The Sun reminds voters that Michael Ignatieff supported the Iraq War—just like Stephen Harper did
There’s some actual news in this report from Sun scribe Brian Lilley: beyond simply providing moral support, Michael Ignatieff actually worked with the U.S. military to help minimize civilian deaths during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. It doesn’t come as too much of a surprise that Ignatieff, one of the most prominent voices in the U.S. at the time, lent his support in other ways, but for the record, the Sun reports:
One of the top officials in Air Command cited Ignatieff’s work in helping the military ready comprehensive plans to mitigate collateral damage while preparing for the invasion.
“I personally have been working with the Carr Center for Human Rights,” said U.S. Col. Gary Crowder on March 19, 2003. “Michael Ignatieff and Sarah Sewell (another Carr Center employee) and their program are a wonderful program.”
Crowder told reporters that he was working with Ignatieff on how to best conduct the war while minimizing civilian deaths.
So, Ignatieff worked with the U.S. Air Force to reduce the risk of civilian deaths in a war he supported (and now, probably, would prefer we all forgot).
The candidate’s foreign policy views and judgment are fair game in the contest for who gets to be prime minister—kudos to Lilley for bringing it up. But it’s more than a little bizarre, even for the Sun, to write an article about how much Ignatieff supported the Iraq War and not mention that another prominent party leader who did as well.
Stephen Harper advocated that that Canada enter the Iraq War with the Americans. Iggy later changed his mind, and so did Harper—right when trying to get elected in 2005. When asked after the fact whether he thought it was a good thing Canada sat out during the Baghdad debacle, Harper told Maclean’s:
The justification for the war, it wasn’t related to finding any particular weapon of mass destruction… Canada remains alienated from its allies, shut out of the reconstruction process to some degree, unable to influence events. There is no upside to the position Canada took.
No upside, except for a few more live Canadian soldiers than there would be otherwise. We expected that military issues wouldn’t come up in this election, but if the Sun’s reporting on this issue actually gets the country talking about international problems, we’re happy to be proven wrong—especially since Canada is currently involved in not one, but two military actions. Neither, it should be noted, are in Iraq.