Thursday, September 20, 2007


Let me reiterate the number of Iraqis who have died as a result of the American invasion & occupation of Iraq is now estimated at about 1.2 million while the Bush Regime claims it is no more than seventy thousand or less but then again they don't do body counts & our Prime Minister Harper believes whatever ever Bush & the Neocons tell him -
Meanwhile some two million Iraqis have fled their country & now constitute one of the worst Refugee Crisis in decades while the United States & Canada do little or nothing to help these refugees -

Anyway I believe Canada's role in helping Iraqi Refugees is inadequate & a disgrace for our nation-
We have stood by while the Americans have laid waste to a country which they had no right to invade & occupy unilaterally-
We have stood by silently as thousands are incarcerated without due process, without charges being laid - without being told of their crime
we have stood by while Americans torture , kidnap people who are sent to secret prisons around the world -
If these actions were those of the former Soviet Union Canadians would insist the government speak out -
We have stood by as we slowly but inevitably become a satellite state of the United States - like Poland or Hungary to the Soviets

We fear passing legislation that might upset the Bush Regime IE legalization of Marijuana
We standby in silence as the American Neocon disease infects our body politic as Conservatives prepare us for privatized Health Care & privatized Schools run by Corporations-
As a nation we are indeed now a second rate Banana Republic controlled by Washington & Halliburton & a hundred other corporations
But most Canadians don't care as they dream of becoming the 51st state of The United States while others long for the good old days when we belonged to the British Empire

And here in Canada politicians & the people of Canada are more worried & all in a lather as it were about Muslim Women wearing the Nigab or Burga when going to vote -Stephen Harper made this into his cause celeb of the year but did he bother to admonish in public the Bush regime for the slaughter in Iraq or the American forces use of torture & renditions & secret prisons - no of course not - Harper like most Canadians have an unfounded belief in the righteousness of whatever the Americans do - & what we are told is that each must support Harper because he supports the troops in Afghanistan where everything is falling apart as Al Qeada has been revived & the Opium production is at an all time high - one can only assume that in Afghanistan a lot of palms are being greased to keep the Heroin flowing & some of those palms are quite likely American & Canadian.

see for instance article in Mar. 16, 2007 No special treatment for Iraqi refugees:Federal government rejects call to open the doors to those fleeing war-torn country

The federal government plans to treat refugee claims by Iraqis on a case-by-case basis despite calls by the United States and the United Nations for countries to open their doors to those fleeing.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has said the hundreds of thousands of people leaving Iraq represents the largest population movement in the Middle East in 60 years and the U.S. has promised to resettle 7,000 fleeing Iraqis referred by the agency. Ellen Sauerbrey, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for migration and refugees, has called on Canada to make Iraqi refugees "a priority in their resettlement policy, because this is an area of tremendous need and vulnerability."

But Canada has indicated it has no plans to change its approach to those seeking refugee status. Marina Wilson, a spokesperson for the federal department of Citizenship and Immigration, says it will continue to treat their cases individually and was unaware of any plans to set up a program specifically for Iraqis.

Immigration Minister Diane Finley has declined to be interviewed on the matter, but a spokesperson for her office indicated Canada is expecting "additional" referrals from the UNHCR this year. None have materialized so far, however.

Last year, only 177 Iraqi claims of refugee status made it to Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board. Neighbouring Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, on the other hand, have been swamped with people fleeing the war.

"We need to fast-track the process to bring some Iraqis here to Canada," Hani al-Ubeady, an Iraqi refugee who now works as a refugee-resettlement worker in Winnipeg, told The Globe and Mail. "The victims of this whole war are Iraqi civilians and those civilians have no refuge to escape this violence but to escape Iraq.

"Life for them in Syria and Jordan is unbearable. It is very hard for them, getting [residency] permits, and is a strain financially."

and check out article Dec. 3, 2006 by Ricard Marcus at BC BLOGCRITICS MAGAZINE REFUGEES FROM IRAQ by Richard Marcus

Everyday we can count on at least one if not more stories about Iraq in the pages of our newspapers. Whether debates on when the troops will be withdrawn or recitations of the latest casualty figures, it remains the dominant story across the media. But amidst everything else one aspect of the story is being ignored.

According to figures kept by the United Nations High Commission On Refugees (UNHCR) between January and mid November of 2006 about 425,000 Iraqis have been displaced from their homes. At mid-year the displacement rate had reached the level of 50,000 people a month...

According to one immigration lawyer in Canada those wishing to apply for refugee status in Canada are far better off getting to the country one way or another, even if illegally, and filling their application here. Even though Canada has accepted over 80% of those who have been referred by UNHCR as refugee applicants that means is no longer viable.

