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Significant Win For U.S. Iraq War Resisters In Canada

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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 12:22 AM
Original message
Significant Win For U.S. Iraq War Resisters In Canada
http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/29361

Significant win for US Iraq War resisters in Canada
Submitted by davidswanson on Fri, 2007-12-14 01:05. Nonviolent Resistance
By Courage to Resist

On December 6, the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration of the House of Commons in Ottawa, Canada adopted a motion that was a critical victory for U.S. Iraq War resisters seeking sanctuary. Courage to Resist organizers Lori Hurlebaus and Jeff Paterson traveled to Ottawa for this hearing, along with supporters and resisters from across Canada, and have contributed to this report. In collaboration with the Toronto, Canada-based War Resisters Support Campaign (WRSC), Courage to Resist is calling for U.S.-Canada consulate delegations, vigils, and actions on January 24-25 to build momentum in the wake of this important first victory.

After hearing the testimony of former U.S. Army sergeant Phillip McDowell, along with representatives of the Mennonites and Quakers, the Citizenship and Immigration Committee voted 7 to 4 to recommend that the Canadian government immediately implement a program to allow Iraq War resisters (and resisters of any war not sanctioned by the United Nations) and their families to stay in Canada. The motion also calls for an immediate halt to deportation proceedings in these cases. The win was possible because the two Liberal Party members on the committee voted in favor something that was far from guaranteed going into the hearing.

Although no war resister has yet to be deported from Canada, last month the Supreme Court of Canada shut the door on any possible legal solution for sanctuary for resisters. This resolution comes at a time when deportation is becoming a real possibility for some of the resisters. It's a hopeful first step towards a political solution.

The resolution passed by the committee, which must now be taken up by the full House of Commons when it returns from winter break in early February, reads:

The Committee recommends that the government immediately implement a program to allow conscientious objectors and their immediate family members (partners and dependents), who have refused or left military service related to a war not sanctioned by the United Nations and do not have a criminal record, to apply for permanent resident status and remain in Canada; and that the government should immediately cease any removal or deportation actions that may have already commenced against such individuals.

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AndyTiedye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 12:48 AM
Response to Original message
1. This is So Important
It is far more likely that they will start up the draft here than that they will end the war.
Once that happens, a lot of people are going to be heading for Canada.

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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 12:53 AM
Response to Original message
2. k&r for Canada
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PuraVidaDreamin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 02:05 AM
Response to Original message
3. Canadians are the nicest people on earth
rec
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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 02:09 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. y Ticos tambin
:D pura vida tuanis! :hi:

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ClayZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 05:07 AM
Response to Original message
5. Good news! K and R
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SharkSquid Donating Member (659 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 06:06 AM
Response to Original message
6. The draft is already happening
Ever heard of Individual Augmentation?

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Thothmes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 07:14 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Cant be drafted if you are already in the armed service.
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SharkSquid Donating Member (659 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 04:46 PM
Response to Reply #7
20. I consider Naval Sailors carrying M16s and guarding convoys
A type of draft.

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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 07:21 AM
Response to Original message
8. This is disgraceful and Canada has done wrong and should stop and return those people immediately
Edited on Fri Dec-14-07 07:23 AM by ThomWV
Who in hell do the Canadians think they are harboring criminals? There is no draft in this country, nobody is serving against their will. If someone is in the military in this country it is because they freely chose to be there. Canada did right in accepting draft dodgers during the Viet Nam War because those people were called to an illegal war and they had no choice but to go to war or flee. They could indeed be resistors of conscience. The ones that are slipping over the border now are just Deserters - the very lowest form of scum. Deserters are law breakers at best, having broken the contract they entered into with the United States Government, and disgrace themselves and their country.
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IsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 07:35 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. So let me get this straight, You support the Iraq war? You think it is a moral and justified war?
Edited on Fri Dec-14-07 07:36 AM by IsItJustMe
I don't think I have ever read a post on DU that I couldn't disagree with more. Are you sure your on the right blog.
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 07:38 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Of course not - what a ridiculous thing to say. What I believe is that Deserters are Scum
Edited on Fri Dec-14-07 07:38 AM by ThomWV
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IsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 08:20 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. Depends on why they desert. I am not into blanket statements for I find them narrow minded. There
are always exceptions.

