The front page of Tuesday’s National Post declared “48 Hours.” At the bottom of the same page, the newspaper announced “Chrétien says Canada won’t fight.”
The Chrétien plan always has been to play the role of building a coalition to bring about change in Iraq—change being forced through the consensus of members of the UN Security Council to inspect records and facilities there, and search out infractions.
The fact Canada is not following the wishes of the United States must be addressed in the context that nations and their administrations see different solutions to the same problem—and choose different ways of addressing those issues.
Canada’s solution is different than that of the United States. Good friends and allies respect differing opinions.
The United States, led by President George W. Bush, forced the UN to address the disarmament question. Identifying Iraq as part of a so-called “axis of evil” in 2001, the Bush administration set out to enforce the resolutions of the United Nations.
From November through to Monday, UN inspectors were inspecting and determining the levels of compliance for disarmament of Iraq.
For a period of 12 years, nations wondered to what extent Saddam Hussein was honouring his pledge to disarm his nation of chemical and biological weapons. The majority of the nations of the UN believed, finally, that the inspection process was working.
More recently, it’s become clear the United States’ intention was not only disarmament, but also a change in Iraqi leadership.
The phony war that has been ongoing in Iraq will end. The real war will now happen—perhaps beginning sometime after 7 p.m. (CST) tonight when the full wrath of the United States will be unleashed against the people of Iraq.
The country will be destroyed by the most powerful nation in the world.
Only history will tell—years from now—if the U.S. was right to act decisively to rid the world of Saddam Hussein, or if unilaterally attacking another country simply opened a Pandora’s box in which another nation, say North Korea or China, is prompted to try the same thing.
In the meantime, Prime Minister Chrétien has committed Canada to be first in Iraq to help rebuild that nation. That is Canada’s commitment, and it is the right policy for Canada.