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Friday, March 25, 2005

Marching orders

Jeremy Hinzman, the U.S. soldier who signed up for all the benefits the U.S. army offers but ran to Canada when his country called, may finally be headed home. The Immigration and Refugee Board turned down his request for refugee status.

Hinzman had first tried claiming that he had opposed the war because it was "illegal"—though apparently this man of laws didn't mind committing the high crime of desertion in response. Apparently, he figures two wrongs make a right.

Then he claimed that he would face persecution if he went back to the U.S. Actually, that's pronounced prosecution, Jer.  But how can anti-war types argue Hinzman would be treated cruelly in the U.S. when they themselves—and they number in the tens of millions—are a standing testament to the fact that dissent is commonplace in the States? In fact, polls show Jer would be among the majority of Americans who now think the Iraqi war was a mistake.  The refugee board wisely rejected this silly claim, concluding that removing deserters like Hinzman would not lead to "a risk to their lives or to a risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment."

Even Hinzman admits that he signed up with the army for the free college education and panicked when he realized he'd be expected to kill people. In his website's Frequently-Asked-Questions, in response to the question, "why did you join the army if you never wanted to fight?" Hinzman is blunt:

"Literally everything about a soldier's life is subsidized. Perhaps I have a cynical view of human nature, but if one is guaranteed almost total security in their life they will take it, even if they have to exchange their autonomy."

Only Hinzman doesn't have to sacrifice his autonomy. He didn't even have to go to war, if he really opposed it. If he truly is a man of convictions, he could have used this backbone he claims to have and faced justice. As Muhammad Ali put it when he refused to fight in a war he objected to: "What's wrong with me going to jail for something I believe in?"  But Hintzman doesn't even have the cajones to make the sacrifice of a conscientious objector. Instead, he ran away to Canada in hopes that we'd protect him from having to face any adult responsibilities.

So here's a question for Hinzman that's not so frequently asked: When are you going to pay Canadians back for the thousands of dollars you've cost our taxpayers in legal fees and court costs for this sham refugee claim?

Posted by Kevin Libin on March 25, 2005 | Permalink

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Comments

he's a deserter from our dearest ally.

we should have a policy aimed at discouraging deserters: hang deserters of allied armies, whether or not we are in the war that they are deserting from, but give the deserting soldier the option of being sent home or being hung/shot immediately in canada by the officer that they are requesting asylum from (yes, this would require reinstating the death penatly in regular practice, but that should be irrelevant, as they would all return to the US rather than face immediate execution)

Posted by: hey | 2005-03-25 12:30:07 AM


Na na na naa, na na na naa, hey hey hey, goodbye!

This guy has seriously messed up his life. Once he gets out of Leavenworth - which is a tough place - he'll have a criminal record dogging him the rest of his life. That means he can't get certain jobs, and can forget traveling. He will have no military benefits, so his efforts to save for college will have to start from scratch. The effects on his wife and son will also be severe.

He should have gone to Iraq and taken his chances. Even if he had been killed, he would have been better off. But if he's willing to live with what he did, it's his life.

I just hope he leaves soon.

Posted by: Scott | 2005-03-25 1:55:00 AM


Canada has been a place of refuge for Americans in times past when the US engaged in unilateral and illegal wars and we should continue with this practice. Far better that these Americans stay here then to continue the agony of American families trapped by insane politicians like Emperor George Bush II.

A soldier has every right to refuse illegal orders, but this one would never get a fair hearing in the US. It just could never happen with a Republican judiciary. It has long ago lost its objectivity and relevance as a "Court of Law".

Just look at what kind of a circus is going on in Florida with Terri. The Republican Courts down there are incapable of responding to the "will of the people", in fact they take it as a badge of honour to defy the democratic will of the people.

This young soldier had the great misfortune of being born American. He and his young family should be granted refugee status in Canada. A person should never be punished for trying to obey the law, and that is what this case boils down to. We should NEVER surrender refugees like him to their governments to face torture and imprisonment.

If this young man were Chinese who refused illegal orders in Tibet for instance, there is little doubt that he would be granted refugee status.

Finally, no one in Canada should be afraid to show the Americans where the bear shits in the woods. Right is right, and wrong is wrong.

Posted by: Joe Green | 2005-03-25 4:50:55 AM


Joe, your logic stinks.

Hinzman, and the other deserters (not refugees) signed their military contracts voluntarily. They have no one to blame but themselves for their actions. The punishments that await them are entirely appropriate, and will never involve torture.

Their ability to object to their orders is limited. But in this case, they decided to buck the system by fleeing, ruining their lives in the process.

National law takes precedence over international law in all cases.

As for "illegal wars" - this remains undecided. No legal authority has ruled that Coalition actions were inappropriate. In fact, it is unlikely any ever will, given the US and British vetos on the UN Security Council. So whether the war in Iraq was illegal or not is a moot point.

You'll find more of your people moving to the US for better jobs than American "refugees" fleeing North.

Your use of the Schiavo case is ridiculous. If anything, these "Republican courts" have sided against those wanting to save her life.

Oh, sigh, for the great glorious day Alberta secedes from racist greedy Canada for American freedom. Most will say little will be gained. I'll settle for keeping my job, which will be lost when Paul Millionaire destroys the Alberta economy with Kyoto. Go to hell, Canada.

Posted by: Scott | 2005-03-25 5:19:58 AM


Is there an appeal process for him?

Perhaps, he will win that.

The ones who will suffer are his wife and children. He is a sad, selfish, person.

He will not outlive the mark of the coward.

"Oh what a tangled web we weave..."

Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)

Posted by: maz2 | 2005-03-25 7:22:35 AM


There is an appeals process and he is going for it. Whether it will work or not remains to be seen.

His weak defence will sink any appeal. He never had a case to begin with. His appeal will simply delay the inevitable. Bush won't be pardoning the evaders like Carter did.


His lawyers created a case of hysteria around the potential death penalty desertion could bring. But they had to tell him that no US soldier has been executed for desertion since 1945 (the still controverisal Eddie Slovik case. Martin Sheen played him in a TV movie), and none has been executed for any reason since 1961.

Maz2: you're right - he's a sad, selfish person who ruined his own life and that of his family.

