will continue to do."

      Britain, Belgium, and Denmark have already joined a growing U.S.-led coalition to take on the ISIS extremists, whose reign of terror has forced hundreds of thousands to flee.

      The attacks on ISIS will no doubt help strengthen the hand of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. (Some moderate opponents of the Assad regime have welcomed the U.S. air attacks.)

      ISIS is fortified by an estimated 15,000 foreign fighters from 80 countries, including Canada.

      In an editorial entitled "A New Focus on Foreign Fighters", the New York Times called on the UN Security Council to "take on" this threat.

      So far, there's been no indication that western ground troops will join the fight. So far, the attacks have been limited to air strikes.

      But as we've seen in so some other conficts, notably the Vietnam War, when aerial bombardment doesn't do the job, that's invariably followed by boots on the ground.

      How did we get into this mess?

      American missteps and money from Persian Gulf states have created some monumental problems in the world.

      In 1979, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and then U.S. national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski thought it would be a good idea to mobilize Sunni extremists to create problems for the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

      Working with Pakistan's notorious Inter-Services Intelligence agency, the CIA helped train Mujahadeen fighters who defeated the Soviets and later triggered a civil war in Afghanistan. 

      For the Americans, a side benefit of propping up the Mujahadeen was that it provided a bulwark against the U.S. arch-rival Shia-led regime in Iran, which was holding American diplomats hostage in Tehran. (I won't even get into the roots of that situation, but one major factor was a CIA-sponsored coup that replaced a democratic Iranian government in 1953.)

      This chess game orchestrated by Brzezinski in the late 1970s laid the foundation for the creation of al-Qaeda by one of the foreign fighters in Afghanistan at the time, Osama bin Laden.

      Bin Laden became a key conduit bringing money from the Persian Gulf states to Islamic fighters opposing the Soviet-backed regime in Afghanistan. 

      Ultimately, the extremists took power, creating a Pashtun-led Taliban regime. This government allowed bin Laden to base his operations there and create havoc on three continents.

      The Americans retaliated for bin Laden's 9/11 attacks by launching a UN-sanctioned war in Afghanistan. In the end, 158 members of the Canadian Forces died in that country.

      Iraq war fuelled more extremism

      The next American blunder came in 2003 when the George W. Bush administration decided to take out Saddam Hussein. Bush and his secretary of state, Colin Powell, justified the invasion by claiming that the dictator possessed weapons of mass destruction. 

      This turned out to be false.

      As the invasion was being contemplated, then Canadian opposition leader Stephen Harper delivered a speech in Parliament about how dangerous it was to leave Iraq with these weapons.

      "If the world fails to disarm Iraq we fear that other rogue states will be encouraged to believe that they too can have these most deadly of weapons to systematically defy international resolutions and that the world will do nothing to stop them," Harper said.

      (It turned out that the speech was plagiarized from a very similar address given two days earlier by then Australian prime minister John Howard.)

      In short order, the American-led "Coalition of the Willing" finished off Saddam's ruthless regime, clearing the way for a Shia takeover of the government. Years of civil war ensued.

      Shia regime isolated Sunnis

      Iraq's prime minister from 2006 to 2014, Nouri al-Maliki, made little effort to share power with Sunni Muslims.

      Meanwhile, the America-led overthrow of Saddam also strengthened the hand of his arch-enemy Iran. That government, under the control of Shia clerics, was freer to strengthen ties with the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad and offer support to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

      Assad is from the Muslim minority Alawite group, which is an offshoot of Shia Islam. The vast majority of Syrians are Sunni Muslims.

      Sunni extremists opposed to al-Maliki and Assad have responded by creating the Islamic State, otherwise known as ISIS.

      This murderous group, which specializes in beheading westerners, is propped up in part by financial support from wealthy Sunnis in the Persian Gulf states, which are ostensibly allies of Canada and the United States.

      Harper's conundrum

      In recent years, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been the western leader most critical of the Iranian regime, which is ultimately under the control of the Supreme Leader, Ayotollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei.

      "Other countries, however, constitute unambiguously a clear and present danger and thus demand a very sober assessment," Harper said in a 2012 speech. "First among these is the government of Iran."

      The prime minister continued along these lines.

      "I speak not merely, friends, of its appalling record of human-rights abuse or its active assistance to the brutal regime in Syria, or its undeniable support for terrorist entities, or its continued denial of diplomatic rights, or its pursuit of nuclear weapons, rather it is the combination of all these things with a truly malevolent ideology that should concern us," Harper said. "I believe that the appeal of our conscience requires us to speak out against what the Iranian regime stands for."

      Flashforward to Harper's statement yesterday.

