Wednesday, June 04, 2008

History made but really not reported

When U.S. soldier Corey Glass decided two years ago that he would rather be a criminal for fleeing the Iraq war than be a criminal by staying in it, there was one obvious place to go -- Canada, a refuge for Americans who had fled the Vietnam War draft.
But instead of being welcomed, he became the first deserter to receive orders to leave the country -- and ended up a symbol of Canada's conflicted sentiments about the war.
On Tuesday, Canada's House of Commons passed a motion urging the government to allow deserters to stay. The measure, though nonbinding, could lead to a last-minute reprieve for Glass and nearly 40 others who have asked for refugee status. Perhaps 200 more war dodgers are living in the country unannounced, waiting to see how Canada will ultimately declare itself, the War Resisters Support Campaign says.
Glass, 25, has lived for two years as though ready to bolt, his belongings stuffed in backpacks and boxes in a small Toronto apartment he shares with other resisters. He has fielded death threats and hate-filled e-mails from Americans who consider him a traitor and a coward.

The above is from Maggie Farley's "Canada's House backs war resisters" (Los Angeles Times) and this is a different version of her report than what was highlighted in yesterday's snapshot. We're starting with that because the story's important. You wouldn't know it to flip through most US papers. The Boston Globe offers a single paragraph (and one Reuters produced). Filth Amy Goodman finally discovers the story, kind-of, sort-of. On Democracy Sometimes today, she turns the issue into a brief headline and apparently wants to act like she's done something. In the words of Stevie Wonder, "You ain't done nothing." She does not mention Corey Glass. May 21st, US war resisters and Iraq War veteran Glass was informed that he had until June 12th to leave Canada or he would be deported. Filth & Trash Goodman never told her audience about that. She never gave them a heads up to the impending vote in the House of Commons and she shows up today with a couple of sentences she tosses out as sop and wants people to say, "Oh, we're so lucky to have Trashy Amy Goodman 'reporting'!" Like if we didn't have Amy Goodman propagandizing on the air waves, she'd still be writing for Hu**ler magazine? Is that why we're lucky?

Her latest 'book' has bombed so most will miss the high horse she mounts in it, claiming to give a damn about ending the illegal war or war resisters. In what was apparently her last interview with a resister actively resisting (Kyle Snyder, November 3, 2006), she ended with, "We'll continue to follow Kyle's case and see what happens to him next. Again, he was speaking to us from Louisville, Kentucky. He had turned himself in at Fort Knox and then went AWOL." No war resister whose case wasn't resolved (by the US government's standard) has been invited on since. No one's supposed to note that.

Today she offers more of her useless gas baggery including the fact that she's not able to read and comprehend -- Australia is removing approximately 550 combat troops (not, as she maintains "its 2000 troops from Iraq") -- and that was covered in Monday's snapshot as were Kevin Rudd's remarks, but Goody shows up with them in headlines today to pretend she gives a damn about ending the illegal war.

Not that you're supposed to notice, but your media is failing you and when it's not called out, get used to it getting even worse.

UPI files a brief and quotes NDP's Olivia Chow stating, "Ordinary people want the Iraq war resisters to stay. The Harper Conservatives must respect this and immediately implement this motion."

What happened yesterday was historic and if you're not grasping how badly Panhandle Media is NOT serving you, go watch Sir! No Sir! again and grasp that thirty years from now, a director attempting to document the war resistance during the Iraq War will have to rely on the MSM outlets because the beggar media ("Only with you, not without you," says Amy Goodman over and over as she reaches for your wallet every pledge drive) just isn't interested.

From Joanna Smith's "MPs vote to give asylum to U.S. military deserters" (Toronto Star):

Megan Bean admits she was a little naive to think the Iraq war was all about peacekeeping.
"We were over there to maintain the peace and we were trying to hand it over to the Iraqis," said the 19-year-old from Titusville, Penn., who joined the U.S. Navy out of high school with husband Chris Bean, 19. "This is what we always heard."
The couple fled for uncertain amnesty in Canada last month when they learned Chris would be involuntarily sent on a combat mission to Iraq to take part in what they came to believe was an unjust war.
"You don't sign up for (the U.S. Navy) to see a bunch of people kill for no reason," Megan said.
The young couple was in Ottawa yesterday to celebrate a motion passed by all three opposition parties in the House of Commons urging the government to allow U.S. military deserters and their families to remain in Canada as permanent residents instead of deporting them to face possible jail time.
But the motion is non-binding and the victory was bittersweet as the government is likely to ignore it.

November 3, 2006 was the last time the Queen of the Beggars (Amy Goodman) bothered to interview a war resister -- though she was happy to use the topic to get on CNN months later. She's happy to use it as a calling card to try to get attention for herself -- whether begging or hawking her limited wares -- but the reality is that even the New York Times covers war resistance in any given year more than she does.