Posted by: Scott | 2005-03-25 8:07:41 AM


Joshua Key and family have also joined the desertion train north, to become no doubt, another poster boy for the Canadian lefties who treat these cowards as heros. He cites "conditions in Iraq" as a prime reason for running and hiding, just at a time when conditions for the American military have never been better. Not only are attacks by insurgents way down, but Iraqis themselves are turning their guns on their Jihadist tormentors.

The never ending rant by the left concerning WMD is a load of bollocks. They buy the lies of America's enemies and rush to crucify Bush, despite the catalogue of UN resolutions that asserted Hussein was a liability to world peace.

Consider this ... the NY Times that has long been the most vociferous upholder of the "WMD lie thesis", now has pulled a stunning about-face. The Times with its impeccable source checking has now gone on record to say that there no doubt whatever that in 2003 the Baathist regime was in possession of stockpiles of monitored chemicals and materials, as well as sophisticated equipment to manufacture nuclear and biological weapons. The paper states categorically that these stockpiles were removed to a neighboring state before the US could check the sites. Even UNMOVIC has filed reports since last May to the UN Security Council referencing "weapons and the export of dangerous materials to foreign states".

Here is a direct quote from the Times ...

"It appears that a highly organized operation pinpointed specific plants in search of valuable equipment, some of which could be used for both military and civilian applications, and carted the machinery away...
Calling the operation "sophisticated," Dr. Araji said the removal effort featured "cranes and the lorries, and they depleted the whole sites," adding, "They knew what they were doing."

Some go even further than the Times and name names. John Shaw, the former Undersecretary for International Technology Security, states the following ... "I am absolutely sure that Russian Spetsnatz units moved WMD out of Iraq before the war." According to Shaw, Russian units hid Saddam's arsenal inside Syria and in Lebanon's Bekka valley.

Those on here who accuse the American's of an illegal act in declaring war are barking up the wrong tree. The UN and the American anti-war movement was engaged in an illegal act by refusing to follow-through on commitments enshrined in UN resolutions to protect our world ... most specifically from psychotic lunatics in possession of an Aladin's cave of high tec contraband.

These deserters don't have a shred of legitimacy, and Canadians who come on here and try to cover for them are a disgrace, to our flag and to our country. Canada may be many things, but as long as I have any say, it will never become the "official" ditching ground for cowards who are fleeing from the high duty being undertaken by our greatest ally.

Preston Manning had a great column recently in the Globe about the debt we owe to our fallen. When I read Preston and look at the state-of-affairs with respect to our postioning on our military and foreign affairs, it left me with a profound sense of shame.

Posted by: raskolnikov | 2005-03-25 9:01:09 AM


If I don't reply to any responses to my earlier post it's because I'm off for Easter vacation to a place with no computers :) Easter greetings to all and dare I say it ... "happy holidays" also. Belated Purim greetings while I'm at it!

Posted by: raskolnikov | 2005-03-25 9:54:20 AM


John Shaw is a Republican appointee is he not? Why would anyone in his right mind believe this man?

The US CIA that was charged with this search, reported clearly to the Congress that there were no weapons of mass destruction that were found in Iraq. Period.

The Republicans in the US, or at least the fascist wing of this party, have engaged in the techniques of the Big Lie. They lied about Saddam being responsible for the attacks of 911, and they lied about the WMD.

The entire world has seen America's lies laid bare by the 911 Commission made up of a bipartisan Commission that issued a unanimous report. Even Candi Rice refused to testify under oath in front of it, because perjury is a serious matter.

And you want to add to these crimes by punishing young American servicemen who stood up to this debauchery in Government and who refused to take illegal orders of an insane President????

You are as mad as the Hatter in Alice's Wonderland.

Any American deserter from the US Armed Forces SHOULD have a proper hearing in Canada for refugee status. Its an open and shut case where no less than the Secretary General of the United Nations, which Canada upholds, has declared this American Invasion of Iraq "illegal". There certainly never was a proper "declaration of war" by the American Congress either.

Rather, its simply a case where the Southern Republic has decended into insanity, just like it did in 1862 when brother rose against brother and murdered each other with an insane fever the likes of which has never been seen before, or since.

Canada, unlike the United States, is a Nation of Laws. Its a nation where the "rule of law" has been purchased in blood by Canadian troops on the battlefields of the world. That precious gift of having impartial hearings before compassionate justices who have "unfettered discretion" is what separates Canada from the United States where their legal system is packed with Republican politicos whose cruelty knows no bounds, whose adherence to their version of twisted and perverse legislation forced upon an unwilling public is not unlike what took place in Nazi Germany where Canadian troops finally defeated a cold and cruel tryanny.

That young Americans seek refuge in Canada from this insanity is no surprise. Tens of thousands of Americans settled in Canada following that previous American "unilateral" and "illegal" war in Vietnam (also for oil) and they have made many outstanding contributions to the fabric of Canada. They are law abiding, hard working and peaceful.

They are the opposite to the "neocon" thugs that the "right" supports, killers like Hal Banks for instance, who came into Canada as part of the CIA to "fight comyounizm doncha no".

God bless people who would rather leave their homes in the fashion of the United Empire Loyalists, rather than violate the Ten Commandments which says, "thou shalt not kill".

As for right wing lunatics like Scott, he has no case at all. If he loves this hell hole called the United States, he is always free to move there, nothing here in Canada is stopping him. In fact, most Canadians like me are tired of his rants, and wish he would just move where he says he can be "happy". Scott's "happiness" is built upon the predation of others, and like a Komodo Dragon, with slime dripping between its teeth, this cold blooded fanatic wants more Canadian victims. Well, its not going to happen.

Not as long as I draw breath.

Posted by: Joe Green | 2005-03-25 10:01:08 AM


"Any American deserter from the US Armed Forces SHOULD have a proper hearing in Canada for refugee status."

He did.

"Its an open and shut case where no less than the Secretary General of the United Nations, which Canada upholds, has declared this American Invasion of Iraq "illegal". There certainly never was a proper "declaration of war" by the American Congress either."

The SG may have made that comment, but his word is not law. That can only come from the Security Council, which will never do that because of the US and British vetos.

