Monday, February 05, 2007

Regime change as official policy; 64 Canadian MPs supported U.S.-led invasion of Iraq

Regime change in Iraq has been official U.S. policy since October 31, 1998, when then-President Bill Clinton signed into law the Iraq Liberation Act. The policy was a cornerstone of the Bush Administration’s decision to invade Iraq in March 2003 and overthrow the government of Saddam Hussein. As former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld pointed out in a September 9, 2002, television interview regime change was the “goal” and disarmament the “task”.

Rumsfeld was sworn-in as Secretary of Defense on January 26, 2001. At a press briefing that day Rumsfeld confirmed his support for regime change in Iraq when he was asked about an open letter he had co-signed a couple of years earlier. This would no doubt be the infamous January 26, 1998, letter to President Clinton from The Project for a New American Century, a Washington-based neoconservative think-task formed in 1997, of which Rumsfeld was a founder. The group advocated for regime change in Iraq and lobbied the Clinton Administration to make it official U.S. policy, which it eventually did.

The U.S. had not been attacked by Iraq nor was it in any direct or imminent danger of being so. This did not matter, though. In September 2002 President Bush released The National Security Strategy of the United States of America, surely one of the most disturbing documents prepared by his administration. Any challenge to America’s global supremacy would not be tolerated. No crime it might commit punishable under international law. And its right to act unilaterally would not be denied.

The strategy authorized Washington to execute a ‘preventive’ war, not ‘preemptive’. Internationally it has since been shown to have been illegal and as British Attorney-General Lord Goldsmith warned Prime Minister Tony Blair on March 7, 2003, “regime change cannot be the objective of military action.”

On April 8, 2003, sixty-four Canadian MPs showed its support for the U.S.-led invasion when it voted in favour of a Canadian Alliance motion saying, in part, that it hoped the coalition was “successful in removing Saddam Hussein’s regime from power”. The Alliance said it felt that the invasion, or “intervention” as they called it, was legal under international law and it supported American and British actions.

Below is a brief record, including the aforesaid House of Commons vote, of some of the things that were said by others in the lead up to and following the invasion of Iraq and overthrow of its government.

The real “Axis of Evil”?

“American foreign and defense policy is adrift. Conservatives have criticized the incoherent policies of the Clinton Administration. They have also resisted isolationist impulses from within their own ranks. But conservatives have not confidently advanced a strategic vision of America's role in the world. They have not set forth guiding principles for American foreign policy.”

“We aim to change this. We aim to make the case and rally support for American global leadership.”

“Does the United States have the resolve to shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests?”

“We seem to have forgotten the essential elements of the Reagan Administration's success: a military that is strong and ready to meet both present and future challenges; a foreign policy that boldly and purposefully promotes American principles abroad; and national leadership that accepts the United States' global responsibilities.”

America has a vital role in maintaining peace and security in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. If we shirk our responsibilities, we invite challenges to our fundamental interests. The history of the 20th century should have taught us that it is important to shape circumstances before crises emerge, and to meet threats before they become dire.”

“… we need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global responsibilities… we need to strengthen our ties to democratic allies and to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values… we need to promote the cause of political and economic freedom abroad… we need to accept responsibility for America's unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.”

“Such a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity may not be fashionable today. But it is necessary if the United States is to build on the successes of this past century and to ensure our security and our greatness in the next.”
Statement of Principles, June 3, 1997, The Project for the New American Century (PNAC). [Members of PNAC have included: Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, I. Lewis Libby, Jeb Bush, Dan Quayle, Steve Forbes, Richard Perle, Richard L. Armitage and William J. Bennett]

PNAC Banner

“We are writing you because we are convinced that current American policy toward Iraq is not succeeding, and that we may soon face a threat in the Middle East more serious than any we have known since the end of the Cold War. In your upcoming State of the Union Address, you have an opportunity to chart a clear and determined course for meeting this threat. We urge you to seize that opportunity, and to enunciate a new strategy that would secure the interests of the U.S. and our friends and allies around the world. That strategy should aim, above all, at the removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime from power.”

