After driving for more than three days straight from Kentucky, Bethany "Skyler" James and another soldier ran out of gas and money outside of Cornwall, Ont.
That's when they got in contact with the War Resisters Support Campaign.
James, 19, is one of four former soldiers in Ottawa who have escaped American military life.
"I do not believe in the [Iraq] war at all. It is an illegal war," James says. "It's ridiculous."
To get to Canada, James and her fellow soldier snuck out of their army base in Kentucky and crossed the border while skipping customs, says James.
James says she joined the army after high school because her community promoted military life and the army promised her the chance to go to college.
She says this never happened.
"When I signed up, I got duped," she says. "They didn't put any college money in my contract. I got screwed over so bad."
James says she isn’t the only one who received false promises.
"All the resisters that I know here in Canada have had that happen," she says.
In addition to her feelings on the war and broken promises about college, James says she left because of all bullying she was subjected to as a lesbian.
The above is from Julia Johnson's "Soldier no more" (The Charlatan). One way you can help Skyler is to contact the Canadian parliament which has the ability to pass legislation to grant war resisters the right to remain in Canada. Three e-mails addresses to focus on are: Prime Minister Stephen Harper (firstname.lastname@example.org -- that's pm at gc.ca) who is with the Conservative party and these two Liberals, Stephane Dion (Dion.S@parl.gc.ca -- that's Dion.S at parl.gc.ca) who is the leader of the Liberal Party and Maurizio Bevilacqua (Bevilacqua.M@parl.gc.ca -- that's Bevilacqua.M at parl.gc.ca) who is the Liberal Party's Critic for Citizenship and Immigration. A few more can be found here at War Resisters Support Campaign. For those in the US, Courage to Resist has an online form that's very easy to use.
One way you can hurt her is by denying reality. "Because of all bullying she was subjected to as a lesbian." In the 90s, we thought we were moving forward as a country. But this election cycle was saw a 'uniter' candidate -- Bambi -- use homophobia to scare up a few votes. And what's really disgusting is that none of White 'independent' media called him out. A really bad woman, a really disgusting woman, named Susan Lenfestey writes a column at Common Dreams where she tries to pimp her lousy candidate (Bambi) by 'channeling' Molly Ivins. What would Molly do? Would she have supported Bambi in the election? We don't know. He hadn't declared. But there's something really tacky and sick about Susan Lenfestey trying to use Molly Ivins to advance her pet candidate.
I can tell you one damn thing Molly Ivins would do, Susan Lenfestey, she would call you out on your non-stop ignoring of the illegal war. That's a given. As disgusting that you used Ivins to pimp your candidate, the fact that you want to 'celebrate' her without carrying on her work demonstrates that you're not into anything but your pet candidate. You're disgusting. And as someone who knew Molly, I find you offensive.
Like all the bulk of the 'writers' showing up to 'celebrate' Molly, none seem to grasp that the best way to celebrate her was to carry on what death prevented her for doing: focusing on Iraq. What did she write? That she was going to focus every column on the Iraq War. That's something the vultures picking at Molly's bones can't do.
It's pathetic now to read the 'tributes' to Molly and it was pathetic then as you grasped that all of those who claimed to be inspired/entertained/honored by her writing never once bothered to grab the torch and carry it in her honor. That would have required real work and, let's face it, it's so much easier to turn out the text equivalent of Tim Russert from the faux left.
Spitting on Molly's stated goal to pimp your candidate, have you no shame?
So homophobia, White 'independent' media taught us, is now okay. Marcia begs to differ and it's the main reason she has now started her own site. She explains that in "All about Marica and her blog" and also posts "Laura Flanders the self-hating, disrespecting lesbian." Marcia is a longterm member who goes back to at least January 2005 if not further.
James Gerstenzang (Los Angeles Times) reports that Bully Boy gave a speech (to a right-wing non-think tank) today where he boasted of his illegal war and declared that the Iraq War was not about a "political right thing." Why stop there? There's nothing correct or appropriate about the illegal war. He could have added that "It's not the legal right thing. It's not the ethical right thing. . . . " He could have just offered his laundry list and still be speaking right now. Michael Howard (Guardian of London) offers that Moqtada al-Sadr is saying the cease-fire is over unless puppet of the occupation Nouri al-Maliki prevents attacks on his followers. From the article:
Sadr is due to review the six-month freeze later this month. Last week, the Iraqi president, Jalal Talabani, wrote to the senior US commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, asking him to recognise Sadr's initiative and urging American troops to halt their attacks on Sadr's supporters. In reply, Petraeus praised the anti-US Shia cleric, but said the troops would continue to target those who were apparently not obeying the cleric's orders.
So al-Sadr may call the truce off and the Iraqi parliament still hasn't passed the 2008 budget, the much tauted de-de-Baathificiation program hit a snag today when one of Iraq's two vice-presidents told Reuters the legislation wasn't going anywhere and the illegal war hits the five year mark in March.
It's going to last until the American people demand it end. It's not going to end because your pet-candidate wants combat troops withdrawn in a year or two or maybe sent back in (as Bambi explained to Gordo) as needed. Maybe soon we'll be lucky enough to have the Democratic Party pick one or the other and alleged 'independent' media can actually try focusing on the illegal war?
Not that that would happen. If Hillary got the nomination, they'd go 'global' to ignore US politics -- and 'going global' wouldn't mean paying attention to Iraq, if Barack got the nomination we'd probably suffer through months of John Nichols scribbling about how when Barack hit puberty, he sprouted strands of gold and licorice instead of hair.
It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)
Last Thursday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 3931. Tonight? 3943. Just Foreign Policy's total stands at 1,168,058 (it wasn't update last Thursday or the Thursday before). The big thing today was that reporters were gearing up (this morning) their "US deaths up but only more than December. November was still higher." Then came one announcement. They geared up for their "US deaths up but only more than December and November. October was still higher." Lot of rewriting today because the monthly total (and more announcements may be forthcoming) is 39 which is higher than December (29), is higher than November (37) and is higher than October (38).
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i hate the war