Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Canadian Broadcast Corporation: Canada's War Pimp

by C. L. Cook

Yesterday, the House of Commons did something we haven't seen since the heady wayback days when Trudeaumania gripped the nation.

Taking their collective, if figurative cojones in hand, Liberals and Bloc Quebecois members joined the New Democratic Party (NDP) to endorse its motion to immediately stay deportation proceedings against U.S. military war resisters seeking refuge from American justice here in Canada, and offer those already here, (and perhaps the throng sure to follow) and their families the opportunity to stay, live, and work in Canada as the first steps to naturalization.

Predictably, the Conservative minority government voted in lock-step with their leader, Stephen Harper in opposition, but for the first time since Harper's party took power in 2006, a piece of House business the government did not support was ratified: The NDP motion was endorsed in a 137-110 vote.

This is huge news for the millions of anti-war activists in the United States, and the world, but you would not know it watching the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) news flagship, The National. Though last night's program found more than twenty of its allotted 48 minute broadcast window to devote to Barack Obama's as yet to be ratified "victory" in the Democratic Party's primary race for November's scheduled presidential election, not one second was granted to a story that could have both an earth-shaking effect on Canada's relationship with the United States, and could prove literally a matter of life or death for thousands of refugee soldiers in hiding in Canada and the States.

It could, should the Conservatives honour the will of the House, also mean the beginning of the end to the immoral and illegal wars and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Canadian Broadcast Corporation chose instead silence.

Joining the CBC's dead air on this issue is Canada's biggest private communications company, CanWest Global. Perusing today's edition of Victoria's only daily, Canwest's Times-Colonist, not one mention of Harper's first defeat in the House, or the ramifications of this historic vote: Blank. It was, as Harold Pinder might say, something that; "...never happened; even as it was happening, it never happened."

The CBC's acquiesence to the promoters of perpetual warfare is not new; the management and its correspondents willingly suspended disbelief when George Bush the Elder told tall tales of American womanhood being violated by thugs in Panama City, thus justifying the destruction of thousands of lives to bring to heel the despot Noriega.

Likewise, the CBC cheered along when George Bush recycled WWI era stories of babes butchered in hospitals by Saddam's sadistic storm troopers in Kuwait, thus justifying the destructions of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives; and just so, the CBC willingly embedded itself within the Clinton administration's hide and marched along with it to war against the next newest Hitler, Milosevic of the Former Yugoslav Republic. There, again, uncounted lives ruined and a country laid waste.

In fact, the CBC is itself a war promoter and profiteer, and they do so now as they have done so for too long.

That Canwest Goebbels would seek to banish to the gulag the only hopeful news to emerge Ottawa, in the form of yesterday's triumph for peace, is par for the course for that pathetic excuse for truthful journalism: We need only remember the sentiment of the late patriarch of the Asper-controlled media behemoth, Israel "Izzy" Asper, who vowed; nary a discouraging word would be heard, nor written, by Canada's predominant media operator concerning his namesake nation's beastly behaviour.

That these latest wars are supported, and some venture were created, by Zionist activists in America and elsewhere, Canwest's deafening silence on the House vote is unsurprising. But, I don't have to pay to hear Canwest's lies; the same is not true for the CBC, for which a portion of my taxes, extracted on pain of imprisonment, supports.

Following WWII, both Lord Haw Haw and Tokyo Rose, well known to British and American troops, were hung by the conquering Allied armies. They were deemed war criminals, whose studio night jobs propagandising for Hitler and Hirohito were justly rewarded at the end of a rope.

Sentenced to death not only for the lies they told, but for the truths they refused to reveal, theirs is a fate perhaps undeserved, but the board and camera talent of the CBC might do well to remember: It was sad Haw Haw's and Madame Rose's enabling role being tried following the horror of their day, and they were found complicit.

That these wars and occupations are immoral is truth. That this crime, (the "mother" of all crimes, another stretch-necked war criminal from the recent past might have said) this abomination against humanity is not George W. Bush's, or even America's alone, but is a conspiring of ruthless corporate and politcal interests literally making a killing killing is truth. That these truths are not acknowledged as such by Canada's media is truth.

While the Corp. won't allow talk of peace to interrupt its war tattoo, they do carry two tales that may make of this "conscientious" stuff a story yet.

