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If Canada Is Right To End Airstrikes, Then I Assume We Must Believe Bombing ISIS Is Wrong

11/16/2015 02:57 EST | Updated 11/16/2016 05:12 EST
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In this image provided by the U.S. Air Force, an F-16 Fighting Falcon takes off from Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, as the U.S. on Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015, launched its first airstrikes by Turkey-based F-16 fighter jets against Islamic State targets in Syria, marking a limited escalation of a yearlong air campaign that critics have called excessively cautious. (Krystal Ardrey/U.S. Air Force via AP))

The horrific and coordinated ISIS attacks at six locations in Paris should reawaken the slumbering chattering classes to the most serious danger the world -- in particular the West faces from ISIS's Islamist bloodthirsty totalitarian ideology.

The ISIS continuing its brutal ways should have been enough of a constant reminder. The Beirut attacks should have sufficed as a bloody wake-up call. There is no question we take more seriously any bloodshed in Europe and North America; more so than anywhere else.

Paris attacks have hit closer to home prompting Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau to correctly call the French "our cousins"; even the Beirut victims are our human cousins as are the legitimate refugees fleeing ISIS and Assad. PM Trudeau has said we shall take our share of the refugees and we stand with France in its difficult hour.

"If we are right in ending our bombing mission, we must, I assume, believe bombing ISIS is wrong."

The question many Canadians are justly asking is: are we safe? Are we any safer than France? Our public safety agencies obviously know more about the state of affairs in Canada and may be able to better answer the question.

From our own Canadian experience of a Zehaf-Bibeau, Martin Rouleau, the VIA rail terror plot and the Toronto 18, it is clear to me we may be safer than France perhaps, but not completely immune to an ISIS driven attack upon us.

The next question is how do we respond? Many argue, as has Trudeau, that we should end Canada's combat mission in Iraq and Syria and focus more on training and the like.

Others argue we must continue the combat mission. I am in the latter camp. The continuation of the combat mission does not preclude us from providing training and humanitarian assistance.

trudeau g20 Justin Trudeau speaks at the summit of G20 leaders in Turkey.

Trudeau is attending the G20 summit. It is timely to consider the question: what does it mean to stand with France in the face of the carnage in Paris? Is France wrong in bombing Syria and Iraq to stem the ISIS and other threats? Is the U.S. wrong in helping Kurds repel ISIS from the brutal occupation of Iraqi territory?

If we are right in ending our bombing mission, we must, I assume, believe bombing ISIS is wrong. If so, are we prepared to say to our allies such as France, U.S. and others that they are wrong in bombing ISIS? If they are right in bombing ISIS, why is it wrong for us to continue to bomb ISIS in standing with our allies?

As a committed Gandhian, I intensely disagree with war. But to shirk from a war being thrust upon us will be highly irresponsible.

Someone believing I was fear-mongering tweeted at me Franklin Roosevelt's quote: "There is nothing to fear but fear itself." But I remember Roosevelt making war to decisively defeat the Nazis. He was right and so are U.S. President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande.

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