Michael Moore calls Canada ‘shameful’ on U.S. war dodgers

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Sky Captain Sky Captain's picture
Michael Moore calls Canada ‘shameful’ on U.S. war dodgers

Renowned left-wing American documentary maker Michael Moore on Thursday blasted Canada’s position on U.S. war dodgers as shameful.

Speaking at the Toronto International Film Festival, Moore said Ottawa’s refusal to allow U.S. soldiers opposed to the war in Iraq to find safe haven in this country betrays what the country once stood for.

“It is absolutely shameful how Canada has behaved toward those who have resisted this war,” Moore said.

“It’s not the Canada that we used to know.”

Moore, who has produced several acclaimed documentaries, noted Canada was sympathetic to American soldiers who refused to fight in Vietnam in the 1970s.

Draft dodgers who fled the U.S. for Canada were allowed to stay here and many became productive citizens, even after they were allowed to return home.

“This country was so generous to those of my generation who did not want to kill Vietnamese and opened the doors,” Moore said.

“They stayed here, most of them, after clemency was granted, raised families here, became Canadians and contributed.”

Scores of American soldiers have deserted in opposition to the war on Iraq — some after deployment, others pre-deployment — and fled to Canada beginning more than six years ago.

None has been successful in seeking asylum in Canada, with bids for refugee status denied on the grounds that they would be prosecuted, not persecuted, if they returned to the U.S.

Their cases remain caught up in labyrinthine refugee hearings and various appeals.

Some who have gone back either voluntarily or after deportation have been jailed for desertion, but those who stay maintain they should not have to face punishment for opposing a war they call illegal.

The federal government has maintained the U.S. military is a volunteer defence force, in contrast to the forced draft that many young Americans faced in the Vietnam War era.

Still, the House of Commons, in a non-binding motion, called on the government in 2007 to allow those who refused to serve in Iraq on conscientious grounds to remain in Canada.

Bill C-440, currently before the Commons, would force the government to allow the deserting soldiers to apply for permanent residence in Canada.

Canada refused to join the U.S.-led war on Iraq, arguing it had no United Nations sanction.

Moore said Canadians are sympathetic to the war-dodger cause.

“Canadian people have a good heart and are a peaceful people,” he said.

“They’ve always seen themselves as people that want to try to negotiate peace but they’ve gotten caught up in participating in war.”

Moore’s latest film, “Capitalism: A Love Story,” released a year ago, looked at the financial crisis.

Other works include “Bowling for Columbine” and “Sicko.”

http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/tiff/tiffnews/article/862482--michael-moore-calls-canada-shameful-on-u-s-war-dodgers

 

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Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

It's about time we were called on this.

No Yards No Yards's picture

Moore is absolutely correct, we allow war criminals like Bush into our country and kick out people who recognize Bush's war crimes ... we should be complete ashamed of our war mongering leadership.

NDPP

On the other hand since Canada has chosen to be part of the 'US war,' participating and propagandizing on it's behalf and cmmitting soldiers to it, the position of not supporting US war dodgers is consistent with this. Definitely shameful and more...

E.Tamaran

They're deserters, not "war dodgers" (whatever the fuck that means anyway). 7 years after the illegal invasion of Iraq any moron who voluntarily joins the US armed forces deserves whatever he/she gets, IMHO. I mean, how stupid can people be? They KNOW about Abu graihb, Guantanamo, no WMDs at all, war crimes, etc etc, and they STILL join. WTF?! Continuing that same logic, should people who give there money to ponzi schemers promising 20% be bailed out when it goes bad? Should people without car insurance be bailed out when they run over a pedestrian?

In short, these morons who join the US Army, after 7 fucking years of non-stop atrocities, shouldn't get our pity. They should get our contempt!

milo204

Tamaran, i think your argument makes it all the more important that we help them desert the US and it's illegal policies.  Anything we can do to help people avoiding persecution by one of our allies is a good thing, whether it's helping victims of US atrocities or people looking to stop committing them.

Also, about your points.  Many people in the US military are lured in by sophisticated propaganda and recruitment campaigns that start at in childhood and are present in schools.  Particularly  schools in oppressed communities.  The military is presented as a way out of poverty and a way to get an education to people with no other opportunities.  Also many ex cons who can't get work are encouraged to join.

