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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2003 2:19 pm
 


http://www.canada.com/vancouver/vancouv ... ry.asp?id={30FCB6AE-A1DF-4C8A-8043-DA0D362E9D6A}

Canadian soldiers serving on the battlefield in Iraq
They're not combatants, Chretien insists

Gary Dimmock in Qatar, Rick Mofina and Neco Cockburn in Ottawa, with files from Kate Jaimet
CanWest News Service


Friday, March 28, 2003
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Canadian soldiers are in Iraq alongside British forces who are at risk of facing deadly fire.

"There are Canadian officers that have been deployed into theatre alongside and with British units," an unnamed British military official told CanWest News Thursday in Doha, Qatar, headquarters for the U.S.-led war against Iraq.

"They are working with British units right now, probably in southern Iraq. They would be in the same danger as our troops, indeed," the official said, adding that the Canadians were part of an exchange program.

In Ottawa, Prime Minister Jean Chretien hinted Canadian forces are in Iraq but drew opposition fire for his government's refusal to openly admit it.

"We have Canadian soldiers in the British Army, as well as the Australian Army and they may be in Iraq at this time," Chretien said during question period Thursday.

And in what could be seen as another move to calm the rhetoric over Iraq, following Thursday's question period in the Commons, the government joined the opposition to vote unanimously to support a motion by Canadian Alliance MP Jason Kenney calling for a special tribunal to indict Saddam Hussein and other top Iraqi officials for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

During question period, Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe cited reports that Canadian soldiers are with British forces in Iraq.

"Faced with this fact," Duceppe said in the Commons, "Will the prime minister finally admit that Canada is participating in the war without the approval of the United Nations?"

Chretien said the Canadian forces were part of an auxiliary unit and not combatants.

"They have received instructions from their army, to the effect that they could only use their weapons in self-defence," Chretien said. "They are not fighting. There are 300,000 soldiers, and some Canadians are fulfilling the duties that they were given months ago."

Defence Minister John McCallum refused to confirm the role and location of Canadian troops in region.

"I'm not going to go down this slippery slope," McCallum told reporters outside the Commons.

"If I tell you what country they're in, you'll want to know the town, the village, the serial number," he said. "And I think the more detailed information one gives about the whereabouts of our troops, the more risk there is, and the government is not prepared to take that risk."

The government's position is a "cowardly" contradiction, Canadian Alliance leader Stephen Harper said.

"To send people in harm's way, to kind of deny that they're there, then not fully support their action. If are people are going to be there, we should be on side and we should be supporting what they're doing," Harper said, calling the government's position contemptible.

"If they're [troops] there, they're Canadians, they represent Canada, we should be with them," Harper said. "It's bad enough we're not with our British and American friends, we should at least be with our own Canadian soldiers."

Earlier this week McCallum issued a press release to inform the public that a Canadian reconnaissance team had left for Kabul, Afghanistan on March 22 to contribute to security efforts the country.

Reporters pressed him Thursday on why he would not discuss the role of Canadians in the Gulf region, yet issued releases about missions in Afghanistan.

"That's a totally different matter. They're going on a reconnaissance mission to Kabul, that's a totally different matter," said McCallum.

Canada's position in Iraq is subjecting Canadians with family members in the armed forces to anguish, said NDP leader Jack Layton.

"They have reported that a family member is in a combat situation in southern Iraq," Layton said. "It's completely unacceptable, especially when Parliament has said there is under no circumstances to be an engagement in this war."


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2003 4:08 pm
 


We need to insist that any of our soldiers on exchange programs be assigned to units outside of the theatre of war. If they are not, then we should just bring them home. We also need to get our frigates out of there...they're basically support US warships at this point.

As far as I'm concerned that's what cops call aiding and abetting. If Chretien doesn't get our people out of there, then he deserves to be tried at the Hague along with Blair and Bush. Nevermind that the trial will never happen, it should. Being a criminal who gets away with it doesn't mean you aren't a criminal. :x


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2003 4:47 pm
 


what do you expect? Hes a polititian!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2003 6:03 pm
 


I really wish that for once Canadians could elect a leader not afraid to take a stand on an issue. Chretien ether support the Americans or don't but stop sitting on the fence.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2003 9:10 pm
 


It's bad enough that we're not supporting our countries closest allies, right or wrong.......But whats worse is the bickering over 30 Cdn. Soldiers attached to the units there on an exchange. They're an integral part of the team, as their officers who are in Canada are to our team. You don't break up the team the day before the big game. If you do, the chances of losing the game increase. Get over it people. Carry on and live free. Chretien can sleep at night because he never takes chances. A life without risk can barely be called LIVING at all.

GO MARINES! GO NAVY! GO ARMY! GO AIRFORCE ! GO BRITS! GO AUSSIES! All the way to Bagdhad fellas! My thoughts are with you every day.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2003 10:30 pm
 


"Carry on and live free." Apparently that phrase has some different connotations.

If my brother is being a dickwad, I tell him so. If he doesn't listen to me I don't back him up, though I wouldn't let him get killed over it. Our brother is being a dickwad. he won't killed over it and he might bleed on the dash while he admits to being wrong. So what? Been here, done this, have stiches to prove it.

Did you guys grow up in some yuppie enclave so repressive that you can't recogonise a turf war? Gee. is it over chicks or money or guns? I grew up in fucking Regina for Christ sakes. Are you saying that you somehow found a reality more protected and oddly twisted than mine?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2003 6:51 am
 


Sorry Hollywood I was just venting. I didn't mean that we should take are troops out but it would be nice to see the PM support them.


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