maple leaf

Stephen Harper's Judgement on Iraq

From August 21, 2008

Not very long ago, in March 2003, Stephen Harper and Stockwell Day wrote an editorial for the Wall Street Journal. With the onset of the Iraq war, their letter addressed America with the words, "Canadians Stand With You."

"Today, the world is at war," they wrote. "A coalition of countries under the leadership of the U.K. and the U.S. is leading a military intervention to disarm Saddam Hussein. Yet Prime Minister Jean Chretien has left Canada outside this multilateral coalition of nations. This is a serious mistake."

What a serious mistake it would have been had Canada become embroiled in Afghanistan and Iraq. But, to his credit, it only took Stephen Harper 21 months to recant, this time to the Washington Times:

"On Iraq... I would not commit Canadian troops to that country. I must admit great disappointment at the failure to substantiate pre-war intelligence information regarding Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction."

Regardless of whether one agrees with the occupation of Afghanistan, it was to the Americans' great benefit that Canada had their back in Afghanistan. But, as we see today, it would have been utter folly for Canada to join America's invasion of Iraq.

Of course, some already knew it was folly, back in 2003. Stephen Harper, however, was not one of them.