While we certainly *should* have the means to get our citizens out of any trouble spot in the world at any time very very quickly we must keep things in perspective.
All of the MSM in Canada has been very critical of our response and ability to get our 60,000+ citizens out of Lebanon.
But here’s the perspective. The United States… the most powerful military with the most hardware “at hand” close to the scene… is only starting evacuations yesterday. Slowly (groups of 10-20?) by helicopter.
The UK, arguably the 2nd most powerful military presence in the region, with an Air Force base only a few miles away in Cyprus, sent it’s first ship for the most critical people today…
HMS Gloucester is carrying 180 of the most needy cases, including children. Up to 5,000 more Britons are expected to follow over the next few days.
The French sent a cruise ship in today as well.
Canada’s operations to remove more than 30,000 people who have registered with the Embassy (and likely many more that haven’t) will start tomorrow.
So please, when you’re busy criticizing our response, put it in perspective. Considering our *complete* absence of military assets in the region, we have to rely on other less conventional methods. This is not something that would be able to be “fixed” by any amount of spending on our military, so it’s hard to blame any government, or any soldier, unless of course you want Canada to have a military at the level of the US. Not likely, nor necessary, no matter what the conditions.
Good to see the blog running again. Re: our response: The sad thing is that this could become a political football in the first place and that it really clouds the underlying issue of the underlying causes (not proximate: kidnappings) of the current conflict. Harper should be skewered for calling the very discriminate bombing of Lebanese infrastructure a measured response. Violence is unlikely to solve violent crises, but collective punishment of civilian populations for the wrongs of a small group and extrajudicial killings of opposition leaders constitutes a lawless, wild west approach to problem solving that indicates that anyone who engages in this behaviour has, or should have, a guilty conscience.
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