Canada Refuses to Allow Iraq War Resister to Stay
by War Resisters Campaign in Canada
US Sergeant Corey Glass is now the first Iraq war deserter facing deportation from Canada. Last week his application to stay in the country was rejected.
Lee Zaslofsky, National Coordinator of The War Resisters Campaign in Canada, says Corey's case is not unique.
In December 2007, The Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration passed a motion calling on the Canadian government to implement a program allowing conscientious objectors to apply for permanent residence in Canada, and to cease any removal or deportation actions applied to such individuals.
US denies soldiers the right to question
the illegality of the war in Iraq
The motion has not yet been passed by Parliament. Toronto lawyer Jeffrey House says the court system does not allow soldiers to question the illegality of the war, and as such the"main argument" and the "main reason" that US soldiers put forward in refusing to continue fighting in Iraq, is being kept out of the court system.
May 21, 2008
SGT. COREY GLASS, US WAR RESISTER: And I don't think it's fair that I should be returned to the United States to face unjust punishment for doing what I felt morally obligated to do.
ZAA NKWETA, PRODUCER/PRESENTER: Following a two-year battle to remain in Canada, United States Sergeant Corey Glass became the first Iraq war deserter facing deportation from Canada. Last week, his application to remain in the country was rejected.
GLASS: I appeal to the Canadian people and the Canadian government to honor their tradition of respect for human rights and support my decision to participate in this unjust war.
Corey joined the US National Guard in 2002. His aim: to do humanitarian work within the United States. Lee Zaslofsky, a Vietnam war deserter and coordinator of the War Resisters Support Campaign, says Corey's case is not unique.
LEE ZASLOFSKY, VIETNAM WAR DESERTER: We have chapters across Canada. We have war resisters located in various parts of the country, and we're very worried that they'll be getting these decisions very shortly. And those people could be in line for deportation within the next month or two.
NKWETA: Corey's case was rejected by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, which concluded that if removed from the country, he would not face an immediate risk of death, torture, or cruel and unusual punishment. Last year, the Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration passed a motion calling on the Canadian government to allow war resisters like Corey the provision to stay in the country without facing deportation. The motion has not yet been passed by Parliament. Toronto lawyer Jeffrey House outlines the legal battle soldiers like Corey now face.
JEFFREY HOUSE, TORONTO LAWYER: A soldier discovers the war is illegal, and then he or she doesn't want to participate in it. If they go back to the United States, they're treated as deserters, and they can't argue, "Oh, this is an illegal war." The courts have said you're not able to raise such a complicated question. And so a main argument and a main reason why these soldiers have refused to fight on honorable grounds is being kept out of the court system—it tears the heart out of the argument.
NKWETA: Glass is expected to leave the country on June 12. He is appealing the decision. According to Courage to Resist, at least 30 soldiers have been imprisoned for refusing to fight in the Iraq war.
Meanwhile the Minneapolis Star Tribune offers a roundup of news items and we'll note the first one. From "Iraq: Militia commander complains of being 'duped' into cease-fire:"
An angry Shiite militia commander complained Wednesday that "we were duped" into accepting a cease-fire in Sadr City -- remarks that point to a potential rift within radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia. The May 11 truce ended seven weeks of fierce fighting in Baghdad between U.S. and Iraqi forces and Al-Sadr's militia, which controlled Baghdad's Sadr City. Iraqi soldiers have moved into most parts of the city.
Yeah, that's to be expected. Tomorrow will be an indicator of how strong al-Sadr's leadership currently is. Meanwhile the puppet government wants it clear that they are open for business. Lyle notes Karen DeYoung's "Citing Its Resources, Iraq Appeals for Development Partners" (Washington Post):
With its oil and gas reserves in greater global demand than ever, Iraq has sufficient economic resources and "does not require extensive financial assistance," the Iraqi government said yesterday in a report to international backers.
In an upbeat appeal for development partnerships and technical assistance, the report said Iraq offers "a unique opportunity to engage with one of the most resource rich countries in the world." It said oil revenue this year is expected to reach $70 billion and overseas cash reserves will increase to $34 billion.
The report, titled "A New Beginning," comes as Congress has moved to force Iraq to shoulder more responsibility for U.S. war and reconstruction costs, now approaching half a trillion dollars since 2003. Recent legislation has called for Baghdad to pay to train and equip its security forces and to pick up more of the tab for U.S. military operations.
