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Harper Responds to the Washington Times


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My recollection is that at the time the US wasn't even asking us for a commitment in troops, they just wanted our formal support to add credibility to their claim to being a multinational action. So whether Canada was willing or able seems to be a moot point, don't you think?

As for whether Tonga or Moldova were more military capable, I don't think that's a fair question. I doubt that Tonga and Moldova were already heavily engaged in Afghanistan as well as peacekeeping operations in other countries. Canada was.

As for "great disappointment"... I myself felt great disappointment. Not that the WMDs never showed up, but rather that the information that supposedly justified the invasion was so half-baked. I felt somewhat betrayed that our supposed allies tried to enlist our aid on false pretenses.

-k

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My recollection is that at the time the US wasn't even asking us for a commitment in troops, they just wanted our formal support to add credibility to their claim to being a multinational action.  So whether Canada was willing or able seems to be a moot point, don't you think?

Clearly we were not willing. I believe we could have sent a token handful of troops if we were willing. However if you prefer to believe that Tonga, Moldava and Fiji were more able than Canada because they weren't in Afghanistan, you are welcome to that belief.

We should probably give thanks that neither Tonga, Fiji nor Moldova chose to invade us at that time since every conceivable Canadian soldier was abroad. :)

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My recollection is that at the time the US wasn't even asking us for a commitment in troops, they just wanted our formal support to add credibility to their claim to being a multinational action.  So whether Canada was willing or able seems to be a moot point, don't you think?

Clearly we were not willing. I believe we could have sent a token handful of troops if we were willing. However if you prefer to believe that Tonga, Moldava and Fiji were more able than Canada because they weren't in Afghanistan, you are welcome to that belief.

We should probably give thanks that neither Tonga, Fiji nor Moldova chose to invade us at that time since every conceivable Canadian soldier was abroad. :)

Canada's armed forces were already stretched to the limit between the extended commitment in Afghanistan and our ongoing commitments to the world community. At the time there was question as to whether we could even continue our involvement in Afghanistan. Make light of it you wish, but it's the truth. Snickering comments about leaving ourselves open to invasion from Tonga don't dispute that, but do make you look like a buffoon. Making military commitments requires more than just having a few spare guys in green uniforms. It requires money and equipment and transportation. It requires having spare personnel to relieve them when it's their turn to come home.

Could we have sent along some token troops? Sure, I suppose. But we weren't being asked to. We were being asked for our endorsement. Harper would have given it (as would Martin, apparently) but Chretien chose not to (one of the few times in history that Chretien came away looking smart, as it turns out.)

This chatter about whether Harper is a chicken for saying he'd have supported the war but wouldn't have sent troops is nonsense, as sending troops wasn't part of the commitment Canada was asked to make.

-k

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My recollection is that at the time the US wasn't even asking us for a commitment in troops, they just wanted our formal support to add credibility to their claim to being a multinational action.  So whether Canada was willing or able seems to be a moot point, don't you think?

Clearly we were not willing. I believe we could have sent a token handful of troops if we were willing. However if you prefer to believe that Tonga, Moldava and Fiji were more able than Canada because they weren't in Afghanistan, you are welcome to that belief.

We should probably give thanks that neither Tonga, Fiji nor Moldova chose to invade us at that time since every conceivable Canadian soldier was abroad. :)

Could we have sent along some token troops? Sure, I suppose.

Thank you for supporting my point.

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Could we have sent along some token troops? Sure, I suppose.

Thank you for supporting my point.

If that's your point, it's a rather inane one. What do you imagine you've proven here, in regards to the topic under discussion?

-k

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Canada could have chosen to send a token number, but Canada preferred not to

At the time, I recall that there were 40-50 Canadians, warrant officer or higher, on assignment with US invading troops in Iraq on training assignments, mostly rear echelon jobs. Both countries routinely exchange such officers.

Canada also had warships in the Gulf on active duty.

But Chretien had it both ways, as always.

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Could we have sent along some token troops? Sure, I suppose. But we weren't being asked to. We were being asked for our endorsement. Harper would have given it (as would Martin, apparently) but Chretien chose not to (one of the few times in history that Chretien came away looking smart, as it turns out.)
I wasn't a fan of Cretien's until he "did the right thing" about Iraq. As it turns out, there were no weapons of mass destruction.... So Cretien stopped us from looking stupid in most of the word's eyes, and stopped Al Queda from painting a big bulls eye on Canada.
This chatter about whether Harper is a chicken for saying he'd have supported the war but wouldn't have sent troops is nonsense, as sending troops wasn't part of the commitment Canada was asked to make.

