For the Independence of the Country

Saying no to Iraq war was victory, Chretien says
Updated Thu. Nov. 22 2007 12:10 PM ET
CTV.ca News Staff

Former prime minister Jean Chretien says one of the major victories in his career was standing up against pressure to join the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

During an exclusive interview with Canada AM’s Beverly Thomson, Chretien says he doesn’t worry about what kind of legacy he has left, saying that’s up to other people to decide.

“People always talk about legacy — what do you want as a legacy? But people should not worry too much about it because there’s no control you can have over that. You do your best and at the end of the day the people will conclude certain things,” he says.

However, Chretien, who has just published his memoir “My Years As Prime Minister,” says there are moments in his long career that he is especially proud of, such as keeping Canada out of the Iraq invasion.

“For the independence of the country, saying no to the Americans on the war was a great moment for Canada,” Chretien says.

“Of course it was not without risk. Suppose the war in Iraq had been a great success, I think it would have been a bit embarrassing for me. But I thought they were wrong and I said so.”

That willingness to speak his mind has been present throughout his career, Chretien said, adding that other world leaders have taken notice over the years.

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