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Canada Opposes Military Force in Syria

September 9, 2013
Plain English Version

Canadian foreign minister, John Baird with U.S. secretary of state, John Kerry, in happier times.

The president of the United States is trying to get support for using military action in Syria. He asked Congress to approve the action. He said the action would be limited in scope and targeted.

The cause of all this is the use of poison Sarin gas on families and children in a suburb of Damascus, Syria. More than 1, 400 people died from this chemical weapon.

Canada is not supporting the U.S. military plan. Canadian opposition is across the political board. Instead, it is increasing its humanitarian aid. Great Britain’s parliament agreed with Canada.

Opinion in most countries is mixed. People have memories of Iraq and Afghanistan. They do not believe military intervention in those countries led to peace. In fact, they believe the wars cost too much money and too many lives. Canada’s role in recent mid-east wars has been very limited.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister, John Baird, talked with other countries mostly about humanitarian aid. He said “this is the biggest humanitarian crisis in this century.” He did not note that this century is only 13 years old.

Countries met last week at the G20 conference in St. Petersburg, Russia. It is clear that president Obama is not getting widespread support for his proposal.

In the U.S., many from both the left and right view military action with suspicion. Public opinion is weighing heavily against military action.

Source: The Toronto Globe and Mail

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