Ottawa - As Islamic State militants hold entire towns and hundreds if not thousands of young Iraqi women hostage without adequate food and water, Canadian leaders are once again confused about what their country’s role in Iraq should be.
There is no shortage of tough talk, as Canada’s political leaders offer strong words of condemnation for murdering Islamic State fighters on the march in Iraq.
Thursday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper described ISIS's tactics as "unspeakable barbarism." While that sounds good as a political sound bite, Mr. Harper did not back his words with a plan of action.
"The desire to essentially commit genocide against any group of people in the region who are different, these are shocking developments," the prime minister said.
So far, Canada has sent two military cargo planes to ferry weapons to Kurdish forces in northern Iraq as a token non-combat military presence.
Not one to be politically upended or out-deplored, opposition leader Tom Mulcair said during an event in Amherstburg, Ont., ""It's a deplorable situation… and I think that Canada should continue to work with our allies."
For his part, New Democrat Peter Julian said he thought Canada should be providing millions more in humanitarian aid, Thursday on CBC news. "What I think Canada needs to do, most important in terms of changing the dynamics, is to provide humanitarian aid now, because it's needed now — not weeks from now or months from now — it's needed right now for people who are suffering and have been the victims of barbaric acts.
"I think Canada could do much more," he added.
International Development Minister Christian Paradis announced a $5 million contribution to aid organizations already established in Iraq on August 10, including $2.25 million to be "immediately allocated."
The remaining $2.75 million was to be allocated after "consultations" with the government's "partners in Iraq." Two weeks on, no additional information has been available from the government, according to a CBC News report.
According to CBC, Canada has allocated a total of about $16 million in assistance to Iraq this year including $6.8 million spent on “victims of civil unrest,” and $9.5 million for programs in support of Syrian refugees who fled to Iraq from a bloody civil war in Syria.
In stark contrast, since January 2012, Canada has spent $353.5 million on humanitarian assistance in response to the civil war in neighboring Syria. Iraq is just the latest target of the IS terrorist’s declared caliphate.
While Canada’s leaders stay busy strongly condemning the slaughter of Iraqis and the inhumanity of Islamic State fighters who have seized large swaths of Iraqi territory including Mosul, its second-largest city, IS fighters continue to rape, pillage and murder Iraqis around-the-clock.
Meanwhile, Canada’s leaders seem indecisive at best over the events unfolding in Iraq. Chipping in a bare minimum in financial aid while pursuing a foreign policy amounting to occasional sound bites of indignation aimed at IS militants is an underwhelming response to inhumanity.