Although we know better, most people aren't aware of the sordid history of the us military and only see the patriotic side, much like canada's sordid history of oppression around the world is not known by a vast majority of canadians.  

It doesn't make it ok, but i can understand how people are lured into the military and i think if they've realized it's wrong, we should help them if we can.  And we can!

Cueball Cueball's picture

So we are saying that youth that join community street gangs, even though it is well known that they engage in all kinds of illegal and immoral activity should not be allowed the opportunity to desert the street gang, and should be sent back to the gang so that the gang can adminster "justice" upon them?

E.Tamaran

milo204 wrote:

Many people in the US military are lured in by sophisticated propaganda and recruitment campaigns that start at in childhood and are present in schools.  Particularly  schools in oppressed communities.  

OK, what are the cultural backgrounds of the people applying for asylum? If it's mostly people from oppressed communities, I'll accept your argument.

E.Tamaran

Cueball wrote:

So we are saying that youth that join community street gangs, even though it is well known that they engage in all kinds of illegal and immoral activity should not be allowed the opportunity to desert the street gang, and should be sent back to the gang so that the gang can adminster "justice" upon them?

 

I wasn't aware that the Cripps and the Bloods were occupying foreign countries, running torture camps, bombimg wedding parties. I guess I just plum mised those reports on teevee.

Cueball Cueball's picture

You could watch TV all day in the USA, and still have no idea that anything was going on outside of a few four alarm fires, and street gang activity.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

E.Tamaran wrote:

They're deserters, not "war dodgers" (whatever the fuck that means anyway). 7 years after the illegal invasion of Iraq any moron who voluntarily joins the US armed forces deserves whatever he/she gets, IMHO. I mean, how stupid can people be? They KNOW about Abu graihb, Guantanamo, no WMDs at all, war crimes, etc etc, and they STILL join. WTF?! Continuing that same logic, should people who give there money to ponzi schemers promising 20% be bailed out when it goes bad? Should people without car insurance be bailed out when they run over a pedestrian?

In short, these morons who join the US Army, after 7 fucking years of non-stop atrocities, shouldn't get our pity. They should get our contempt!

They have my sympathy. You get my contempt. 

E.Tamaran

Lard Tunderin Jeezus wrote:

E.Tamaran wrote:

They're deserters, not "war dodgers" (whatever the fuck that means anyway). 7 years after the illegal invasion of Iraq any moron who voluntarily joins the US armed forces deserves whatever he/she gets, IMHO. I mean, how stupid can people be? They KNOW about Abu graihb, Guantanamo, no WMDs at all, war crimes, etc etc, and they STILL join. WTF?! Continuing that same logic, should people who give there money to ponzi schemers promising 20% be bailed out when it goes bad? Should people without car insurance be bailed out when they run over a pedestrian?

In short, these morons who join the US Army, after 7 fucking years of non-stop atrocities, shouldn't get our pity. They should get our contempt!

They have my sympathy. You get my contempt. 

Fuck You! Tongue out

George Victor

ET, you really have to try to empathize with people outside of your immediate experience if you plan on influencing opinion in your favour. Monolithic perspectives are a dime a dozen.  The human experience is really much more complex. Try  broadening your view. 

ygtbk

To be fair, it's not totally stupid to distinguish between deserters from a volunteer army and people fleeing conscription.

thorin_bane

First off most of the people seeking asylum did it after US stop loss bullshit after they joined the initial 9/11 flag waving horseshit. Most of them joined in 2001-2004 thinking (as their media and our) tells them its for the gerat good of the world. Why does anyone in Canada join the militray, should they be allowed to quit after seeing some very disturbing things we may have done?

Our media still says afghanistan is about actually we have no idea what its about, just that its a good war. If you are raised by a military family or influenced by the MSM, sadly join then find out otherwise, shouldn't you be allowed to quit after your tour.

In the states they have to keep going back. Add to that people like you who despise them from one side and the military types who despise them from the other side. At that point you have 80% of your own people hating you. Not exactly a pleasant place to live.

Of course they should be allowed in-my only caveat would be, don't bring in your pro capitalist propaganda mindset. We already have enough ex amercians writing on behalf of the newspapers doing that, right diane francis.