-k

Of course Harper would have sent troops, ordered helecopters, planes, bombs, etc... He's now saying that he wouldn't send troops BECAUSE HE WANTS TO GET ELECTED. Not because that is the truth. And it's certainly not what he was saying two years ago....
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Could we have sent along some token troops? Sure, I suppose. But we weren't being asked to. We were being asked for our endorsement. Harper would have given it (as would Martin, apparently) but Chretien chose not to (one of the few times in history that Chretien came away looking smart, as it turns out.)
I wasn't a fan of Cretien's until he "did the right thing" about Iraq. As it turns out, there were no weapons of mass destruction.... So Cretien stopped us from looking stupid in most of the word's eyes, and stopped Al Queda from painting a big bulls eye on Canada.
This chatter about whether Harper is a chicken for saying he'd have supported the war but wouldn't have sent troops is nonsense, as sending troops wasn't part of the commitment Canada was asked to make.

-k

Of course Harper would have sent troops, ordered helecopters, planes, bombs, etc... He's now saying that he wouldn't send troops BECAUSE HE WANTS TO GET ELECTED. Not because that is the truth. And it's certainly not what he was saying two years ago....

You can't have it both ways. In one thread you'll argue that Iraq has nothing to do with Al-Qaeda, in another you say that invading Iraq will enrage Al-Qaeda. Which is it? Is Iraq a terrorist hotbed that needs to be dealt with or not?

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I'll take that one (even though I wasn't involved in that post). Iraq is a Muslim country. It was secular under Saddaam, hence his lack of involvement with al Qaeda, but it's still Muslim. And the U.S. invading any Muslim soil is going to get their dander up.

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You can't have it both ways.  In one thread you'll argue that Iraq has nothing to do with Al-Qaeda, in another you say that invading Iraq will enrage Al-Qaeda.  Which is it?  Is Iraq a terrorist hotbed that needs to be dealt with or not?
Iraq had less terrorism than Canada until George Warmonger Bush attacked it to gain control of the country's OIL for his friends. Now, it is a serious hotbed of every kind of problem....

Canada's being seen to be "in bed with the USA" in its attacks on Muslim countries will enrage all Muslims... not just those in Al Queda....

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You can't have it both ways.  In one thread you'll argue that Iraq has nothing to do with Al-Qaeda, in another you say that invading Iraq will enrage Al-Qaeda.  Which is it?  Is Iraq a terrorist hotbed that needs to be dealt with or not?
Iraq had less terrorism than Canada until George Warmonger Bush attacked it to gain control of the country's OIL for his friends. Now, it is a serious hotbed of every kind of problem....

Canada's being seen to be "in bed with the USA" in its attacks on Muslim countries will enrage all Muslims... not just those in Al Queda....

why would he attack Iraq for oil when they have tons in their reserves and can buy freely from Saudi Arabia and Canada?

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why would he attack Iraq for oil when they have tons in their reserves and can buy freely from Saudi Arabia and Canada?

You don't get it. Oils reserves are not being replenished. We are pumping it out far faster than it is being created. The USA could not sit idly by and watch Russia and other countries make backroom illegal deals with Saddam for his oil. The only way to get the oil under Iraq to the refineries in the Gulf Coast of the USA was to either lift the sanctions, which meant Saddam submitting to inspections, or remove Saddam from power.

It's all about the money.

How many Billions of Dollars in contracts were awarded to Haliburton immediately after the invasion? That is the first batch of money to be made.

There is billions more dollars to be made once the oil is refined. There is the second batch of money for the Bush/Cheney Cronies.

War itself is big business:Part 1. Haliburton has billions in contracts with the US Federal Govt including maintaining the military. They don't make as much money if the troops are idle. Third Batch of money. These are billion dollar batches too remember.

War itself is big business: Part 2. Every soldier needs, ammunition, food, clothing, shaving kits, armor and various other items. All which have to be manufactured. Which means job creation and economic growth and the ripple effect goes throughout the economy as more houses are built, and more cars are bought, and so on. A strong economy equals better political support.

There is also the underlying fact that as countries like China, India and Brazil all become more industrialised the demand for oil will skyrocket. The industrialisation of China has already produced global material shortages. You may recall a recent shortage of brick. China has also forced the price of coal back up to a point where Canada is going to reopen mines. So consider the war in Iraq as a pre-emptive strike for the furture oil reserves of the USA. But don't for one minute believe anyone when they say it wasn't about the money/oil.

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You can't have it both ways.  In one thread you'll argue that Iraq has nothing to do with Al-Qaeda, in another you say that invading Iraq will enrage Al-Qaeda.  Which is it?  Is Iraq a terrorist hotbed that needs to be dealt with or not?
Iraq had less terrorism than Canada until George Warmonger Bush attacked it to gain control of the country's OIL for his friends. Now, it is a serious hotbed of every kind of problem....

Canada's being seen to be "in bed with the USA" in its attacks on Muslim countries will enrage all Muslims... not just those in Al Queda....

why would he attack Iraq for oil when they have tons in their reserves and can buy freely from Saudi Arabia and Canada?

Further to the Honest Politician's reply, there are many factors. First of which was that when sanctions were lifted, the US and British petroleum companies were going to get NO MORE IRAQI OIL. The backroom deals were already done, that Russia, France, and Holland were the countries that would get to exploit Iraqi oil. At least 16% of the world's oil is known to reside under Iraqi soil, and once it is properly explored, it may turn out to hold a lot more than that.

