peace mom visits canada

"I'm just here begging the people of Canada to force your government, because your government works for you … because your government does not work for war profiteers, to allow our soldiers to have sanctuary up here."

- cindy sheehan.

cindy sheehan, american anti-war activist, wants the canadian government to grant sanctuary to u.s. military deserters:

sheehan, who's son die in iraq just five days after serving in 2004, wants the federal government to create a provision that allows for american military deserters to flee to canada without having to apply for refugee status on an individual basis. before he left for war, her son had told her he disagreed with the war. she says the u.s. government lied to soldiers by telling them they wouldn't be forced to participate in war if they signed up.

so far, two military deserters, jeremy hunzman and brandon hughey, were died refugee status in canada in 2004. they tried to argue that the occupation of iraq violates international human rights and is illegal. hunzman's case is under review by the federal court. there are currently 20 active refugee claims by american military deserters, with about 150 known deserters living in canada, with numbers as high as 1,500.

i personally don't have a problem with soldiers deserting to canada, because in this case, the u.s. government lied. they lied to their soldiers, they lied to their parents, and they lied to the american people when they made their false claims of weapons of mass destruction (remember those? it wasn't human rights or the freedom of the iraqi people that they were arguing for. they only took those up as reasons when they failed to find the wmd's that the united nations inspectors had said didn't exist in the first place.)

however, i think these claims will lose in court. 1) the fact that the war violates international human rights and is illegal have yet to be proven in court. in the court of public opinion, the whole world believes the war is wrong except for the 51 perent of voters that turned out to vote for george w. bush, but the world also thinks michael jackson is a pedaphile. just because we think it, and that it is probably true, doesn't make it so in the courts. opinion is not cause enough for conviction, and in the case of the courts, they are not in the business of making precedent or changing history. precedence has to have already been set in most cases, which makes it some sort of bizarre legal logic that only really makes sense if you're a lawyer. or if you own all seasons of law & order on dvd.

2) military laws don't allow for dodging of any kind. not draft dodging or deserting in the middle of a war. this goes for the u.s. military, as well as the canadian military, as well as any other military ever created by man. i have a feeling the canadian military brass isn't too impressed with these american deserters, even if the war is wrong. keeping the integrity of the military is incredibly important, and since a unified, strong military is the backbone to any sovereign nation, i have a feeling even the politicians for the most part don't really want to move on this. i hate to say it, but it needs to be said: a military is a military. it's unfortunate, but they have their own rules, and you can't ditch the military, especially when they're involved in a war. more specifically, a war they may lose.

like i said, i personally don't have any problems with their claims. i just wish the pressure wasn't placed on our government to allow deserters, but rather, on the government to blame, which is the bush administration. they sent american sons and daughters to fight and die in an unnecessary war built on false pretenses. impeach the bastards already.