Maysie Maysie's picture

LTJ and E.Tamaran, dial back the personal invective. Now.

remind remind's picture

Personally, I think military work should be exactly like any other kinda work, you get to quit if you do not like it.

It is complete fucking BS that you sign your life as a slave to someone/something else for a set duration of time.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

FYI, warmongers: Canada did not previously make distinctions between draft dodgers and deserters.

Sky Captain Sky Captain's picture

E.Tamaran wrote:

They're deserters, not "war dodgers" (whatever the fuck that means anyway). 7 years after the illegal invasion of Iraq any moron who voluntarily joins the US armed forces deserves whatever he/she gets, IMHO. I mean, how stupid can people be? They KNOW about Abu graihb, Guantanamo, no WMDs at all, war crimes, etc etc, and they STILL join. WTF?! Continuing that same logic, should people who give there money to ponzi schemers promising 20% be bailed out when it goes bad? Should people without car insurance be bailed out when they run over a pedestrian?

In short, these morons who join the US Army, after 7 fucking years of non-stop atrocities, shouldn't get our pity. They should get our contempt!

 

Sorry, Tamaran, I disagree, they were lied to about what they'd be doing in most cases, as was most of America; they also don't deserve to be subject to stop-loss either, that's why most of them came here. If the American government wants to have bodies to fight both wars, they should do the honorable and honest thing and declare a draft, one that would include everybody of all economic classes: what we have here is people escaping a 'poverty draft', and a 'dishonesty draft' no more, no less. At least Obama is winding down the Iraq war, although it will take time and is not as simple as saying 'The war's over, everybody comes home'. 

thorin_bane wrote:
Of course they should be allowed in-my only caveat would be, don't bring in your pro capitalist propaganda mindset. We already have enough ex amercians writing on behalf of the newspapers doing that, right, Diane Francis?

What they bring or don't bring to Canada is none of your business, Thorin; how the hell do you know what they're going to say to begin with? Most of them just need some time to settle down and recover from what the war's wrought on them. And Hinzman, for one didn't say anything pro-American that would upset you to begin with, nor have any of the others, I don't think. Please stop putting words in their mouths and second guessing what they're going to do when they desert to Canada.

thorin_bane

Sky Captain wrote:

 

thorin_bane wrote:
Of course they should be allowed in-my only caveat would be, don't bring in your pro capitalist propaganda mindset. We already have enough ex amercians writing on behalf of the newspapers doing that, right, Diane Francis?

What they bring or don't bring to Canada is none of your business, Thorin; how the hell do you know what they're going to say to begin with? Most of them just need some time to settle down and recover from what the war's wrought on them. And Hinzman, for one didn't say anything pro-American that would upset you to begin with, nor have any of the others, I don't think. Please stop putting words in their mouths and second guessing what they're going to do when they desert to Canada.

 

I didn't so stop PUTTING WORDS IN MY MOUTH my point mr guy is I am tired of the diane francis type who come here and write how we should be like the states. If you love the states so much go back to your own country. PERIOD I said they should be allowed in. However if they are going to bad mouth our country after arriving and wanting us to be the US then go back to your own country, you should understand the country a little if you want to come here. Despite circumstances. If you don't like it here then look for a country more to your liking after things have cooled off. Ireland is suppose to be very free market.

DO you want to replicate the same circumstances that forced your migration, I think not. I never said anything about a specific case of a war resister coming here. I was commenting on americans like Francis that are here currently. Most of them came here because of non war reasons(ie too small of a fish in that big pond) It also applies to people like Richard Gwyn from the UK...

WHy do they hate the so called socialist country the emigrated to. I think we were a lot more progressive when they came here years ago. But the demonize the left while saying how much better an american or british(see maggy the hatchet) way is than canada. I don't think we forced you to renounce your citizenship its only a flight away to a better way of life if thats what you think you will return to.

While I may not like Michael Ignatief, the way the cons are trying to demonize him for being in the states for the last 30 years is pretty ironic. I am not anti immigrant, but I do have a problem with us shifting any more(already far too much) towards a more american way of life. Whichc is less about immigration than the continued americanization of Canada . Perhaps I should have made a thread about american media and their influence in canada.  So some would not accuse me of unfounded accusations.