“The only acceptable strategy is one that eliminates the possibility that Iraq will be able to use or threaten to use weapons of mass destruction. In the near term, this means a willingness to undertake military action as diplomacy is clearly failing. In the long term, it means removing Saddam Hussein and his regime from power. That now needs to become the aim of American foreign policy.”

“We urge you to articulate this aim, and to turn your Administration's attention to implementing a strategy for removing Saddam's regime from power.”
Letter to President Bill Clinton from The Project for the New American Century, January 26, 1998 [Signatories include Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and Richard Armitage]

Sec. 3 – Iraq Liberation Act of 1998

“It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime.”
– Sec. 3 of the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998.’ Signed into law by President Bill Clinton on October 31, 1998

Rebuilding America's Defenses (Sept. 2000)

“Today, the United States has an unprecedented strategic opportunity. It faces no immediate great-power challenge; it is blessed with wealthy, powerful and democratic allies in every part of the world; it is in the midst of the longest economic expansion in its history; and its political and economic principles are almost universally embraced. At no time in history has the international security order been as conducive to American interests and ideals. The challenge for the coming century is to preserve and enhance this “American peace.””

“In the Persian Gulf region, the presence of American forces, along with British and French units, has become a semipermanent fact of life. Though the immediate mission of those forces is to enforce the no-fly zones over northern and southern Iraq, they represent the long-term commitment of the United States and its major allies to a region of vital importance. Indeed, the United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.”

“After eight years of no-fly-zone operations, there is little reason to anticipate that the U.S. air presence in the region should diminish significantly as long as Saddam Hussein remains in power. Although Saudi domestic sensibilities demand that the forces based in the Kingdom nominally remain rotational forces, it has become apparent that this is now a semi-permanent mission. From an American perspective, the value of such bases would endure even should Saddam pass from the scene. Over the long term, Iran may well prove as large a threat to U.S. interests in the Gulf as Iraq has. And even should U.S.-Iranian relations improve, retaining forward-based forces in the region would still be an essential element in U.S. security strategy given the longstanding American interests in the region.”

“To preserve American military preeminence in the coming decades, the Department of Defense must move more aggressively to experiment with new technologies and operational concepts, and seek to exploit the emerging revolution in military affairs.”

“Any serious effort at transformation must occur within the larger framework of U.S. national security strategy, military missions and defense budgets.”

“Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor.”
Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century. A Report of The Project for the New American Century, September 2000

Donald H. Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense

Q: Two years ago, you signed an open letter with a number of other officials who were --

Rumsfeld: Well, I've signed a number of letters. It's amazing, I never had any idea I'd be back here when I did that.

Q: Well, you did.

Rumsfeld: Which one was that?

Q: This particular open letter had to do with the Iraqi opposition. And among the things –

: I still feel good about that one.

Q: Well, let's just run through some of the things that you were advocating for the past administration. Among the things that you were advocating was that the administration bomb the pillars of support of Saddam Hussein in an (inaudible) campaign, and that the United States have equipment and, if necessary, forces ready to help the opposition if things went to the extreme. Do you still feel that those are both good strategies?

Rumsfeld: Well, you know, we're going to be having meetings on that subject in the period ahead. And I've had some preliminary discussions with members of the national security team. And I think that it would not be wise for me to get into the details of it. It is going to be an administration policy, a presidential policy. Secretary Powell will be deeply involved. And certainly the Department of Defense is involved, given the degree of -- level of activity there. But I don't think it would be useful for me to --

: You seemed to have strong feelings on that subject at that time, and you still do, I gather.