Tonight's CBC broadcast of The National reports the body of Captain Richard Stephen Leary arriving home in Canada. Captain Leary's tearful widow, Rachel assures the CBC camera team her husband was killed doing a job he believed in, and says he will be missed. Leary is the 78th Canadian killed outright in Afghanistan. (The Canadian government, like it's American partner, does not do body counts of those it kills and maims in the fields and towns of the occupied territory).

The CBC news website, meanwhile hosts a story about another Canadian soldier preparing for his third deployment to Afghanistan.

It begs the question: If "Canada's New Government," as it insists it be described, refuses to grant haven for those Americans with moral qualms about killing innocent men, women, and children half a world away, where will Canada's first soldiers of conscience go in their turn?

Below are both a letter I received with the minister respsonsible's address and a letter I sent to encourage her conscience. You may consider doing the same.

Chris Cook
Victoria, Canada
June 5, 2008

Greetings minister; I applaud the courage of this House to come forward in support of the motion allowing conscientious objectors stay in Canada until which time it is safe for them to return to their families without fear of persecution. Canadians are fully aware of the nature of these young men and women's objection to the war in Iraq, and many of us share that opinion of this country's involvement in Afghanistan.

I'm writing in hopes your party in government will make good its mandated course with all haste, as I'm sure you and your colleagues, with respect to the will of the House will do; just as I have reassured my many media colleagues around the world: "Canada respects democracy."

Cheers and good governance.

Chris Cook

Managing Editor, Pacific Free Press
Host/Producer, Gorilla Radio

Carol Grier
The motion has passed!

Thanks everyone who called and emailed. The next step is to write to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Diane Finley, and prime minister Stephen Harper to ensure that the will of Parliament is implemented.

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Diane Finley
phone 613.996.4974
fax 613.996.9749
email and
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
phone 613.992.4211
fax 613.941.6900

parliament says: "let them stay!"

The House of Commons has voted in favour of the resolution that demands the Harper government immediately cease all deportation proceedings against any Iraq War resisters currently in Canada and allow all resisters and their families to remain in Canada and apply for permanent residence.
Vote total announced as Yea: 137 & Nay: 110!!

It was a very simple procedure: The motion was read and then voted on. Yeas stood and were counted, then the Nays. The totals were announced, the speaker declared the motion passed, and they moved on to the next item.

House of Commons votes to let U.S. War Resisters stay in Canada

OTTAWA, June 3 /CNW/ - The Opposition parties in the House of Commons joined together today 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 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 members ... to 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," said Lee Zaslofsky, Coordinator of the War Resisters Support Campaign and a Vietnam War deserter who came to Canada in 1970.

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.

Posted by redsock at 6/03/2008 03:12:00 PM 13 comments
Labels: canadian politics, war resistersParliament urges Canada to end war resister deportations

On a 137-110 vote, Canadian lawmakers approve the nonbinding motion. It could lead to a last-minute reprieve for a U.S. soldier who deserted in 2006 and has been ordered to leave Canada by June 12.

By Maggie Farley, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
1:41 PM PDT, June 3, 2008

OTTAWA -- Parliament passed a motion this afternoon calling on the Canadian government to stop deportation proceedings against foreign war resisters who have sought refuge in this key U.S. ally.

The measure, though nonbinding, could lead the government to offer a last-minute reprieve for Corey Glass, a 25-year-old American soldier who deserted to Canada in 2006 and has been ordered to leave the country by June 12.

Glass and a busload of resisters came to Ottawa to watch the pivotal hearing, and cheered from the gallery when the motion passed, 137-110.

"This is just great," Glass said. "We hope the will of the Canadian people will be carried out. We will see what happens next."

Despite Canada's history as a haven for as many as 50,000 Vietnam War draft resisters, the new conservative government has stood firm with the Bush administration in supporting the Iraq War and the detention of militants at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. But the pending change of U.S. political leadership gives hope to resisters for a change in Canadian policy as well.
"Canada has always been a place that welcomes those who seek peace and freedom," said Bob Rae, a Liberal Party member of Parliament.

"We want to see it remain that way."

Glass joined the National Guard in 2002 after assurances he would not see combat. But he was later deployed to Iraq, where he served as a military intelligence officer. He has said that witnessing the killing of civilians by U.S. troops made him want to quit after his first tour of duty.

"What I saw in Iraq convinced me that the war is illegal and immoral. I could not in good conscience continue to take part in it," Glass said last month after Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board denied him refugee status.

It ruled that he did not face persecution if he returned to the United States.

Glass, who is still on active duty and considered absent without leave, has been working in a funeral home in Toronto since coming to Canada in August 2006.

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