Speech: Military Action in Iraq

On Friday, October 3rd, 2014 in Speeches

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, with that, let me convey my thanks to all members of this House for the rare unanimous consent to allow a member from an unrecognized party to respond, although I do stand here recognized as a member of Parliament for the Green Party.

I want to reflect very briefly on the fact that in June 2011, I was the only member of the House to vote against the continued bombardment of Libya, recognizing at the time, as I said in Debates, I was deeply troubled by the fact that among the rebel forces we were supporting was al Qaeda and there were warehouses full of arms that could easily end up in the hands of extremists and inadvertently fuel terrorism. I do not stand here to say for one moment that I was right and all members were wrong. That is not my point at all. We were united in our concern as Canadians to do the right thing. However, in this region of the world, if there was ever proof for the adage that the road to hell was paved with good intentions, we have it in spades from the U.S. deciding it would be a bright idea to recruit a millionaire named Osama Bin Laden to take on the threat of the Soviet presence in Afghanistan, create al Qaeda, and hope that when they withdrew somehow Afghanistan could hold it together. Then we went back into Afghanistan, and then we had the ongoing crisis of terrorist organizations. We had what happened in Libya.

In June 2011, the Minister of Foreign Affairs said, “Obviously, no government can be worse than the Gadhafi regime”. I think the road to hell was paved with good intentions again in Libya because we meant well, but in turning down peace offers and peace talks and pursuing a bombardment we inadvertently increased the strength of terrorists.

I just wanted to add this one thought because I know we are all pressed for time and I appreciate the opportunity and the honour to speak with all members.

I completely support what the Prime Minister said, that Canada cannot stand on the sidelines. In every single town hall meeting I had earlier in September, my constituents and residents of my communities opened by saying: what do we do about this terrorist threat of ISIL; what about ISIS, it is horrific? My response to them was this. We need to sign the arms trade treaty. We need to stem the flow of conventional arms to terrorists. We need to track the money. We need to find out who is fuelling these people. We need sensible plans. We need to make sure that there are not vast numbers, cohorts of unemployed young men, who feel alienated within their societies. If this is called practising sociology, consider me guilty of it. I call it thinking. We need to think.

I completely support all of the Prime Minister’s intentions. We cannot allow these horrific crimes to go unanswered but we must make sure whatever we do does not make matters worse. That is why I hope we will have a fuller debate for more than just one day so that we can bring to bear the collective knowledge and wisdom of Canadians, every single one of us in this place representing constituents who want Canada to do the right thing. I do not think we are there yet. Without disrespect to any of us, bombings have never ended an Islamic or any religious extremist terrorist threat. Time after time it has made matters worse. Let us try to look to the lessons of history before we go to war again.

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  • Cynthia Nicolson

    Thank you, Elizabeth! It’s so important to remember that these issues are not simple dichotomies and there are many options for action. I appreciate your point that we can agree with the PM’s intentions without agreeing with his strategies or actions and I imagine that many Canadians feel the same way.

    • Canada Lover

      actually, I believe EM is being her polite self in saying the intentions are ‘good’ (I would not say it’s sarcasm)…. we all know how agenda-driven he is.

  • Andrea Bunt Percy

    EM for PM!

    • RovingReader

      She’d have my vote!

      • H. Shaban

        And I add my vote to Madam Elizabeth May; and agree with Mr. Hagman, God bless him..,This new attack by ISIS and the U.S, Israeel and the other joining gang is nothing but to control the oil riches of Iraq..The efforts will fail as it did before. What we need as Canadians politicians who will do right to this great peaceful country.

        H, Shaban

        • Rachel

          H. Shaban, do you feel that ISIS is also after oil?

          • h.shaban

            Dear Rachel,
            Isis is a tool of the greedy..They are simply a bunch of killers and gangsters, never believing in any religious dogmas and culture; employed by the same greedy entity…

  • toptekkie

    Glad to be a supporter of this party. The time is here now to stop the violence and this will not or ever has happened by dropping bombs of destruction. We as Canadian value life, we dont have the death penalty nor should we be inflicting death on those that commit barbaric crimes against others. I hope and trust the decisions made by government will lead to dialog between opposing forces in this troubled world. Lets not pave the road with good intentions but rather act with the best intentions.

    • Rachel

      yeah, maybe dropping bags of rice and supporting efforts to help people get jobs and value their traditional cultures and lifestyles, facilitate farming and rural life, etc., and get education to people … and help them see Canadians as friends instead of bombers…..

  • Gordon Hartman

    Thank you Elizabeth May. Sensible points made.

  • disqus_mwzFKvUOmb

    Thank you for putting this crisis into the larger context of how the world got to this point. I value your considered response to slow down, consult with all Canadians and proceed in a way in alignment with Canadians and in a way that is not throwing fuel on current and future fires.

  • Bob Wilson

    Congratulations Elizabeth. It’s the West’s incessant intervention in Middle Eastern governance that has brought us to the point where so many people hate us. We need to find a way to turn down the heat, not add to the flames.

    • Le Franco Nord Américain

      The people whio hate us are the peole who see us as part of “America”, our neighbour to the South. The more we go, under a haprer government, the more the border between us and our Southern neighbour is blurried.
      Many people, the world over, realize that the people of the world are but sheep and canon fodder at the mercy of tose who wield the power.
      THose of us who are humanitarian and who let our hearts lead us rather than our fears and prejudices …are many. The Occupy movements of the little people are occuring the world over. Our establishment leaders are not militarizing our police forces for nothing: they know their real problems and the ones to really fear are not foreign but domeastic.

      • HereHere

        It is not just under the Harper government. It is the last Liberal government who started our very long mission in Afghanistan. Then Obama named Canada as a target.

        • Rachel

          Obama did? When did he do that?

  • Karen Buller

    Whooeee! Thank you:)

  • Robert Hagman

    Truth be known, the funding, recruiting, and training of these jihadist groups is well known and it is none other than the USA, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, et al. And, they continue to do it as we speak. It is not without cause that the world’s majority view the USA and indeed Israel as the greatest threats to world peace, given their respective long histories of ignoring international law and convention through their long histories of aggression and violations of territorial sovereignty.
    The real question is: who will speak truth to power? Regardless of the consequences.
    And, in this respect, Elizabeth May has at least started the process.

    • Brian Smith
    • goodsensecynic

      Speaking truth to power is an admirable project, but power wants nothing to do with truth. What is needed instead is the speaking of truth to the powerless, by which I do not mean the “bottom billion,” the poor and oppressed in other countries, though there is nothing wrong with making that attempt as well. Instead, I mean the powerless – whether because of economic condition, prejudice whether it be gender-based, faith-based, ethnic or “racial” in its origin – within our own country.

      Those whose interests align with Mr. Harper and his merry minions of mendacity are unlikely to pay heed to truth, for the truth would undermine their material interests and lay their ideological justifications open to ridicule. But, perhaps, there are some among Conservative voters who do not understand that they are being played for fools by the real elites in this country, who are not urban library-card holders and public transit uses but are the money behind the corporations and blowhard “populists” who dominate the policy making in the no-longer-progressive party of people like Dalton Camp, David Crombie, Flora Macdonald and, yes, even John Diefenbaker on a good day.

      I also mean those people inclined to vote Liberal on the grounds that at least they’re not Harperites and possibly the only party capable of beating the Conservatives in a two-party race. To them I can only say that Canada is not a two-party country. There are alternatives and the alternatives are defeated only because people are disinclined to vote for them because of a self-fulfilling prophesy. As for Mr. Trudeau and his associates, they may be a little more charming than Mr. Harper and his bullies; but, in the end, we normally find that Conservatives do evil with gless, whereas Liberals do evil with regret.

      If, however, we address the needs, wants and aspirations of the 99% rather than the 1% (or, more accurately, the 1% of the 1% of the 1%) and show Canadians how horribly self-defeating it is to vote for precisely those interests that are condemning the planet to ecological degradation, the people of the planet to perpetuals war and the women, the workers and the members of any number of communities (starting, of course, with First Nations peoples), then we might get somewhere.

      Of course, we won’t get all the way to where we should be until we have a representative government that truly represents the will of the people through proportional representation, but that’s a topic for another day.

      • ThirdChimp

        Thank you goodsensecynic – one of the most lucid, concise and well informed comments I’ve read on any blog in quite some time. I salute you.

