October 17, 2014 5:57 am

Jean Chretien backs Justin Trudeau on Iraq

Former prime minister Jean Chretien saluts after addressing the Liberal Party leadership in Ottawa, Sunday April 14, 2013.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
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TORONTO – Former prime minister Jean Chretien says he supports Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s decision to oppose Canada’s air combat mission in Iraq.

In a column for the Globe and Mail Friday, Chretien calls the deployment of fighter planes a “very marginal” response to the crisis caused by Islamic State militants.

Chretien writes that he believes the “best contribution Canada can make is by engaging in massive, not token, humanitarian assistance.”

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He says that is why he supports the position taken by Trudeau.

Chretien also recalled how in 2003, there was no louder critic than then-Opposition Leader Stephen Harper to his decision to keep Canada out of the Iraq war.

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A wrong decision, such as that invasion, wrote Chretien, “can have disastrous results that reverberate for years.”

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