Rumsfeld: Well, I think that the policy of the country is that it is not helpful to have Saddam Hussein's regime in office. That is government policy, as I understand it.
– Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, Press Briefing, January 26, 2001

“I think the Congress has passed legislation that suggests that a regime change in Iraq would be desirable.”
– Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, Interview on Fox News Sunday, February 11, 2001

President Bush, February 13, 2001

“At my request, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld has begun a comprehensive review of the United States military, the state of our strategy, the structure of our forces, their priorities of our budget. I have given him a broad mandate to challenge the status quo as we design a new architecture for the defense of America and our allies.”

“That report will mark the beginning of a new defense agenda, and a new strategic vision, and will be the basis for allocating our defense resources.”
– President George W. Bush, Remarks to the Troops and Personnel, Norfolk Naval Air Station, Norfolk, Virginia, February 13, 2001

President Bush, August 29, 2001

“[The 2002] budget I submitted to Congress makes national defense a priority. I've asked Congress to provide the largest increase in military spending since Ronald Reagan was the President and Commander-in-Chief of the United States.” (Applause.)

“And to meet any dangers, our administration will begin building the military of the future. We must and we will make major investments in research and development. And we are committed to defending America and our allies against ballistic missile attacks, against weapons of mass destruction held by rogue leaders in rogue nations that hate America, hate our values and hate what we stand for.” (Applause.)

“We have a clear eye on foreign policy. We recognize it's a dangerous world. I know this nation still has enemies, and we cannot expect them to be idle. And that's why security is my first responsibility. And I will not permit any course that leaves America undefended.”
– President George W. Bush, at American Legion, San Antonio Convention Center, San Antonio, Texas, August 29, 2001

“We agree with Secretary of State Powell’s recent statement that Saddam Hussein “is one of the leading terrorists on the face of the Earth….” It may be that the Iraqi government provided assistance in some form to the recent attack on the United States. But even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. Failure to undertake such an effort will constitute an early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war on international terrorism. The United States must therefore provide full military and financial support to the Iraqi opposition. American military force should be used to provide a “safe zone” in Iraq from which the opposition can operate. And American forces must be prepared to back up our commitment to the Iraqi opposition by all necessary means.”
Letter to President George W. Bush from The Project for the New American Century, September 20, 2001

Nuclear Posture Review Report (Jan. 2002)
U.S. Department of Defense

U.S. military forces themselves, including nuclear forces will now be used to “dissuade adversaries from undertaking military programs or operations that could threaten U.S. interests or those of allies and friends.”’

“In setting requirements for nuclear strike capabilities, distinctions can be made among the contingencies for which the United States must be prepared. Contingencies can be categorized as immediate, potential or unexpected.”

North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Libya are among the countries that could be involved in immediate, potential, or unexpected contingencies. All have longstanding hostility toward the United States and its security partners; North Korea and Iraq in particular have been chronic military concerns. All sponsor or harbor terrorists, and all have active WMD and missile programs."
Nuclear Posture Review Report, U.S. Department of Defense, January 8, 2002

President Bush, State of the Union Address,
January 29, 2002

North Korea is a regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction, while starving its citizens.”

Iran aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror, while an unelected few repress the Iranian people's hope for freedom.”

Iraq continues to flaunt its hostility toward America and to support terror.”

“States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world. By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger.”

“I will not wait on events, while dangers gather. I will not stand by, as peril draws closer and closer. The United States of America will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons.”
President George W. Bush, State of the Union Address, The United States Capitol, Washington, D.C., January 29, 2002

Prime Minister Blair and President Bush, April 6, 2002

“Maybe I should be a little less direct and be a little more nuanced, and say we support regime change.”
– President George W. Bush, April 6, 2002, Joint Press Conference with Prime Minister Blair, Crawford High School, Crawford, Texas

President Bush and President Chirac, May 26, 2002

“The stated policy of my government is that we have a regime change. And as I told President Chirac, I have no war plans on my desk. And I will continue to consult closely with him. We do view Saddam Hussein as a serious, significant -- serious threat to stability and peace.”
– President George W. Bush, May 26, 2002, Meeting with French President Chirac

President Bush, July 8, 2002, Press Conference

“It's the stated policy of this government to have a regime change. And it hasn't changed. And we'll use all tools at our disposal to do so.”