The rest of that is a farce. The CIA, the 9/11 comission cover-up, the Republicans, Dr. Rice, blah blah blah. Conspiracy theories seem to have replaced argument and logic in left-wing debates.

Oh for that great glorious day when Canada takes its flag home and leaves Albertans in peace.

Posted by: Scott | 2005-03-25 10:16:00 AM


Raskolnikov wrote:

"Preston Manning had a great column recently in the Globe about the debt we owe to our fallen. When I read Preston and look at the state-of-affairs with respect to our postioning on our military and foreign affairs, it left me with a profound sense of shame."

Preston Manning was a nerd from the University of Alberta in physics; he NEVER served in the Canadian Armed Services. I did.

If Manning ever did, he would have learned that a principle of war is that you must have a "just cause" if you ever were to led troops to victory in battle.

Mr. Bush's disgraceful lies have preempted a victory for the American Armed Forces in Iraq; but not in Afghanistan, where NATO Forces together with Americans have properly fashioned a "just cause" and therefore ultimate victory on the battle field against those that actually caused the terrible events of Sepember 11, 2001 in New York, Washington and other American places.

Mr. Chretien was absolutely right to not enter the war in Iraq without a clear and unambiguous authorization from the United Nations Security Council as is required by the Treaties we have signed in the United Nations Charter.

Presto simply is babbling, just like he did after he betrayed the Reform Party by doing favours for Conrad Black when they conspired to destroy the legitimate Western Canadian movement by selling out the American "neocons" like Tom Long.

Posted by: Joe Green | 2005-03-25 10:25:35 AM


Scott wrote:

"The rest of that is a farce. The CIA, the 9/11 comission cover-up, the Republicans, Dr. Rice, blah blah blah. Conspiracy theories seem to have replaced argument and logic in left-wing debates."

No, not farce. HARD EVIDENCE. IRREFUTABLE EVIDENCE. FACTS. AND TRUTH.

All that PROVE beyond doubt that the Bush Administration engaged in the Nazi tactics of the Big Lie. Case closed.

No Canadian, and certainly no Canadian Government should accept any statement from this American Administration until every fact is independently verified, every "t" is crossed, and every "i" is dotted. You cannot trust them. What a sad change from the days of President Kennedy.

You see, they are institutional liars. That is the hard evidence.

Posted by: Joe Green | 2005-03-25 10:33:22 AM


I'm glad that the soldier's case was rejected. In spite of Green's claims that rely more on rhetoric than fact (hint, assertions are not facts, opinions, even if they belong to the SG, are not facts), this soldier was no more forced into Iraq than I was. He chose to join the U.S. military, I chose not to (expat). He chose to accept the conditions for his education and training. He then broke that contract. Ergo, he should face the consequences of that action. Five years in prison, maximum, is not cruel or unusual.
As far as the Iraq war is concerned, which is the greater crime? The oil-for-food scandal, in which the U.N. furthered the corruption, or the Iraq invasion? The former continued an untenable situation. The latter took the better of 2 choices (the other was ending sanctions while leaving Saddam in place). Now think hard. If sanctions were removed and Sadam remained in place, he would have started up his WMD program, he would have gained higher status in the region (for beating the international community), the Kurdish question would remain open (we couldn't turn the Kurdish region back over to Saddam, that would be inhumane), the shiites would have continued living under the boot, the marsh arabs would have received no justice, the rape rooms would have continued, children would have remained in prison. I go to sleep at night knowing this was the right thing to do. Regardless of the cost, regardless of the difficulty, bringing freedom to this region was the right thing to do because the alternatives (status quo or Saddam without sanctions) was simply inhumane.
This soldier is free to disagree with my line of reasoning. But he needs to be a man and accept the consequences of his actions.

Posted by: Half Canadian | 2005-03-25 11:40:27 AM


Half Canadian is a hypocritical American when he writes:

"He chose to join the U.S. military, I chose not to (expat)."

The facts are that if Emperor George Bush II reinstates the draft to continue his wars of conquest around the globe, as an American Citizen you would be drafted and made to face the same choice that these US deserters have made.

What puzzles me, is why on earth would you ever wish to be associated with a country like the United States which have become a parriah in the international community. A country that engages in judicial killings by omissions of the law, and which stops election processes as it did in 2000. Why on earth would anyone in their right mind want to be an American????

Time for you to let the other shoe drop, and join the best country in the world. Certainly the cities up here are much safer and cleaner places to live in. Then you can help us stem the flood of American aggression that is trying to sweep into the country in the same form we faced in 1862 as Americans revved up their murderous Civil War.

Posted by: Joe Green | 2005-03-25 12:53:16 PM


"What puzzles me, is why on earth would you ever wish to be associated with a country like the United States which have become a parriah in the international community. A country that engages in judicial killings by omissions of the law, and which stops election processes as it did in 2000."

Discredited hogwash.

"Why on earth would anyone in their right mind want to be an American????"

Ask many of your fellow Albertans, who just want to keep their homes, jobs and futures intact against Canadian assault.

"Time for you to let the other shoe drop, and join the best country in the world."

That's what Alberta is trying to do.

"Certainly the cities up here are much safer and cleaner places to live in."

No. Toronto is dirty, dangerous and just plain awful. And I have seen other places. Toronto will decline while Detroit rises.

"Then you can help us stem the flood of American aggression that is trying to sweep into the country in the same form we faced in 1862 as Americans revved up their murderous Civil War."

Wha? An American invasion in 1862? I think they had better things to do at the time. What a fabulous grasp of American history you have.

Posted by: Scott | 2005-03-25 1:03:26 PM


Thanks to Half Canadian for an excellent analysis. I fully agree.

Hinzman volunteered for the military. Did he accept that role, which would include going to war, if so legislated, or did he volunteer for the military because he wanted the benefits; namely, the free college and university education?

He has, himself, no legal or moral authority to define a war as legal or illegal. In actual fact, the Iraq war IS legal. Both houses of the US gov't passed the bill authorizing the President to go to war against Iraq. The bill, dated Nov. 9, 2002, was voted in favour, by 296-133 in the House of Representatives, and 77-23 in the Senate. So- end of argument. It's a legal war.

