I want you to think very seriously over this question of poison gas. … It is absurd to consider morality on this topic when everybody used it in the last war without a word of complaint from the moralists or the Church. On the other hand, in the last war bombing of open cities was regarded as forbidden. Now everybody does it as a matter of course. It is simply a question of fashion changing as she does between long and short skirts for women.
Memo from Winston Churchill to General Ismay, July 6, 1944
In a May 16 interview, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who until recently, never saw a NeoCon war for Israel, oil and global empire that he didn’t like said:
On Syria, I see a lot of criticism about inaction. I look at Syria over the last couple of years, and I would urge the president and everybody else extraordinary caution in jumping into this situation.
That was in stark contrast with the position taken by Canada’s former Liberal Party leader, Michael Ignatieff, who in March, citing the R2P (Responsibility to Protect, aka our Right to Petroleum), urged outright, on the ground, Western participation in the war to overthrow the legitimate government of Syria:
I think the time has come for Canada to support the … Syrian opposition… I think that Canada, as a member of NATO could play a very useful role in being part of the team that brings help to the liberated areas. What would really be damaging for the future would be if ordinary Syrians said “we freed our province” or “we freed our region, our town from air strikes and occupation and Assad’s troops and you did nothing to help us set up a free Syria.”
The Government of Canada, however, remains true to its anti-war stance, with Foreign Affairs minister, John Baird stating as recently as last week:
The only way to bring an end to the suffering of the Syrian people is a political solution. Over the past two-and-a-half years, we’ve seen more arms only led to more bloodshed, more suffering.
Meantime, the US threatens to seize Bashar al-Assad’s toxic gas stockpile.
The simplest hypothesis is that it is the Israel lobby that has defected from the Tories, rather than the Tories having defected from the Israel lobby. Harper looks increasingly like a lame-duck leader, and Ignatieff’s comments on Syria suggest that the Liberals are happy to offer submission to the lobby in exchange for its backing in the next Federal election.
But why would Harper risk antagonizing the Lobby by making Canada an outspoken opponent of open Western intervention in the Syrian civil war? Two factors are likely prominent in Harper’s mind.
First, the West’s proxy war, waged by Al Qaeda and other Western-backed terrorist gangs is going badly. The Russians have not backed down from their commitment to supply Syria with the long-range S300 anti-aircraft missile system, which means that any attempt by NATO to impose a no-fly zone over Syria (i.e., a wide-ranging aerial bombing attack on Syrian Government forces) would be costly in aircraft and airmen’s lives. And intervention on the ground could be even more costly, Syria now being assisted not only by Russian technicians setting up the S300 missile system, but powerful Hezbollah forces and North Korea advisers (i.e., Chinese proxies).
Second, US backing for the war on Syria, is probably not what it seems. The United States, has made NeoCon noises about Syria, but Obama, who according to ex-Presidential CIA briefer, Ray McGovern, lives in deep fear of assassination, shows little enthusiasm for the overthrow of the Syrian Government. Indeed, he is likely more concerned with the possible overthrow of his own government (perhaps as the result of a direct military coup, as argued by the highly unreliable but not altogether implausible Webster Tarpley), which the Israelis and the Israel lobby attempted to defeat during the last election.
Most likely, therefore, Harper, ever the strategist, finding himself jilted by the Israel lobby, has opted to serve as a stalking horse for Obama’s cryptic no-more-Neocon-wars policy. The payoff, naturally, will be an assist to the Tories from the US Government during Canada’s 2015 Federal election — or at the least, no tilt to the Liberals.