If the person deserted because they woke up to the fact that they were fighting a war of choice started by a lie, they may very well be dictated by their conscience to desert. There are just some things that are of a higher nature that we must obey.
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bonito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Well said!
With class :thumbsup:
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SharkSquid Donating Member (659 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-15-07 05:07 AM
Response to Reply #13
22. Deserters are still illegal and should still go to jail.
Agree with the war or not, they swore an oath to obey the lawful orders of those appointed over them. If they make the single handed determination that their orders are unlawful, than they better be ready to go to jail because that is where they are going.

They are not going to Canada to avoid the war, they are going to Canada to avoid jail, that is the cowardly part. Despite my incredible dislike for Watada at least he had the stones to take his punishment like a soldier and face trial, not like this crew who just scuttled off to Canada to avoid prosecution.
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bonito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-15-07 09:25 AM
Response to Reply #22
26. Single handed determination?
Awakening to the facts of an illegal war by a criminal administration is what is happening, if you have a contract to ride a bus cross country and it gets hijacked you have every right to escape! and to turn yourself in to the hijacking authority would be insane.

Don't get me wrong I agree with you in a playing field where all members follow the rule of law, but that's not the case is it.

Check out this link http://www.citizen-soldier.org/Canada%20Resisters.html
International Law Favors War Resisters

The struggle to achieve political refugee status for U.S. war resisters in Canada can be seen as one of many efforts worldwide to defend the primacy of international law. The Geneva Conventions on War and the Nuremberg Principles make clear that soldiers have not only the right, but also the responsibility to refuse to participate in war crimes. Such war crimes include illegal wars of aggression, indiscriminate or purposeful killing and wounding of civilians, and torture and abuse of prisoners.
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SharkSquid Donating Member (659 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-15-07 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #26
28. I have participated in none of these things
Nor have I witnessed such things. Also the enemy over there wears no uniform, and if often not even covered as a proper combatant, just as if I get caught behind lines in uniform, I can be executed on sight if I remember my Geneva Conventions Correctly.

Who is the enemy over there. I honestly could not tell the difference between a Iraqi Insurgent, Foreign Operative or a Civilian. If you could be so kind as to get us a handy chart I am sure we all would appreciate it.

If the war is illegal, it was illegal at the beginning, none of this, O I thought it was legal when we went in but I dont think it is now.

It has been 4 years since the war started. Most of the men and women in the military signed their contracts DURING the war or during the run up. The Officers are a different story because of the nature of our commissions, but I REALLY don't care for officer deserters, especially the ones that run to Canada
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Ignis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 05:30 PM
Response to Reply #8
21. Let's look at the options available to "deserters":
1. Refuse to obey orders.
2. Flee.

In case #1, they are tried, probably court-martialed, undoubtedly severely punished, and certainly suffer social stigma and job loss for refusing to obey illegal orders to engage in an unjust war.

In case #2, they must leave loved ones and family behind to avoid following illegal orders to engage in an unjust war.

What's your solution to the problem of being stuck in the military with a lunatic warmonger as Commander-in-Chief?
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SharkSquid Donating Member (659 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-15-07 05:19 AM
Response to Reply #21
23. #1 is the right option.
"they are tried, probably court-martialed, undoubtedly severely punished, and certainly suffer social stigma and job loss for refusing to obey illegal orders to engage in an unjust war."

They won't nearly get the punishment they would get in other wars. Most are less than a year and an other than honorable discharge. Some will get the Bad Conduct Discharge but most will not. So do you think that there is no social stigma associated with running away to Canada? They will be able to find work, most of the time, unless it is a BCD the employer will still hire you. If you recieve an OTH, most employers cant even find out what it was for (you could say you doinked a squadmate).

"What's your solution to the problem of being stuck in the military with a lunatic warmonger as Commander-in-Chief?"

Do your job in the best, most moral way possible. Ive served under two CINC's, both fucked us in various ways and neither is terribly well liked in rational military circles, but I get by just fine, I can sleep at night too. Ive never thought about running off to Canada and taking my whole family with me and don't plan on it.
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-15-07 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #23
27. Soldiers are under no obligation to obey illegal orders. They do have
alternatives as stated above. The choices they face are not that good. They must weigh the cost of refusing the orders and face imprisonment, or go into exile. Exile could be dangerous for any who had access to highly classified info, but not so for a foot soldier.
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SharkSquid Donating Member (659 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-15-07 10:49 AM
Response to Reply #27
29. You signed a contract and willingly joined
This is not the damn draft, you don't want to obey orders and if a Military court does not concur with your single handed assessment of the legality of war, you go to jail.

If these soldiers want to refuse to deploy they ought to get up the stones to face the music.