In the 70's there was the "Energy Crisis"... where some of the OPEC countries (assisted by the oil giants) refused to sell oil to the USA, and the price went through the roof.... The USA past its peak production in 1973... their reserves are depleting.... but their demand isn't ... They cannot allow other countries to control their supply of oil.... access was good, pre-Iraq, but now they have control.... and no camel-jockey is ever going to restrict their access to oil again....

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I find it very interesting that the US talked so much about giving Iraq back to the people and letting Iraqies be free to determine their own destinies under a democratic nation, and yet so many oil contracts (Oil being the biggest money earning commodity in the country) were handed out before the Iraqies were able to determine what they wanted to do with "their" wealth. I agree that the royalties will still be paid to the government, but if owning the rights to the oil wasnt worth a lot more than said royalties, oil companies wouldnt be so rich.

What an interesting turn of events it would be if the Iraq Supreme Court (Apologies if this is not the correct name for it) ruled those contracts void because they werent offered by the people of Iraq and chose to form their own companies to reap the rewards of the oil rather than the US Companies. Granted they would need to bring in specialists, but there are many countries around the world with those people.

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I find it very interesting that the US talked so much about giving Iraq back to the people and letting Iraqies be free to determine their own destinies under a democratic nation, and yet so many oil contracts (Oil being the biggest money earning commodity in the country) were handed out before the Iraqies were able to determine what they wanted to do with "their" wealth.  I agree that the royalties will still be paid to the government, but if owning the rights to the oil wasnt worth a lot more than said royalties, oil companies wouldnt be so rich.

What an interesting turn of events it would be if the Iraq Supreme Court (Apologies if this is not the correct name for it) ruled those contracts void because they werent offered by the people of Iraq and chose to form their own companies to reap the rewards of the oil rather than the US Companies.  Granted they would need to bring in specialists, but there are many countries around the world with those people.

Excellent post... That would be hilarious.... I think we'd be looking at Iraq III.
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The quick explanation of securing oil hardly convers the complexities of the current state of affairs in the middle east, although no doubt it helped sell the invasion of Iraq to GWB. But it does not explain Afganistan.

The rise of fundamentalist Muslims and their percieved threat on the western world required leadership, the UN dithered and US acted. Saddam was a provocateur and was wealthy enough to do substantial damage. There is also no question he was amassing significant weapons including chemical weapons, medium range missiles for delivery and nuclear potential. On the latter the Isrealis had done several unilateral bombing missions to keep him in check. Where his armaments went is still a mystery, but there remains no evidence he destroyed much of his weaponry.

You have to recall that Muslim fundementalist terrorists have been striking western targets since the late 80's, clearly they were gaining strength and confidence. Saddam had links to fundamentalist and continually meddled in the affairs of other countries, in fact prior to the fall of the Shaw, Sadam had willingly protected the Ayatolah who later took the US hostages.

It would be nice to wrap it up in one conspiracy theory and there is no doubt America takes advantage of its position, but the truth, if know, is more complex.

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The rise of fundamentalist Muslims and their percieved threat on the western world required leadership, the UN dithered and US acted. Saddam was a provocateur and was wealthy enough to do substantial damage. There is also no question he was amassing significant weapons including chemical weapons, medium range missiles for delivery and nuclear potential.
Most of the chemical weapons given to Saddam by the United States of America were spent on Iran, when Saddam was the USA's agent in the middle east. There were no nuclear weapons, nor any potential for them... and the USA knew this well...

You just have to ask yourself... If Saddam had these, why didn't he use any such weapons to defend his country ?????

On the latter the Isrealis had done several unilateral bombing missions to keep him in check. Where his armaments went is still a mystery, but there remains no evidence he destroyed much of his weaponry.
Maybe he was too busy hiding his weapons to defend against the invading forces....
You have to recall that Muslim fundementalist terrorists have been striking western targets since the late 80's, clearly they were gaining strength and confidence. Saddam had links to fundamentalist and continually meddled in the affairs of other countries, in fact prior to the fall of the Shaw, Sadam had willingly protected the Ayatolah who later took the US hostages.
The Shah of Iran... the same one installed by the USA after they helped in a coup to get rid of the democratically elected Massedegh governement in Iran ???
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If I may speak for Err, I think he was trying to demonstrate the overall Republican mindset.

You have a helluva nerve. Democrats have a long sordid history of racism, and yet you have the bloody GALL to try and portray the Republicans as racists!!

Either you are a blind ideologue, or you are patently dishonest. The Donks refer to Robert Byrd (D-KKK) as "The conscience of the Senate". Pathetic! D

The Republicans have a long history of freeing the oppressed, from slavery to freedom, to the Civil Rights in the 60s, from Abe Lincoln to Ronald Reagan liberating 160 million Eastern Europeans,, to President Bush liberating 55 million in Afganistan and Iraq.....

Meanwhile, the Dems have done everything in their power to make sure those "brown-skinned Iraqis" are subhuman scumbags who deserve nothing better than to lie under the boot of a massmurdering dictator....

Pure unadultered racism.... :angry:

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