Join 3,503 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

Tags:

The reporter, his foreign-minister father and the war that consumed them
March 16, 2013 10:23 AM   Subscribe

The reporter, his foreign-minister father and the war that consumed them Ten years ago, Canada made a bold decision to stay out of the Iraq War. Many of us may forget how agonizing the process was. Patrick Graham was a reporter in Baghdad in 2003. His father Bill Graham was Canada’s foreign minister. Today, in an intimate conversation, they remember the months that changed the world, the nation and their own lives
posted by KokuRyu (25 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Sometimes I am very proud of my country's basic decency.
posted by srboisvert at 10:57 AM on March 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Just remember that the Alliance jokers who criticized Chretien for not going along with Bush are now running the country.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:27 AM on March 16, 2013 [10 favorites]


Just remember that the Alliance jokers who criticized Chretien for not going along with Bush are now running the country.

I'm sure our liberal Canadian friends are well aware of this.
posted by Talez at 11:30 AM on March 16, 2013


I bet Harper's big political regret in life is not getting into office in time to join the invasion.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:48 AM on March 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I bet Harper's big political regret in life is not getting into office in time to join the invasion.

That depends. If Canada had joined the invasion, how would that have affected the CPC's standing in the polls with suburban ethnic minorities in the 905? How about suburban 905ers with an irrational level of anxiety about crime?

What I'm saying is that capturing small, targeted demographic wedges of voters in key ridings in places like suburban Toronto is pretty much the only thing Stephen Harper cares deeply about.
posted by gompa at 11:59 AM on March 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Fuck I miss Jean Chrétien.
posted by oulipian at 12:21 PM on March 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


I believe John Manley, who was Graham's predecessor in Chretien's government, advocated a "North American defense perimeter" and as the CEO of the Council of Chief Executives has never been a particularly strong supporter of individual freedoms.

On the other hand, the Liberals at least appeared to have thought, intellectual aspirations. To think that John Baird is our foreign minister now is completely weird.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:52 PM on March 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sometimes I am very proud of my country's basic decency.
posted by srboisvert at 1:57 PM on March 16


Decency comes easier to those whose security is shouldered by others.
posted by four panels at 2:08 PM on March 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Decency comes easier to those whose security is shouldered by others.

So that's the kind of thread you want this to be?
posted by dry white toast at 2:40 PM on March 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


> Decency comes easier to those whose security is shouldered by others.

So the United States has a license to do terrible things because they "shoulder Canada's security"?

The US has an ultra-crappy record on "security". Your "Defense" department totally screwed the pooch on 9/11, and no one was fired, nor did they do anything (EXCEPT installing armored doors on cockpits, the only good idea!) that would have prevented it from happening again.

Instead, they decreased the "security" of the rest of the world by starting a series of pointless wars that completely diverted them from catching the actual criminals who'd committed the atrocity and killed hundreds of thousands of people.

If you can't keep your program of universal and perpetual warfare going and be "decent" at the same time, shouldn't that be a wakeup call for you?

Perhaps I completely misinterpreted your comment. I can't see another interpretation but as a Canadian living in the US for 30 years, I've never before felt the slightest lack of respect from any American toward Canada (modulo the usual, friendly jokes about back bacon and hockey games).

Regardless, Canada has a decent-sized and extremely professional military, well-able to defend the country against any enemy except one, the only country that has ever invaded Canada before I might add... and how could a small country possibly defend against a giant that owns over half of the world's weapons?

And part of the reason that they have a strong and professional military is that they don't send them out to die in each and every random conflict all over the world, as this article points out.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 2:44 PM on March 16, 2013 [7 favorites]


"Canada will not participate."

Hearing Chrétien say that was one of my proudest moments of being Canadian. I almost wanted to kiss the ground.
posted by dry white toast at 2:47 PM on March 16, 2013


Decency comes easier to those whose security is shouldered by others.


I was unaware that Canada (or the US) for that matter was under imminent threat of attack from Iraq.
posted by Jalliah at 2:56 PM on March 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


I've been on the receiving end of the "America protects your sorry ads" speech before. Not pleasant, also intellectually dishonest.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:23 PM on March 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Decency comes easier to those whose security is shouldered by others.

The only two major conflicts involving the US in which Canada has not participated in the last 100 years (not counting distractions like Grenada and Panama) were Vietnam and Iraq. How did those work out for the Americans?
posted by dry white toast at 3:23 PM on March 16, 2013


Decency comes easier to those whose security is shouldered by others.

During the cold war, where were all those NORAD stations again? Who exactly was providing security for whom?
posted by GuyZero at 3:30 PM on March 16, 2013


Just adding to the conversation, not trying to stir the pot. For the record I love Canada.

My only point is Canadians are sometimes a little self-righteous when it's easy to do so.

John Oliver is my favorite comedian, and he was recently part of a large comedy special: "The Decline of The American Empire" Comedy Festival. Sponsored by the CBC.

Pretty funny.
posted by four panels at 4:17 PM on March 16, 2013


My only point is Canadians are sometimes a little self-righteous when it's easy to do so

Yep. And I guess you're proud to have delivered freedom and liberty to 100,000 dead Iraqis.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:28 PM on March 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Decency comes easier to those whose security is shouldered by others.
My only point is Canadians are sometimes a little self-righteous when it's easy to do so.


The biggest external threat to Canadian security and it's future as a sovereign nation has been, currently is, and will forever be the United States.
posted by The Notorious SRD at 6:15 PM on March 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


My only point is Canadians are sometimes a little self-righteous when it's easy to do so.

I hate those beer ads.
posted by RollingGreens at 7:37 PM on March 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


FWIW, I tried to balance out some of the potential self-congratulation by mentioning that we're currently led by a bunch of Mike Harris-retread Cro Magnons (an insult to hominids, I know), and the Liberal regime was not always focused on individual rights, although I would wager that Chretien and Martin were keen on following international legal frameworks.

But to make such a drive-by comment, and then leave the conversation, really represents the worst, drunken, testosterone-fueled conversations I've been part of with my American friends.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:52 PM on March 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Decency comes easier to those whose security is shouldered by others.

It's more likely that the ability to resist American pressure to be indecent comes easier when you are one of their major oil suppliers.

But that still doesn't make me any less proud that my country did the right thing on this one.
posted by srboisvert at 8:13 PM on March 16, 2013


"Decency comes easier to those whose security is shouldered by others."

There were no WMD found in Iraq. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of innocents were murdered with things like, I dunno, power drills to the skull.

Seriously, people like you exist. That makes me LOL. Also gonna take a wild guess and assume you didn't go over there yourself.
posted by bardic at 9:53 PM on March 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


[Maybe we can drop this weird bit of flamebait now for the sake of a decent discussion? Flagging early would have helped here.]
posted by taz at 1:23 AM on March 17, 2013


i don't recall it being an "agonizing" decision at all, though the globe and mail's own tortured oscillation between corporatism and common sense might have made it seem that way. wasn't that the american unprovoked attack that brought together millions of people into the streets around the world to say "NO"? (apologies in advance if i'm confusing this with a different misadventure.)
posted by ecourbanist at 8:30 PM on March 17, 2013


The Iraq War Anniversary Is Prompting a Flood of Reflection, Except from the Media
posted by homunculus at 10:36 AM on March 18, 2013


« Older It’s not often that one has the opportunity to be ...  |  The Experimental Lakes Area (E... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments