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Gordon O'Connor on Donald Rumsfeld

From July 6, 2008

When Gordon O'Connor was the Canadian Defense Minister, he wrote a letter to U.S. Secretary of Denfese, Donald Rumsfeld. The letter praised Rumsfeld's "vision", after even President Bush had admitted that "Iraq is not working well enough" or "fast enough" and many former U.S. generals had criticized Rumsfeld's minimalist Iraq war plans.

The letter went on, with O'Connor wanting to "congratulate you on your many achievements as Secretary of Defence", adding that Canada was "privileged to benefit from your leadership."

That is a strange thing to say at a time when many members of the "Coalition of the willing" were pulling their troops and support out of the country, and when the vast majority of Canadians thought the Iraq war was a mistake. Suffice to say, O'Connor's letter was gratuitously appeasing and its fawning did nothing to serve Canada's interests.

Nevertheless Harper demoted O'Connor to the National Revenue portfolio less than a year later.