      Now, Canada is poised to join the U.S.-led attack on the barbaric ISIS.

      Khamenei is no friend of ISIS. Assad is no friend of ISIS.

      They are no doubt smiling over how things have evolved.

      Stephen Harper—the enemy of their enemy—has somehow become a friend, at least in a military-strategic sense.

      And it can all be traced back to the Americans' efforts to contain a Soviet Union that likely would have collapsed under its own weight had things been left to sort themselves out on their own.

      Comments

      13 Comments

      wake up people

      Sep 27, 2014 at 1:15pm

      ISIS was and continues to be funded by the CIA. This is all part of their 'False Flag' event to get the US and NATO (which includes us)involved in the middle east war between Iran & Syria (backed by Russia and China) versus Israel (backed by US and everyone else). People, this is WW3 as planned by Albert Pike in 1871. Look up his letter to Mazzini and do research on the history of this letter and how it was once on display in a museum in London but has since disappeared after a couple of authors have written about it. Albert Pike detailed WW1 and WW2 and said who it would involve and the outcomes. HE WAS BANG ON. And now WW3 is unfolding as he wrote over 140 years ago. If you don't want to believe in the Masons and Illuminati which have been controlling many foreign governments (incl. the USA) for over 200 years, then that is your prerogative. But like it or not, WW3 and martial law are coming to your doorstep like it or not. Why did US Dept. of HOMELAND Security purchase 2.4 BILLION rounds or ammo? and 2000 military armoured vehicles for use in US cities? Why have they now built 100's of FEMA "Labor Camps" across US and now reportedly 2 in Canada? They said the camps were for "civil unrest". Why are they expecting us to be rioting? Perhaps they inevitable collapse and lack of food?? Why did they requisition railcars with "shackles" installed? Why do these FEMA camps have 100k's of disposable caskets? Nobody believed what Hitler was doing until it was too late. Oh, and did you know that Preston Bush (grandfather to Bozo Bush Junior, and Father to Bush Senior) was charged with doing business and trading with "the enemy" the Nazi's? but of course nothing ever became of that. It just disappeared. Get out of the cities and find away to be self-sustaining for your food and water. Good Luck.

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      BaldurDasche

      Sep 27, 2014 at 2:18pm

      All he needs are a couple of dead who ought not to have 'died in vain' and a warrior like General Rick who'd love to lead the troops off to 'see the elephant' as our valiant forefathers did .... and 'kill some scumbags'.

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      Not Richard Gage

      Sep 27, 2014 at 4:46pm

      Bin Laden's 9/11 attacks? If you say so.

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      P.Peto

      Sep 27, 2014 at 5:16pm

      Like it or not, Canadians have a "Neoconservative" Prime Minister, everything he does and says is from their Anglo-Zionist playbook. I have no doubt that he actually believes in this neoliberal ideology but does that really represent what the majority of Canadians believe in? Harper has firmly entrenched Canada in an alliance which is heading for a military showdown with Russia and China.
      No doubt he wants Canada to be on the "winning" side just like in the previous two world wars but that is a big bet to make on the country and possibly leading to catastrophic consequences for the nation. Better to side on diplomacy, caution and moderation if not outright neutrality.
      Waging a war against ISIS is just an American ploy to attack and overthrow Assad thereby weakening Iran and Hezbollah and opening a Qatari gas pipeline route to Europe thereby depriving Russia a lucrative export market. Does Canada really need to play a part in this geopolitical conspiracy?

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      Rudy Haugeneder

      Sep 27, 2014 at 7:04pm

      Canada must not get involved and immediately withdraw all its military forces from the Middle East region, even if it must withdraw from Nato. The Persian Gulf monarchies, Israel, the UK and France, and especially the United States and its military adventures created this ISIL — Islamic State — problem and it is up to them to solve it.

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      OMG

      Sep 27, 2014 at 11:17pm

      I'm totally against having an offence-based armed forces. I want to go back to being known as one of the best peacekeeping forces in the world.

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      Wayne

      Sep 28, 2014 at 4:41am

      ISIS is a USA/UK/Israel creation. Its purpose is to regain support for a war in the middle east, after what little support for the Iraq war dwindled away. The real terrorist leaders are holding positions in government.

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      ex-Haney guy

      Sep 28, 2014 at 9:40am

      @P.Petro and wake up.. God I hope you guys are wrong, but two points; Why is Harper all of a sudden worried about human rights in the Middle East, yet is constantly on his knees giving favour to China. Speaking of China, how can he not be charged with treason for giving FIPPA treaty more legal power over Canadian sovereignty-effectively selling out this country. How? And on top of that he wants to be the "War Prime Minister" of Canada. What a dangerous shit-heel.

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