wikileaks, harper, kenney, and the brave soldiers who said no to the killing fields

More than 300,000 formerly secret documents detailing the illegal US-led occupation of Iraq has been given to New York Times, The Guardian, and Der Spiegel. Al Jazeera English was also given access to the documents, 12 weeks in advance of the official leakage.

The documents are being called "Iraq War Logs," and they demand our attention. So do the brave men and women who said "NO" to this horror, at great cost to themselves. We can support peace by supporting military resistance to war.

Right now, the WikiLeaks site is often down from high traffic. Their announcement reads:
At 5pm EST Friday 22nd October 2010 WikiLeaks released the largest classified military leak in history. The 391,832 reports ('The Iraq War Logs'), document the war and occupation in Iraq, from 1st January 2004 to 31st December 2009 (except for the months of May 2004 and March 2009) as told by soldiers in the United States Army. Each is a 'SIGACT' or Significant Action in the war. They detail events as seen and heard by the US military troops on the ground in Iraq and are the first real glimpse into the secret history of the war that the United States government has been privy to throughout.

The reports detail 109,032 deaths in Iraq, comprised of 66,081 'civilians'; 23,984 'enemy' (those labeled as insurgents); 15,196 'host nation' (Iraqi government forces) and 3,771 'friendly' (coalition forces). The majority of the deaths (66,000, over 60%) of these are civilian deaths.That is 31 civilians dying every day during the six year period. For comparison, the 'Afghan War Diaries', previously released by WikiLeaks, covering the same period, detail the deaths of some 20,000 people. Iraq during the same period, was five times as lethal with equivalent population size.

New York Times

The Guardian

Der Spiegel English edition

Al Jazeera English

Canadian history:

Jason Kenney angrily defends George W. Bush as Iraq War begins - March 20, 2003: watch

Stephen Harper's Conservatives wanted Canada to join the war in Iraq: watch.

Stephen Harper himself admits the Iraq War was "absolutely an error": watch.

From the War Resisters Support Campaign:

Wikileaks documents show US Iraq War resisters were right

Canadians renew call for Harper and Kenney to let Iraq War resisters stay

Newly released US Military documents from Wikileaks, detailing widespread civilians deaths in Iraq, provide unequivocal proof that Iraq War resisters did the right thing. The government of Canada should heed the will of the majority of Canadians who support the stance taken by these young men and women, and stop deporting them to jail in the US.

The leaked Pentagon files reveal that according to the US military’s own statistics, the Iraq War has so far killed more than 109,000 people, of whom more than 66,000 were civilians.

The documents affirm the wisdom of Canada’s decision not to participate in an illegal war that has produced widespread atrocities from the individual torture in Abu Ghraib to the mass killings documented in the recently leaked files. They provide further justification for the position of the majority of Canadians who continue to oppose the war, believe the Prime Minister’s statement that the Iraq War is “absolutely an error” because weapons of mass destruction were never found, and support the US troops who came to the same conclusion.

By the Nuremberg Principles soldiers have an obligation to refuse unlawful orders. Yet in a stunning move, Minister of Immigration Jason Kenney has sought to label those US soldiers who refused to follow unlawful orders in Iraq as “criminals.”

Operational Bulletin 202, issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada on July 22, flags US Iraq war resisters as potentially “criminally inadmissible” to Canada.

Peter Showler, former chair of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board, says, “The bulletin implies that military deserters from the US should be treated differently than deserters from other countries. There is no basis in law for that proposition.”

Amnesty International Canada has also written to Minister Kenney, calling for the withdrawal of Operational Bulletin 202 because it “misstates the law and seeks to intrude on the independence of both IRB members and Immigration Officers.”

Minister Kenney’s announcement that Canada will extend measures for Iraqi refugees, merely hours after the Wikileaks documents were released, was deliberately timed to be a distraction.

“Of course our government should be doing more to help Iraqi families who have suffered from this unnecessary war,” said Michelle Robidoux, spokesperson for the War Resisters Support Campaign. “Minister Kenney must also stop his vendetta against veterans who tried to end the Iraq War sooner. Minister Kenney’s announcement today was timed to distract from his party’s record on the Iraq War and the fact that he and Mr. Harper are deporting Iraq War resisters who did the right thing.”

“Parliament has voted twice to stop the deportations and to let Iraq War resisters stay,” Robidoux continued. “Mr. Harper’s belated realization that the Iraq War is ‘absolutely an error,’ will continue to be lip service until he stops punishing these courageous men and women who, like Canada, refused to participate in this unjust war.” [See original for important links.]

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War resister Joshua Key talks to the Canadian Press about the Iraq War Logs.

War resister Phil McDowell speaks to CTV about the Iraq War logs (click on video link at right).

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Speak out on behalf of US war resisters in Canada. Let them stay!

Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism

Michael Ignatieff, Leader of the Opposition, Leader, Liberal Party

Jack Layton, Leader, New Democratic Party

Giles Duceppe, Leader, Bloc Québécois

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