"the moral choice should be honoured, not vilified"

Here's a great letter in the Toronto Star, in response to this column by Haroon Siddiqui.
While most Canadians agree with Haroon Siddiqui that George W. Bush's illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq is a failure, the Harper government continues to support it in principle by deporting U.S. soldiers who have said no to the war and come to Canada seeking refuge.

Even though Stephen Harper has admitted that the war was "absolutely an error," his minister of immigration continues to attack war resisters in the media and to send them to face military jail, even though Canadians oppose this war and chose not to send our own troops into this costly quagmire.

Our government must be convinced that the moral choice not to kill or torture innocent civilians should be honoured, not vilified.

David Fox, Toronto

Thank you, David Fox!

As you know, I disagree with Mr Siddiqui. The invasion of Iraq was a failure only if you believe its purpose was to spread democracy or prevent terrorist attacks against Western interests.

For Dick Cheney and others who profited from it, the invasion of Iraq was a spectacular success. They reaped record profits, privatized the largest American public sector (the military), gained control of ever more resources and continued to be a destabilizing presence in the region. What more could they ask for?

This week we learned that foreign companies will bid on Iraqi oil. This has widely been interpreted to mean that the US will no longer control the lion's share of the profits. But US interests are multi-national. The trickle-down effect remains to be seen.

Of course, I do understand Siddiqui's point. The invasion and occupation of Iraq was - is - a disaster on every conceivable human level. But we knew that it would be. We knew it would be exactly what it has been, because we've seen it all before.

With Mr Siddiqui's final paragraph, I have no disagreement.
Iraq is the imperial adventure that both Stephen Harper and Michael Ignatieff, one a neo-con hawk and the other a liberal hawk, fully backed. A monumental failure in judgment, their common stance was, and remains, an affront to the collective will of Canadians.

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