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Canada and Iraq
19/03/2003
When I started writing for this website, I made a conscious decision to focus on domestic issues and, especially, local ones. I made this decision because this is where my interest lies and because so few others were doing the same thing. For every person writing about Toronto, there must be five thousand bloggers writing about US foreign policy. Nevertheless, current events have made the Iraq issue the dominant Canadian one, and a very relevant one tonight. Perhaps later I will write about my point of view on our involvement (or not). My concern tonight is with the expression of Canadian sovereignty. There may be arguments to be made against the position that Canada has taken in opposing war outside a UN mandate. One argument without merit whatsoever is the argument that we ought to take part to avoid offending our neighbours to the south. Yes, it is true that Canada's rejection of this action is likely to cause a bit of ill will from Americans. In fact, I have already experienced it myself in the form of a not-so-anonymous email that I received from a Chicagonian who stiffed me on eBay two years ago. He wrote:
fuck canada!!!!! you are a complete homo
But this is no reason to do other than what our consciences tell us... to do other than the will of the people as expressed (however ineffectively) through Parliament. Some have argued that we should support the United States because our economies are so closely linked. It is true that 87% of our exports go to the United States, and that 25% of their exports come here. However, we have allowed our trade to become so closely linked in order to make Canada stronger. Renouncing our sovereignty does not make us stronger. If Canadians really think that participation in this war, under these circumstances, is wrong, then we should not participate, period. And, since most Canadians (including me), and most of our parliamentarians do hold that view, then our Prime Minister has made the right decision.
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