Thank you, Jean Chrétien, for keeping us out of Gulf War II.

Prime Minister Jean Chrétien refused to take Canada into Gulf War II in 2003. He was criticised by former Prime Minister Mulroney, because for the first time ever, Canada did not join with its traditional allies, the US, the UK and Australia when they all went to war.

And yet, as summarised by the Chilcot Report:

• The UK chose to join the invasion before peaceful options had been exhausted;

• Blair deliberately exaggerated the threat posed by Saddam Hussein;

• Blair promised George Bush: ’I will be with you, whatever’;

• The decision to invade was made in unsatisfactory circumstances;

• George Bush largely ignored UK advice on postwar planning;

• There was no imminent threat from Saddam;

• Britain’s intelligence agencies produced ‘flawed information’;

• The UK military were ill-equipped for the task;

• UK-US relations would not have been harmed if UK stayed out of war;

• Blair ignored warnings on what would happen in Iraq after invasion;

• The government had no post-invasion strategy;

• The UK had no influence on Iraq’s postwar US-run administration;

• The UK did not achieve its objectives in Iraq;

• The government did not try hard enough to keep a tally of Iraqi civilian casualties.

And most significantly: the untold number of Iraqis who died, estimated to be perhaps half a million.

Merci, Monsieur Chrétien, for keeping us out of that god-awful war.

Harper and his boys were also all butt hurt that we didn’t tromp into that dreadful, illegal, irresponsible and immoral clusterfuck. They probably still believe this. We were lucky to have someone like Chretien to stand up and do the right thing. To bad so many other leaders and politicians in the west were not brave enough to do the right thing.

However, unlike Vietnam, Canada did not exactly distinguish itself by harboring deserters from Iraq War. Who “were brave enough to do the right thing”.

I don’t get the comparison or even what your argument is.

The people coming north during Vietnam were not - for the most part - deserters. They were avoiding the draft, which is legally a VERY different concept from desertion.

You’re ignoring an important distinction: Americans evading the draft obviously wasn’t going to be an issue in 2003.

Draft dodgers and deserters are not the same thing. During the Vietnam era, over 95% of the Americans who went to Canada were draft dodgers - men who had never entered military service. The number of men who fled to Canada after joining the military was much smaller.

And when you add in the factor that volunteers are probably less prone to desert than draftees are, it probably accounts for whatever differences in numbers remain. Canada could have the exact same policy it had in the sixties and you’d still see a huge drop off in the number of Americans fleeing to Canada.

Unlike Vietnam, where there was a draft in the US, the US armed forces fighting in Iraq was a volunteer force.

What is your point? That Canada should have done more for Americans that refused to fight that idiotic war? Tell me more as I know very little about that particular issue. There was no draft so it is hard to compare to that other war you guys fought that has proven to be completely pointless and ill-informed.

We didn’t join in your chest beating jack off half way around the world in a place you still do not understand. You guys wanted a fight because you were mad about 911 so you went and beat up the neighborhood jerk, justifying it all with a bunch of made up bullshit. People were called cowards for not wanting to join in. Bullies typically do not understand what courage really is so that is not surprising.

Refusing to cave in to mob pressure and participate in a lynching is the right thing to do. Our prime minister did the right thing. Any US soldiers that refused to fight in that immoral war did the right thing, and it would take courage to go against the jingoism that was sweeping the US at the time.

Through the Chilcot report the British have started to address some of what went wrong. Good for them.

(Edit) replying to Jtur88- I type slooow.

I can’t tell if you’re saying that Canada didn’t harbor deserters, or if they did and that is not distinguishing.

Because Canada totally harbored deserters. And I wore that like a badge of pride when I was a 20-something ex-pat Canadian living in the US during the war and pissed off. We took everybody who came and judged their refugee claim individually. Somewhere around 20 of them still remain and I say welcome.

I agree with the first point but not the second.

A soldier’s job is to follow orders unless they break the law, and “go to Iraq” doesn’t break the law. If you want to live in a country where soldiers tell the civilian government what to do, try Burma out. Good luck with that.

When I was in the Canadian Forces, it was during the days of the UNPROFOR mission to Yugoslavia. Many guys who were sent expressed skepticism of the usefulness of the mission and wondered why they were being sent. What would you feel about them deserting the Forces and the USA offering them save haven?

Did Canada join in on Afghanistan?

Canada’s participation in the Afghanistan War is a pretty well documented event. Canada played a pretty significant combat role, at considerable expense.

If only Bush Jr. hadn’t insisted on following in his dad’s footsteps, all those people would still be alive today.

Yes, because the Afghan government was clearly sheltering Al-Quaeda, which had attacked our ally, the United States. The US invoked the collective security provision of the NATO agreement: an attack on one is an attack on all. All members of NATO supported the US on Afghanistan.

Canada sent troops to Afghanistan and in the spring of 2002, we suffered our first war-time casualties since the Korean War:

four Canadian soldiers were killed by the United States Air Force.

Canada had troops in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2014 and suffered 159 military deaths during that time. That was the third highest number of troops killed of the nations participating in the Afghan war.

See the “Fatalities” entry in the wiki article:'s_role_in_the_Afghanistan_War

The collective self-defense article of the Treaty is invoked by NATO as an organization, not by the member state claiming to have been attacked. In the case of Afghanistan, the United States presented its case to the NATO Council, which in turn determined by consensus that the attack constituted justification for Article 5 being in effect.

Subsequently, each member state decides how best to assist the party under attack. They are not actually strictly obliged to go balls-to-the-wall war footing, nor would such insanity be welcomed, since the military effort has to be coordinated through the appropriate Allied commands.

Then I would say that Mr. Chrétien did it right. Or, at least, more right.

Agreed, thank god for Jean Chretien. And Harper can rot in hell.

Boy, I remember when Harper was elected and sent Canadian troops to Iraq.

No, wait, I don’t remember that at all.

While it really sucks to have been one of them or their survivors, come on 159 dead over 12 years is hardly considerably expense. Its probably less than those killed in training accidents over the same period.

All I have to say is that a proof is a proof. A proof is a proof, and when you have a proof it is proven.