#WelcomeToCanada: This is how to win a propaganda war

By Steve Saideman

Lots of folks criticize Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about being more about style than substance (see his Vogue pics), but the style can be substance.  How Canada has welcomed the first batch of refugees could be seen as a photo opportunity. And 25,000 refugees can be seen as too little.

However, it can also be seen as a vital effort in the war against ISIS/ISL/IS/Daesch.

The videos and pictures counter the messaging by our adversary that the West will not welcome Muslims into their country, that the West is hostile, and all that.  And the images are going viral.

I doubt that this one set of videos and photos can counter the damage that Trump is doing to the war effort, but more stuff like this is definitely a good thing.  Even if the first batch might have been cleared by Harper, this new Prime Minister is putting his face and his stamp on welcoming these people to Canada and is part of a larger commitment to bring more refugees to the country.

So, count this as a win not just for Trudeau and not just for Canada, but for the larger campaign.  It is a long war, one of ideas and images and not just bombs.  Our adversary is waging a campaign of pictures and videos, so it is high time that we do the same.  So, is this a photo op or a sincere effort to do something meaningful for these people?  The answer, in both cases, is yes.

This article is published in partnership with the Canadian International Council and its international-affairs hub  OpenCanada.

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