        • LogiKill

          All those uneeded syllables and big word filler was concise? Hardly even readable.

          If conservatives do evil with glee, and liberals do evil with regret, it seems that makes your stance “do nothing with a mix of glee and regret”, and watch the primetime humanitarion slaughter continue. Lead follow or get out of the way. Your kind cant seem to manage any of those options on to many issues.

      • owningmyvoice

        Hear hear. Thank you Elizabeth, the strongest voice for Canada by far and to good sensesynic who said what I wanted to say and said it so much better. Have we learned nothing? War feeds the pocket books of the evil (read the huge corporation fiddling while the planet and its inhabitants implode) while we slumber and worry about the next manufactured crisis of terror. Canada, by hitching her buggy to the US, makes us terrorists, dupes, and war-lords. We are the ones who must put a stop to this. Elizabeth needs our committed support to feet on the ground, creating the world we choose, We must refuse to participate in these wars of convenience and greed.

    • LogiKill

      If you want to know who the good and bad guys are look at North and South Korea. North Koreans Eat Tree Bark with the Full Support of Mother Russia.

      Why isnt there a no fly zone over Syria three years ago? Russia.

      Who stole a warm water port and the two main Industrial Cities of Ukraine this Year beginning before the Olympics were Over? Russia.

      Russia’s Cold Iron Heart is the problem, I dont see them dropping supplies to thousands chased up a mountain, they dont even feed their own elderly, or anyone very well for that matter. We have bitter enemies who want to see us fail worse than Soviet Union did, They dont care who has to eat tree bark, as long as they win and America loses.

  • AK

    Well said. Thank you.

  • Hurtland

    This is the clearest, most responsible and unequivocal statement about this situation that I’ve heard from anyone, in any country. Bar none. We should all take heed of what Elizabeth May has said, otherwise we’ll be led down the garden path again, enriching arms manufacturers and providing rich breeding grounds for unrest and uprisings, all at the hands of leaders who seem to pursue their own interests at the expense of their citizens, both in dollars and lives.

    • LogiKill

      Really, I guess you missed all of President Obama’s Basically Identical Statements on Overall ISIL Strategy. Her suggestions are Identical.
      Except she is not willing to fully support or oppose airstrikes. She only claims to support the decision, political speak meaning “For the good of the country, I hope this goes well.”

      If not airstrikes, what should be done to slow the atrocities? Does Elizabeth May have the fortitude to stand behind our SpecOps when they have to make the hard decisions or will she throw them to the courts and media tiger pit?

  • AngryAnn

    I think your comment on needing to ensure “that there are not vast numbers, cohorts of unemployed you men [and women!], who feel alienated within their societies” is bang on. Its when people have no hope for the future, no faith in their leaders, that these bizarre cults attract and brainwash people

  • malila

    Thank you Elizabeth for speaking out.

  • Sharon Moon

    Finally someone who makes sense! Practical suggestions to a complex issue and spoken with real integrity and intelligence. Thank you Elizabeth.

  • http://batman-news.com Richard Weatherill

    I have just heard today (03 Oct) that the US is also bombing the Corazon Group in Syria, an apparent offshoot of al-Qaeda. The Corazon Group was evidently formed to fight Bashar al-Assad dictatorial government, and the bombing of this Group is clear indication that the US is NOT interested in removing al-Assad from power. So by extention, neither is Canada – and I have to wonder why we (however indirectly) give our tacit support to one of the world’s really “bad guys”…….

    • Gonzogal

      September 27th 2014, where The New York Times published an article called, “U.S. Considers No Fly Zone to Protect Civilians,” where we read:

      “The Obama administration has not ruled out establishing a no-fly zone over northeastern Syria to protect civilians from airstrikes by the Syrian government…Creating a buffer, or no-fly zone, would require warplanes to disable the Syrian government’s air defense system through airstrikes.”

      A no-fly zone would also require that the U.S. prevent the Syrian air force from flying over Syrian airspace by destroying Syrian fighter jets, i.e., full scale war with the Syrian government and possibly its allies. This last part is always left out, so as to not anger the American public.

      Under international law no country has any legal right to carve out a “buffer zone” within another country, even if the no-fly zone was actually well intended. For example, even Canada cannot legally create a buffer zone in Ferguson, Missouri to protect civilians from police violence.

      The Syrian government is not bombing random civilians near the Turkish border; they are attacking ISIS and its ideological cousins. These are the same groups that Obama says that he’s waging a war on.

      Do civilians die when Syria attacks with bombs? Yes, which is one reason that a lot of popular anger is channeled towards the government in these areas, the same way that anger is now mounting against the U.S. bombings that kill civilians in Syria.

      If Obama truly wanted to target ISIS he would have included Syria, Iran, and Russia in his anti-ISIS “coalition.” These nations were excluded because Obama’s coalition is the exact same one that only months before was a U.S.-led coalition against the Syrian government. The grouping maintains its original purpose but puts on a new shirt to fool a media that’s content with surface explanations.

      But as soon as the newly dressed U.S. coalition started bombing ISIS, various “partners” announced, unsurprisingly, that Assad was “the real problem.” Obama’s Gulf state monarchy partners never had the stomach to fight ISIS, because they and the U.S. are primarily responsible for its growth, as countries like Qatar dumped money and extremist fighters into the arms of ISIS. Qatar recently reiterated that the Syrian government was the “main problem,” not ISIS.

    • Gonzogal

      “Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorial government” “tacit support to one of the world’s truly “bad guys” ”

      NATO has been studying data that told of a sharp rise in support for
      Assad. The data, compiled by Western-sponsored activists and organizations, showed that a majority of Syrians were alarmed by the Al Qaida takeover of the Sunni revolt and preferred to return to Assad, Middle East Newsline reported.

      “The people are sick of the war and hate the jihadists more than Assad,”
      a Western source familiar with the data said. “Assad is winning the war
      mostly because the people are cooperating with him against the rebels.”

      The data, relayed to NATO over the last month, asserted that 70 percent
      of Syrians support the Assad regime. Another 20 percent were deemed neutral and the remaining 10 percent expressed support for the rebels.

      The sources said no formal polling was taken in Syria, racked by two
      years of civil war in which 90,000 people were reported killed. They said
      the data came from a range of activists and independent organizations that were working in Syria, particularly in relief efforts.

      The data was relayed to NATO as the Western alliance has been divided
      over whether to intervene in Syria. Britain and France were said to have
      been preparing to send weapons to the rebels while the United States was focusing on protecting Syria’s southern neighbor Jordan.

      A report to NATO said Syrians have undergone a change of heart over the last six months. The change was seen most in the majority Sunni community, which was long thought to have supported the revolt.

      “The Sunnis have no love for Assad, but the great majority of the
      community is withdrawing from the revolt,” the source said. “What is left is
      the foreign fighters who are sponsored by Qatar and Saudi Arabia. They are seen by the Sunnis as far worse than Assad.” http://www.worldtribune.com/2013/05/31/nato-data-assad-winning-the-war-for-syrians-hearts-and-minds/

      I imagine if we follow your reasoning that a “dictatorial government” and a bad guy should be removed from office by war and violent overthrow, the leaders of the US, UK and even Canada should or could be overthrown by violent means by those who oppose their policies and find those leaders “dictatorial” or “bad guys”? I think you would support the contrary….that elected leaders are there and should be changed via an election of the country’s population, however much we may disagree with the leaders (country’s) policies.

      • http://batman-news.com Richard Weatherill

        “I imagine if we follow your reasoning that a “dictatorial government” and a bad guy should be removed from office by war and violent overthrow…”
        This statement of yours indicates you think there is some kind of reasoning and consistency where plainly none exists. The US (as Jon Stewart pointed out) loves to bomb! It all adds to their GDP. The US believes it is the global police force, and simply has to show the world this. But above all else, it needs to keep it’s arms industry going, as it is rapidly becoming the only means of employment in the that country with any long-term prospects.

        • Gonzogal

          I do believe that if the “West” promotes “democracy” then it should not take actions to overthrow elected governments in other countries even if the “West” doesnt like their choices of leaders.

          As for the rest of your comment I agree…there is no other industry growing in the US other than the “military industrial complex” also the fact that all the wars for oil/gas are necessary to keep the US’s global war machine alive and mobile.

