Thursday, June 26, 2008

Other Items

"It's blatantly illegal," Glass, 25, said of the war. "I don't care, they can give me a death sentence. I'd rather be put to death than have to do that war. It's wrong."
[. . .]
Glass was yesterday joined in a press conference by his supporters -- NDP MP Olivia Chow, Liberal MP Maurizio Bevilacqua, Michelle Robidoux from the War Resisters Support Campaign, and Amnesty International's Gloria Nafziger.

The above is from Brett Clarkson's "Death over war: ousted deserter" (Toronto Sun) and Glass is Corey Glass. May 21st was when Corey Glass was told he would be deported. Corey Glass is an Iraq War veteran and a US war resister. He went to Canada seeking asylum -- the kind of welcoming Canada provided to war resisters ("draft dodgers" and "deserters") during Vietnam. After being told he was being deported, he's been 'extended' through July 10th. June 3rd Canada's House of Commons voted (non-binding motion) in favor of Canada being a safe harbor for war resisters. Canada's War Resisters Support Campaign will hold a "Rally to Stop the Deportation of Parkdale Resident Corey Glass" July 3rd, begins at 7:00 p.m. (with doors opening at six p.m.) at the May Robinson Building, 20 West Lodge, Toronto: "In 2002, Corey joined the Indiana National Guard. He was told he would not have to fight on foreign shores. But in 2005 he was sent to Iraq. What he saw there caused him to become a conscientious objector and he came to Canada. On May 21, 2008, he got his final order to leave Canada by July 10, 2008. Then on June 3 Parliament passed a motion for all the war resisters to stay in Canada. However the Harper government says it will ignore this motion."

Also covering war resisters in Canada is Alex Kane's "G.I. Resisters Face Legal Limbo in Canada" (The Indypendent) who focuses on Ryan and Jenna Johonson:

In June 2005, Johnson and his wife crossed the border into Canada. Like all war resisters in Canada, he immediately applied for refugee status, which enabled him to obtain a work permit and access to healthcare. In June 2006, he was denied refugee status and began the next stage by entering the "pre-removal risk assessment" process. In this situation, Johnson would have to prove that deportation would put him in danger of extreme prosecution in the United States. As Canadian immigration authorities are currently reviewing his pre-removal risk assessment, he continues to wait.
Since the start of the invasion and occupation of Iraq in March 2003, a steady trickle of U.S. war resisters has been flowing into Canada. The War Resisters Support Campaign (WRSC), an organization based in Toronto, has been engaged in a drawn-out legal battle with the government of Canada to get permanent residency status for war resisters. According to the WRSC, there are between 40 to 50 known war resisters, with another 100 to 200 resisters underground.
While the House of Commons resolution was hailed as a victory for war resisters, the future remains uncertain.
The crux of the war resisters' legal argument lies in the fact that the United Nations has not sanctioned the occupation of Iraq. But every application to obtain refugee status for resisters has been turned down, as Canadian immigration authorities and the courts have ruled out considering the legality of the invasion of Iraq when reviewing war resister cases.

Michael Hendricks weighs in the topic to the Montreal Gazette in "Keep Them:"

But I must disagree with Aubin's contention that the one-year prison term meted out for desertion is "hardly a harrowing fate." In fact, the sentence would be served in a military prison, which is "hard time." Far worse, once the deserter has done the time, he or she will have a criminal record for life, and will be publicly labelled as "unpatriotic," which will make life very difficult in the United States. And with a criminal record, the deserter could not apply for immigration to Canada.

Hendricks is a war resister from the Vietnam era who went to Canada as a war resister. He's continued to be an activist. He and Rene Leboeuf were married April 1, 2004, the first same-sex couple married in Canada with legal recognition.

Andrew E. Kramer's "For Iraqi Christians, Money Bought Survival" in this morning's New York Times attempts to deal with a serious topic and maybe it'll make it for you, it doesn't for me. I find the article insulting and pin the blame on Liar Andrew White. The whole thing reads like one of his half-truth cluckings. Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho is dead and the thrust of the article comes off as "Supported terrorists!" Andrew White's fond of pushing that lie (he's also fond of lying that all Jews have left Iraq -- a lie he 'testified' to at a hearing and got pissed when he found out his lie was being reported). Here's reality, there is no security in Iraq. There is no peace in Iraq. When the shakedown comes, people will pay. And Andrew White, safe in the Green Zone, pays when he's in Iraq -- a little fact he leaves out or Kramer doesn't report. Thugs come by and threaten religious leaders and their chuches (the latter's not noted in the article), of course religious leaders are going to fork over money to them. That's not their fault. They're protecting their congregations and themselves. It's a war zone. The smear that they're supporting terrorists is a DAMN SMEAR. It's the same smear that harms Iraqi refugees and prevents their efforts at asylum. Paying money when you're under a physical threat is not tossing in dimes to some collection plate for terrorism. The NYT article may cut it for you, I find it offensive and I place the blame at War Hawk Liar Andrew White.

