The United States is sending hundreds of troops, maybe more, to Baghdad as chaos in Iraq mounts. Canada, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird told the Commons today in a 35-second response to a planted question, isn’t. Baird and the Prime Minister needn’t worry about having to explain themselves further on Iraq, as the Conservative government’s policy of concerned distance from the mess puts it in pretty good harmony with the opposition New Democrats, the Liberals, and Stephen Harper’s predecessor Jean Chrétien.
I don’t follow Canadian-Iraqi relations overly closely, so I was surprised on Monday when the Department of Foreign Affairs announced it was pulling Canada’s chargé out of Baghdad, leaving no Canadian diplomatic presence there. Turns out we don’t have an embassy in Iraq after eight years of Conservative government. Our ambassador to Iraq lives and works in Jordan. The chargé, who’s been asked to leave for her safety, was first posted there a year ago.