Why Iraq 2014 is not Iraq 2003

The Hill Times File photo
Demonstrators protesting the Iraq war in March 2003 walk past the United States Embassy.
On both security and humanitarian grounds, military intervention is justified now in a way the 2003 invasion never was.


Ben Hartley, Renad Mansour
Published: Wednesday, 10/08/2014 12:00 am EDT

In 2003 Jean Chrétien, the Liberal prime minister at the time, made a crucial decision to keep Canada out of Iraq, despite the wishes of then-opposition leader Stephen Harper. Having defined Canada’s combat role last week, Mr. Harper is now contending with concerns that he will take Canada in to Iraq 2.0, with similarly ambiguous political objectives, as there were in 2003. With a poll released Sept. 24 showing 77 per cent of Canadians expressing concern that sending Canadian soldiers to Iraq could lead to this outcome, a comparison to Iraq in 2003, to demonstrate the striking contrasts, is worthwhile.