Kofi Annan and the UN have no legal or moral authority to define a war as 'legal' or 'illegal'.

What puzzles me is how the anti-war people ignore the brutalities of a dictator, and permit someone like Hussein to murder his own people - and do nothing.

Posted by: ET | 2005-03-25 1:16:03 PM


Far better that these Americans stay here then (sic) to continue the agony of American families trapped by insane politicians like Emperor George Bush II.Posted by: Joe Green | March 25, 2005 04:50 AM

Joe. Are you having trouble focusing? Do you not understand the difference between "then" and "than"?

This doesn't surprise me. Apparently you do not understand the difference between an emperor and a twice elected president.

And it appears you do not understand the difference between right and wrong. 1.3 million Iraqis "disappeared" during Hussein's reign of terror. His refusal to abide be the terms of the ceasefire opened the door to his removal. It was not wrong to put an end to his reign and liberate 25 million people from a murdering, raping, genocidal, stalinist regime- all of the adjectives being superfluous (except perhaps to you Joe)once we are reminded that it was a stalinist regime.

Joe, did you want the suffering to continue indefinitely?

Joe, are you suggesting 8.5 million Iraqis are wrong?

Joe, thanks for again proving my point.

"Finally, if Joe (Red) Green opposes an idea, you can pretty well take it to the bank that it is a good idea - and vice versa."

Joe, am I moving too fast for you?

Posted by: Terry Gain | 2005-03-25 1:40:43 PM


ET:

Even worse, why did Hinzman volunteer again for the 82nd Airborne Division? He must have known it was an elite unit that had seen a lot of action in recent years. You don't join a unit like that if you want to avoid harm's way.

Posted by: Scott | 2005-03-25 1:42:33 PM


Anti-American, anti-semitism, poison & Etc., is spilling from Jaws again.

Up in his Watch Tower, with qwerty in his claws, Jaws saws away, out on his limb, his feathered back overhanging the moat; down he goes.


His mentor, Stalin, has a place for Jaws & his comrades: The executioners' cellars. Do you want back in the Party, Jaws? Confession, firstly. Then your trial.....

Posted by: maz2 | 2005-03-25 2:44:56 PM


Joe, where am I hypocritical? I am a dual citizen, and I chose not to join the U.S. military.
And please keep talking about a draft. The longer the likes of you keep talking about something that doesn't come to pass, the less credibility you have. Your 'facts' notwithstanding.
As to why I choose to live here now, I have far more pride in a country that fights facism than one that preferred to wink-and-nod at facism. Yeah, history paints both black, but the U.S. has entered a phase of repentence at least. Canada preferred to keep the status quo, and I can't respect that. 20 years from now, people will look back at this in the same light that people are now looking back at Cambodia.
In short, I choose to support the right side of history. I may be too old to fight now, but I'll be damned if I don't lend my voice and my vote for the cause of freedom. Freedom in Iraq is the best option we have to insure that my kids don't have to fight islamofacists ten years in the future.

Posted by: Half Canadian | 2005-03-25 4:56:22 PM


Half Canadian wrote:

"Joe, where am I hypocritical? I am a dual citizen, and I chose not to join the U.S. military."

You sound like you are a member of the Calgary Petroleum Club. One of the "Little Brothers" of the Houston Oil Barons.

Your hypocrisy is directly related to what you would do if you were of draft age, and if you were presented with the stark choice faced by law abiding Americans in the Armed Forces of that Country that have fled the US and its oppressive government.

The fact of the matter are that Mr. Bush is going to run out of volunteers for his misadventures abroad, given his carelessness in deploying the US Forces as carelessly and irresponsibily as he did in Iraq.

Today the US military cannot fulfill its manpower needs AT ANY PRICE in terms of incentives and inducements to Americans of draft age, in fact to mercenaries from other countries. Even the promise of accelerated American citizenship cannot induce other nationals, let alone Americans, to engage in Mr. Bush's Imperial campaigns in Iraq and now what is being planned in Iran.

And smug fence staddlers like Half Canadian will continue to pontificate behind the safety of a Canadian Passport.

Its no wonder, you are a "neocon".

Posted by: Joe Green | 2005-03-25 5:16:22 PM


ET wrote:

"Kofi Annan and the UN have no legal or moral authority to define a war as 'legal' or 'illegal'."

You obviously do not read the Treaties your country has signed when it became a founding member of the United Nations, and a signatory to the Charter.

If you had, you would know that the Security Council is the ONLY agency with the authority in international law to authorize the use of force against a "criminal and aggressive government".

As for Koffi Annan, he is the Secretary General of the United Nations and therefore a servant of the General Assembly and the Security Council. When he stated the obvious, that the US Invasion of Iraq was an illegal war, he was merely applying the statements of the UN Charter itself to the US and Britain.

There was a proper and also a much safer way to remove Saddam from power and to bring him to justice. But Mr. Bush is a war monger and an international war criminal in his own right.

Had the Americans and the Brits listened to reason, over 100,000 Iraqi civilians, women and children would be alive today. And had the Americans and the Brits listened to reason, the facts surrounding the wild speculations about Saddam having weapons of mass destruction would have been set to rest by the UN weapons inspectors, men like Scott Ritter, the fearless American Marine who was not afraid to tell the Bush Administration apparatchiks where the bear shits in the woods.

What a pity that Americans let the Republicans on the US Supreme Court pervert their election in 2000 and that no one ever arrested Karl Rowe for committing even worse criminal offenses as Mr. Bush's closest advisor, than did the likes Haldeman and Erlichman did for disgraced Republican President Richard Nixon.

Karl Rowe should be in jail together with his friend Ken Lay. These are Republican criminals.

Posted by: Joe Green | 2005-03-25 5:35:53 PM


Hey Joe, if you're going to spout conspiracy theories at the drop of a tin-foil hat, at least get the names right. It's Karl ROVE.

BTW, you do know that the 100,000 figure was pulled out of someone's butt, don't you? The questions were flawed, the analysis was flawed, the conclusions were flawed, but I don't suppose accuracy would help your fevered rantings.