          I am currently reading the book “The Complex” by Nick Terse and it shows in detail how literally from the time an American wakes up in the AM to the time they go to sleep, their lives are inundated/controlled by the MIC….literally shocking to anyone who aspires for peace on this planet.

  • Bruce Farquharson

    I shudder at Mr. Harper’s increasing “Americanization” of our national persona, with his effusing over “the Canadian Way” – jingoism to bolster emotional support for his decision to commit to an air war for 6 months.

    • Canada Lover

      I shudder also. But when we join up all the dots ( how this PM has systematically scoured out Canada’s valuable institutions, & become a yes-ma for the USA) it proves that Canada has in fact been sold out to the USA in the original FTA of the 1980′s. … as stated by the courageous insider whistle-blower Shelley Ann Clark (30+ years security-cleared in Foreign Affairs & hand picked to be the exec. assistant to Germain Denis, 3rd negotiator & detail man. (see her own details:Shelley Ann Clark/NAFTA) When clearing out the files, she saw an “Implementation Schedule” – unobtrusively every year, something had to happen leading up to a massive financial crisis due to the provinces’ unsustainable debt because of jobs having been cut. They would appeal to the IMF or World Bank for a bail-out & the price would be that we would become the 51-54th States of the Union. This PM has merely been paving the way for a seamless & inevitable handover. She says the full & complete FTA has been secreted for “securuty reasons” in a bunker outside Ottawa for 30 years, after which nothing can be done about it. Oh yes, & if the population rises up against it, the military at Ft. Drum across the border will don NATO blue berets & arrive to quell our uprising! …apparently there is ammo ready in some military establishment in Montreal. Who will demand that the whole & unredacted FTA (200+- pages) can be studied
      by our population? What on earth could studying this agreement do to our sovreignty??? Read her story for yourselves – no gov.t has sued her, but she’s been mega-harassed ever since.

      • pbh

        I have a copy, what nonsense.

        • Rachel

          what’s nonsense? what she wrote, as in you don’t believe it, or the situation she described is ludicrous?

          • pbh

            that we don’t know the entirety of NAFTA. I agree we’ve lost some of our sovereignty.

      • Rachel

        What the heck? really? I knew some of this about NAFTA in the 90s as a student activist, and about the MAI…. but I did not know what you are writing there. I will look into it Shelley Ann Clark, NAFTA…

        • david llewellyn foster

          Indeed, this is some story. Thanks Canada lover for posting that.
          Despite what pbh writes below, I just listened to the Liquid Lunch interview with Ms Clark and even if a quarter of what she is describing is authentic, this warrants serious study and wider recognition.
          It may be premature to jump to any obvious conclusions, but knowing what we do now about the way the corrupt establishment operates, it seems highly plausible, and is therefore deeply concerning.

  • E. MacDermid

    Good on you Elizabeth. Dropping bombs on a foreign land is not going to resolve anything. In fact history tells us that many of those bombs will kill innocent civilians, in fact more civilians then the number of terrorists. Canadians are likely not prepared to undertake a fight to annihilate these barbaric fighters. If we are not prepared to undertake what is necessary then we should keep our troops home. We were looked up to as a nation once upon a time for our humanitarian input, so since when did we decide to drop bombs on people.

    • Le Franco Nord Américain

      We are no saints. We have a history of dropping bombs on people and if you look at our history you will see it was first when we listened to our first masters England (try the Boer War) and then the masters who took over from Enbland, that is to say the U.S.
      We are so frightened at the prospect of not being part of Fortress America that we let them pull our strings even when it comes to now working outside of the United Nations rules and conventions we have signed. Why? Because our U.S. masters expect it if us.

  • Craig

    Very thoughtful and sincere comments. It’s nice to see. Thanks.

  • David Proulx

    very well spoken, I feel this argument has great merit and that you’re work as the first Green Party MP has made a positive impact on not only your Party, the House of Commons and to a lesser extent all of Canada.

  • willowway

    Well said, Elizabeth!!

    Because of ill thought out military incursions into Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc which totally destabilized those countries we now have the mess that we have. There is no classic military solution available. We better spend our efforts cleaning up the terror cells right here in our own country. The mideast countries do need help. But bombing them back into the stone age does not qualify as “help”.

    If the mideast countries desire the “West” version of democracy or the “Western” way of life they will have to fight for it from within and spill their own blood. We cannot do that for them!

    • Le Franco Nord Américain

      Three comments Willoway:
      1. We were not part of a military incursion in IRAQ. We are fetting into it thanks to our present day P.M. who would have had us there with Bush as he clearly indicated when he was the leader of the Opposition when Chrétien said: NO.
      2. Middle East countries never indicated they wanted our Western version of democracy. Come to think of it neither do I as what we have is little more than an illusion; corporate power brokers rule.
      3. We are good at spilling their blood.

      • Gonzogal

        you my be surprised to read the following article that shows that Canada WAS involved in the 2003 war on Iraq http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/SAN303B.html


        • Le Franco Nord Américain

          Simply reinforces my point that we are not holier than others: ” we are good at spilling blood”. Whether our actions as a country be overt or covert, whether we have boots on the ground or simply anonymously kill from the air, we are complicit. We are after all one of the major weapons producers of the world. Our production of U.S. weapons, through “parts” sub-contracts significantly contributes to our economic well-being as a country,
          We profit from blood letting by staying on course.
          Until we seriously base all of our policies and actions on the reverence of life, we are living an illusion when we think we are innocent of any complicity. Shifting to a green economy built on a reverence of life, will necessitate a number of sacrifices and policy shifts. As much as we can wax eloquent when it comes to theoretical interest in same, few of us are ready to walk the talk.

  • Paul Hutcheson

    I was in Britain last week when Westminster was debating this issue–I was appalled to see how quickly the ‘enemy’ was demonized and how easily public opinion was manipulated. The same thing seems to be happening here. One other point–nearly all ‘trouble spots’ in the world have one thing in common–their borders were drawn by European imperialists–we are reaping the rewards of centuries of foreign domination and exploitation and a refusal to recognize traditional tribal and ethnic boundaries.

    • followthemoney

      Right on, Paul. So, why don’t we carve out a piece of the middle east and give it to the isis muslim ‘nation’, just like ‘we’ did in 1949? Then they wlll have a place they can institute Sharia law to their hearts content. Seriously, I wonder why we don’t try to rearrange the middle East borders with some kind of international cooperation, to get a piece of home turf for every (or at least the major) flavours of religion including separation of Sunni & Shia And a place for Palestinians as well? Maybe the middle east countries would actually be willing to concede some of their territory in exchange for a lasting peace and freedom from outside interference. But I suppose it’s not that simple, because the real drivers are ‘leaders’ who want to be dictators on their own terms and are using religious fever and motivations to foment instability so they can come in and take over.

      • powerofone

        to followthemoney – I agree with you as I believe any reasonable person would. The clue here is the word ‘reasonable’.
        Terrorists, extreme-ists and anyone who takes the meaning of all symbolic teachings literally, cannot be reasonable. Islam very clearly directs it’s followers to kill the ‘unbelievers’ and the killers consider themselves to be the ‘true’ believers. They number in the hundreds of thousands and have immigrated to every country in the world. They are living among people of all faiths including the gentler Muslims and we cannot tell one from the other until their killings begin. Our Christian faith teaches about the coming of the Anti-Christ and warns us against giving-in to his evil rule. Is this what we are seeing happening? or- is an anti-Christ a symbol of growing atheism and love of materialism as God? I am for the destruction of any evil. It depends upon how it is done. Again Christians are taught “an eye for an eye”. If terrorists would be content to live together in a piece of Arabia given to be the new Islamic State, they would still have to go out and kill the non-believers. How can such a belief system be restrained? With kindness and understanding? Nope. Their values have to be used against them in some way.

  • Bill Gardiner

    One western country or another has invaded, exploited, killed and brutalized the people of the middle east since the crusades. It is time we allowed the people that live in area to determine their own destiny. Both Shah Pahlavi and Saddam Hussein were touted as the enlightened leaders of the middle east and the US armed and supplied weapons to Iraq to defeat the Iranians in the Iraq/Iran conflict. He remained in control even though he and the Shah both brutalized and murdered their people for decades. Saddam Hussein only because a terrorist after he signed with Fina the French oil company instead of the Halliburton, for the development of the Iraq oil fields, to teach the American’s a lesson after the first Gulf War. Immediately afterwards the Dick Chaney became the Vice President and George Bush invaded Iraq to find weapons of mass destruction, that did not exist, causing the deaths of millions or Iraqis’. I am all for sending aid to the middle east. But in the form of humanitarian supplies the help repair the damages already done there. Bandages, food and medicine instead of bombs and bullets and return the reputation of a helping peaceable country Canada has always had around the world before Steven Harper embroiled us in a War with his partners in the United States.

