Sunday, September 26, 2010
1,085,000 reasons to support war resister Bill C-440
War resister Bill C-440, which comes up for Parliamentary debate and vote in few days time, would let US Iraq War resisters apply for permanent residence, renewing Canada's legacy of welcoming war resisters, and reaffirming the will of Parliament which has twice voted to let them stay. For more information check out this great video. And for countless great articles on this crucial campaign, visit this blog.
If you're still not convinced, here are 1,085,000 reasons--in human terms--to support it:
This is the upper estimate for the death toll in Iraq. There have been numerous estimates of different numbers—from 100,000 estimated by Iraq Body Count project, to 655,000 estimated by the Lancet in 2006, to over a million estimated by the Opinion Research Business survey in 2007. Part of the reason we don’t know for sure is that the occupying powers don’t really care. In 2005 George Bush casually estimated that “um, I would say 30,000 more or less” were killed by his illegal act of aggression. While the war criminals don’t care about numbers, they are terrified of images.
In the lead up to the war, Colin Powell (who lied about WMDs) and John Negroponte (who subsequently organized death squads in Iraq) famously covered up a copy of Picasso’s Guernica (depicting war crimes during the Spanish Civil War) so it wouldn’t appear behind them as they spoke at the UN. The infamous photos of Abu Ghraib provided brutal vindication of why so many millions had marched against the war. And recently wikileaks released footage of a massacre in Baghdad, which once again humanized the dry statistics of casualties, and so infuriated the Pentagon that they’ve locked up whistleblower Bradley Manning.
While the Harper minority is trying to criminalize war resisters, the real crime is the Iraq War and the massive death toll it has inflicted on the people of Iraq. Passing Bill C-440 reaffirms that Canadians said no to war and remain opposed to this bloodbath.
The number of US troops killed or wounded in Iraq. This greatly underestimates the impact on soldiers as it does not include psychological trauma (more on this in a future post). In 2004, the New England Journal of Medicine found that one in six soldiers returned with mental health problems, while a 2008 study by the Rand corporation put the number at one in five. A shocking new study by the Veterans Administration found that 18 veterans (of all wars) commit suicide each day, and another 12 attempt. Bill C-440 offers a ray of hope for these troops, that rather than killing, getting killed, or killing themselves over participation in an illegal war featuring torture and war crimes, they can seek sanctuary in Canada.
The number of “draft dodgers” (including both volunteers and conscripts) who came to Canada rather than kill Vietnamese. The majority who stayed had such a positive impact that Immigration Canada website once called them the “largest, best-educated group the country had ever received”…that is, before this page mysteriously disappeared (likely under the influence of Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, hate on for war resisters know no bounds). To renew Canada’s legacy—both the welcome of resisters and the benefit we receive from it—Parliament must pass Bill C-440
Visit http://letthemstay.ca/action to see how you can help.