For info on these flaws, read this

http://slate.msn.com/id/2108887/

Posted by: Kathryn | 2005-03-25 6:13:35 PM


I thought it would be an interesting exercise to juxtapose the thoughts of Mohammed, Iraqi dentist and proprietor of IRAQ THE MODEL, in his post of yesterday and those of Joe(Red)Green.

Joe: "There was a proper and also a much safer way to remove Saddam from power (editor's note - not specified by Joe) and to bring him to justice. But Mr. Bush is a war monger and an international war criminal in his own right."

(Joe seems not to realize that when there is contest between the human rights of citizens and a state's right to sovereignty, the right of the state, i. e. the regime that runs it, to sovereignty, will triumph every time.

Mohammed:"Saddam and his gang knew nothing but force as a way to deal with my people and that's why using greater force was the only way that could get us out of the closed ring of despair, fear and organized violence that harvested the lives of more than two million Iraqis and made four other millions homeless, devastated the infrastructure and the economy and made Iraq among the poorest countries on earth, ruined the planet's most fertile lands and divided the sons of the one nation with his racist and sectarian conflicts-provoking policies.

A comparison is essential to understand what's going on; I don't care about what's being repeated by the media, I talk only about the facts I see everyday and not only today; my eyes are wide opened to the future of Iraq several years from now.

Iraq is definitely better nowadays than it was under Saddam despite all the sacrifices we had to give in the last 24 months and even by considering the body count (that I hate to mention) I see that Operation Iraqi Freedom has preserved too many human lives that could've been lost to the injustice and brutality of Saddam.
Like most Iraqis, I don't want Iraq to go back to the days of Saddam; nothing can match the freedom that we won. And let's not forget that most of the Iraqis who lost their lives in the last two years were victims of terrorism not the military operation itself."

Joe: "Had the Americans and the Brits listened to reason, over 100,000 Iraqi civilians, women and children would be alive today."

( Joe as Kathryn pointed out above your post the study in the Lancet is bullshit. It was rushed to print in an attempt to defeat Bush's re-election bid. Iraq Body Count- an anti-war blog- which counts the numbers being killed puts the number at less than 20,000-which is fewer than were being killed annually when Saddam was in power.)

Mohammed: " Terrorism didn't come to Iraq after the fall of Saddam, only if one decides to consider that Saddam's doings are not terrorism: 5000 in Halabja in one day, 180 000 in Al-Anfal, 300 000 in the uprising in 1991, 70 000 from Al-Dawa party alone, many thousands of political opposition groups' members, thousands of people who refused to fight in Saddam's wars and were executed for no reason, amputation of limbs, tongues and ears, draining the marshes, depriving the people of all their basic rights and freedoms. The list can go forever.

The bad side effects of the liberation stand small when compared with what we have suffered from under Saddam's regime or when compared with what the progress that has been achieved since the liberation."


Happy Easter Joe.

Posted by: Terry Gain | 2005-03-25 7:54:56 PM


Sorry for the double post but there's some very bad news for Joe and opponents of the liberation and democratization of Iraq over at Captain's Quarters.

http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/

Posted by: Terry Gain | 2005-03-25 10:04:27 PM


"You obviously do not read the Treaties your country has signed when it became a founding member of the United Nations, and a signatory to the Charter."

You too - your reading of it is extremely bad.

"If you had, you would know that the Security Council is the ONLY agency with the authority in international law to authorize the use of force against a "criminal and aggressive government"."

Except in cases of self-defence, according to Article 51. Uses of this right are to be reported immediately to the Security Council, which was done both in Iraq and in Afghanistan. Since the US and UK had vetos on the Security Council, they had the power to block any move contrary to their interests. In short, they got away with it.

"As for Kofi Annan, he is the Secretary General of the United Nations and therefore a servant of the General Assembly and the Security Council. When he stated the obvious, that the US Invasion of Iraq was an illegal war, he was merely applying the statements of the UN Charter itself to the US and Britain."

More likely he was expressing his own personal opinion on the subject. However, the Security Council has its own opinion. The veto power, however, will make sure it has no opinion about this, allowing the US and Britain to act.

The sad commentary is when the Security Council has to be defied in order to implement its own resolutions.

"There was a proper and also a much safer way to remove Saddam from power and to bring him to justice."

Suggestion?

"But Mr. Bush is a war monger and an international war criminal in his own right."

Accusation - no proof. But NO American or Western leader will ever be held accountable by the international community for what they do. It's a terribly hypocritical situation, but that's the way it is.

"Had the Americans and the Brits listened to reason, over 100,000 Iraqi civilians, women and children would be alive today."

Had we done nothing, more Iraqis would have been killed by Saddam's regime.

God Bless the American and Coalition soldiers for their bravery and hard work helping the peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan. Shame on the Rich People in Tronna for refusing to help in Iraq.

Two videos:

http://www.clermontyellow.accountsupport.com/flash/UntilThen.swf

http://www.gcsdistributing.com/?pv=tr&tf=TDP&DT=WSU

Posted by: Scott | 2005-03-26 12:28:58 AM


Ya know, I'm really getting tired of people proclaiming this an illegal war.

Joe, if your going to make that statement, provide a link to the UN resolution that states it, or drop it.

You can't, period, it was never declared an illegal war, there is no resolution that states it. Your going by statements made by MSM and special interest groups. So stop making up terms of legality to suit your needs.

All your material is pulled from left wing special interst group sites which is totally wrong or blown out of proportion. I've proved you wrong in another blog on your claim about 100,000 civilians, and I'm proving you wrong here too.

Posted by: rob | 2005-03-27 10:44:36 PM


rob: I did a little checking and technically the war in Afghanistan was illegal too. The UN never approved of the US mission to invade and destroy the terrorist facilities there. It was done on the grounds of the existing right of self-defence.

The difference between this and Iraq was no country (except the Taliban in Afghanistan, naturally) objected to US actions. Such was the sympathy shown around the world after September 11. Even Chretien sent Cdn troops to kill and be killed over there - but without UN authorization (how can this be???). The UN later stepped in to help form the new Afghani government and a UN authorized Security Force (ISAF).

