Saturday, January 05, 2013

Happy 2013 … Let’s Send Troops

Our own Brian Jones, of The Telegram, recently raised a good point.

Mali is less well known than its legendary city, Timbuktu.

In the West, “Timbuktu” has long been used to describe extreme distance or isolation, in such phrases as “from here to Timbuktu” or “all the way to Timbuktu” and so on. It even became part of pop culture with “Between Time and Timbuktu,” a script by American author Kurt Vonnegut.

Over the past few decades, Timbuktu has receded — so to speak — even further in Westerners’ consciousness. Reminders of its existence came in news reports last spring when gun-lugging louts who are really enthusiastic about their religion took control of the town.

Current rules in Timbuktu prohibit music, drinking and football/soccer. Adulterers are stoned. (Not with pot, with rocks.) Thieves are mutilated. Westerners can only wonder whether residents of Timbuktu shot off fireworks this week to celebrate the arrival of the 7th century.

Thus we come full circle, to newspaper headlines about the possibility of sending Canadian troops to Mali to help its government deal with its internal mayhem and discord. Defence Minister Peter MacKay said this week Canada could send military advisers to Mali sometime this year to help train its army.

Full story here

Shouldn’t we know, as Canadians, what our goals and policies are in regard to foreign intervention in Mali and other Muslim nations overtaken by (or sympathetic with) radical Islam? I think a strong argument can be made that whatever our Defence Minister says, there is too much vagueness about what Canada has achieved by expending energy (and lives!) in Afghanistan, Syria, etc. Do we want more of the same fuzzy thinking? Have we even honestly identified our enemy in this struggle against "terror?"

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