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    Saturday, December 17, 2005

    Iraq and Martin, a Conservative Spin

    Stardate 5023.6

    Things can be taken out of context very easily. I was recently hit hard on my connection of Stephen Harper and the Iraq war, with Conservatives jumping out everywhere flapping a quote from 2003 at me from Paul Martin.

    The quote from the North Bay Nugget, on April 30th, 2003 is as follows:

    "I really think Canada should get over to Iraq as quickly as possible".
    Fact of the matter is, Martin was talking about sending police, prison experts, legal aid, combat engineers and transport planes to help in the reconstruction. Here is the complete quote:
    "I really think Canada should get over to Iraq as quickly as possible. There’s a huge need for front-line medical professionals. There’s a huge need for policing. And there’s a huge need for infrastructure rebuilding." - Paul Martin April 30, 2003

    This has nothing to do with sending troops over, like Stephen Harper wanted to do.

    "This party will not take its position based on public opinion polls. We will not take a stand based on focus groups. We will not take a stand based on phone-in shows or householder surveys or any other vagaries of pubic opinion... In my judgment Canada will eventually join with the allied coalition if war on Iraq comes to pass. The government will join, notwithstanding its failure to prepare, its neglect in co-operating with its allies, or its inability to contribute. In the end it will join out of the necessity created by a pattern of uncertainty and indecision. It will not join as a leader but unnoticed at the back of the parade." - Stephen Harper indicating that, if elected, Canada will join the US occupation of Iraq, Hansard, January 29th 2003.

    "It was probably not an appropriate term, but we support the war effort and believe we should be supporting our troops and our allies and be there with them doing everything necessary to win." - Stephen Harper supporting the US-lead war on Iraq, Montreal Gazette, April 2nd 2003. Harper also called then-Defence Minister John McCallum an "idiot."
    So as I see it, Martin still opposed Military involvement in the war, AND the occupation, just as he opposes the Ballistic Missile Defense program. As always, Canada has the possibility to help clean up after our big tough neighbours to the South, in a peace keeping or reconstruction role.

    Thanks to searching out with Google, I finally found more of the Paul Martin quote here.

    All opinions shared on this site are strictly my own. Some people may disagree and that is fine, but rude comments or overzealous debate will be curtailed. I enjoy civil discourse, and encourage independent thought. I oppose George W. Bush and his Wars based on lies.

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