Jeremy Hinzman discovered his new pacifism in Afghanistan. He went only because he obeyed the rules around consciencious objectors having to remain with their units while their applications are processed. I wonder if he thought of deserting before his unit shipped out for Afghanistan? If there was any justifiable war in living memory, it was the US war in Afghanistan. Looks like he's just a coward and a liar - trying to get out of the commitment he made to defend his country.

You're right - there

Posted by: Scott | 2005-03-28 5:24:00 AM


The lefts argument is that the war was not sanctioned by the UN and therefore illegal. Well they should look up the difinition of sanctioned. It just means the UN was not going to participate or agree with it.

There is a hell of a difference between that, and a resolution declaring it illegal. The resolutions against Iraq authorized the use of legal, political or military force to comply with an objective. They were in violation of the resolutions, so therefore that was illegal.

The left has twisted "not to be in agreement with" to somehow being illegal, which is NOT correct.

Posted by: rob | 2005-03-28 6:03:24 AM


Terry Gain wrote:

"( Joe as Kathryn pointed out above your post the study in the Lancet is bullshit. It was rushed to print in an attempt to defeat Bush's re-election bid. Iraq Body Count- an anti-war blog- which counts the numbers being killed puts the number at less than 20,000-which is fewer than were being killed annually when Saddam was in power.)"

The Lancet is a respected British Medical Journal. I have read the report and its a credible estimate of the casualties suffered by Iraqi civilians, women and children due to American bombs causing "collateral damage".

The 20,000 figure that is based upon reports of deaths, does not nearly capture all the casualties because not all deaths are reported in Iraqi newspapers. It was and it remains a war zone. From one end of the country to the other.

Furthermore, the Americans are simply lying when they claim falsely that the war continues after two years only because of "foreign terrorists". At MOST, no more than 500 such foreign terrorists have ever been located and arrested in Iraq.

The facts are different. The American Invasion has set off an insurgency by Iraqis that are fighting an "invader" and "crusader". And it is going to turn into a civil war between "loyalists" (primarily Sunni) and "traitors" (primarily Shiite and Kurds) who have taken up sides with the "invader" and the "cursader".

For all practical purposes, this dynamic is now entrenched, and nothing the Americans can do will stop it. I expect that once the American public decides that Mr. Bush's War for Oil in Iraq cannot be won, they will "cut and run" as they did in Vietnam.

The "spreading of democracy" in the Middle East is also likely to ignite a new civil war in Lebanon between Christians and Muslims. What the Americans (and the Israelis) actually seek is to set the Middle East afire. They believe that somehow this will give them a strengthened position, at least that was the belief of Paul Wolfwitz, the new President of the World Bank.

The pretext of "nuclear weapons" will be used to attack Iran, boys and girls, its coming. Just wait for the opening round with Israeli flown B1 bombers from the US bombing Iranian positions.

Posted by: Joe Green | 2005-03-28 10:14:22 AM


Joe,

You are totally wrong again, and inflated the numbers for your own purpuse. The actual number is 12-13k and the projected number is 17-18K.

The Americans have taken very special care to minumize the number of people killed, and will go down in history as a major war with the lowest casulty rate.

The Lancit report is pure leftwing propaganda and doesn't even qualify to be used as toilet paper.

Posted by: rob | 2005-03-28 10:23:19 AM


Scott wrote:

"rob: I did a little checking and technically the war in Afghanistan was illegal too. The UN never approved of the US mission to invade and destroy the terrorist facilities there. It was done on the grounds of the existing right of self-defence."

You are mistaken. When the US was attacked on September 11, 2001, by the Al Quada organization that had its headquarters in Afghanistan, it set off article 5 of the NATO Collective Security Agreement which states in effect, an attack on one member state of NATO will be taken as an attack upon all of them. That includes Canada.

Collective Security is already covered in the UN Charter under Article 52 with does not require any further UN authorizations for collective security organizations to act.

The exact same situation applied in Kosovo when NATO attacked the formations of the Yugoslav Army that was engaged in ethnic cleansing and which was sending millions of refugees into the winter snows threatening neighbouring countries of Italy and Hungary, who are NATO member states.

Both actions were "legal" because both actions involved NATO which was and remains a collective security organization. In terms of the UN Charter, it was covered under Article 52 which deals with the actions of collective regional security organizations.

In contrast, in Vietnam, the Americans acted "unilaterally" and illegally, at least when they decided under Nixon to start secretly bombing Cambodia and North Vietnam.

The other factor, is that NATO is committed to stay the course in Afghanistan unlike the American position in Iraq. In terms of warfare and how to fight it, just about the dumbest thing that George Bush ever said, was that he was going to withdraw "as soon as possible" and not stay "a day longer". All that did was signal the insurgents what strategy they needed to win.

It should be obvious to any student of warfare that America lacks the "staying power" and the "political will" to fight and win in Iraq. And the reason is obvious; the US does not have a "just cause" in Iraq, just like it lacked a "just cause" in Vietnam.

Posted by: Joe Green | 2005-03-28 10:28:02 AM


rob wrote:

"The Americans have taken very special care to minumize the number of people killed, and will go down in history as a major war with the lowest casulty rate."

That is plainly false. The NATO war in Kosovo that involved Canada had dramatically fewer casualties because of the strategy used by General Wesley Clark to fight it. The Kosovo NATO campaign used a policy of having legal counsel from member states review each and every bombing target, make legal assessments, and then review the military targeting parameters to see if the target could be destroyed without collateral damage. General Clark ran a campaign that did not use fixed time limits. He was patient and that usually worked because sooner or later the Yugoslav armies would move and expose themselves. Fewer than 4,000 casualties occurred in Kosovo including Yugoslav military casualties. The NATO forces suffered "zero" casualties, perhaps the first time in the history of war where one side suffered no losses at all.

When you look at the war in Iraq, the Americans were careless and panicky. They bombed residential areas in Baghdad where they "suspected" Saddam "might" be, and they failed to get him but the certainly killed and injured hundreds of civilians, women and children during these attacks. The high casualty figures were the result of the strategic decision by Bush to "leave as soon as possible". He did not play General Clark's strategy of "patient pursuit".

Which in the final analysis is why General Clark under President Clinton led NATO to a brilliant military success, and why Tommy Franks under President Bush has led the US Army into another Vietnam type quagmire.

