Message for Andrew Coyne

Andrew Coyne is one of the bright moral lights of Canadian journalism: hard-working, articulate, intelligent, principled, brave and frequently wrong, though I never mind his being wrong, because he never assumes his view is the only one possible, unlike another Globe and Mail pundit, whose pomposity is legendary.

However, Andrew comes close to complete folly this weekend, arguing that because we know that Assad is doing bad things and “because we have at least a fighting chance to stop it.”

No we do not. If we overthrow Assad, which cannot be done at any reasonable military cost (to us), we have in fact bought Syria, and once we own it, we have to figure out how the Sunnis can be prevented from massive ethnic cleansings and exterminations of Alawites, Christians, Shi’ites, Kurds and Druze. How many hundred thousand troops will this take? Will the expeditionary forces of the West have brief rest between our brilliant exploits in Afghanistan and Iraq before reforming another Islamic country?

The question answers itself. Let them kill each other into stalemate. Let the Sunni Arab powers put some skin into the game, instead of running to Uncle Sam to solve their political problems with Iran.

Then we have to figure out how to disguise this fact from ourselves. How will our political leaders defend bringing Al-Qaeda supporters into power?

When in doubt, do nothing. Stop digging a bigger hole for ourselves. Stop wasting treasure and precious lives on futile causes.


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Good description of Coyne, I usually enjoy his columns even if I disagree with him,and in this case I most certainly do.

War cannot be fought and won with nervous political organizations looking over the military’s shoulder constantly. You can’t fight a war using the rules of a hundred years ago.There are no longer “thin red lines” and Officer Corps of Lords and Dukes to keep the whole thing a gentlemanly sport.

We in the West have lost the ability to fight a war to it’s necessary conclusion,with the commensurate atrocities that will occur as either a direct or unintended result of our military actions.

We are no longer ruthless and savage enough to win against enemies whose morale is driven by their version of a deity. We will fight by all the rules of civilization and decency,and will Court Martial any of our personnel who step even slightly over the line,ie Capt.Robert Semrau.

It is therefore useless to engage in wars not having any realistic hope of winning. We are far better off to issue strongly worded condemnations and statement of “unacceptability”,and hope eventually the dictator of the day will win and quit slaughtering his people.

If we DO send “boots on the ground”, expect our soldiers to be roundly hated as infidels by both sides,and prepare for our men to come home in body bags.And we can hail them as heroes while the government works diligently to figure out a way to weasel out of paying pensions to their survivors.

If an enemy attacks Newfoundland or Maine, let’s give ’em hell, no quarter asked or given, but when it’s an unwinnable inter-tridal war between two of our enemies in their own Country, let’s use some sense for once and stay the hell out of it.

Coyne undoubtedly wants military intervention that wouldn’t upset the Toronto latte-liberal crowd, secure in the knowledge that HE isn’t the one who’s going to have to risk his life fighting in it.


Coyne lost the plot when he endorsed the Liberals in the last federal election.
And his reason?
The Conservatives needed to be punished for the toxic atmosphere of the House of Commons.
Nothing at all about policy or what was good for Canada as a whole.
Distancing himself from it by jumping from Macleans to the National Post does not wipe that stain away.
The endorsement he made was also an endorsement for the Coalition that would have ruined this country.


As a man who regularly opines (on a voluntary basis), I have some sympathy for Andrew Coyne. It is difficult to be right all the time about everything. I try. Some days my opinions appall even me, and those are the ones I think are especially right, but inhumane: viz Syria.

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