Peggy Mason, the President of the Rideau Institute, debated Canada’s role in Iraq with Michael Petrou, a senior writer for Maclean’s, on CBC Radio’s The 180 with Jim Brown on Sunday, January 25th.
On Canada’s military contribution to the campaign against Islamic state, Mason said,
We’re playing a symbolic military role, [within the context of ] a very short-sighted military strategy, when what we could be doing is playing a much more meaningful role in the broader political strategy that must be put in place if we are going to have anything other than a very long conflict, a quagmire.
In response to an assertion by Michael Petrou that the Islamic State does not respect international law, does not respect borders, and therefore we shouldn’t either, Mason said,
If that isn’t a statement that goes to the core of the hypocrisy of western countries in the way they have approached the war on terror, I don’t know what does.
On resolving the Syrian Civil war, she said,
The way you end these civil wars [is] not through a military victory …[but] through the negotiation table. There is no solution here without dealing with Assad, and the only way to deal with Assad is to negotiate with him.
On Canada’s role in undermining negotiations, Mason said,
Here again today we find out that our contribution to trying to resolve this problem in Syria is for Foreign minister Baird in Davos to say Canada will not participate in Norwegian-led talks on Syria because Iran is going to be at the table.
Commenting on the Rideau Institute’s future plans, Peggy Mason said,
[We will bring to the election debate ] the broader issue of the war on terror and how Canada has to start really working to help support [the creation of] governments in the Middle East that have legitimacy in the eyes of their people, instead of partnering with repressive regimes like Saudi Arabia who are actually fueling the terrorism that we say we are fighting.
Listen to the full debate here.