Green Party requests government to let Iraq war resister stay
uring the recent federal election, in a packed room in the basement of the Parkede United Church in Calgary, a veteran of NATO operations in Bosnia and leader of the Libertarian Party Dennis Young told Chuck Wiley, one of the Iraq war resisters, that he should ignore the critics who call him coward. Young said in front of the huge crowd that what the resisters did takes courage.
Later in the election campaign, Liberal MP and frustrated leadership prospect Bob Rae confirmed the support of his party for allowing US conscientious objectors of Iraq war to take up permanent residence in Canada.
The Green Party urged the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney to stop the deportation proceedings against the US Iraq war resister Cliff Cornell whose proceedings were moved to December 19th. The Party also requested the government to implement the motion adopted by parliament on the 3rd of June in order to allow all war US Iraq war resisters the right to apply for permanent resident status.
During the English-language election Leaders’ Debate, Prime Minister Stephen Harper also acknowledged that the war against Iraq was a complete error. In a rather surprising reversal, he said that it is absolutely clear that the evaluations of weapons of mass destruction were incorrect and so they are not sending anyone to Iraq.
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May said that the Green Party demands that Canada adopts the United Nations Handbook of Refugees which clearly states that soldiers who refuse to take part in wars that are condemned by the international community must be considered as refugees.
Did soldiers like Cornell really enlist on the basis of a ‘fraudulent contract’, or did they simply change their minds regarding the war? What about the 17-year veteran of the military- Chuck Wiley? Wiley served proudly for so many years and wasn’t a part of the so-called poverty draft. Was he really tricked into service by the Government of the US? Well, it seems unlikely.
The contract issue if central to this discussion, as May suggests, but libertarian scholar Walter Block thinks that this is a case of what he calls ‘contract fetishism’ and it misses the bigger point- wars of aggression are morally wrong.
Block said that these things are far more important than mere contracts for libertarians- property rights and non aggression axiom. He added that if the contracts are compatible with these two building blocks of libertarianism, then there is nothing wrong with the contracts.