As the Middle East continues to unravel, yet again, questions facing our next prime minister about international affairs are likely to overshadow all those promises about jobs, reduction of taxes for the disappearing middle class and improvements of services.
The mass immigration of Syrians looking to escape the civil war in their country coupled with the involvement of Russia on a military front and the pending Iran nuclear deal lifting economic sanctions and frozen bank accounts for that country are all serving to breed further disruption to that part of the world.
Much like the U.S. Congress, where negotiation and compromise are seen as signs of weakness by the ultra-Conservative wing of the Republican Party thereby effectively halting any progress for a government initiative, the same philosophy rings true, as it always has, in the Middle East for the past 40 years.
Former prime minister Jean Chretien literally saved Canadian military lives when he opted not to join former US president George W. Bush and his military invasion of Iraq.
To his credit, Chretien saw the massive downside to direct intervention in Iraq, and we’ve seen since how that intervention has led to the disintegration of Middle East countries by essentially expanding what has always been a tribal conflict within the Middle East Muslim world that has more to do with power and influence, less about individual rights or the spirit of democracy.
Whether or not to be further involved than our role has been in Afghanistan will be a hard question for the next PM to address. With missiles flying in every direction, it’s likely one is going to eventually land where it shouldn’t.
How will our next prime minister deal with the conflict escalating further? We will have to wait and see.