If we have an extradition treaty with Canada (I dont know if we do) they should be shipped back for trial just like any other suspect trying to get out of facing trial.



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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-15-07 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #29
31. that's the risk you face. If you are ordered to execute POW's or
civilians, you are within your rights. It's not something you do without good reason.

These guys signed up to defend America, not to become pawns in a neo conservative power play. The only way bush could seize dictatorial power was through the powers of a war time president. Our children are dying and being scarred for life so bush can become "the dictator."

for that reason I am willing to give the refuseniks the benefit of the doubt. Many of these people are young and naive and didn't understand what they were getting into.

Yes they should be honor bound and to honor that contract, but if they are ordered to do something that is dishonorable, what should they do?
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SharkSquid Donating Member (659 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-15-07 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #31
32. If I was given the order to kill a POW I would refuse
But then I would face the consequences. These people were not given any such orders. Opposing a war entirely and having Private Schmuckatelli singlehandely making the determination of the legality of that war before he even goes over there.

Being young and stupid is not an excuse.
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-15-07 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. being an exile is also facing a consequence. Being forever separated
from home and family is not easy. I know the mother of one of the soldiers who left for Canada. Life had been very tough for him being away from his mom and dad. Luckily the Canadian people around him have accepted and supported him.

I had a friend run to Sweden during the Vietnam war. He had a TS crypto clearance. The lifers claimed he stole some classified documents, but other NCO's said that story was bullshit. A few months later he was found dead.
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SharkSquid Donating Member (659 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-15-07 09:33 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. I bet the government killed him
What do you expect when you have TS Clearance and you RUN TO ANOTHER COUNTRY.

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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-15-07 10:51 PM
Response to Reply #34
35. We thought the same thing. He was pretty bold.
He appeared in Life Magazine with other resisters. I think it was 1968. There was a lot of discontent building in the army at the time.

His name was Alan. He'd gotten levied to Vietnam. He said fuck it, I'm gone. After that we would say, the "weather's fine in Sweden this time of year."

His desertion and death, and the death of another soldier made us unhappy camper. I'm sure the brass felt they were losing control. They'd try to clamp down but we would have serious outbreaks of "sunspots." We couldn't hear anything over the airwaves. That got their attention and they'd back off.
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-15-07 05:21 AM
Response to Reply #8
25. Nobody deserves to be sent to war on a lie, a war that legal scholars say is likely illegal.
If such is true, a person's conscience may compel him to resist serving in Iraq, especially if it is found the war is indeed illegal.
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 07:47 AM
Response to Original message
11. so- if i refuse military service in iraq, my wife and i can move to canada...?
Honey- start packin'.

(btw- does it matter that i'm 47, disabled, and never been in the military...?)
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zorahopkins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:12 AM
Response to Original message
14. I Don't Want To Support The War In Iraq
I do not want to support the war in Iraq.

But, since I am an American citizen living in the US, I must pay income taxes, and a large part of my taxes go to support the war in Iraq.

Would I be able to move to Canada and stop paying US income taxes?

Also, I know several languages, but French is not one of them.

Would I have to learn French before I could moe to Canada?
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CT_Progressive Donating Member (889 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:21 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. French is only spoken in Quebec. The rest of Canada is pretty much English-speaking.
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #14
17. Speaking fluent French is worth quite a few points...
> Also, I know several languages, but French is not one of them.
>
> Would I have to learn French before I could moe to Canada?

Speaking fluent French is worth quite a few points
on the scale Canada uses to decide whether or not
to let you in, but it's not manditory.

Tesha
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zorahopkins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Canada "Decides" To Let Me In?
I'm confused.

It sounds as though there is some sort of process I would have to go through in order to move to Canada?

Couldn't I just flee the US and enter Canada?

Would Canada really deport me if I had not jumped through all the right hoops?
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. In answer...
Edited on Fri Dec-14-07 02:18 PM by Tesha
> It sounds as though there is some sort of process I would have to go through in order to move to Canada?

Yes.

> Couldn't I just flee the US and enter Canada?

Not and remain there legally.

> Would Canada really deport me if I had not jumped through all the right hoops?

Absolutely.




For more information about all of this, see:

o http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/index.asp

Tesha
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SharkSquid Donating Member (659 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-15-07 05:21 AM
Response to Reply #18
24. We really dont give a shit and neither does Canada
As long as you live in the NW Territory :)
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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:28 AM
Response to Original message
16. Bravo for Canada and the deserters.
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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-15-07 10:49 AM
Response to Original message
30. Thank you Canada.
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