Iran (2) What one analyst says about Canada’s read of Iran.“…. First, the idea that Iranian leaders wouldn’t hesitate to use nuclear weapons flies in the face of what we know about the behaviour of the Iranian regime. For all their revolutionary jihadist talk, the country’s ruling mullahs have consistently worked to realize one goal above all others: keeping themselves in power. Second, expressing this dubious position in public had important implications for policy. If the Iranian government is indeed suicidal, a pre-emptive attack may be warranted, and perhaps even required. No one knows what the effects of such a strike might be: whether it would inflame the broader region, or indeed whether it would have any lasting impact on Iran’s nuclear potential. For these reasons, the Obama Administration—while refusing to rule out the possibility of military action against Iran—has reportedly informed Israel that it would not support such a strike ….”
Afghanistan (1a) The Globe & Mail’s take: “In war, the outcome matters. Whether the 10 years of fighting and dying in Afghanistan was worth the Canadian blood spilled and bullion spent remains in doubt because Afghanistan’s future is so uncertain. Yet now is a time for assessment, even if the moment is not being officially acknowledged: It was 10 years ago this week that Canadian troops landed in Kandahar, battle-ready and girded for combat, the first time since Korea the nation had sent ground troops to war. When the final Canadian combat forces were pulled out last summer, it was the first time in the nation’s proud military history that Canada quit a fight before it was over. Canadians stopped fighting not because of victory or defeat but because of a political decision predicted on declining public approval. But if the war wasn’t worth fighting any more, was it worth fighting at all? ….”
Canadians taking part in Exercise Bold Alligator south of the border. “…. Bold Alligator 2012 involves at least 14,000 personnel from the U.S., France, Great Britain and other countries, and at least 25 ships. The majority of them are American, but Canada and France have both chipped in with their own hardware, as well. Conceptually, the forces at sea are currently in the early stages of planning an attack on enemy forces from the fictional country of Garnet, a common enemy in what military officers call the “Treasure Coast” scenario. A mechanized Garnetian division has invaded the neighboring country of Amber, and is pushing north toward Amberland, which has asked for coalition assistance to stop advance. Garnet already has mined several harbors and established anti-ship missiles on the coastline, military officials said ….” More on the exercise here.
“When the Mounties came knocking one frigid January day in Edmonton, Aisha Rain thought it was a joke. So did her common-law husband. “Is this Candid Camera?” she recalls him asking. It wasn’t, and her life has never been the same. Police had come that day, one year ago, to arrest her partner. “I remember thinking, like, this can’t be happening,” Ms. Rain says. At issue was a clash between portraits of two men, worlds apart. One was Sayfildin (Sayf) Tahir Sharif, 39, the contractor who Ms. Rain, a first nations woman, quickly fell in love with after they met in the summer of 2009. She converted to Islam to be with the man, an Iraqi Kurd who was granted Canadian citizenship in 2005. He became a father figure to her four children. They cooked, lived and prayed together in an Edmonton apartment. The picket-fence image is at odds with the portrait of Faruq Khalil Muhammad ‘Isa, a man the U.S. Department of Justice alleges is a terrorist. The Justice Department alleges that a few months before meeting Ms. Rain, Mr. Sharif helped co-ordinate a suicide bombing attack in Iraq that killed five American soldiers; that he pledged his support for a war on America “1,000,000 per cent;” that he sent terrorists money ….”