- Canada must rebuild its military capacity so it can back up its
stated desire to bring greater peace to the world, says Akaash Maharaj,
the National Policy Chair for the Liberal Party of Canada.
“As National Policy Chair, I have always
supported more money for the military,” Maharaj said in an
Besides being National Policy Chair, Maharaj
is also considering a run for the party’s presidency and is
president of Concordis, a non-governmental agency dedicated to using
Canadian techniques to settle international conflicts.
He was in Saskatoon this week to speak to University
of Saskatchewan students.
Canada should try to position itself as an honest
peace broker, much like Norway has done, he said.
In spite of its relatively small size, Norway
has played a pivotal role in developing the now-defunct Oslo peace
accord for Israel and the Palestinians, and brokering a cease-fire
in the bloody civil war in Sri Lanka.
While he backs action against Iraq, as long
as it is done through the United Nations, Maharaj feels Canada must
do more to shore up its weakened military.
“Whatever policy we pursue, we must have
the capacity to deliver on our word.”
Canada should have not qualms about going after
Saddam Hussein, as long as the world agrees he must be toppled,
but the country should be wary of supporting any unilateral action
taken by the United States, he said.
“There is no denying that Saddam Hussein
is a brutal tyrant,” he said.
“Liberals have always stood for liberty,”
so there should be no problem in us standing up to a tyrant.
But there should be a more consistent position
about why some tyrants are worth sending troops to dislodge, and
other that acquired and maintain their power illegally and have
access to weapons of mass destruction should go almost unchallenged,
The old notion on the enemy of one’s enemy
being a friend has many times been discredited – including
the western support for Hussein during the 1980s, a tactic that
eventually came back to haunt the West.
But Canada can’t be supporting any unilateral
or illegal acts, even if they are done by our most powerful neighbour
and the largest power on the planet, he said.
“As friends of the United States,
it is our duty to stand up to them if they intend to violate international