    • Gonzogal

      ” return the reputation of a helping peaceable country Canada has always had around the world before Steven Harper embroiled us in a War with his partners in the United States.”

      While I agree that Harper has worsened Canada’s reputation world-wide, I would like to disagree that Canada has a reputation as a helping peaceful country. We need to open our eyes to Canada’s imperialistic actions. For details and references, may I suggest you read “Imperialist Canada” by Todd Gordon and “The Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy” by Yves Engler

      • LogiKill

        Is dropping food, water and shelter to Thousands of people chased up a mountain Imperialistic now? Being a willing Spectator to Slaughter and Atrocity cant be twisted into the right thing to do, no matter how much your kind try.

    • Name

      an informative read is the 2013 book by Scott Anderson “Lawrence IN Arabia – War, Deceit & Imperial Folly (?) – The Making of the Modern Middle East”… Both Britain & France beetrayed their promise to King Hussein of Arabia that they would support his wish for an Arab nation if they would fight to gert the Ottoman out of power. Prince Faisal & Lawrence did an enormous effort & succeeded! putting their reputations & lives in great jeopardy. King George betrayed both King Hussein & Lawrence. Wven then it was OIL!

      • Laura Morie

        That is a great book and look like the template for what is currently happening… scary…. maybe we need more politicians that read..

    • LogiKill

      How long after the crusades was America even discovered? You left out hundreds of years of history, to conveniently place USA in Iraq in 2003 and its embarrassing and amateurish.

  • Noreen Galvin

    Sure wish you could be our P.M. Elizabeth May. You are so rational and polite and intelligent in your discourse.You raise the tone of the debate and give me hope that harper’s war will not make things worse, Thank you.

    • Susan Terry

      Totally agree – There are no winners in war. War begets war… To quote a very wise man, “We may never be strong enough to be entirely nonviolent in thought, word and deed. But we must keep nonviolence as our goal and make strong progress towards it. The Attainment of freedom, whether for a person, a nation or a world, must be in exact proportion to the attainment of nonviolence for each.” Mahatma Ghandi

      • Noreen Galvin

        I agree with you. I am afraid that I am becoming too extreme in my denunciation of Harper. I am considering dropping out of the group for that reason.

  • Douglas Jack

    Elizabeth, Thank you. The level of Canadian, US, NATO & Israeli finance, arms, munitions & security implication is very high in the whole region. We are a part of the Oded-Yinon plan for destabilizing every Islamic state for the goal of a Greater Israel. Here is an e-link to the west’s creation of ISIS, as you alluded to in your speech. http://scgnews.com/the-covert-origins-of-isis

    We have ‘intellectual-cowardice’ on the part of all members of Canada’s Commons except Elizabeth May & Bruce Hyer. I was on the executive of my local NDP riding association & face-to-face interviewed 8 NDP MPs (5 leadership candidates) & 13 NDP Parliamentary assistants. During the Libya bombing, not one NDP MP leader or assistant would read, research or view the Libyan file from a peace & negotiation point-of-view, before, during or after, now with 250,000 dead. Some complained about Jack Layton’s pressuring for a yes vote but still had no interest in reviewing the argument for peace.

    Mohandas Gandhi, “I can imagine a fully armed man to be at heart a coward. Possession of arms implies an element of fear, if not cowardess. But true non-violence is an impossibility without the possession of unadulterated fearlessness.”
    Intellectual cowards hide behind war because of the psychological difficulty
    with dialogue.Gandhi ‘Satyagraha’ (Hindi ‘truth-search’) & ‘indigenous’ (Latin ‘self-generating’) practices require that we demand our perceived opponents such as ISIS, sit down in Both-sided, equal-time, recorded & published ‘debates’ (French ‘de’ = ‘undo’ + ‘bate’ = ‘the-fight’) & that we convene debate among all stakeholders. Only when a party refuses this opportunity to debate, have their debated perspectives widely shared & yet continue with aggression to innocents, do we have the right & obligation to military or police intervention. https://sites.google.com/site/indigenecommunity/structure/both-sides-now-equal-time-recorded-dialogues

  • Le Franco Nord Américain

    I can nolt agree with you when you say you “completely support the Prime Minister’s intentions.” They are not honourable intentions now any more tha they were when he was the leader of the Oppostion and openly stood for joining the Bush “coalition of the willing” which illegally went into Iraq under false pretenses to simply advance the “interests” of the U.S. which ois little more than an economic system that lives and thrives on the success of its war industry. You are correct in stating we need to sign the arms trade treaty, we need to stem the flow of conventional arms to terrorists, we need to track the money. While we may not want to acknowledge that the profits of war always end up in the hands of those who control the war industry, it has always been the same 1% and remains the same 1%.

    The unfounded fear and hate of Muslims has led the masses in the West to claim it is justified to go in and bomb Iraq …yet again. Racism is rampant. That we are in bed with the elephant that preaches one thing while practicing another makeds us all guilty.

    War never solves any problems. It merely allows those who benefit from the bloodletting to continue selling their weapons and continue living as well as they do while those who are involved in the fighting or simply unlucky enough to be in the neighbourhood all suffer whether they are beheaded, killed by drones or simply left with Post traumatic stress.

    As long as fear, hate and ignorance continue to prevail, we are well headed to where we deserve to be.

    • Oemissions

      i agree
      i cannot support Harper’s intentions when he continually courts Israel
      and allowed genocide on Palestiniians

      • HereHere

        I would love for the Palestinians to be free and autonomous, but with bombs being a regular occurance in Israel, and now we’ve seen the network of tunnels underneath Kibutzes and kindergartens, what is the way forward for peace? Let me be clear, I don’t support the horrific human rights abuses that Israel is imposing on the Palestinians. It fans the flames of hatred. Canada should not side with Isreal or Palestine, but on the side of peace and that which promotes the respect for all life.

  • Brandon

    I read the news today to see Harpers announcement about airstrikes in Iraq, and against ISIL in general. I read my emails to see this…
    Thank you for providing Canadians with this information. Thank you for THINKING. Thank you for giving the citizens an outlet to voice their opinions on the matter. You can rest assured that you are not the only one who feels this way Elizabeth (see other comments! Huge smile on my face).

    Yes! Terrorism is bad. So why do we answer bombs with bombs?

    • Shaykantwitch

      Brandon, – it is a ‘language’ Terrorists are steeped in, and thoroughly understand! There is no ‘neutral’ ground with fanaticism, particularly when is is rooted in the Doctrines of ISLAM, which knows NO compromise!

  • robertjb

    Great speech Elizabeth I couldn’t agree more. I am one step away from turning Green.

  • S Bishop

    I’m very happy to finally hear a voice of reason from a political party here in Canada. Her voice may be small but her words carry the great weight of the gravity of a very serious issue that affects not only every Canadian citizen but each person on the planet

  • john waters

    Once again Elizabeth is the conscience of Canada. Put me in support of the historical role of peace keeping activities.The golden rule applies, would we want these people sending bombers over our cities? There is so much more we could accomplish by helping the unfortunate “collateral damage casualties”, rather than adding fuel to the American fire. Thank-you again Elizabeth!

  • Gonzogal

    “We need to stem the flow of conventional arms to terrorists. We need to track the money. We need to find out who is fuelling these people.”

    Ms May I sugesst you have your team do the research on the web about who funds and supports ISIS militarily, financially etc. The detailed information is available on the web. You will see for yourself that the members of the so called “coalition” the US, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and others are the ones funding and arming ISIS.

    As regards not allowing these horrific crimes to go unpunished, where is your outrage at the 10+ beheadings that occured recently in Saudi Arabia? Or is your outrage like other gvts in the west only apparent when it is a citizen of a “western” country?

    I have absolutely no liking for ISIS, I do however have outrage at the sheer hypocracy of world governments including Canada’s by using such excuses to continue the war in Iraq to reclaim oil fields, and to open another front to topple the elected leader of Syria.

  • Claude Mayrand

    This is what I remember most from all the history classes I took in high school: “History Teaches Us That History Teaches Us Nothing.”