Paige Aarhus' "MPs vote for asylum to deserters; Tories say no" (London Free Press) focuses on war resister Rich Droste:

Droste joined the American army in 2004 when "patriotism and fear mongering were at an all-time high," he said.
"I thought there was a need for the war and I truly believed the terrorist hype."
But after serving in Korea for three years, Droste said he noticed friends and colleagues coming home disillusioned and depressed -- or not coming home at all.
"I started to notice that I wasn't getting answers about why we were there," he said.
When his contract expired in 2007, Droste said his duty was involuntarily extended.
He was told he would be sent to Iraq. In March 2007, he decided to leave for Canada.

John Ward's "Commons votes to give asylum to U.S. deserters" (Canadian Press via Nova Scotia News) focuses on Phil McDowell and Joshua Key:

For a couple of dozen former American servicemen and supporters who watched the voting from NDP offices in the Parliament Building, the fruitless victory offered hope.
"We are very happy that we won," said Phil McDowell, a former U.S. army sergeant.
"We're hopeful that the government will respect the democratic process."
McDowell, from Warwick, R.I., served a year in Iraq and then sought a discharge. When the army told him his enlistment would have to be extended, he deserted and fled to Canada in October 2006.
He wants to stay, although his prospects look bleak, barring a change in government policy.
"We believe that the motion is morally binding and it's a representation of the will of the House of Commons so we don't think it would be good for the government to withhold a democratic decision."
[. . .]
Joshua Key, a former combat engineer, is awaiting word from an immigration appeal board on his bid to stay in Canada.
"I still consider it a huge step forward," he said after the Commons vote.
Key, like others, has been frustrated by Canadian courts' refusal to hear what they feel is the key to their case.
"We've had one hand tied behind our back because we can't argue the illegality of the Iraq war, which we all know is illegal," he said.
"But, with that we just take it one step at a time. I just hope it continues going forward.

Janice Tibbetts' "U.S. deserters can stay in Canada: Commons" (CanWest News Service) focuses on the first two US war resisters to go to Canada this decade:

Last fall, the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear the appeal of two men who had lost a bid for refugee status after the Federal Court of Appeal refused to declare the 2003 invasion of Iraq illegal.
Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey were among the first U.S. soldiers who crossed the border rather than face possible court martial and imprisonment for refusing to serve in a war which they said they morally oppose and is illegal because it was not sanctioned by the United Nations.
Jeffry House, the lawyer for the two Toronto men, has estimated that about 40 Americans have sought refugee status to avoid the Iraq war. Another 150 or so are in Canada but they have not filed refugee claims.
The Federal Court of Appeal ruled that the two men did not deserve refugee status in Canada because they come from a democratic country with an accountable and just system for dealing with deserters.

Following the Federal Court of Appeals ruling, Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey appealed to Canada's Supreme Court and were denied on November 15, 2007. Below is Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Canada in Distress" noting that denial in November (Hughey on the right, Hinzman on the left).


Vietnam war resister Gerry Condon contributes "Historic victory! Canadian Parliament votes for resisters" (Courage to Resist -- with a note that more will be filed shortly):

Today the Canadian Parliament made a historic vote in favor of U.S. war resisters who are seeking a safe haven in Canada rather than fight in the illegal occupation of Iraq. The vote in the House of Commons was 137-110, with all the opposition parties -- the Liberal Party, the New Democratic Party, the Bloc Quebecois and the Green Party -- voting for the motion, and the ruling Conservative Party voting against.
The Parliament calls on the minority Conservative government to create a program that will allow war resisters to immigrate to Canada, and it also calls for a halt to all deportation proceedings.
This is a VERY BIG victory for war resisters in Canada and everywhere. It will strengthen our hand considerably.
But the struggle for sanctuary in Canada is far from over. The Conservative government, a staunch ally of the Bush administration, may choose to defy the will of the Canadian people by ignoring this advisory motion.

There is still activism to do on this issue but the House of Commons vote yesterday was a huge victory. In the snapshot later, we'll focus on things that still need to be done regarding war resisters in Canada but, this morning, let's all take a moment to rejoice. It was history before our eyes. Iraq Veterans Against the War note:

On Tuesday, June 3rd Canada's Parliament voted on and passed an historic motion to support U.S. Iraq War Resisters in Canada.
The Opposition parties in the House of Commons joined together today to adopt a recommendation that, if implemented, would make it possible for U.S. Iraq War resisters to obtain Permanent Resident status in Canada. The recommendation was adopted by a majority of Members of Parliament from the Liberal, Bloc Québécois, and New Democratic Parties. The Conservatives voted against the motion. The motion, which originated in the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration in December 2007, calls on the government to "immediately implement a program to allow conscientious objectors and their immediate family apply for permanent resident status and remain in Canada; and...the government should immediately cease any removal or deportation actions...against such individuals."
"Canada has always been a place which has welcomed those who seek peace and who seek freedom," opposition Liberal MP Bob Rae told reporters.

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