Candidate's letter challenged by reader;

Letter to the editor and open letter to Steve Clarke, federal Liberal candidate for Simcoe North:

Re: letter to the editor "Government can't keep ignoring motion concerning war objectors: Clarke" (Packet & Times, July 10)

In this letter, Clarke mentions that the Iraq war was illegal, not sanctioned by the United Nations and an unauthorized war four times.

It is my understanding that Resolution 1511 adopted by the United Nations Security Council on Oct. 16, 2003, makes the Iraq war legal since that resolution authorizes a multinational force under unified command to take all necessary measures to contribute to the maintenance of security and stability in Iraq.

In addition, on Dec. 28, 2007, the

Security Council extended the mandate of those foreign forces until Dec. 31, 2008.

Therefore, that being the case, war objectors or deserters can't use the excuse that this war is illegal after Oct. 16, 2003.

If these objectors were drafted or conscripted, then I sympathize with them not wanting to go to war. However, if they voluntarily signed up to join the military for whatever reason -- salary, training, thrills, etc., -- knowing that they could be sent anywhere if fighting or war broke out, then how can they claim objection when they themselves made the decision to place themselves in that position?

Since Clarke is the federal Liberal candidate for Simcoe North it is incumbent on him to clarify the apparent differences between his four "illegal" comments and the intentions of United Nations Resolution 1511.

In addition, since Clarke mentioned, "five years ago the Liberal government made the principled decision not to participate in the war in Iraq," I would be interested in reading his thoughts on the Chretien Liberals sending Canada to war in Afghanistan at the time this action was being lead by the Bush administration. Also, that Paul Martin sent our troops to the "killing fields" of Afghanistan (not my words, but Chretien's). Looking forward to reading Clarke's thoughts in reply.

Ralph Moore

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