“I'm involved. I mean, I'm involved in the military planning, diplomatic planning, financial planning, all aspects of -- reviewing all the tools at my disposal. And -- but in my remarks to American people, I remind them I'm a patient person and there's a -- but I do firmly believe that the world will be safer and more peaceful if there's a regime change in that government.”
– President George W. Bush, July 8, 2002, Press Conference, James S. Brady Briefing Room

“When the Prime Minister discussed Iraq with President Bush at Crawford in April he said that the UK would support military action to bring about regime change, provided that certain conditions were met: efforts had been made to construct a coalition/shape public opinion, the Israel-Palestine Crisis was quiescent, and the options for action to eliminate Iraq's WMD through the UN weapons inspectors had been exhausted.”

“[A political framework] is particularly important for the UK because it is necessary to create the conditions in which we could legally support military action.”

“US military planning unambiguously takes as its objective the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime, followed by elimination if Iraqi WMD.”

US views of international law vary from that of the UK and the international community. Regime change per se is not a proper basis for military action under international law.”

“The US is likely to restrain Israel from taking part in military action. In practice, much of the international community would find it difficult to stand in the way of the determined course of the US hegemon."
UK Cabinet Office Briefing Paper, Iraq: Conditions for military action, July 21, 2002

Sir David Manning and Matthew Rycroft, CBE

“Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.”

“It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran.”

“The Attorney-General [Lord Goldsmith] said that the desire for regime change was not a legal base for military action.”

“The Prime Minister said that it would make a big difference politically and legally if Saddam refused to allow in the UN inspectors. Regime change and WMD were linked in the sense that it was the regime that was producing the WMD.”
– Memo to David Manning, Foreign Policy Advisor from Matthew Rycroft (aide to Manning), Iraq: Prime Minister’s Meeting, July 23, 2002

President Bush and King Abdullah, August 1, 2002

“The policy of my government, our government, of this administration is regime change. For a reason. Saddam Hussein is a man who poisons his own people, who threatens his neighbors, who develops weapons of mass destruction.”
– President George W. Bush, August 1, 2002, Remarks by the President and His Majesty King Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Photo Opportunity, The Oval Office

National Security Strategy of the United States (Sept. 2002)

“We will actively work to bring the hope of democracy, development, free markets, and free trade to every corner of the world.”

“While the United States will constantly strive to enlist the support of the international community, we will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary, to exercise our right of self-defense by acting preemptively against such terrorists, to prevent them from doing harm against our people and our country.”

“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is critical because of the toll of human suffering, because of America’s close relationship with the state of Israel and key Arab states, and because of that region’s importance to other global priorities of the United States.”

“The United States has long maintained the option of preemptive actions to counter a sufficient threat to our national security. The greater the threat, the greater is the risk of inaction— and the more compelling the case for taking anticipatory action to defend ourselves, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy’s attack. To forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively.”

“The purpose of our actions will always be to eliminate a specific threat to the United States or our allies and friends. The reasons for our actions will be clear, the force measured, and the cause just.”

“Free markets and free trade are key priorities of our national security strategy.”

“[NATO] must be able to act wherever our interests are threatened, creating coalitions under NATO’s own mandate, as well as contributing to mission-based coalitions. To achieve this, we must: take advantage of the technological opportunities and economies of scale in our defense spending to transform NATO military forces so that they dominate potential aggressors and diminish our vulnerabilities.”

“It is time to reaffirm the essential role of American military strength. We must build and maintain our defenses beyond challenge. Our military’s highest priority is to defend the United States. To do so effectively, our military must: assure our allies and friends; dissuade future military competition; deter threats against U.S. interests, allies, and friends; and decisively defeat any adversary if deterrence fails.”

