Wednesday, June 11, 2008

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A former US national guardsman will learn next month whether he can remain in Canada, where he has sought refuge from military service in Iraq.
If a deportation order against him is not lifted, Corey Glass will become the first US army deserter to be repatriated from Canada to the US. Once home, he could face anything from a dishonourable discharge to time in a military prison.
The former soldier was initially ordered to leave the country by tomorrow, but his departure date was extended yesterday to July 10, after an appeal by his lawyer was approved. He said: "I feel like things are maybe going to turn around for the best. People are working really hard on this."
Glass is the most visible face of a movement that pits Canada's humanitarian tradition of accepting asylum seekers and refugees against the country's conservative government.

The above, noted by Gareth, is from Dan Glaister's "US army deserter faces expulsion from Canada" (Guardian of London) and wondered about Panhandle Media in the US? Still playing dumb. May 21st was when Corey Glass was told he would be deported. Amy Goodman, et al, still haven't mentioned his name. Never will most likely. They've 'movedon.' (Space left out intentionally.)

Vic notes the press release "Opposition parties in House of Commons vote to let U.S. war resisters in Canada" as Sault This Week:

FROM LEE ZASLOSKY, coordinator, War Resisters Support Campaign:
The Opposition parties in the House of Commons joined together to adopt a recommendation which, 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 Quebecois, 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."
Corey Glass, 25, a war resister who came to Canada in 2006 and was recently told to leave Canada by June 12 or face removal to the United States, welcomed the vote. "I'm thankful that the MPs voted to let me and the other war resisters stay in Canada. I'm also thankful to all the Canadians who urged their MPs to support us."
This is a great victory for the courageous men and women who have come to Canada because they refuse to take part in the illegal, immoral Iraq War, and for the many organizations and individuals who have supported this campaign over the past four years.
The War Resisters Support Campaign is calling on the Conservative government to respect the democratic decision of the Canadian Parliament and immediately implement the motion and cease deportation proceedings against Corey Glass and other war resisters.
Lee Zaslofsky, coordinator of the War Resisters Support Campaign, is a Vietnam War deserter who came to Canada in 1970.

Please note Lee's billing at the end. Again, Canada did not only provide haven to those resisting the draft. Corey Glass and the others in today's war resistance are a continuation of the resistance during Vietnam and, if there is a change, it would be in Canada, not in the war resistance. Back then, Canada firmly believed that those refusing to take part in an illegal war were doing something worth recognizing, worth granting safe harbor for. Last week's historic vote in the House of Commons demonstrates that Canada has not forgotten it's noble and laudable past.

Turning to the US, Ehren Watada, two years ago this month, became the first officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq. Pacific Citizen Staff's "Seven months after a federal judge prevented the Army from a second court-martial, no new paperwork has been filed" provides an update:

In the past several months the name of 1st Lt. Ehren Watada has seen very little press time. That's a major change from last November when the JA officer's name was a frequent presence in both the mainstream and Japanese American press.
It was seven months ago that a federal judge blocked the U.S. Army from conducting a second court-martial of Watada for refusing to deploy to Iraq with his unit in June of 2006.
U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle ruled that a second trial would violate Watada's constitutional rights, essentially agreeing with the officer's attorneys who argued double jeopardy - that a person could not be tried twice for the same crime.
Although the Army had indicated its intention to file paperwork to prevent the federal judge's injunction from becoming permanent, no paperwork has been filed to date.
It's left the 30-year-old Hawaii officer in a state of limbo.

In February 2007, when the government pushed their court-martial that they just knew would be a slam dunk, Watada was covered by various outlets including MTV and CNN's Paula Zahn Now.

Ralph Nader is running for president and Patti Smith is supporting his run.

One of the funniest things this summer was reading one of Rolling Stone's double issues (yes, "reading" and "Rolling Stone" in the same sentence these days provides enough laughter on its own) and flipping through pages and pages of vacuous cheer leading by various musicians and actors -- many of whom supported Nader in 2000 -- who had been cowed and silenced. They really make idiots out of themselves. Nader won votes in 2000 and he'll win votes in 2008. He didn't steal an election but didn't a lot of supporters get silenced and scared? Patti Smith didn't. Good for her. People have the power only when they choose to use it.

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