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.
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