Write to the newspaper of your choice. Keep the letters short and from the heart. Letters like these reach huge numbers of people. The more a newspaper receives, the greater the obligation to print one.
And I can prove it! Today, there were four war resister- related letters in the Globe and Mail, in response to Noah Richler's excellent Op-Ed - three letters in support and one against. I believe these are our first letters in the G&M at all.
If you believe people of conscience who refused to fight in Iraq should find sanctuary in Canada - and if you believe the Government should follow the will of the people and of Parliament - now is the time to act.
The letters from today's G&M:
An intergalactic visitor would have been confounded by George W. Bush's heartfelt comment that a "significant disappointment" of his presidency was "not finding weapons of mass destruction" (Unpopular And Unapologetic - Jan. 13).We may howl with laughter one more time at the linguistically challenged President, but we know exactly what he meant: His sole rationale for invading Iraq did not exist.
Why, then, as Noah Richler wrote (Dodging War: Who's The Hero? - Jan. 17), have war resisters like Kimberly Rivera been denied refugee status - and why are the rest of us not protesting? They are the brave ones - acting in accordance with international law, world opinion, the desires of most Canadians and the beliefs of the president-elect.
The decision to hang them out to dry is flawed, our compliance riddled with hypocrisy and bad faith.
Roberta Hamilton, Kingston
Canada must provide sanctuary to these heroes who have stood up to the might of the U.S. military and said they would not participate in an ugly, illegal and immoral war. The only people not acting on this sentiment are those in the Harper government, even though Canadians and Parliament have made clear their support for U.S. war resisters.
I do, however, take issue with Noah Richler's statement that "there is no popular movement against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan." Nothing could be further from the truth. In Toronto alone, there have been countless demonstrations and actions against the war and in support of the war resisters in this city.
Roger Rolfe, Toronto
As someone who came to Canada in 1968 to escape the Vietnam War, I was touched by Noah Richler's comments. In the Vietnam War, who were the heroes? Certainly not us, the draft dodgers and deserters, who fled rather than kill in an immoral war waged against innocent people. The only heroes I remember were the Canadians who opened their homes and hearts to us. Oh, Canada, what has happened to us?
Michael Hendricks, Montreal
And in case anyone wants to respond, here's the negative one:
So Noah Richler believes U.S. war resisters - a euphemism for deserters - should be allowed to stay in Canada. He equates them with the draft dodgers who came to Canada during the Vietnam War. The difference, of course, is that today's deserters voluntarily joined the military and accepted all of the benefits offered in the deal. Their change of heart has less to do with ideology and more to do with the reality of what they signed up for.
If we allow American deserters to stay in Canada, how would we treat Canadian military deserters who would be breaking our military laws? Give them a free pass as well?
Robert Meldrum, Chelsea, Quebec
Is this the best you can do?? Have there been a rash of Canadian Forces breaking "our military laws"? And do we want Canadian soldiers to follow orders, no matter what, even if those orders mean the outright murder of civilians??
It sure does have to do with "the reality of what they signed up for". That's exactly why Canada should Let Them Stay.