January 30, 2003

Fence Sitting & Card Holding

Europeans to Canada: Get off the fence

But which side of the fence will Canada end up on?

German Ambassador Christian Pauls says Canada has yet to clearly explain what it intends to do if the United States goes to war against Iraq with or without United Nations approval.

Mr. Pauls said he believes Canada shares many of the same concerns that Germany has about a war, but has not gone as far as Berlin in explicitly expressing its opposition to military action and declaring what course it plans to take.

Then again, according to this article, Canada is prepared to go to war...

Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham says he has not given up on peace, but at the same time, he's prepared to go to war to force Saddam Hussein to disarm.

...but not so fast!

Graham's speech opening a special parliamentary debate yesterday on the Iraq crisis did little to clarify the government's position on what action it is planning in the event of a war not sanctioned by the United Nations.

While reiterating that Canada fully supports UN Security Council resolution 1441, calling for "serious consequences" should Iraq fail to comply fully with UN demands, Graham frustrated opposition MPs from both left and right who wanted to know what the government plans to do if the United States opts for unilateral action along with a coalition of the willing.

I sure hope that fence is comfy, because Chretien seems to want to sit there for a bit longer.

Prime Minister Jean Chrétien also refused to tip his hand over whether he would be willing to break with the United Nations and support a U.S.-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein.

Chrétien has good reason to hold his cards: A new poll indicates a majority of Canadians don't want to go to war, and many MPs in his own caucus don't favour war either.

"We are waiting to see what is that proof," Chrétien told the House of Commons. "If they have it, good. It will be good for people to know."

Posted by Ithildin at January 30, 2003 5:12 PM | PROCURE FINE OLD WORLD ABSINTHE

Of course they don't go to war. They want us to do the dirty work, and then they'll volunteer to sop up the gravy.

Posted by: Steve H. at January 31, 2003 8:43 AM

[sigh] I'm afraid you're probably right.

Posted by: Ith at January 31, 2003 6:09 PM

A shamefully tragedy to have the Canadians wimp out.

For a long time, they were highly regarded as viciously tough fighter yet generous and peace loving people.

Canada decided to follow the footsteps of "old Europe" and has lost the respect it once had.

What a shame.

Posted by: bleeding brain at February 1, 2003 12:13 AM

This might sound like heresy, but here goes: Canadians are our friends, but friends don't have to do everything together. Costa Rica is our friend; we don't expect them to help in Iraq. Same goes for Canada; we don't need their help in Iraq, and their troops would probably just be in the way.

Plus, in some ways, it's probably best for both countries that Canada not be involved in something as controversial as an invasion in Iraq. It gives them credibility in the international arena; they can be good cop to our bad cop.

Plus, if we need them, they'll be there. They smuggled our hostages out of Iran in 1979 at great risk. They showed up in Afghanistan, and they weren't even attacked. They'll do the right thing if it ever really gets down to crunch time. They always have.

Posted by: IB Bill at February 1, 2003 1:06 PM

Bill, thanks for your words. I get very conflicted over my feelings for Canada. Almost my entire family lives there, and I did myself as a teenager. I think I feel the disapointment one feels wihen a family member lets you down. At least that's the best way I can describe it.

Posted by: Ith at February 1, 2003 1:11 PM

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Posted by: Ith at January 4, 2005 3:03 PM

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