    I think that Bush was mislead/misinformed in the recent past. Because “History teaches us nothing”, I think the same thing is happening to Obama. Who knows who advises Harper or what Harper is imagining about his political legacy.

    So the current thinking and actions will not end well. Or maybe predictably: more violent groups will be spawned.

    ISIS, seemingly populated with many Westerners, don’t realize – obviously – that their brutal actions will not produce the ideals (?) they seem to be aiming for.

    ISIS is not a political entity, nor is it civilized or rational at any discernible level. Because of its nature, I don’t think ISIS will react favourably to political or humanitarian endeavours.

    There is no perfect answer to this problem. But inaction is not the answer.

    • Toni

      Well now that the Green party has applauded Elizabeth I will offer my non party comment, I would not support Harper’s intentions, he is a squanderer of our resources, is trying to warring flex muscles we do not have nor do most Canadians want; seems to me we should deal with the would-be and already are, extremists from Canada who are now part of the ISIS movement. They are loose cannons there and here if they return home. I have always thought May supports the Conservatives since her friendly outreach to Mulroney. Apart from the environment I cannot figure out what the Green Party stands for. While third world countries are struggling to come out of dictatorships we seem to be sliding down that slippery slope. I rue this country that my grandchildren will inherit.

  • Frances Deverell

    Right on Elizabeth!

  • Bobbie Saga

    Thank you Elizabeth. What is needed is for Canadians to speak up and tell their MPs to stop the violence. Tell them to get to the root of the problem… To blindly follow the US into war is just wrong.

    For years, at least in part, the root of the problem was, and still is, wrong-minded and unjust policies by some governments, while other governments either went along or stood silent. Does anybody remember South Africa? Is that not what the IRA was about? Bombing Gaza is another and more current example. It breeds resentment and hate.

    Also, when people are oppressed and feel they have no hope or future, they will rise up. Some will find what they believe to be causes with dubious organizations that can manipulate and use them. They do so in the shadows and with their lives, and usually the quest involves making a statement.

  • HKC

    You weren’t preaching to the choir, but they’re the only ones who heard you… unfortunately.

  • llb

    thank you for promoting reasoned discussion, it is a shame that it needs to be promoted in Canada, but our government seems opposed to the notion.

  • Gonzogal

    Former United States Marine and Gulf War veteran Ken O’keefe on PressTv exposes Obama, ISIS, Syria, Proxy Wars http://youtu.be/vuYgcjAi_bI

  • Balther Jensen

    The real ‘terrorrist’ we have is the Jews and Christian people who lend money out and charge interest, and make the people into economic slaves, and sell poison to the people, e.g. Alcohol and other drugs as well.

    • Harper’s Nuthatch


  • adruaq

    I can always count on you to say the right thing.

  • KootenayCoyote

    Sanity, speaking in the madhouse.

    • Rocky

      You make an excellent point. But on this point… and it is a cultivated sense of a madhouse of partisan politics, I have to ponder the theoretical. Given his ‘majority government’, essentially a free-reign we gave to the Harper government, few of us really understanding the aspirations and roots of the ‘new’ Conservative Party, could there be any different or other government response? I stop short, am ashamed to admit Canadian response, but to the present situation as it has developed? With the exception of E.M., who represents ‘cerebral Opposition’ slim chance I think of thoughtful, comprehensive, debate and disclosures on the hill; with even less coming out the cloistered PMO.

  • mypennyworth


    You are what I visualise to be a Canadian. You have to be admired for the courage of your convictions and for put forth morality against immorality.
    The minions that we have running this great country are devoid of conscience and their subversive tomfoolery to the monied and the hegemonic is a formula for disaster.

    Continue to remind these minions that Canadians know what they are all about and don’t like it one bit. Remind them over and over that people who they throw bombs on as arm chair warriors suffer and when they see this inhumanity, it too makes them inhuman.

  • Janet

    Well said Elizabeth. I was appalled to see that CTV cut your speech off after Justin Trudeau spoke, so I told them so.

  • Paul McArthur

    While I appreciate Elizabeth May’s speech and the fact that she voted against the North Atlantic Terrorist Organization’s bombing of Libya in 2011 (in the words of Michel Chossudovsky at the time – the Global War On Terror …Using Terrorists), I am nauseated by her appeal to the prime minister’s “good Intentions”. While it may be politically correct, I believe it is well past time that Canadians – despite their justified intolerance of beheadings – own up to the facts of “evil ” intentions (and unfathonably evil results) of Western backed overt and covert military interventions throughout the world.

    • Canada Lover

      …EM can’t really say in parliament what a treacherous politican he is … she has to be her polite self, but her speeches reveal her genuinely held feelings.

  • Anti

    It amazes me how many ‘ordinary folk can see how wrong on so many levels war is, but to our alleged ‘voted leaders’ good rational decision making is SO LACKING, what is wrong with these people, maybe its time to look at reforming members of parliament and there education and intelligence,Other than Elizabeth it seems the obvious right humanitarian decisions are not to be seen when a quick buck can be made for the Corporations.

  • Pam

    Your voice of reason gives me hope! May the other Members hear your voice of sanity and act accordingly. “An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind”


  • Name

    Thankyou again dear Elizabeth May ….thank goodness you’re still crying out! I am afraid that our supposed military ‘help’ will really trigger the young jihadists here in Canada to carry out the grisly promises here.
    …reminds me of the warning not to take our boxer dog on our trail hikes in the Rockies …he would dash up to provoke any bears, then flee back to us bringing the angry bear to us!

  • Alice

    I thought our planes were too old and falling apart.. Wonderful contribution to a war.

  • eagle

    Honourable Ms. May, you are speaking like a mouse today. Stephen Harper does not have any good intentions in this regard,and you are not helping matters by not speaking clearly. Harper is not independent of US and Israel, UK and Saudi interests – It is chaos – but it well serves the war, financial and government “industries”, and supporting politicians, reliant on them. Thankfully, you do point out some of the great contradictions, but you skate carefully over and around them. I am sure you know better in your heart. This will not change anything. WE need to be building a very strong movement against the destruction of societies and against destruction of the planet.

  • ted lumley

    thanks, elizabeth, for speaking out against the Harper government’s proposal to commit Canada’s military to waging war against the ISIS ‘strawman’. The carving up of middle east lands and peoples by Euro-American colonizing powers into unstable sovereign state ‘binnings’ is an unfinished story that has many more chapters yet to unfold. As law historian Peter D’Errico observes;

    “The concept of sovereignty was a response to civil war in the Christian world at the close of the Middle Ages. It spawned an era of centralizing, territorial power that in our times — half a millennium later — is coming into question. Sovereignty — the notion of “absolute, unlimited power held permanently in a single person or source, inalienable, indivisible, and original” — is today a theory under siege. Indigenous peoples are only one of the besiegers, …” – Peter D’Errico, law professor emeritus, University of Massachussetts

  • Sandra Lee Aldis

    Thank-you for your speech. It is important to reiterate that if we feed into war, war will continue. War has never created peace and we need to find a better way of dealing with unease than going to War! Elizabeth May is a light on the horizon and I hope she has impact.
    I believe that the Green Party and the N.D.P. party would have a very strong impact if they joined forces and worked together. It’s never been more needed as it is at this time.
    Thank-you Elizabeth May for your words and dedication. Take good care because we all need you! Yours with respect, Lee Aldis.

  • http://www.consciencecanada.ca Jan Slakov

    EM for PM indeed. My mom was moved to tears hearing Elizabeth on “As it Happens”; she speaks for us! We can allow ourselves to hope that another world is indeed possible, knowing that Elizabeth could conceivably be elected by a majority of MPs as our PM. My gratitude is immense, that we have Elizabeth able to help people evolve towards something much better.

  • benj

    You are very brave, Elizabeth, to take this stance, but you are, wise too, to ask us all to learn from history. Violence is no solution, and just fuels the mlitary industrial complex.

    Another question we might ask: “why are we so quick to rain death from the sky on brown people, Muslims, however extreme, and yet we stand by and watch while Putin makes war on the Ukraine.

    Why is that?

