the full text of this 15 Jan 2011 letter
Dear Mr. Ignatieff: Recently you have said a very very wise thing: "Nothing can be solved with a gun, anytime, anywhere."...
Dear Mr. Ignatieff:
Recently you have said (in an interview in relation to the Tuscon shooting)
a very very wise thing: "Nothing can be solved with a gun, anytime, anywhere."
If you genuinely believe in this in your heart, I do not understand why you are not vehemently
against the Canadian participation in the war in Afghanistan, why you do not require
immediate termination of this participation, why you do not require the
reorientation of Canadian diplomacy to using only peaceful means in solving all
conflicts, to international mediation, and to working towards simultaneous reduction
of all arsenals of all countries.
the full text of this 17 Jan 2011 letter
Dear M. Kolar: On behalf of Michael Ignatieff, I would like to acknowledge receipt of your recent email regarding Canada's role in Afghanistan after 2011. ...
Dear M. Kolar:
On behalf of Michael Ignatieff, I would like to acknowledge receipt of your recent email regarding Canada’s role in Afghanistan after 2011.
Canadian troops have fought bravely alongside our NATO allies to bring peace and security to Afghanistan. Our diplomats and aid workers have also distinguished themselves in profoundly difficult circumstances. Liberals firmly believe, however, that Canada’s combat mission in Afghanistan must end in 2011, in accordance with a resolution passed by Parliament in 2008.
The Liberal Party, through its Global Networks Strategy, called last summer for a limited post-2011 training role for a fixed period if it included civilian capacity-building in various areas of public administration. This is vital to building stable, competent and transparent governance in Afghanistan.
For months, the Conservatives were silent and then just hours after we pressed for answers in the House of Commons, and just days before the NATO summit in Lisbon, the government finally confirmed details of the post-2011 role they are proposing. We believe that this training role is appropriate, provided – as the government has stated – that such training will not involve any Canadian personnel, including military personnel, in an active combat role.
The Liberal Party believes that Canada’s foreign policy must be balanced among the 3 Ds – defence, development and diplomacy. Canada must continue to work with other NATO and UN partners to strengthen the capacity of the Afghan government to provide educational, health and social services, promote the equality of women, and develop its democratic institutions.
Canada has done its part to fight the war in Afghanistan. Now we must secure the peace and turn our efforts to rebuilding the country.
Thank you for taking the time to write to the Leader of the Opposition.
C. McKoneThe Office of Michael Ignatieff
Leader of the Opposition
Le cabinet du Michael Ignatieff
Chef de l'Opposition
the full text of this 29 March 2011 letter
Dear C. McKone: Thank you for your reply. However, I am afraid you did not get my main point. A logical consequence of "Nothing can be solved with a gun, anytime, anywhere" is ...
Dear C. McKone:
Thank you for your reply.
However, I am afraid you did not get my main point. A logical consequence of "Nothing can be solved with a gun, anytime, anywhere" is that neither in Afghanistan anything can be solved with a gun, and that it was wrong to send troops there. And so it seems that Mr.Ignatieff did not really mean what he was saying.
You mention NATO. Let me allow a side comment: NATO was not supposed to be around at this time. 20 years ago there was a gentleman agreement to abolish Warsaw Pact and NATO simultaneously. Warsaw Pact is long gone, the reason for the existence of NATO thus also long gone. Not keeping agreements is not a good way to achieve international good will. All the 1990s excitement about the "peace dividend" was wasted.
To really achieve world peace, one has to finally start to de-emphasize the use of "gun" (military force), drastically decrease military spending, and put as much as possible of the thus saved resources into diplomacy, mediation, cooperative foreign policy. In the meantime, lethal force should be used only in self-defence as the really last resort.
The armies of the world are the biggest polluters and wasters of the limited natural resources - anybody who professes to care about environment should finally start to remind this fact loudly. There is already enough arms around to kill everybody on the Earth many times over. We need to stop immediately the development of all weapons systems, new and old, completely ban all arms exports, start closing all foreign military bases, and start serious discussions about universal disarmament.The only cause of wars and armed conflicts is the preparation for war and the existence of armies.
Canada would be forever praised if she took leadership in such initiatives, if she returned on the path initiated by L.B. Pearson.
Instead, Canada recently again without any discussion hurried into the war in Libya. To my dismay, I have not heard any objection to this from Mr. Ignatieff (or any other MP for that matter), again in clear contradiction to his claim "Nothing can be solved with a gun, anytime, anywhere." This recent war must really make happy the arms manufacturers who have recently sold to Mr. Gaddafi military equipment worth of billions of dollars. Now all this is being bombed at the cost of many more hundreds of millions dollars which will again increase the arms industry profits. All this at the expense of the well-being of the ordinary people of many countries, and to the detriment of the environment.
If the real concern of the now NATO-led alliance was to protect lives, why all sides in the Libyan domestic conflict were not being pressured consistently weeks ago to accept various offers of mediation? Why the last attempt African Union mediation mission was prevented from going to Libya after the UN resolution was accepted? Why one side was (again) taken by the Alliance in a civil war instead of forcing everybody to stop hostilities immediately? What about the reports that the Al-Qaeda affiliated LIFG (The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group; based in Benghazi for a long time) is fighting in the ranks of rebels? Or that Al-Qaeda already managed to smuggle out of Libya indeterminate quantities of weapons from the captured Libyan army munition depots in Eastern Libya. It would be so tragicomic, if the western alliance, fighting Al-Qaeda in other places were to become its ally and indirect weapons supplier in Libya, surely again to a great pleasure of arms manufactures for whom such prolongation of conflicts brings seemingly un-ending source of profits. Except that if we do not stop this madness (basing our prosperity on exporting war and death, and on destabilization of other regions), it will bring our civilization to the brink of collapse.
P.S. I am sending a copy of this correspondence to a few other politicians in the hope that you may collectively start taking the pursuit of peace more seriously.