Stargazer

Alberta is a classic example of what happens when too many Americans move to Canada. There is absolutely no doubt the conservative strong hold in Alberta is due in large part to the large number of Americans living there.

Lord Palmerston

I would say the average American immigrant to Canada since the 1960s would be to well to the left of the general Canadian population, though Alberta's political culture was certainly influenced by early 20th century American immigration.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Stargazer wrote:

Alberta is a classic example of what happens when too many Americans move to Canada. There is absolutely no doubt the conservative strong hold in Alberta is due in large part to the large number of Americans living there.

I was thinking that Calgary is a good example of what happens when too many people from Toronto move to Alberta.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Or when too many Newfoundlanders move to Alberta.

Maybe Calgary is just a good example of what happens when too many PEOPLE move to Alberta.

Besides, a lot of Yanks who do move to Canada(or whose parents did so) are people whose views are well to the left of normal Yanks-like Ed McCurdy, Phil Edmunston, Emory Barnes and Svend Robinson.

thorin_bane

I would agree many of them are to the left of this board, that being said they also aren't given a chance to have their voice heard in a daily newspaper. You know, being someone who lived within the poor system we are now emulating here. Most of those people live in anonymity and don't have their voice heard on what can go wrong in the american system. Though to be honest some districts like california are a lot more progressive than areas in canada.

I belibe the Alberta conundrum has to do with many waves of individualists that got help from the state and refuse to acknowledge it. They built up a false myth that I describe as the bootstrap crowd. Like the myth of cowboys. Yes they had ranchers, but that has less to do with texan hats and rodeo than raising food to subsist. Unfortunately many have lost all reasoning and perspective because of oil wealth, all the while giving it away at bargain basement prices.

When I hear the term. "The West" I mostly feel it is an Albertan saying to spread blame or reinforce supposed popularity of their own views. I don't view BC as being very much like alberta nor saskitoba. To be certain the rural element has common threads with albertan ranchers but it isn't a catchall for anyone west of ontario. And it certainly doesn't entail any of the territories.

Now I may be wrong as I am an ontarian and we are far from infallible but I never got "The west" vibe from most of the supposed west. Like the way the cons talk like every single person that isn't a bastard from ontario or a money sucking quebecer or lazy money sucking bastard from the atlantic provinces. I see a diverse array of views outside of bloc alberta. And even Redmonton has its progressives.

I feel very bad for progressives in Alberta it must be difficult. I know when my nephew got there he told me a great number of interesting anecdotes from edmonton and some of my friends that moved to calgary also have some interesting dinner party stories.

Stargazer

@Cueball, the stats are on my side. Torontonians are not generally fond of the right, as I know you know. The heavy influx of Americans who emigrated to Canada due to the oil profits skewed that provinces political landscape.

Kloch

Stargazer wrote:

@Cueball, the stats are on my side. Torontonians are not generally fond of the right, as I know you know. The heavy influx of Americans who emigrated to Canada due to the oil profits skewed that provinces political landscape.

Better tell Rob Ford that.  His campaign may implode at any minute...

Sky Captain Sky Captain's picture

Kloch wrote:

Stargazer wrote:

@Cueball, the stats are on my side. Torontonians are not generally fond of the right, as I know you know. The heavy influx of Americans who emigrated to Canada due to the oil profits skewed that provinces political landscape.

Better tell Rob Ford that.  His campaign may implode at any minute...

 

Actually, it looks as if it may succeed-I hope not, but all of the polling indicates that it will.

NDPP

Given that this is the same city that elected a goof-ball like Mel Lastman, nothing would surprise me, including, as seems likely, a brownshirted bully boy like Rob Ford. What a perfect accompanist for Harpo et al...

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Stargazer wrote:

Alberta is a classic example of what happens when too many Americans move to Canada. There is absolutely no doubt the conservative strong hold in Alberta is due in large part to the large number of Americans living there.

