Harper’s Robin Hood Fantasy

Fans of both musicals and Stephen Harper will find pleasure in Ed Mirvishes “The Heart Of Robin Hood” where the doughty defender of the poor goes after the nasty imperialist interlopers of the legitimate king.

Much as I mourn the unnecessary deaths of Canadian soldiers Richelieu and Doiron last week, I am angered not by Iraqis, who are doing whatever they do to drive the unwelcome guests out of their country. It is Harper, seeing a political fillip in the making that is the cause of their deaths. A beheading would not be inappropriate.

After Canada’s post-invasion Iraqi fiascos, including a NATO combat mission and then a special Canadian mission that ended with a whimper in 2013, Harper seems determined to prove 4th time lucky. The head of the Canadian Armed Forces General Tom Lawson says Canada’s mission in Iraq against what he calls “heinous individuals” has been successful so far. But who are the heinous individuals? And what is the mission?

There are heinous individuals that Obama and Harper shipped in after the 2003 invasion to steal Iraqi oil wealth and subvert the resistance. But they are not the ones being accused. Outrageously, it is the Iraqi resistance fighters who stand in the dock.

90% of Iraqis wanted the invaders out from the start. US-imposed chaos let them keep troops there for a decade and impose a US proxy government, which now in desperation continues to call for US aid. Canadians too want Canadians out of Iraq, and have supported US resisters. In 2008-2009, two motions were passed in the Parliament of Canada in support of the war resisters’ efforts to stay in Canada. 64% of Canadians agreed with that motion. But the motions’ recommendation was non-binding and was never implemented by the Conservative government.

Harper doesn’t seem to understand any of this. He thinks Iraqis want us there. By ignoring their pleas, Harper threatens a whirlwind of Canadian deaths for years to come.

Lawson is busy bolstering Canada’s Arctic sovereignty in light of “increased aggression by Russia over the ownership of the north”. More brilliant Harperian foreign policy logic. Instead of working out an agreement with the Russians and calming rough seas, we will pour billions of dollars into buy US military hardware.

Harper pretends to be a courageous leader. But his courage is cowardly — merely following US policies in both Iraq and with Russia, leaving Canadians in fear.

Eric Walberg is a journalist who worked in Uzbekistan and is now writing for Al-Ahram Weekly in Cairo. He is the author of From Postmodernism to Postsecularism and Postmodern Imperialism. His most recent book is Islamic Resistance to Imperialism. Read other articles by Eric, or visit Eric's website.