December 11th, the Canadian Parliament will hold hearings to determine whether or not to take action after the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear the appeals of US war resisters Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey. Marcia highlights Dustin Langley's "U.S. resisters continue fight for Canada asylum" (Workers World):
Today, soldiers refusing to fight in another U.S. war for empire face much greater challenges. Two weeks ago, the Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear appeals from U.S. war resisters Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey seeking refuge in Canada. On Nov. 15, the War Resisters Support Campaign (www.resisters.ca) organized rallies across Canada in support of the right of U.S. war resisters to receive political asylum in Canada, a right supported by 65 percent of Canadians.
Hinzman and Hughey were among the first Iraq War resisters to arrive in Canada in 2004. They applied for political refugee status on the basis that the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq is illegal under both U.S. and international law.
Hinzman said: "They said there were weapons of mass destruction. They haven't found any. They said Iraq was linked to international terrorist organizations. There haven't been any links. This was a criminal war. Any act of violence in an unjustified conflict is an atrocity."
Hinzman and Hughey claimed that according to the United Nations convention, they should not be prosecuted for refusing to fight in an illegal conflict. Canada’s Immigration Review Board and the Canadian courts, however, denied a hearing on these facts.
Gerry Condon, a Vietnam-era resister who lived in Canada for three years, now works with Project Safe Haven (www.soldiersayno.blogspot.com ). Condon said, "While the refusal of the Supreme Court of Canada to hear the appeals is very disappointing, the struggle for sanctuary in Canada is being stepped up. All along, we have known that a political solution was ultimately what would be needed. While the sanctuary campaign ramps up in Canada, we in the U.S. can seize this moment to become much more supportive."
On Dec. 6, Canada's Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration will be holding hearings on the issue of allowing U.S. war resisters to stay in Canada.
The War Resisters Support Campaign is asking supporters in the U.S. to join the appeal campaign launched by Courage to Resist in support of asylum for resisters, located online at www.couragetoresist.org. For more information, go to www.resisters.ca.
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Meanwhile, as Robert Gates goes spinning off into the ether on his own lies, Warren P. Strobel's "State Dept. retains manager of troubled embassy project" (McClatchy Newspapers) sheds a little reality on the lack of accountability and oversight:
A State Department project manager banished from Iraq by the U.S. ambassador and under scrutiny by the Justice Department continues to oversee the construction of the much-delayed new American embassy in Baghdad from nearby Kuwait, State Department officials disclosed Thursday.
James L. Golden, a contract employee, is still managing the $740 million project, said Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy, the department's top management official.
"Mr. Golden is still . . . our project manager, and still is working with the contractor, at their base in Kuwait," Kennedy said.
One State Department official with detailed knowledge of the unopened embassy expressed outrage that his superiors haven't replaced Golden.
"I find it absolutely amazing that State senior management doesn't seem to think it a trifle odd that two people under investigation . . . are still making all the management decisions under this same contract," the official said in an e-mail. The official asked for anonymity because he feared retaliation by his superiors.
This week (tonight in most markets) on PBS' NOW with David Brancaccio:
How does a democracy decide to wage war?
Next time on NOWAt 8:30 pm (check local listings) on Friday, December 7 - the very day
Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japanese warplanes 66 years ago - David Brancaccio interviews filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick and the Rev. James Forbes Jr. about Burns and Novick's epic World War II documentary "The War".
Looking to the past as a mirror to the present, the four discuss how the waging of war intersects with our notion of democracy.
"It's incumbent upon a democratic society to evaluate what the arithmetic is -- the cost of war," Burns tells the group.
Sharp insight about the year's must-see documentary, and the modern lessons contained therein. Next on NOW.
A Web-Exclusive NOW on the News: Did Romney Win Over Skeptics?
In a NOW web-exclusive interview, BeliefNet politics editor Dan Gilgoff shares his insight into the effect of Mitt Romney's speech on religion, the role of faith in the 2008 presidential race, and how America's faithful are reacting. http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/349/romney-religion.html
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warren p. strobel
now with david branccacio