Volume 96, Issue 100
Tuesday, April 8, 2003

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Day slams Liberal policy on Iraq

By Tom Podsiadlo
Gazette Staff

Dave Picard/Gazette
I'M A WALKING POLITICAL DISASTER. Canadian Alliance foreign affairs critic Stockwell Day spoke about Canada's position on the war in Iraq at Western yesterday.

Stockwell Day made a dry landing, minus the jet skies and wet suit, when he paid a visit to Western yesterday.

Day, the former leader of the official opposition and current Canadian Alliance's foreign affairs critic, gave a speech entitled "On Canada's Foreign Policy in the Middle East."

Day outlined the party's foreign policy position by arguing that Canada should stand by the United States and support toppling the present regime in Iraq.

The event was co-sponsored by the Canadian Alliance club at Western and the Israel Action Committee.

"In 2000, Stockwell made political history by being elected as the first leader of the Canadian Alliance," said Mat Abramsky, co-chair of IAC.

The problem with the current government in Ottawa is that it has failed to put forth a coherent, predictable foreign policy, Day said, while describing Liberal policy as reactionary and ad hoc.

"Although there are a number of authoritarian regimes around the world, it is the horror and shock value of the current regime in Iraq that warrants military action," Day explained.

"We need to look and hold the [United Nations] accountable for the times it has failed to act," he said, noting the UN's failure to intervene against genocide in Rwanda.

"The UN is at risk of becoming irrelevant and, increasingly, so are Canadians," Day added. Canada has not been invited to participate in the building of democratic institutions in a post-Saddam Iraq – plans that are already well under way, he said.

"While the U.S and its allies are attempting to bring democracy to Iraq, Canada stands on the sidelines," Day said.

"Canada has a valiant history as liberators, which the current Canadian government is betraying," he said, noting personal interests within the Liberal Party have betrayed that history.

Canada is finding itself on the wrong side of the growing divide, while abandoning our traditional allies, Day said.

"Will Canada continue with the impotent tool of soft power or will it pick up the more just tool of truth and responsibility in the international stage?" he questioned.

Paul Fryrdrych, a second-year biology student, welcomed Day's presentation.

"Finally someone has stopped and pointed out the basic moral crux of Canada's position on the war in Iraq and thoughtfully analyzed Canada's self-righteous approach to international relations," he said.


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