“To contend with uncertainty and to meet the many security challenges we face, the United States will require bases and stations within and beyond Western Europe and Northeast Asia, as well as temporary access arrangements for the long-distance deployment of U.S. forces.”

“Our forces will be strong enough to dissuade potential adversaries from pursuing a military build-up in hopes of surpassing, or equaling, the power of the United States.”

“We will take the actions necessary to ensure that our efforts to meet our global security commitments and protect Americans are not impaired by the potential for investigations, inquiry, or prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC), whose jurisdiction does not extend to Americans and which we do not accept.”
The National Security Strategy of the United States of America, September 2002

Prime Minister Blair and President Bush, September 7, 2002

“Well, as you know, our government in 1998 -- action that my administration has embraced -- decided that this regime was not going to honor its commitments to get rid of weapons of mass destruction. The Clinton administration supported regime change. Many members of the United States Senate supported regime change. My administration still supports regime change. There's all kinds of ways to change regimes.”
– President George W. Bush, September 7, 2002, Remarks by the President and Prime Minister Tony Blair in Photo Opportunity, Camp David, Maryland

Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld
during a Pentagon press briefing

: So is the goal to disarm Saddam Hussein or is it regime change?

Rumsfeld: The goal is what the President has said, and that is the Congress passed a regime change piece of legislation a number of years ago in a prior Administration, and regime change has been the policy of the United States government. The question of disarmament is clearly what the task is.

Q: So if inspectors went in tomorrow and somehow found all of his weapons development programs and were able to magically make them go away, that wouldn't be enough?

Rumsfeld: The Congress' regime change legislation would still stand, and obviously when one thinks about the extent to which the people there were oppressed, and the conventional threat Saddam Hussein poses to its neighbors, those problems would still be there but the world would be a lot safer place if, as you say, it all magically happened. But I don't know why a hypothetical question like that is terribly useful because it isn't going to happen.
– Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, Interview with Good Morning America, September 9, 2002

Prime Minister Stephen Harper,
January 23, 2007 (CP/Fred Chartrand)

“Mr. Speaker, I repeat once again that our position is that current United Nations resolutions provide sufficient international justification for action.”
– Stephen Harper, Leader of the Opposition, Canadian Alliance, October 1, 2002, House of Commons

Congressional Research Service Report, RL31339, October 3, 2002

“The United States has been attempting to change Iraq’s regime since the 1991 Persian Gulf war, although achieving this goal was not declared policy until 1998. In November 1998, amid a crisis with Iraq over U.N. weapons of mass destruction (WMD) inspections, the Clinton Administration stated that the United States would seek to go beyond containment to promoting a change of regime. A regime change policy was endorsed by the Iraq Liberation Act (P.L. 105-338, October 31, 1998). Bush Administration officials have emphasized regime change as the cornerstone of U.S. policy toward Iraq. This paper discusses past and current U.S. efforts to oust Saddam Hussein and the current debate over the implementation of that policy.”
Iraq: U.S. Efforts to Change the Regime, Report for Congress, Congressional Research Service, RL31339, October 3, 2002

Lord Robertson and President Bush, October 21, 2002

“The stated policy of the United States is regime change because, for 11 years, Saddam Hussein has ignored the United Nations and the free world. For 11 years, he has -- he said, look, you passed all these resolutions; I could care less what you passed. And that's why the stated policy of our government, the previous administration and this administration, is regime change -- because we don't believe he is going to change.”
– President George W. Bush, October 21, 2002, Remarks by the President and NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson in Photo Opportunity, The Oval Office

President Bush, March 6, 2003

“Well, I hope we don't have to go to war, but if we go to war, we will disarm Iraq. And if we go to war, there will be a regime change.”
– President George W. Bush, March 6, 2003, President Discusses Iraq in National Press Conference, The East Room

UK Attorney-General Lord Goldsmith

“…regime change cannot be the objective of military action. This should be borne in mind in considering the list of military targets and in making public statements about any campaign.”

“…the UK has consistently taken the view that, as the cease-fire conditions were set by the Security Council in resolution 687 [1991], it is for the Council to assess whether any such breach of those obligations has occurred. The US have a rather different view: they maintain that the fact of whether Iraq is in breach is a matter of objective fact which may therefore be assessed by individual Member States [but] I am not aware of any other state which supports this view. This is an issue of critical importance when considering the effect of resolution 1441 [2002].”

“I remain of the opinion that the safest legal course would be to secure the adoption of a further [UN Security Council] resolution to authorize the use of force.”
UK Attorney General Lord Peter Henry Goldsmith, March 7, 2003. Advice to British Prime Minister Tony Blair on the legality of military action against Iraq without a further resolution of the [UN] Security Council.

Mohamed ElBaradei, IAEA and Hans Blix, UNMOVIC, March 7, 2003

“After three months of intrusive inspections, we have to date found no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapon program in Iraq.”
– Mohamed ElBaradei, Director General, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), March 7, 2003, report to UN Security Council

“As I noted on 14 February, intelligence authorities have claimed that weapons of mass destruction are moved around Iraq by trucks and, in particular, that there are mobile production units for biological weapons. The Iraqi side states that such activities do not exist. Several inspections have taken place at declared and undeclared sites in relation to mobile production facilities. Food testing mobile laboratories and mobile workshops have been seen, as well as large containers with seed processing equipment. No evidence of proscribed activities have so far been found.”
– Dr. Hans Blix, Executive Chairman, United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), March 7, 2003, report to UN Security Council

President Bush, March 17, 2003

“The United States of America has the sovereign authority to use force in assuring its own national security… Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours. Their refusal to do so will result in military conflict, commenced at a time of our choosing… The tyrant will soon be gone… It is too late for Saddam Hussein to remain in power… The terrorist threat to America and the world will be diminished the moment that Saddam Hussein is disarmed… The security of the world requires disarming Saddam Hussein now.”
– President George W. Bush, March 17, 2003, Remarks by the President in Address to the Nation, The Cross Hall

Stephen Harper, Canadian Alliance MP

“Mr. Speaker, in my speech, I did address the issue of the legality of this action. We firmly believe that this intervention is legal under international law.
We are disappointed—and our take on this is completely different from that of the Bloc Quebecois—that some of the permanent members of the Security Council, including France, have decided to back out of their commitments pursuant to resolution 1441 and previous resolutions. It is unfortunate, but it is now up to our allies, our historical allies, namely the Americans and the British, to act. We support their action.”
– Stephen Harper, Leader of the Opposition, Canadian Alliance, March 20, 2003, House of Commons

Prime Minister Blair and President Bush, March 27, 2003

“Just under a week into this conflict, let me restate our complete and total resolve. Saddam Hussein and his hateful regime will be removed from power. Iraq will be disarmed of weapons of mass destruction, and the Iraqi people will be free. That is our commitment, that is our determination, and we will see it done.”
– British Prime Minister Tony Blair, March 27, 2003, President Bush, Prime Minister Blair Hold Press Availability, Camp David, Maryland

Prime Minister Harper and President Bush, July 6, 2006

“God bless America. God save the Queen. The maple leaf forever.”
– Stephen Harper, Leader of the Opposition, Canadian Alliance, April 3, 2003, House of Commons

Joe Clark, Progressive Conservative MP

“The House would know that on several occasions I have cited, including today, mais je l'ai fait en français, resolutions 678, 687 and 1441 of the United Nations as giving to this intervention, in my view, the legal authority of the United Nations. So I believe that this is a conflict under United Nations authority.”
– Joe Clark, Progressive Conservative Party MP, April 8, 2003, House of Commons

Gilles Duceppe, Bloc Québécois MP

“Our party has been very clear on this since the beginning. Yes, Saddam Hussein must be disarmed, but this must be done through international institutions, by the UN inspection process, and it must be done peacefully. We said that this war was illegitimate, illegal and unjustified.”