For more on the very real threats that civilians are under and how they are forced to pay the thugs, you can see the April issue of Harper's Magazine for Deborah Campbell's "Exodus: Where will Iraq go next?" (pp. 50 -56; link may only work for subscribers to the magazine).

The War Resisters League has produced a report on the State of the Antiwar Movement.

Turning to US politics. You run for president, there's not really an 'off limits.' And we're all a little tired of the false charges from the Barack campaign every time the Christ-child gets critiqued. Kayla asked that we 'dedicate' "Cry Wolf" to Barack.

You couldn't wait for answers
You just had to try those wings
And all your happy-ever-afters...
They didn't mean a thing
So I'm not gonna try at all
To keep you from the flame
Just remember not to name...

When you cry wolf
Once too often
You cry wolf
No, I won't come knockin'
You cry wolf
I won't hear you anymore
-- "Cry Wolf," written by Jude Johnstone, recorded by Stevie Nicks on her The Other Side of the Mirror CD

Community wide, you can see Betty's "Barack's 'catty girl' problems," Ty's "Bonus," Wally's "THIS JUST IN! BARACK -- IT RHYMES WITH 'WITCH'" and Cedric's "Barack the Witchy Worm" (joint-post); Marcia's "Barack smears an Arab-American," Mike's "LAT needs to fire biased polictical 'reporters'," Ruth's "Barack steals from Hillary and also tries to smear," Rebecca's "want ad: nation mag seeks new p.r. director," Kat's "Is there room for Arab-Americans under the bus?" and Elaine's "Barack (falsely) screams racism (again)" for more on Barack's 'delicate' response to criticism. And don't you love Barack's Holler Monkeys from the Cult who never took offense to any of the remarks made regarding Condi or Colin. But any critique of Barack meets with false cries of "racism."

Demitrica notes this from the Nader-Gonzalez campaign:

Words, Words, Mere Words

Words, Words, Mere Words .

Senator Obama said earlier today that I haven't been paying attention to his campaign.

Actually, I have.

And it's clear from Senator Obama's campaign that he is not willing to tackle the white power structure - whether in the form of the corporate power structure or many of the super-rich - who are taking advantage of 100 million low income Americans who are suffering in poverty or near poverty.

Senator Obama is opposed to single payer national health insurance.


Because he favors the health insurance giants over the millions of Americans in poverty or near poverty who are uninsured or under-insured. Eighteen thousand Americans die every year because they cannot afford health insurance, according to the Institute of Medicine.

Senator Obama wants to expand the military budget which is loaded with waste, fraud and abuse - instead of cutting it and investing the long ignored peace dividend in the inner cities with good jobs and public works - including schools, clinics, and libraries.


Because he fears and favors those thousands of lobbyists in charge of enlarging the military industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned us against.

Senator Obama says he favors a living wage. But he doesn't say he would immediately increase the minimum wage to $10 an hour, which is the equivalent of the 1968 minimum wage adjusted for inflation - because by doing so he would offend the big corporations who exploit labor in places like Wal-Mart and fast food chains. (The minimum wage needs to be increased immediately, not phased in over a number of years, as Senator Obama would have it.)

So Senator Obama, let's get specific.

We're looking for deeds, not, as Shakespeare put it, words, words, mere words.

Your public career, which I have also been paying attention to, is long on words, and short on action when it comes to consumer protection, cracking down on corporate crime, curbing the violence of toxic environmental racism, and extending clean, affordable public transit, among other issues.

For the purposes of the here and now, three things:

One, why don't you support single payer national health insurance, which is supported by a majority of doctors and the American people?

Two, why do you favor expanding the military budget which is replete with waste, fraud and abuse?

And three, why don't you come out and support an immediate increase of the minimum wage to $10 an hour?

When can we expect the authenticity of hope and change?

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