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7 Responses
  1. Alan says:

    That blog you link to fails to distinguish the relevant part of the story. Canada (and others) were happy to go on a UN invasion like in 1990 in response to Kuwait but needed better information about the (non-existent) WMD. The invasion Chretien is happy to have avoided is the US one.
    Even if I am not a Liberal supporter, there is no contradition.

  2. Chris Taylor says:

    So if I delegate my accept/decline agency to someone else, and they decline on my behalf, it is a great victory for independence when I tell the requester — who is going ahead anyway, and reiterated the request — “this has previously been decided, and my delegate’s answer was no”…?
    Then nearly five years later, I gleefully claim “Boy it’s a good thing I decided to stay out of that“…

  3. Alan says:

    No, if you set a condition to participation in a group project and that condition is not met and then it turns out that the condition was actually really important you have the right to congratulate yourself.

  4. Chris Taylor says:

    But he didn’t actually set the condition you seem to think he did. He set it firmly after the fact, in his own mind, which is why it is blatant revisionism.
    Canada’s rejection of participation was predicated on three things, as articulated by the PM and MND of the day:
    * there was no new UN Security Council resolution on military action against Iraq.
    * the diplomatic process of Iraqi disarmament was working, and might have been successful given a few more weeks
    * forcing a change in regime sets a dangerous precedent (see same link as above).
    Note that these conditions appear well after the famous “a proof is a proof” statement (Aug. 30, 2002). Note that the proof he’s specifying is clear links between Saddam and terrorism, not WMD.
    The upshot is that unless he was lying through his teeth, had the UNSC sanctioned war in 2003, Chretien would have had to put up or shut up. Or offer another dissembling anecdote.

  5. Alan says:

    I am sorry that my cold made me drop this thread. I have gathered what strength I have and wiped my drippy nose and would point out that while there was no resolution there was the discussion that the resolution was needed and that if that resolution and the sought after two weeks were allowed, other countries would join.
    Are you certain that between the presentation by Colin Powell and the beginning of the war (or an earlier critical date) there was no such discussion. Are you also certain that Canada at the applicable time made no statements about the weak proof on WMD.
    I may be suffering from Buckley’s overdose but so far this appears to me to be the evagelical’s retort on evolution – demanding one sort of proof only or they will shout “A-HA!” I simply do not see that the raging odiscussion of the time, including WMD, was somehow not present. That being said, I do not suggest that the Chretien account now is the correct one but I do not think that it is pausible recollection to suggest that WMD, regime change, support for terrorism and all the other elements of rejection of support for the War in Iraq were not in the public discourse at the relevant time prior to Canada’s rejection of the invitation to fight there.

  6. Chris Taylor says:

    I think that WMD was certainly a part of the consideration, sure. Problem is, most western governments thought Saddam had them, including ours. There was, until recently, out-of-date DFAIT documents on the web discussing the threat of WMDs posed by Saddam, and the thorny issue of his non-compliance with UNMOVIC.
    If Chretien was basing his reluctance primarily on the lack of WMDs, he would have said so. The man is not shy. What he and his MND did say, over and over again, is that nobody’s supporting Saddam, but you have to follow the process in order to end up with a “just war”. The process being referred to is UN sanctification of a war via UNSC resolution.
    I think in this case it’s perfectly justified to say “a-ha”, since Chretien is crowing about Canadian policy independence he did nothing to create. He deferred it to another body, and the other body said no. You can be proud that you didn’t stumble into an unholy mess, sure. You can be proud that you stuck to your vision of a certain process when others were not as punctilious. But being proud of your decision — which was actually rendered by an unelected body of which you were not a voting member — is not quite logical.

  7. Alan says:

    I am still sick and as of 6 hours ago a foster parent again so my time is short. Is it not fair to say that, to a multilaterailist it is your own decision to accept the decision of the group? I think that is really my only quibble. Well, I have other quibbles but they are my own affair.