E-mailed to the public account:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2008
KALBFLEISCH SAYS SEALS VIOLATED 10 ILCS 5/29-1 (VOTE BUYING); LAMPOONS
DEMOCRAT ON YOUTUBE
Tenth congressional district Green challenger David J. Kalbfleisch
released a video on YouTube mocking Democratic challenger Dan Seals for
his apparent lack of understanding of basic economics and asserting
that Seals' gasoline subsidizing stunt on May 22nd violated 10 ILCS
5/29-1, the Illinois state prohibition of vote buying:
Incumbent Mark Kirk's spokesman identified a federal election law
that Seals appears to have violated, but Kalbfleisch believes
10 ILCS 5/29-1 is more damning. It states: "Any person who knowingly gives,
lends or promises to give or lend any money or other valuable consideration
to any other person to influence such other person to vote for or against
any candidate or public question to be voted upon at any election shall
be guilty of a Class 4 felony."
Each infraction merits 1 to 3 years imprisonment, and Seals reportedly
provided subsidized gasoline to approximately 50 motorists.
Kalbfleisch will submit a letter to Lake County prosecutor Mike Waller and
Attorney General Lisa Madigan later this week urging them to take action, and
he will provide a copy to media outlets.
"This is very serious," says Kalbfleisch. "The Democratic challenger has
irreparably corrupted our race with his ill conceived stunt. A man who
is willing to buy your vote to get elected is a man who will sell his vote
once in office."
As community members in that area have made clear, Kalbfleisch is the only choice (another effete elite from Hyde Park is not needed). More information on Dave Kalbfleisch can be found at his campaign site. Dave is a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War also remember that IVAW's Jason Wallace is running for the 11th Congressional district in Illinois (Kalbfleisch is running for the tenth). Really want to end the illegal war? Vote for the candidates who will do just that. In the 10th and 11th districts there is only one choice. (Both Dave and Jason are Greens. Though IVAW is proud and supportive of all members, they are non-partisan. Adam Kokesh, for example, is a libertarian. If every member of IVAW ran for office, you'd have a blend of political parties and thought -- and if they won, you'd have a functioning Congress that actually worked for the American people.)
Billie e-mails her daughter is "now in love with Augustana and I just found out they're in the area next week" (June 5th, House of Blues, Dallas, TX -- corrected, that is the right date and now the right location) "and guess who's going?" That's enough reason to again note Augustana whose Can't Love, Can't Hurt was released at the end of April. Click here for the group's MySpace page (which Kyle noted in an e-mail allows you to listen to four or five tracks from the album while you're there) and here's the video of "Sweet and Low"
Turning to the Democratic race for the presidential nomination, nothing is decided. Don't believe the liars. (If something were decided I would not be flying to Puerto Rico again this weekend because my time matters to me and I don't have it to waste.) The race continues and the media can keep trying to shut it down but the people are still voting.
In a hall filled with enthusiastic Cubans and Puerto Ricans, Hillary spoke at an event in Casa Cuba to present her vision for Puerto Rico. In one of the most detailed speeches that I have heard from a national leader in the Island, Hillary reaffirmed her commitment to Puerto Rico. The "Senator from Puerto Rico," as some call her in the Island, emphasized the role of Puerto Ricans in deciding our political future. Hillary recognizes that it is in our hands, as Puerto Ricans, to decide what we think is best for our Island -- and she promised her support from the White House.
One of the topics that Hillary discussed that impressed me the most was our dependence on oil. Local leaders have not addressed this big problem appropriately and I was surprised to learn that Hillary knew so much about our situation -- and she presented ideas on how to solve it. As an island, our richness in natural resources like the sun, water, and wind are key to developing renewable and sustainable energy sources. Having someone in the White House that recognizes our need for federal help on energy issues is essential to putting Puerto Rico on the world map as an example of a green and environmentally conscious yet efficient state. Cubans and Puerto Ricans alike love our islands, our beaches, and our mountains from the bottom of our hearts. It's comforting to know that somebody aspiring to be president is interested in conserving our environment as well!
Finally, Hillary once again showed her commitment to Puerto Rico by presenting essential proposals for universal health care, Medicare, Medicaid, the status issue, energy, and the presidential vote, among others. A key signal of her interest and knowledge of the problems facing our island is the invitation that she made to Senator Obama for a debate in which only local issues would be discussed. In Casa Cuba, a place that has served as a refuge for thousands of individuals that have been oppressed by the totalitarian regime, Cubans and Puerto Ricans alike found hope in the Democratic process to keep fighting for our future with Hillary as President.
Repeating, the race is not over. Don't believe the spin, don't believe our 'friends' on the 'left' who lie and attack so viciously. The will of the people is what counts and Hillary's the Democratic candidate who has that.
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david j. kalbfleisch