Principled vision lacking

St. Boniface - Wednesday, April 9 2003 - by: Mike Reilly


Now that US and coalition forces are on the verge of victory, the Liberals have decided it is time to change their position on the war in Iraq. Well, not quite. The Chretien-Martin gang still says they were correct in opposing the war on principle but now that it is nearly over, and has not been the atrocity they predicted, they are saying Canada wishes the US well. Oh, but we're not apologizing either. The House of Commons motion introduced by the Liberals states we are supporting the US now that victory is assured but we still don't support going to war, nor do we endorse regime change. This has been the typical approach of members of our government; I'm not sorry for what I said or did, I'm just sorry you didn't like it. Carolyn Parrish didn't apologize for saying she hated Americans. She was just sorry anyone heard her.




It is little wonder Canada no longer matters internationally. The US and its' allies now know that our government cannot stand for anything. Our government is a reed in the wind, bending in whichever direction the issue of the day is blowing. A stand on principle does not change because the principle cannot change. Three weeks ago, the pre-emptive strike on Iraq was wrong but now we support it, even though it's still wrong, because Canada is going to be on the wrong side of the victory parade. And despite the change of heart, don't expect an apology.




The government should cut its losses on trying to find a position on the war that satisfies everybody. Instead it should show real leadership in building a coalition of democratic nations to rebuild Iraq in the wake of the war. Despite the US's capacity to reconstruct buildings and roads, a successful transition to Iraq being a democratic world citizen will best be accomplished by a collection of states. Canada is one of a handful of nations who have (or had) the reputation of principled vision sufficient to put the best interest of the Iraqi's first. Despite Mr. Chretien's bluster about Canada's principled stand, he made no mention of leading the development of a postwar Iraq in today's motion.




Mike Reilly



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