“It is in no one's interest to implement a philosophy of pre-emptive war. This is only the beginning. From now on, everyone will be able to point to this totally ridiculous notion of attacking someone because one day they might attack us.”
– Gilles Duceppe, Bloc Québécois MP, April 8, 2003, House of Commons

Alexa McDonough, NDP MP

For us to say that we support Bush in the accomplishment of his mission is just wrong-headed because his mission is regime change. His mission is to conduct a pre-emptive strike which is against all international law.
– Alexa McDonough, New Democratic Party MP, April 8, 2003, House of Commons

Clifford Lincoln, Liberal MP

“We went to war on the basis of destroying weapons of mass destruction. The war is nearly over and we have not found any.

The reason war happened was the Security Council was set aside and a new objective came into being, that of regime change. If wars become legitimate to ensure regime change, where do we start and where do we end?”
– Clifford Lincoln, Liberal Party, April 8, 2003, House of Commons

Libby Davies, NDP MP

“[The agenda] has suddenly changed from weapons of mass destruction, which, by the way, were not found, to becoming a regime change.”
– Libby Davies, New Democratic Party MP, April 8, 2003, House of Commons

Andrew Telegdi, Liberal MP

“I am disappointed with the Alliance, which very much like its neo-conservative American colleagues, supports this war. Its criticism of the government's position in a democratic debate in the House of Commons exceeds any criticism made against the war.”

“Under the leadership of President Bush, the U.S. government has come to believe that it is acting from a place of highest moral authority, without UN Security Council approval and ignoring the checks and balances that international institutions provide. They are leading us into a new world order dominated by a Pax Americana. They believe that America has the God-given right to be the lawmaker, judge and enforcer of world order.”

“The philosophy of the Bush doctrine was spawned by a group of neo-conservatives in Washington led by Richard Perle. In practice it extends the principles of the Munroe doctrine for U.S. hegemony in the western hemisphere to the whole world. The arrogance of the claim to have the right to unilaterally meddle in the internal affairs of sovereign countries is simply astounding.”
Andrew Telegdi, Liberal Party MP, April 8, 2003, House of Commons

House of Commons of Canada, Official Hansard,
April 8, 2003


No. 86
Tuesday, April 8, 2003

Pursuant to Orders made Thursday, April 3 and April 7, 2003, the House proceeded to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion of Mr. Harper (Calgary Southwest), seconded by Mr. Hill (Macleod), – That the House of Commons express its regret and apologize for offensive and inappropriate statements made against the United States of America by certain Members of this House; that it reaffirm the United States to be Canada’s closest friend and ally and hope that the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq is successful in removing Saddam Hussein’s regime from power; and that the House urge the Government of Canada to assist the coalition in the reconstruction of Iraq.

The question was put on the motion and it was negatived on the following division:

(Division No. 143)

YEAS: 64, NAYS: 165

The following 64 MPs – including the four representing Saskatoon – voted in favour of the motion:

Jim Abbott (Kootenay—Columbia) Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy (Calgary—Nose Hill) Canadian Alliance

Rob Anders (Calgary West) Canadian Alliance

(Cypress Hills—Grasslands)

Roy Bailey (Souris—Moose Mountain) Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit (Lakeland) Canadian Alliance

Rick Borotsik (BrandonSouris) Progressive Conservative

Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville) Canadian Alliance

Rick Casson (Lethbridge) Canadian Alliance

David Chatters (Athabasca) Canadian Alliance

Joe Clark (Calgary Centre) Progressive Conservative

Stockwell Day (Okanagan—Coquihalla) Canadian Alliance

John Duncan (Vancouver Island North) Canadian Alliance

Reed Elley (Nanaimo—Cowichan) Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp (Elk Island) Canadian Alliance

Brian Fitzpatrick (Prince Albert) Canadian Alliance

Paul Forseth (New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby) Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke) Canadian Alliance