Finally, the Lancet figures are likely on the low side because it was published last October before many of the pulverizing urban warfare activities in Falujah for instance where tens of thousands of Iraq civilians were killed. The US Army failed to destroy the insurgents in Falujah, they simply further scattered them around the countryside.

Posted by: Joe Green | 2005-03-28 10:41:57 AM


Scott wrote"

" If there was any justifiable war in living memory, it was the US war in Afghanistan."

Sorry, but the war in Afghanistan is not just an American War, its a NATO war just like the NATO war in Kosovo.

Scott, don't you read? There are as many troops from other countries in Afghanistan as there are from the US. And that includes Canadian troops.

Posted by: Joe Green | 2005-03-28 10:45:16 AM


Joe,

You are totally WRONG again. A war does not have to be sanctioned by NATO, PERIOD.

Iraq was in violation of resolutions set out by the UN, refused to comply, and therefore the coalition that went in had every justifiable right to do so.

You are just plain anti american, and that's your only justification for your statements, PERIOD.

Posted by: rob | 2005-03-28 11:14:43 AM


Joe Green, you haven't stated yet what the safe and proper way of removing Saddam was. I'm curious, will you share?

Posted by: ld | 2005-03-28 11:18:38 AM


"Scott, don't you read? There are as many troops from other countries in Afghanistan as there are from the US. And that includes Canadian troops."

There are TWO different and concurrent operations in Afghanistan right now. One is the Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) Coalition, made of primarily US forces. Its mission is to root out Al Qaeda forces and destroy terrorist networks in the country. It is based in Kandahar.

The other is the International Security Assistance Force, which is made of 30+ countries from NATO, European Neutrals, and others, to help the new Afghani government establish itself. It is based in Kabul.

While the two cooperate well, their missions are separate. When Cdn troops first went there in 2002, they were part of the OEF Coalition. Now they're part of the ISAF mission.

It is not a NATO mission - it is ALSO a NATO mission alongside a US mission.

Posted by: Scott | 2005-03-28 7:19:18 PM


"You are mistaken. When the US was attacked on September 11, 2001, by the Al Quada organization that had its headquarters in Afghanistan, it set off article 5 of the NATO Collective Security Agreement which states in effect, an attack on one member state of NATO will be taken as an attack upon all of them. That includes Canada."

Yes, and the Organization of American States did the same thing under Article 3 of its treaty. But they didnt send troops to help.

The UN did not approve of any US or NATO or any mission to Afghanistan. Instead it concentrated its efforts on fighting terrorism worldwide.

"Collective Security is already covered in the UN Charter under Article 52 with does not require any further UN authorizations for collective security organizations to act."

A UN resolution authorizing actions would have been nice - it was certainly desired by international lawyers because of the implications for Afghanistan itself.

But the NATO and OAS charters state that they operate under the UN Charter. Interesting paradox.

"The exact same situation applied in Kosovo when NATO attacked the formations of the Yugoslav Army that was engaged in ethnic cleansing and which was sending millions of refugees into the winter snows threatening neighbouring countries of Italy and Hungary, who are NATO member states."

"Both actions were "legal" because both actions involved NATO which was and remains a collective security organization. In terms of the UN Charter, it was covered under Article 52 which deals with the actions of collective regional security organizations."

That's not what Annan said.

"In contrast, in Vietnam, the Americans acted "unilaterally" and illegally, at least when they decided under Nixon to start secretly bombing Cambodia and North Vietnam."

Funny how nothing was ever done about that. Same goes for the Soviets in Afghanistan.

"The other factor, is that NATO is committed to stay the course in Afghanistan unlike the American position in Iraq. In terms of warfare and how to fight it, just about the dumbest thing that George Bush ever said, was that he was going to withdraw "as soon as possible" and not stay "a day longer". All that did was signal the insurgents what strategy they needed to win."

Well, we're waiting! Just because he said that doesn't mean it's going to happen immediately.

"It should be obvious to any student of warfare that America lacks the "staying power" and the "political will" to fight and win in Iraq. And the reason is obvious; the US does not have a "just cause" in Iraq, just like it lacked a "just cause" in Vietnam."

They're in for the long haul and have done a great job so far. Iraq will be much better off than it was beforehand - and its people will have an incentive to build their country in freedom. Soon they will not need US troops because they can do it themselves.

Never underestimate the United States. They have done a lot of good for this world because they backed up their words with action.

Posted by: Scott | 2005-03-28 7:28:19 PM


Joe Green said: "Canada, unlike the United States, is a Nation of Laws. It's a nation where the "rule of law" has been purchased in blood by Canadian troops on the battlefields of the world. That precious gift of having impartial hearings before compassionate justices who have "unfettered discretion" is what separates Canada from the United States where their legal system is packed with Republican politicos whose cruelty knows no bounds, whose adherence to their version of twisted and perverse legislation forced upon an unwilling public is not unlike what took place in Nazi Germany where Canadian troops finally defeated a cold and cruel tryanny."

Joe, wake up, Joe! Joe, Joe, is that you! (pushing shoulder as Joe snores).

Canada is not a Nation of Laws any more.

We have secret trials, imprisonments on certificates and the detainees and their lawyers denied the right to view the evidence -- or even to know if there is any.

We have massive surveillance laws coming into play any moment which prescribe continuous infiltration of e-mail and cell phones, forced vaccinations, biometric monitoring (scans of eyes, fingerprints, voice, stature and gait), and the Mohawks have apparently been asked to submit to being the first human beings to be micro-chipped so we can be traced by satellite.

Joe, Canada is a leader in the spread of American Paranoism as the pretext for destroying all liberty and turning us into caged and electronically labelled animals in the name of security and freedom.

Wake up, Joe, Joe... are you still sleeping? Joe, check out Parliament ! Canada's being absorbed into the USA and Mexico by "deep integration" being "negotiated" (read: pre-planned) behind the backs of Canadians who are being transferred with the landmass like 30 million head of human cattle with no vote and no clue, and Parliament doing nothing but saying "Baaah! Baaah!" John P. Manley was appointed by Paul Martin to tie up the deal with George Bush and get things moving... target date for FULL integration of Canada into USA/Mexico: 2010. That's when the US closes the noose of its CONTINENTAL SECURITY PERIMETER around Canada and we're permanently GONE.

http://www.parl.gc.ca/38/1/parlbus/chambus/house/debates/113_2005-06-10/HAN113-E.HTM
"Canadian Sovereignty

Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, in its greedy push for even bigger profits, the Canadian Council of Chief Executives wants to eliminate virtually everything dear to Canadians.

