12.09.2009

canada should be proud to welcome them

Two Davids, both readers of this blog, say, "Let them stay!" in letters to the editor.

War Resisters Kim Rivera and Chris V recently spoke in London, Ontario; this from the London Free Press.
Canada should be proud to welcome war resisters

Why should Kim Rivera, or any other U.S. Iraq war resisters living in Canada, be separated from their kids, jailed and given a criminal record for saying no to the Iraq war?

George W. Bush never served. He got out of it. Dick Cheney cleverly avoided the draft as well. Cheney reportedly said, "I had other priorities in the '60s than military service." At least Rivera and many of the resisters signed up to serve their country and actually went into combat in Iraq. But the architects of the disastrous war in Iraq will never spend a day in jail for the lies they told their soldiers.

Why is the Harper government so eager to side with Bush and punish the soldiers who saw the light and said no to an illegal war? A majority of Canadians and their MPs recognize this as an injustice and want them to be able to live in a country that proudly said no to the Iraq war.

David Fox, Toronto

This is in reply to a "deport the cowards" type of letter in the Calgary Sun:
DEFYING DEMOCRACY

Bethany Smith, the gay U.S. soldier who deserted, should be allowed to stay in Canada. (Letters, Dec. 28) National polls show clearly that a strong majority of Canadians want all war-resisters to be allowed to stay in this country. They don't need to be in the refugee process at all. Just let them apply for permanent residence. This is also the clear will of Parliament (which has voted twice to let war resisters stay in Canada), so where does the Conservative minority government think it gets a mandate to defy the democratic will of Canadians by continuing with the deportation of these courageous individuals?

David Heap

Thank you, David and David!

8 comments:

Cornelia said...

Absolutely Canada should be pleased to welcome them. And well, it seems to me that Bush and Cheney learnt from nothing - not even their own experience, so to say!!

David Heap said...

Great to finally get one of my letters published, someplace.

Actually it was Chris Vanney we had here in London with Kim recently -- both spoke very compellingly.

L-girl said...

Good timing! I had just finished changing it when I saw your comment. Chris Vassey, btw.

Excellent letter, David.

L-girl said...

Allan and I recently transcribed Chris's IRB hearing. It was great (and very disturbing, of course) to hear his story.

Cornelia said...

Great to finally get one of my letters published, someplace.

I agree 100 %!!! Great job!

Cornelia said...

And well, it seems to me that Bush and Cheney learnt from nothing

I meant they haven't learnt anything

David Heap said...

Yes of course Vassey, sorry.

Transcribing resisters' hearings sounds like quite the project -- IRB hearings can be a draining experience. Good on you.

L-girl said...

We've done a couple of them. It can indeed be draining.

But it's a gift, really. It brings me right back to the heart of why I am part of this movement.