    Keep up the good work, brave one…

  • Rocky Racoon

    Planes in Eastern Europe, Planes in Libya, Now planes in Iraq what is wrong with Canada? We do not support the over throw of Assad or regime change in Syria. Arm Syria and respect what that nation has built over centuries the people we are fighting with in this coalition trained with provided support for terrorists and all the funding needed to get the job done. Israel has provided medical care to terrorists escaping the Syrian Army through the Golan Heights, Syrian territory I must remind you, Israel has also bombed Syria several times in assisting the ISIS forces-as it came to pass this is what Assad was fighting over there. A protest does not lead to regime change and violent Jihadists with British accents and the same Gladio style commencement of the indiscriminate sniper killings that have become all to common on the historical plane these past few decades. Saudi Arabia part of this intrigue recently beheaded a women for supernatural crimes of some sort. These people who have been training and funding ISIS are now going to slaughter them? No they are going to use them for regime change in Syria and we are going to help them. They recently attacked a village where the native tongue of the Christian Jesus was still spoken by believers today. Only the Syrian Army who are willing to die for their country Christians included who lived peacefully for an eon. How do we get in bed with something that attacks that? They lived in Peace with Assad and voted for him in a Democratic election, who are we to overturn the will of those people? The only way to deal with these terrorists honestly is to stop funding them and arming them and then with remnants, help Syria become a stronger state. Iran and Iran can handle things along with the Sunnis Shia’s and anyone else who wants to get out of that head chopping cult-A Marshal Plan for the Middle East and America while your at it. That would be good for Canada too…we can build bridges to sky-scrappers….

  • Natural Nurture

    Elizabeth are you the only member who can read…or does read…why don’t your compatriots know who is supplying arms and for what purpose…a 3500 Km Pipeline?…for who’s gain? Why are we the new arms dealer on the block…with $6B in sales to the Sudis?

  • Nathan Wilhome

    Sorry, i don’t support “bombing” over there at all. Many and most of those bombs will go off killing local innocent people “mostly”…….therefore bombs should not be used anywhere…….and if bombing is to occur, then i agree with George Galloway…that the planes used to do the bombing should be Saudi Arabia planes…but absolutely nothing should be done without the consent of Assad in Syria……bombing such as the US, and now Canada by this traitor Harper are against the laws of not only a sovereign nation, but against all International Laws. Once again Harper….without any moral conscious at all…….being a member of the Council of the Foreign Relations Committee…..aka the Multinationalists and Central Bankers “business committee” have absolutely no concern for the common folk in Syria or Iraq or you and me in Canada. They are freaks who have gone off the top of their head with no moral at all. Look at Libya now folks …….close to 600,000 murdered by the Al Quieda that Harper and the US and “Nato” left behind to really destroy the people there…….this is since they “conquered Gadaffi”…….never mind the bombing infrastructure of practically all of Tripoli and every village. Where is “that” in the news? Well…..keep playing the Nato tune and the next thing you know Harper and his allies will give a plane ride for IS to Canada so they can do their dastardly thing here. Please don’t play Harper’s game. When has this man ever spoke the truth? The same with his cohort, John Baird……..and Peter McKay. What??? has happened to Canadians? So frustrating, so stupid. You all better get on the internet and do your homework and stop believing this government crap! And start standing up or ww3 comes next!

  • Nathan Wilhome

    What is Harper’s email address? I want to send him an email?

  • Denis Falvey

    Well said!

    Historically, and truly sadly, the only proven way to avoid war is the perceived ability to win war: MAD is the extreme example of course. Canada has virtually no such ability, after decades of elitist misunderstanding and mismanagement of the Forces.

    The ‘war’ with extremists is not principally a war of conventional weapons, although they are certainly involved. It is a war of ideologies, much like the Cold War could be characterized. On the one side is elitist power, and on the other is rage at that power.

    The way to ‘win’ the war against extremists is to remove their reasons for being extreme. Consensus democracy on a world scale is the only viable way to achieve that; every other solution leaves someone on the outside – angry and motivated to seek revenge against the elite inside.

    So, while we defend ourselves from a monster of our own creation, why not move toward not creating a new one by changing the fakakta way we run our system. Let’s try democracy, rather than spectacle.

    • Gonzogal

      “Consensus democracy on a world scale is the only viable way to achieve that; every other solution leaves someone on the outside – angry and motivated to seek revenge against the elite inside.”

      With the example of “democracy” as it is in the so-called “West” no wonder other countries want no part of it! And what makes the “west” the ones to decide what kind of government other independant countries should have? I certainly would not wish upon anyone the excuse for “democracy” that exists in North America or the EU. Maybe we should all look at a definition of what it is and either force the govts to live by its definition or look for another solution!

  • rncnrd

    It is absurd that the bullies (the US, Britain etc.) get to decide the ways to murder people that are acceptable. Perhaps ISIS would use drones, bombs and long range missiles if they had that capability. The real question is how much terror has been put upon the people of the Middle East by outsiders. Remember that every time a western government spokesperson even mentions the word terrorist they are manipulating the minds of the people to gain support for the continuing terror they bring upon the people of the Middle East. It is the oldest trick in the book to dehumanize a chosen enemy so that it is easier on the populace conscience when the goverment orchestrates the murder of these less than human enemies. Dont let the government do that to you. These are human beings in the Middle East that are being murdered.

  • HereHere

    I have felt since 2001/2002, that we were just fanning the flames by participating in the War in Afghanistan. Looking now over a decade later, we’ve just pulled out (how much did that mission cost taxpayers?). And what do we have to show for it but a growing number of home-grown terrorists and more heart-string pulling terrorist activities against western-originated volunteers who went to places like Syria to help. We have been pulled into a most dirty political and ideological conflict.

  • Mike

    We already know this information! Knowing it is not going to stop ISIS! Yes, the USA made a mistake going into Iraq and the West made a mistake bombing Lybia. That is, however, irrelevant now.

  • mollycanadian

    This will only result in creating more terrorists.

  • Jim Prendergast

    This restrained and correct speach is an example of proper procedural decorum in the House of Commons. If onlo there were more like her.

  • Myrna Bosomworth

    You are so right Elizabeth. May your voice of sanity and reason prevail and help to open a door to peace. We have many doors that need opening but you have had the courage to start the process. Congratulations on your speech!

  • B Litke

    Elizabeth May seems to be the only person who has grasped the enormity of ongoing problems and to realize that ‘shock and awe’ is a lesson we don’t need to repeat as it failed in the past. Remember we learn from our mistakes or become fools. Elizabeth is certainly no fool.

  • Mike

    On CBC radio today in an interview Mulcair told Evan Soloman that the NDP did not vote for the continued bombing in Libya.
    Just FYI

  • Marni MacFayden

    I support your ideas completely. Follow the money and find out who’s supporting those involved in this terrorism.

  • Brenda H

    Thank you for your very thoughtful comments. I just a read a very disturbing article which, sadly, I believe to state the facts the way they are, in the Globe & Mail by Robert Fowler entitled, “We’ve got to get nasty, or get the hell out.” I totally agree with you, we need to step back and take a good, hard look at the situation and read, listen, talk about the best course of action, not just go blindly running in and making matters worse. We also need to stop being one of the world’s major arms manufacturers, indiscriminately selling arms to whoever has the money to pay for them.

  • Brian Ward

    “No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy” – all wars are a failure of leadership. We need to be smarter than the terrorists, not more brutal than them. Yes we need to stop them in their tracks, but as EM stated, we need to attack the source – money, people and beliefs.

  • barbara miles

    What is her solution to bombing? I did not hear one, except for the Sociologist point of view which takes time, and I understand this well, being an undergraduate Soc. major, but ISIS is an urgent matter,

  • Shirley

    Always the voice of reason, thank you, thank you, thank you. For speaking for the millions of Canadians, who feel the same way. Finally, someone to speak with intelligence, thoughtfulness and passion.

  • Luitpoldt

    The error begins by saying, “We cannot allow these horrific crimes to go unanswered.” Somehow we are perfectly content to let homelessness, poverty, inadequate public health care, overly expensive university education, and joblessness right here in Canada “go unanswered,” yet still we feel we have to spend resources without limit if there is a chance to answer a problem with jets and bombs. We are also easily aroused by dramatic images on videos, just like children who are attracted to shiny objects, but we fail to address issues which are evident only to thought. Let’s face it: there are horrific crimes, abuses, and neglects all over the world all the time, even in Canada, so let’s address these problems as we can according to their seriousness, not according to how dramatic the videos of them may be.

  • Rachel

    good point, Elizabeth. Thank you for your voice.

