Mr. John Harvard (Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia, Lib.)
Madam Speaker, I appreciate the comments made by the hon. member from the Bloc Quebecois.
I have heard from the other side, particularly the Alliance members, that they have a great fear that the Americans will take great umbrage at our decision to stay out of the war. Let me say that I have much greater faith and respect for the Americans than that. The Americans have a long-standing and very deep democracy. While they may be disappointed with our position, I can assure the House that they will respect it. I think that we will remain steadfast friends for a long time to come.
I also want to say that we as Canadians take pride in the fact that we are a nation of laws. We follow the laws and I think that we have to behave in the same way when it comes to international law. In this case, the law is the United Nations and more specifically resolution 1441. It is only the UN Security Council that can decide whether the Iraqis were in breach of resolution 1441. It is only the Security Council that can decide whether there should be consequences as a result of Saddam Hussein not living up to the terms of resolution 1441.
Resolution 1441 does not say that if the United Nations remains silent on that resolution some individual country, the United States, Britain or someone else, can take it upon itself to invade Iraq. That is not the way the international law works.
I just hope that when this war is over, and I hope it is mercifully short and there are few deaths, that the world community will be able to address this issue of the Bush doctrine having to do with pre-emptive war or pre-emptive strikes. To me that simply is not fitting and does not match international law. It simply does not. I hope that the United Nations can find a way of dealing with this very serious issue.
If we are going to leave the world at this particular risk, so that strong powers in the world can take the law into their own hands, who knows where that takes us? I would like to address that question to the hon. member who spoke previously.
Subtopic: Committees of the House