Changing heart, changing mind


Harper is glad the US has turned its attention to Afghanistan:

“We have been losing ground the last several years. Ultimately whether it was right or wrong, the war in Iraq was a diversion from the central, the original mission to Afghanistan,” Harper told Sky News in London, where he was attending the G20 summit today.

Of course, what he thought (and said) at the time was somewhat different:

As we learned, or should have learned, on September 11, having no malice toward these groups will not absolve the citizens of any country from the hatred they direct toward us and toward our civilization.

The principal objective is the disarmament of Iraq but it has now become apparent that objective is inseparable from the removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime.

Earlier this week President Bush requested the support of his key allies in the participation of a coalition of nations that would be prepared to enforce Security Council resolutions by all necessary means. That same day the allies delivered an ultimatum to the Iraqi leadership: Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours or face military conflict.

These allies did not seek a military conflict today any more than they sought it 12 years ago. The world has tried other means for years but to no avail. We cannot walk away from the threat that Iraq’s continued possession of weapons of mass destruction constitutes to its region and to the wider world.

In the final analysis, disarming Iraq is necessary for the long term security of the world, to the collective interests of our historic allies and, therefore, manifestly it is in the national interest of this country.

And so on…

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Changing heart, changing mind

  1. Harper has been able to walk away from his positions on Iraq virtually unscathed. the more people are reminded of this and his other misjudgments, the less likely they are to vote for him, thus allowing for a more competent bunch to run the country.

    • Funny that Iggy faces a full court press [ forgive the pun ] over his views on Iraq – Harper not. Ignatieff is the only one of the two to essentially admit his mistakes.

  2. I don’t doubt that Harper’s initial support for the invasion of Iraq, during his time as Leader of the Opposition, was one of the worst decisions he ever made.

    That said, Harper clearly believed (as many others did) that the evidence of WMDs in Iraq was legitimate, and this is reflected in his statements above. When it became clear that the WMD story was bogus, Harper abandoned his rhetorical support for the invasion.

    • I presume your apologia for Harper includes Ignatieff?

      • I didn’t mean it as an apologia for Harper. Like I said, it was a serious error in judgment. Iggy made the same error for many of the same reasons.

        • Sorry, couldn’t resist.:)

  3. Yeh, too bad evidence and proof beats fool-hardy jingoism on most days. Guess Harper will have to find his own folly to wrap himself in… Or at least have John Howard wrap him in it.

  4. OTTAWA (CP) – Sheila Copps’s scorching new portrayal of Paul Martin suggests
    he would have had Canadian soldiers fighting in Iraq while he was undermining
    medicare and the CBC at home.

    Although Martin was out of cabinet by the time the U.S. was planning to invade Iraq and made few public comments on the issue, Copps asserts that his real views were betrayed by the fact that the most vocal proponents of the war in Liberal caucus were his key leadership supporters. Among them was David Pratt, who went on to become Martin’s defence minister before losing his seat in last June’s election. “There is no doubt in my mind that if Paul Martin had been the leader, we would have gone to Iraq with the United States.”


    FACT CHECK: Dion Liberals record on Iraq War
    Tue 30 Sep 2008

    A number of Dion Liberals supported the invasion of Iraq:

    “This time over Iraq, I don’t like the company I am keeping, but I think they are right on the issue.”
    – Dion Liberal candidate for Etobicoke Lakeshore Michael Ignatieff, Maclean’s June 23, 2003

    “I think we have to take sides (with the U.S.)… Canada can’t just opt out.”
    – Dion Liberal candidate for Mississauga East Albina Guarnieri, Regina Leader Post, 7 March 2003.

    “I think we made the wrong decision in not supporting them, and we’re obviously encountering the fallout from that in terms of various aspects of Canadian-American relations, which is not healthy,”
    – Dion Liberal candidate for Ottawa West Nepean David Pratt, from March 2003, quoted in the National Post June 11, 2004


    • I’m not sure I buy Ms. Copps’s allegations (they are not based on any kind of evidence), but they are certainly interesting, given Mr. Martin’s subsequent efforts to paint Mr. Harper as a warmonger.

  5. “We have been losing ground the last several years. Ultimately whether it was right or wrong, the war in Iraq was a diversion from the central, the original mission to Afghanistan,”

    Maybe i’m reading too much into this, but how can you say with a straight face, that war you supported – presumably you thought was important enough to lose Canadian lives over – was/is a diversion from the central original mission? So you were wrong about the war in Iraq – no equivocation needed, no weasel words, no whether it was or wasn’t, you were wrong allaround. This Prime minister has a pathalogical inability to say ” i was wrong”!

    • Hmmm, then again. Is Mr Potter making a very subtle point here, one that i may have missed. Is this in fact – “whether it was right or wrong” – a sort of recognition that he [SH] was wrong? As close to it as he will ever get? Or is it crass revisionism on his behalf, deliberate or not?

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