  • Rachel

    Elizabeth, I’m interested in your comment about “practicing sociology” and your statement that you are fine with doing it. Was that in reference to something he’d said before about the situation in the middle east, or is that in reference to the “not a sociological phenomenon” comment Harper made about missing and murdered indigenous women?

  • Pam Sheldon

    Strong, articulate, knowledgeable and, above all, absolutely right! The potential for war and the history of how we got here is horrific (the few books many of you have touted I intend to read), but for me the more germane question is “where are Canadian citizens?” What has happened to us as a nation that we elect Leaders who tear our values to shreds? Canada doesn’t look or feel like Canada anymore. Why are we not marching in the streets (not the Canadian way?). Citizens should be lined up behind Elizabeth May in the millions and yet we collectively leave her sitting there in non-recognition. I am so disillusioned that so few take the time to read or listen. What do I do? (help me out if you have a suggestion). I live in a riding that is predominantly Conservative; as a result of our archaic election system I always lose my vote. There is a small chance this time around that voting here for the Liberals might prevail; but I want to support Elizabeth and The Greens! So do I increase The Green Party’s numbers while knowing I’ve contributed to another Conservative Government, or, vote Liberal to increase the chances of defeating the most mean-spirited, anti-Canadian, anti-environmental, pro-U.S. Prime Minister this country has ever had to endure. Help me out here, please. I need a way to vent my angst!

  • Rick Fishell

    Thank you for your thoughtful words and measured stance.

  • danhunt

    Osama bin Laden was used to lead al Qaeda not after the Soviets invaded but before the US made moves to precipitate the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviets. This was a big plan by Pres. Carter and Zbigniew Brzezinski to ‘give the Soviets their own Vietnam’ ZB ‘to crush the Soviet economy’ ZB.
    This was a horrendous crime by the US and people in Afghanistan suffer today from this most ignorant and amoral od decisions by the USA.
    Al Qaeda was, according to Zbigniew Brzezinski, to follow the instructions given by the CIA to ‘quickly oust’ the Soviets and to save lives. The opposite was true as Zbigniew Brzezinski was just setting in motion a huge amoral plan with no regard for the Afghani people.
    Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda found out afterwards that they had been tricked and abused by the USA and therefore began reprisals against the USA of which a number are on the FBI files. The FBI never put out a Most Wanted for 9/11 for the simple reason there never was any evidence pointing to al Qaeda not to Osama. This remains true today. Obama had him murdered along with others in a criminal raid inside Pakistan.
    These are the simple facts of a very twisted USA!


    If I could I’d vote for you over any other politician. RC

  • danhunt

    I also promote you for your position on Libya though I would have tried to pre-empt this cruel assault by the USA. This is what Libya was before the insurrection of mostly mercenaries from the poor Arabs in the pseudo-democracy of Mali.

    After the insurrection create by the US upon Libya these Arabs went home to Mali and created a bit of a revolution there now being fighter trained and well armed. I say a pseudo-democracy because there are basically three tribes in Mali and the biggest tribe always wins. The poor Arabs of the NW never get a break. Nevertheless, the revolution by the armed Arab population (those coming home from Libya) failed with the French (with US help I believe) put down the rebels.


    Keep up the good work.

  • PlentyONothin

    A thousand years of hatred and fighting will not be solved in a few weeks by dropping ordnance.

  • Waiting4amiracle

    I agree that Canada should remain in a respected peace-keeper role, as it always has been since 1947. Canadians need to wake up and take a good hard look at who the real ‘terrorists’ are, and not be fooled, and misled into something there is no going back from. Canada please stay out of the insanity, we have too much to lose, now and into the future.

    • Le Franco Nord Américain

      Time to change your name to Rip van Winkle. We have not been a respected peace-keeper for quite some time.

  • Jim McLelland

    Yes, here we go again ! — now about to join in a pre-emptive action that has no warrant either in International Law or any UN sanction. So, the first point I should make is that we are debating, in our Parliament whether to engage in illegal acts abroad, especially in relation to entering or occupying the space or lands of other nations through force. This is, technically, AGGRESSION.

    What is “same old” , in particular, is that we demonize the bad guys, which turns the whole thing into a “values” discussion; a political habit that rarely aligns with the assessment for plans to succeed or to go awry. The fact that this kind of thinking has become widespread as a cover for aggression – though sometimes accompanied by compelling humanitarian arguments for relief of victims – is a testament to our leaders’ willingness to project a heroic roll for geo-political adventures, undertaken in our name. The execution of these plans involves a wielding of power that may be unrestrained and hugely destructive (collateral damage estimates from US drone strikes into Pakistan included non-combatant fatalities at at least 30%, including women and children).
    I do not think that any of these proposed adventures would come close to meeting the range of historic conditions required to be a so-called “just war” – the kind of war that God was considered to admit as necessary in the face of aggression and serious mal-intent. Considering the volatile region we are being directed to for this round of proposed “:counter-terrorist cleansing”, I do wonder whether the Deity might not reflect that in the violent past of this land of “Blood and Oil”, there were temptations aplenty leading far away from Justice and Equality, but no shortage at all of Justifications for War.

  • pwlg

    Here’s what fuels these wars not only in the middle east but Africa and elsewhere.

    Who sits on the UN so called Security Council, the permanent members who are enshrined to do what’s best to make the world a more secure and peaceful place?

    The USA, UK, China, Russia, Germany, France! In other words the six largest weapons producing nations in the world and what they produce is all up for sale around the world in what they all dearly love, the ‘free’ market.

    It’s not freedom from tyranny or terrorists they seek. These nations do their best to destabilize other nation’s and bring harm to their citizens through the sales of weapons and the resulting wars being conducted with these same weapons.

    Does Harper’s Canada seek to belong to this club? You bet!

    • Le Franco Nord Américain

      Unless israel has surpassed Canada, Canada is still the 7th largest weapons producing country in the world.

  • Leah

    Elizabeth, you are a beam of light shining into an antiquated musty old House. Bravo for pointing out the true underpinnings of many conflicts and boldly asking for reasonable weight to be given to any military action. Non- partisan “brainstorming” would be a great idea right about now.

  • Linda Rose

    Thank you, Elizabeth. Easy to see of one thinks rather than swallowing what’s been put on the spoon.

  • Linda Fraser

    One excellent reason for the world to switch to clean energy ASAP and to divest from fossil fuels is the outcome that the middle east will cease to be all about power, money, oil and war. Clean energy creates a more diverse energy base and energy ownership will not be located all in one distinct hot spot on global maps, the middle east. The world is now experiencing a very difficult transition….. shifting from our power and money being centred around the middle east’s oil to a more diverse power and monetary base globally. Our world’s history has recorded horrific and truly ugly power shifts in the past and yet still we have not learned how to cope with transitions! There are last ditch power grabs going on right now in the middle east; people starving for a last chance to ‘own the oil’ or fighting to gain prominence by ‘bullying the west’. Adding more terror to this already terrifying situation is I agree, absolutely the wrong approach. Bullying in the schoolyard ALWAYS escalates when the bullies are bullied back. I am totally on board with Elizabeth May. Yes, “these crimes cannot go unanswered” yet here Ms. May is offering us an opportunity for the world to add thought and compassion to this escalating crisis situation. We are a world desperate for this ‘time out bench’. Here is an opportunity for us to use our brains while working our muscles. Thank you for your wisdom, Elizabeth.

  • Harold Keene

    As usual, our Prime Minister is “RIGHT ON THE MARK”

  • Paul McArthur

    Thank you Elizabeth for offering a thoughtful non violent response to “what to DO about ISIS?” .

    Calling on Greens and any concerned Canadians with an interest electoral integrity to support this documentary https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/electoral-fraud-serious-funding-for-serious-doc

  • frothquaffer

    The soundness of your arguments are exceeded only by the eloquence and politeness utilized. You show your fellow parliamentarians how to behave in the House of Commons!

  • snafu

    After reading comments here, I feel we need to stop falling for the concept that getting rid of Harper or Obama… fill in a politician’s name … is going to change anything. The system has been hijacked.

