Canada offered secret support for Iraq invasion

Despite public opposition to invasion, Canadian official promised naval and air support: WikiLeaks

At the same time as it was publicly refusing to join the U.S.-led effort of Iraq, the Canadian government was secretly promising American officials clandestine military support for the controversial invasion, a U.S. diplomatic cable obtained by CBC News from WikiLeaks reveals. On March 17, 2003, two days before U.S. warplanes started their raids on Baghdad, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien told the House of Commons that Canadian forces would stay out of what the Americans had dubbed the “coalition of the willing.” The statement was widely held as a rare assertion of foreign policy independence. But the classified U.S. cable shows that a high-ranking Canadian official was privately reassuring American and British counterparts that Canadian naval and air forces could be “discreetly” put to use during the pending U.S.-led assault on Iraq and its aftermath.

CBC News




Browse

Canada offered secret support for Iraq invasion

  1. A phrase that contains the words “mountain” and “molehill” comes to mind.

    •  Yes move along folks, nothing to see here. Since Harper wasn’t in power it can’t be blamed on him, so move along. I just love how the left in this country, led on by the likes of the CBC can dismiss any Liberal malfeasance and hypocrisy as not important. If Harper did this it would be the lead story of Mansbridge’s politburo newscast. And for the record I was voting Liberal back then, no more.

      • Seems to me that this is just another faux scandal, similar to wafergate, the body bag story, H1N1 response, Lawrence Cannon’s handling of the pair of sisters who tried to enter Canada on one passport and at least a few others that I can’t recall just now.

        How would you rate this “discrete” use of Canadian Naval Forces around the start of the Iraq war in comparison to those “molehills”?

  2. Having just read the full account of the story on cbc news online, I just want to make one plea…that being that in the future the politically left-leaning bloggers pause before making comments about Harper championing a role for Canada in the Iraq war.  Obviously Chretien too was okay with joining the US but he just didn’t want to be honest about it. 

  3. “….. the Canadian government was secretly promising American officials clandestine military support for the controversial invasion …. ”

    Of course we were. Talk like left, govern from right. Typical Liberal behaviour and good example of why we don’t need Liberals. NDP = anti  Con = pro while Libs said they were anti but in secret they were saying something else entirely. 

    Why is it necessary for Lib party to exist if that’s what we can expect from them?

  4. I’m curious that no-one is concerned that Chretien (and Harper, for that matter) wanted us to have a full role in Iraq, and only the overextension of our military prevented that from happening.  The will of the Canadian people was firmly set against our participation, because we (at least enough of us) knew that the WMD lies were, well, lies.  Chretien and his ministers all either believed the WMD lies that Bush and Blair were pushing, or they knew they were lies and didn’t care.

  5. The US memo released by Wikileaks only confirms what was already known and it exposes
    only the very tip of the iceberg…

    In December 2010, the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT) published a
    very detailed 54-page expose detailing many examples of Canadian military
    involvement in the Iraq War since 2003. Many of these contributions to the Iraq
    War have still not been discussed in the media.

    Here is COAT’s report…

    “Operation SILENT PARTNER:
    Canada’s Quiet
    Complicity in the Iraq War”
    http://coat.ncf.ca/P4C/65/65.htm

    COAT has been exposing the truth about Canada’s
    actual involvement in the Iraq War for many years.

    This article provides a good overview
    “Canada’s Covert War in Iraq”
     http://coat.ncf.ca/articles/Canada_Iraq.htm

Sign in to comment.