Peter Goldring (Edmonton Centre-East) Canadian Alliance

Jim Gouk (Kootenay—Boundary—Okanagan) Canadian Alliance

Gurmant Grewal (Surrey Central) Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey (Edmonton North) Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper (Calgary Southwest) Canadian Alliance

Richard Harris (Prince GeorgeBulkley Valley) Canadian Alliance

Loyola Hearn (St. John's West) Progressive Conservative

John Herron (Fundy—Royal) Progressive Conservative

Jay Hill (Prince George—Peace River) Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill (Macleod) Canadian Alliance

Howard Hilstrom (Selkirk—Interlake) Canadian Alliance

Betty Hinton (Kamloops, Thompson and Highland Valleys) Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer (Edmonton—Strathcona) Canadian Alliance

Dale Johnston (Wetaskiwin) Canadian Alliance

Gerald Keddy (South Shore) Progressive Conservative

Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast) Canadian Alliance

Gary Lunn (Saanich—Gulf Islands) Canadian Alliance

James Lunney (Nanaimo—Alberni) Canadian Alliance

Peter MacKay (Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough) Progressive Conservative

Keith Martin (Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca) Canadian Alliance

Philip Mayfield (Cariboo—Chilcotin) Canadian Alliance

Val Meredith (South Surrey—White Rock—Langley) Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield (Yellowhead) Canadian Alliance

Bob Mills (Red Deer) Canadian Alliance

James Moore (Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam) Canadian Alliance

Deepak Obhrai (Calgary East) Canadian Alliance

Jim Pankiw (Saskatoon—Humboldt) Independent

Charlie Penson (Peace River) Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte (Edmonton Southwest) Canadian Alliance

Scott Reid (Lanark—Carleton) Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds (West VancouverSunshine Coast) Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz (Battlefords—Lloydminster) Canadian Alliance

Werner Schmidt (Kelowna) Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton (Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar) Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg (Medicine Hat) Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson (Crowfoot) Canadian Alliance

Larry Spencer (Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre) Canadian Alliance

Darrel Stinson (Okanagan—Shuswap) Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl (Fraser Valley) Canadian Alliance

Greg Thompson (New Brunswick Southwest) Progressive Conservative

Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon—Wanuskewin) Canadian Alliance

Pierrette Venne (Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert) Independent Bloc Québécois

Elsie Wayne (Saint John) Progressive Conservative

Ted White (North Vancouver) Canadian Alliance

John Williams (St. Albert) Canadian Alliance

Lynne Yelich (Blackstrap) Canadian Alliance

U.S. Marines in Bagdhad place American flag
on statue of Saddam Hussein, April 9, 2003

“This is George W Bush, the President of the United States. At this moment, the regime of Saddam Hussein is being removed from power, and a long era of fear and cruelty is ending…The goals of our coalition are clear and limited. We will end a brutal regime, whose aggression and weapons of mass destruction make it a unique threat to the world…We will help you build a peaceful and representative government that protects the rights of all citizens. And then our military forces will leave.”
– President George W. Bush, April 10, 2003, President's Message to the Iraqi People

Kofi Annan, United Nations Secretary General

I wanted to ask you that - do you think that the resolution that was passed on Iraq before the war did actually give legal authority to do what was done?

A: Well, I'm one of those who believe that there should have been a second resolution because the Security Council indicated that if Iraq did not comply there will be consequences. But then it was up to the Security Council to approve or determine what those consequences should be.

Q: So you don't think there was legal authority for the war?

A: I have stated clearly that it was not in conformity with the Security Council - with the UN Charter.

Q: It was illegal?

A: Yes, if you wish.

Q: It was illegal?

A: Yes, I have indicated it is not in conformity with the UN Charter, from our point of view and from the Charter point of view it was illegal.
– Kofi Annan, United Nations Secretary General, Interview with Owen Bennett-Jones for BBC World Service at UN headquarters in New York, September 16, 2004


Post a Comment

<< Home