Chrétien was right
Canadians owe thanks to Paul Short, a Newfoundland man whose son is a medic at Petawawa who is scheduled to be sent to Afghanistan early next year. Mr. Short has expressed his objection to Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan.
Mr. Short has removed the stigma for us Canadians who are opposed to Canada’s participation in the Afghanistan disaster. Prime Minister Stephen Harper and many of his supporters have accused Canadians who speak out against the use of Canadian military in Afghanistan of failing to support our soldiers.
That has not been true of most Canadians, and now Mr. Short has made it clear that it is acceptable for ordinary Canadian citizens to oppose the government’s policy of sending troops to an unwinnable war. That opposition in no way diminishes our support of the young men and women who wear Canadian colours.
The decision by Paul Martin’s Liberal government to involve Canada in Afghanistan was a mistake. The decision of Stephen Harper’s government to extend Canada’s commitment made the mistake worse. Mr. Harper will undoubtedly learn what American president George W. Bush is learning from his citizens.
Canadians are growing increasingly unhappy with Canadians soldiers being sent to a senseless war, just as Americans are unhappy with their troops being involved in Iraq. Mr. Bush's party is about to lose control of the U. S. House of Representatives, largely because of his war policy. That may soon happen to Mr. Harper.
I was never a big fan of former prime minister Jean Chrétien, but he had it right when he told the United States that Canada would not become involved in America’s Middle East debacle. JOE SPENCE,