Someone almost gets it... but I think you are putting too much emphasis on the current crop of Americans who have moved to Alberta. Given that the non-FN population in 1881 is estimated to have been approximately 1,000 and that there was a wave of American migration into the prairies from the 1890s through to about 1920 that is estimated to range between half and three-quarters of a million (and it is always pointed out that the majority settled in Alberta), the "Americanization" of this particular patch of real estate is a much more long-standing thing than a lot of the Central Canadian Overlords seem to comprehend. Part of the problem is that most of the demographic data tends to identify the population on the basis of ethnic or linguistic heritage... and American immigrants and their descendents tended (and continue to respond) identifying themselves ethnically as being English / Scots / Irish / German etc. and linguistically as English. Were one to be able to track the national origins of Alberta's population, the results would go quite a long way to explain some of the differences between Alberta and other English speaking parts of Canada.

It is not so much a matter of recent American immigration or the large number of Americans living here (with no intention of becoming Canadian citizens) unduly influencing the culture or political climate as it is a matter of an underlying demographic difference between Alberta and the other parts of English speaking Canada. Recent immigrants and expats find themselves standing on pretty familiar ground.

trippie

Moore still can't get his criticism correct.

It's not Canada that is the problem , it's the capitalist system that is.

I don't know if he noticed, but world capitalism is going through a major restructuring at the moment.

Can't have the American working class dodging the bullet in Canada when Canada wants to participate in the next capitalist world slaughter house games.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Quote:
...Canada wants to participate in the next capitalist world slaughter house games.

So when you say 'Canada', you mean Harper, do you?

thorin_bane

Harper doesn't speak for me either ltj

ETA As a side note when I canvased in my NDP riding I was threatened with a bat for being a filthy pinko commie. So I guess you don't have to live in a conservative riding to hear their derision.

trippie

When I say Canada, I mean Canada.

I personally am not a Canadian. I'm an individual human with socialist tendencies.

Canada is a bourgeois entity that does not represent me. None of the political parties that run this entity represent me, and the capitalist economic system that controls it's wants and needs, is my enemy.

Basically, the people that run the corporate entity called Canada, want to preserve their class/position on the global stag.

Maybe you have not noticed, but Global Capitalism is restructuring itself. The last time it did this, the bourgeoisie went on a killing spree (world slaughter house games) and called it WWI and WWII. (Notice I have a different interpretation of events then the bourgeoisie)

So when the bourgeoisie of "Canada" do not let the working class from the USA take refuge here. The message is that they will be doing the same to their own working class.

trippie

The Canadian Government is controlled by a representative parliament.

Harper is just a representative of the system. He represents Canada on the global stag. If there is a decision to go to war, he will be the representative making the call.

So it will be in your name if you consider yourself a Canadian.

Now i understand things are a little bit more complicated then this. But this is the essential underlying theme.

For Micheal Moore to be of understanding and factual, he would have to make these connections. But he never does and just hints at some things that are wrong.

What does he really want? Well it isn't structural change. I would surmise the most he wants, is to apply pressure, and get a few reforms in place.

Thanx but no thanx. Been there done that and all I got was a shirt with Che Guevara on it.

trippie

The Canadian Government is controlled by a representative parliament.

Harper is just a representative of the system. He represents Canada on the global stag. If there is a decision to go to war, he will be the representative making the call.

So it will be in your name if you consider yourself a Canadian.

Now i understand things are a little bit more complicated then this. But this is the essential underlying theme.

For Micheal Moore to be of understanding and factual, he would have to make these connections. But he never does and just hints at some things that are wrong.

What does he really want? Well it isn't structural change. I would surmise the most he wants, is to apply pressure, and get a few reforms in place.

Thanx but no thanx. Been there done that and all I got was a shirt with Che Guevara on it.

Fidel

And now we're shameful on [url=http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/movies/article/883149--randy-quaid-... celebs[/url] seeking refugee status.

Randy Quaid wrote:
“We believe there to be a malignant tumour of star whackers in Hollywood,” he said, naming Heath Ledger, Chris Penn and David Carradine as some of their victims.[...]

“I am being embezzled by this monstrous ring of accountants, estate planners and lawyers who are mercilessly slandering me and trying to kill my career and, I believe, murder me in order to gain control of my royalties.”

Star whacking?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

And those starwhackers have quite an array of weapons at their disposal...including drug abuse, overeating and autoerotic asphixiation.

The real question is...how do they ALWAYS manage to make it look like an accident?