    Harper quote: ““As I constantly remind Canadians, there isnt really a Canadian economy anymore. It is a global economy.”
    ” I know some people don’t like it. It is a loss of national sovereignty, but it is reality.”
    Re: nafta ceta

    Until we separate business from State, as we did Church and State it will continue to be this same game. Should someone with integrity slip through i.e.: EM… to a position that could actually affect business as usual, we know what happens to them. They are destroyed in the press, or worse…

  • Colleen Bator

    As always – well said Elizabeth. I just sent this to MP and copied you on it:

    Dear Honourable MacKenzie,
    I hope that this finds you well. First of all, thank you very much for making the announcement about our $100,000 win in the House of Commons this past June. It was a great honour to view that and see the pride that you had in our business and our County.

    I just wanted to touch base as I know you are in Ottawa today debating the role that Canada will take in the military action against ISIS in Iraq. I understand that the Conservatives are looking to commit to six months of military action. I would not feel like a democratic citizen if I at the very least failed to let you know that I am against this military action. I want very much for my tax dollars to be used to support and feed the already starving people of Iraq and other nations in that fragile region. Violence in this region has continuously led to the demise of standard of living for locals and in the end has left the citizens time and time again with nothing – including hope (leading to the growth of such groups as ISIS).

    Jean Chretien in 2003 was strong enough to stand up to the pressures from Allied forces to enter into combat in Iraq and my hope is somehow the Conservative government could find this strength as well.

    Thank you for your time and please know that if I feel this way, many more of your constituents do as well – they just don’t know how to have their voices heard.

    Colleen Bator

  • Chris. Brierley

    Please watch. Draws interesting parallels to ww2.

  • Debbie

    Perfectly said, Elizabeth.

  • AHP

    Ms Elizabeth May – Thank you for your respectful approach and brave comments. Continue fighting for peace and true justice.

  • Shara

    Elizabeth – thank you for cutting through the noise with a clear and objective stand! You have my family’s support in keeping Canada out of yet another conflict that has been created by the very people who want to go in and create war jobs.

  • anne marie benoit

    Thank you Elizabeth for your sensible thinking. It is funny that I now read this when I earlier point out kind of the same on social media yet never so details or elaborate as you of course. I also support our Prime Minister Harper on this. I was hoping that no one would take my words out of context. I am very glad and I feel rewarded that someone is speaking out for me in Ottawa. At the same time you speak for many and thats what is good about Elizabeth May. at a GO Girl!

  • Roberta Walker

    I do not agree with Harper’s decision to put Canada into war!! We are not well equipped for it and it will definitely make matters worse for us. This would not be an issue if the Eastern countries had not been meddled with in the first place. How will Harper speak when Canadians are being beheaded, which will undoubtedly come to pass with this stupid move!!!

  • George

    Maybe we should have thought this out before we declared a Holy War and sent our young men off to the Crusades, or before British Petroleum suborned the British Government and the CIA into fomenting a regime change in Iran. The invasion of Iraq wasn’t about Weapons of Mass Destruction; it was about control of the second largest oil reserves in the Middle East. Let’s get this straight. If there was no oil in the Middle East, nobody would care about what happened over there, and instead of terrorism, we would have a bunch of feuding sheikdoms, killing nobody but themselves.
    Maybe if Western Nations re-thought the way we deal with third world countries, we wouldn’t be driving desperate populations into suicide bombings and terrorist acts. Islamic extremism is no worse than the most extreme evangelical Christianity. The only difference is that it has become a focal point for desperate people.

  • bdfreund

    If I understood this correctly, Elizabeth May is not ruling out the use of force if she can be convinced it will not make matters worse. It is hard to disagree with that, but it is equally difficult to ignore the horrendous short-term consequences should ISIS be allowed to run amok further. This is not a war of liberation or a political/ideological dispute. It is not a sectarian war either, irregardless of the Sunni-Shiite trappings, or the Arab-Kurd coloring. Imperfect as Western Society is….and as unpalatable as most Islamic Middle-East regimes are, ISIS is a different animal and must be confronted head-on and now. All this will, of course, eventually be for naught if the underlying grievances and tensions in the region go unresolved. Therefore I support both the PMs actions to do something now, and Elizabeth’s cogent desire to come to long-term solutions.

  • Richard Michelson

    Elizabeth May is the only MP that articulates the facts rather than conjecture to suit the ideological process of the other parties. While Bashar al-Assad and his minority Alawites, who comprise of approximately 12% of the Syrian population and are the bulk of the army, continued to butcher 190,000 of Sunis, Christians and Ismailis who opposed him, we had a party called the Olympics (in Russia – who, along with China, supports Assad) and ignored their cries for help. Since Syria held no economic advantage to support we ignored them. It was this void that allowed the throngs of disenchanted and suppressed people to take revenge on any and all oppressors who came to fight along the Syrian Free Army – deserters of the Syrian army who refused to keep butchering people. These ‘madmen’ assembled from the surrounding, non-democratic countries ruled by dictators (some known as ‘Monarchs’) who are tied, either militarily or financially (oil) to ‘hands on’ American Foreign Policy. Exhausted from living under oppression they are easy recruit targets. The fire started in Syria but the flames have spread rapidly.

    Hillary Clinton, when Minister of Foreign Affairs, saw it culminating but she was rebuked and overridden. She later stepped down. I do recall the days of Jimmy Carter, they only American President to be bestowed with the Nobel Peace Prize for actually practicing the American Constitution as opposed to using snippets from it as propaganda as means to some other end. Good for you Elizabeth for speaking the facts. There is a lot more to this than the ‘giddy up, go get’um’ of the Harperites.

  • Joanne David

    Dear Ms. May

    I have been an admirer of your outspoken nature on important issues facing Canadians for many years. Until today.

    I could not believe that I read this response from your office pertaining to the 911 petition, a copy of which is below.

    In your first paragraph, through your assistant, you insult the integrity of every single professional, engineer, business person, and concerned citizen… that is concerned about our Canada and in particular the role that Canada is playing in international affairs.

    I learned recently that at 2011, Canada’s war economy exceeds 1 BILLION dollars, and that does not include the many supporting businesses to this direct international export figure. Do you know the figure at at today?

    I work in Edmonton, AB where there are thousands of engineers, many of them building engineers.. I have been fortunate and privileged to work with many of them.

    NOT ONE thinking engineer agrees with the official American report of 911 from an engineer perspective. That is because the buildings falling down by fire, as reported, is simply not possible – by law of physics and engineering.

    Many of these engineers are afraid to speak out due to loosing their jobs. Yet, their question remain unanswered.

    The many brave engineers, architects, business people, etc. that did speak out, and bravely placed their names on the petition that YOU agreed to present, deserve your respect.

    NONE of them theorize on conspiracy. They are thinking intelligent people with heart, that know there are serious issues and questions about MATH pertaining to the 911 stories.

    Listen to them.

    More to the immediate point: To belittle Canadian citizens as you did, is entirely unacceptable for an elected MP of Canada.

    I am asking for your apology for this response, and to give these highly intelligent people the respect they deserve.

    We all deserve answers. Every single Canadian deserve answers on our international policies.

    The 911 incident is the very foundation of all our current international affairs. You need to place this foundation issue on your serious agenda. For all thinking, concerned Canadians.

    We all look forward to, and request a more appropriate response from your office.

    Thank you.

    Joanne David

    Response from Elizabeth May’s Office

    18 Dec. 2014

    Dear Mr. Hall,

    Thank you for your email.
    As you’ve noted, Ms. May’s position is that she does not endorse the assertion that the events which unfolded on 9-11 are a conspiracy. She does not support a Canadian inquiry into the events of 9-11. She presented the petition because it is the duty of all parliamentarians to act as a voice for all Canadians, including those with whom they disagree.

    Ms. May has never supported the argument that terrorism should trump all other issues, as you suggest is currently the case in Canada. In fact, she has consistently advocated for a measured response to international conflict and acts of terrorism. I’d invite you to view some of her recent speeches, on ISIS and the attack on Parliament Hill, which exemplify this position:


    There are so many important issues that Canadians expect us to address. At a certain point, Ms. May’s duty as an elected representative demands that she prioritize certain issues above others. At this point, 9-11 is not a priority for her office. Perhaps once the Green Party forms government and has access to significantly increased resources, we will have the capacity to address this issue to your satisfaction.

    I apologize if you feel this explanation of Ms. May’s position on 9-11 is insufficient. However, I assure you that it is comprehensive.
    Holly Stanczak
    Outreach Coordinator
    Office of Elizabeth May, O.C., M.P.
    Room 518 Confederation Building

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