Hon. Stephane Dion: “We are not in Afghanistan in retribution for 9/11. Never! Canada is not that kind of a country.”
by Wayne Prante
December 7th, 2007
Edmonton, Alberta - Prior to the attacks in New York and Washington, DC on September 11th, 2001, Canada was widely known and respected as a UN Peacekeeping force in conflicts around the world.
Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, NATO invoked, for the first time in history (at US request) Article 5 of the NATO Charter, claiming an attack by a foreign nation. President George W. Bush declared some days later, during an internationally televised speech, and in a direct challenge to other nations "you are either with us or you are with the terrorists". Canada, under Liberal Jean Chretien, like other NATO allies, quickly announced that it would participate in Bush's global "War on Terror" and sent troops to Afghanistan. Popular support for that decision was very high.
Canada has changed federal governments since the war began, with the Conservatives under PM Stephan Harper now in power, and the mission in Afghanistan has continued. The then Minister of Defence Gordon O'Connor stated in January 2007 that Canadian soldiers were "fighting in Afghanistan in retribution for 9/11". That statement appears to be totally consistent with the Article 5 declaration (the original mission). Members of the Canadian 9/11 Truth Movement, however, feel that, in light of many new facts that have emerged to contradict the 'official 9/11 story', the war is unjustified, illegal and placing Canada's troops unjustifiably in harm's way.
The rapidly growing grassroots movement, which now boasts 15 groups (there were none in 2005), is seeking a withdrawal of Canadian Forces, until the Canadian government launches a public investigation into the September 11th attacks. There has never been any official public investigation in Canada into the attacks, even though 24 Canadians died, United Flight 93 (aka Air Canada flight AC4085) was destroyed, and all the while a Canadian Air Force Major General Rick Findley was in charge of NORAD (North American Air Defences) at the time of the attacks. Indeed, early reports also stated that the alleged hijackers entered the US via Canada. That was later discredited.
Could the Official Opposition also be having problems justifying Canada's continued presence in Afghanistan or questioning Canada's role there? During a recent Liberal town hall meeting at the Bonnie Doon Community Centre in Edmonton, activist Richard Brinkman brought O'Connors “retribution” statement to Opposition Leader Dion's attention. Dion replied that “Canada's mission in Afghanistan is not retribution. Never! Canada is not that kind of a country. We are there to help rebuild that country, but this cannot be done without a combat mission".This contrasts sharply with O'Connor with regard to 9/11. Just exactly how Dion does justify Canada's “combat role” there remains unclear. 9/11 Truth and Peace activists are expressing cautious optimism that they are beginning to see a difference of opinion about the mission that was not there in past years.
Brinkman later presented Mr. Dion with a red "LIBERALS FOR 9/11 TRUTH" T-Shirt and a DVD copy of '9/11 Mysteries - Explosions at the World Trade Center'. He said he “encourages everyone to investigate 9/11 for themselves” and that “we owe it to the victims and to ourselves”.
Earlier this week, 9/11 Truth activists in Vancouver B.C., presented former Prime Minister Chretien a copy of the new DVD '9/11 Loose Change – The Final Cut'. The Ex-PM, apparently feeling a little defensive quipped “well, at least I did not take us into Iraq!” and promised to watch the video soon
Already 9/11 Truth activists in Toronto and Montreal are anxious to ask Mr. Chretien his impressions of the film.
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