Its plan for deep integration proposes to eliminate the Canada-U.S. border, impose American regulations, increase the foreign takeover of our energy resources, and create a common North American identity. That is just for starters. Goodbye Canada.

With deep integration our sovereignty and the institutions that we hold dear, such as public and universal health care, public broadcasting and affordable education, already menaced by Liberal underfunding, would exist no more. Deep integration uses security as a Trojan horse for the complete surrender of our sovereignty to North American big business.

Maintaining Canada's cultural diversity and strength is not negotiable. Maintaining social services that are integral to the lives of all Canadians cannot be traded away. Maintaining Canada as a free and sovereign nation is fundamental to our future.

Most Canadians reject this plan. The New Democratic Party will fight this threat to our nation with all our heart and all our soul."

= = =

Here"s another one, Joe. NON-LEGISLATED BILATERAL AGREEMENTS. That means, Parliament is defunct, Joe. No more laws protecting Canada. Parliament is on the outside looking in while Canada is re-designed as a NATURAL RESOURCE of America, the evil empire... to provide them with another 100 years of fuel, wood and water to plunder and the means to launch WWIII once they close the continental security perimeter around Canada... which rumsfeld announced years ago as a fact without bothering to ask Canadian parliament if we agreed -- which we don't, which is why he didn't ask.

http://www.parl.gc.ca/37/3/parlbus/commbus/senate/com-e/TRAN-E/03evb-e.htm

"We will now go to Mr. Tassé who represents the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group.

Mr. Roch Tassé, National Coordinator, International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group: First, I would like to thank you for your invitation to appear before you and make known our concerns.

[English]

Since September 2001, Canada's anti-terrorism agenda has been driven primarily by our government's obsession with keeping the Canada-U.S. border open for business. This objective is rooted in the logic of deep integration and is consistent with proposals by some sectors in Canada to create a North American safety perimeter and a customs union with the United States.

We understand the proposal to essentially mean reinventing Canada as part of the United States. It implies integrating the internal security regimes and data banks of both countries and acting on the information in concert. Such measures would effectively weaken Canadian sovereignty and diminish the capacity of Canadian governments and institutions to ensure the security and protect the freedoms of Canadian citizens on the basis of Canadian rights and values.

ICLMG is concerned with several aspects of the bill. We share the concerns expressed this morning by the Privacy Commissioner that the law is too broad.

We are also concerned that the bill is not limited strictly to anti-terrorism issues and national security, but expands police powers for criminal activities as well.

I will focus on our concerns with privacy issues. We feel that in many respects, Bill C-7 deals with the nuts and bolts of harmonizing security measures negotiated in the context of non-legislated bilateral agreements with the United States, such as the Smart Border Action Plan. The 30-point Smart Border Action Plan calls for increased coordination and information sharing between Canadian and U.S. police and intelligence services. It also calls for the harmonization of our refugee, immigration and security policies."

http://www.parl.gc.ca/38/1/parlbus/chambus/house/debates/073_2005-03-23/HAN073-E.HTM


"Canada-U.S. Relations

Hon. Jack Layton (Toronto—Danforth, NDP): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister goes to Texas and comes back with nothing on BSE, nothing on softwood and nothing on Devils Lake. Instead we have the pursuit of the hidden deep integration strategy with George Bush, although it is not actually that hidden. John Manley is very clear about it. He thinks Canada has too much sovereignty and we should pursue deep integration.

Mr. Manley was the first choice of the Prime Minister to be the ambassador to the United States to supervise the whole project. Did the Prime Minister know the views of Mr. Manley before he offered him the job?"


http://www.parl.gc.ca/38/1/parlbus/chambus/house/debates/074_2005-03-24/HAN074-E.HTM

"Canada-U.S. Relations

Hon. Jack Layton (Toronto—Danforth, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I would like to return to the issue of the hidden agenda of the Liberal government vis-à-vis deep integration with the United States.

We learned virtually nothing from the press conference today by the Prime Minister. Everything is just as hidden as it was going in.

The fact of the matter is that Canadians do not want deep integration. They do not want to race to the bottom along the Wal-Mart way of George Bush with lower wages and lower environmental standards.

Why will the Liberals not tell the Canadian people what their agenda is: cheap labour from Mexico, Canadian oil and sovereignty be damned? Explain that one."


http://www.parl.gc.ca/38/1/parlbus/chambus/house/debates/123_2005-06-27/ques123-E.htm

"Canada-U.S. Relations
Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, we have seen over the past decade lower standards of living and a lower quality of life for most Canadians. Most jobs created are now part time or temporary and the average Canadian worker has lost 60¢ an hour in real terms.

While we have seen no progress on softwood lumber and BSE, now we find out that this government is prepared to make even greater concessions to the Bush administration through its backroom deep integration talks. Canadians did not vote for that.

Will this government commit to stop making concessions in secret and ensure that Parliament can openly debate the issue, so Canadians can judge what these talks will cost them?"

http://www.parl.gc.ca/38/1/parlbus/chambus/house/debates/074_2005-03-24/ques074-E.htm

"Canada-U.S. Relations
Hon. Jack Layton (Toronto—Danforth, NDP): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister goes to Texas and comes back with nothing on BSE, nothing on softwood and nothing on Devils Lake. Instead we have the pursuit of the hidden deep integration strategy with George Bush, although it is not actually that hidden. John Manley is very clear about it. He thinks Canada has too much sovereignty and we should pursue deep integration.

Mr. Manley was the first choice of the Prime Minister to be the ambassador to the United States to supervise the whole project. Did the Prime Minister know the views of Mr. Manley before he offered him the job?"

Joe, Joe! What was that you said about the "rule of law" ?

Posted by: KM | 2005-11-27 2:52:50 PM



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