Working in favour of those who do make it to Canada illegally is the fact that since 2003 Canada has introduced a policy of "no return" for those already over here. The situation in Iraq is considered so extreme that no one will be sent back even if their application is refused at first hearing. This way they are at least guaranteed safety and a chance to appeal the decision.

Canada doesn't have the most unblemished record in the world when it comes to treatment of refugees in general. Depending on the government in power qualifications for approval can change at random. But it seems like even the Conservative Party of Canada can show compassion on occasion. Allowing the no return policy to stand after they took power has probably saved quite a few lives.

I have no idea why the United States is refusing to allow Iraqis to claim refugee status in their country, it's the least they can do for the people whose lives they have turned upside for the last three years. Sure declaring them as refugees would be to admit that the country is pretty much uninhabitable in places, but isn't it a good thing to show a little compassion at the expense of face?

and check out article at ScrippsNews " Iraq refugees find few opened doors in Canada" By ESTANISLAO OZIEWICZ March 16, 2007

Despite urgent entreaties from Washington and the United Nations refugee agency, the Canadian government is giving no indication it is willing to fling open its doors to refugees fleeing war-torn Iraq.

AND :from The Star.comHelp sought for Iraq's refugees UN members asked to open doors and donate funds Apr 17, 2007 Nicholas Keung IMMIGRATION/DIVERSITY REPORTER

Displaced Iraqis have spilled mostly into neighbouring countries that are finding it difficult to handle the influx without international support, said UNHCR Canadian representative Jahanshah Assadi.

The UN has raised only half of its $60 million goal for 2007, a figure that includes $2.5 million pledged by Canada. The funds will help internally displaced Iraqis as well as those who have fled to Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Iran and Turkey.

Jalal Saeed, chair of the Federation of Iraqi Refugees in Canada, points out Iraqis didn't create this mess. The international community, especially those who have backed the war in Iraq, have an obligation to help, he said.

"Iraq is a jungle right now. There's no rule. Everybody big is eating up the small ones," said the 67-year-old Guelph man, who fled Saddam's Iraq in 1998.

And from Canadian Council For Refugees 16 April 2007 "Canada urged to resettle more Iraqi refugees"

Montreal. As governments gather in Geneva to discuss the world response to the crisis facing Iraqi refugees, the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) and Iraqi community organizations in Canada today called on the Canadian government to resettle more Iraqi refugees.

“The ongoing daily violence in Iraq has forced many, many people to flee threats to their lives,” said Elizabeth McWeeny, CCR President. “We are dismayed that Canada has so far opened its door to only a very few Iraqi refugees, even though many Canadians have come forward with offers of sponsorship. There is an enormous crisis facing Iraqi refugees, but from the Canadian government there is nothing but deafening silence.”

The CCR, the Iraqi Community Centre (Montréal), Iraqi Federation of Refugees (Guelph), Iraqi Minorities Refugee Advocacy, Salam Social Club, Iraqi Chaldean Refugee Community (Toronto), Asmaro Chaldean Society (Windsor), Babylonian Ethnic Society and St. Maratken Community Society Inc are concerned Canada has given no indication of any specific commitments to respond to the crisis facing Iraqi refugees. Worse, the Canadian government rejects about half of the Iraqis currently in Syria or Jordan applying as privately sponsored refugees. The Canadian government has failed to announce any target for the resettlement of government-assisted Iraqi refugees.

According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 2 million Iraqis have sought refuge in nearby countries, primarily in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. In addition, an estimated 1.9 million people are displaced internally within Iraq...

...One easy way for the Canadian government to respond would be simply to work with the many organizations in Canada who have already indicated an interest in resettling Iraqi refugees. Under Canadian immigration law, Canadian organizations or groups of individuals can apply to privately sponsor refugees in need of resettlement, in return for an undertaking to assist them on arrival in Canada. Many organizations have applied to sponsor Iraqi refugees, but have been shocked by the high refusal rate by Canadian visa officers. Refused Iraqis include families that have endured death threats and kidnappings. For example, one refused family had had a young daughter kidnapped and killed. Many of those refused are from minority groups known to be particularly at risk in Iraq.

Last year it is estimated that only a few hundred Iraqi refugees were resettled to Canada (Citizenship and Immigration Canada has not made statistics available). In contrast to past years, the government has not even made public its target resettlement numbers by region for 2007.

Few Iraqi refugees are able to make the journey to Canada in order to make a refugee claim here: in 2006, only 179 claims by Iraqis were referred to the Immigration and Refugee Board (out of a total of 22,873 claims). Those who do make it face a long wait for a hearing, which in some cases means prolonged separation from family members living with daily risk of violence in Iraq.

UN conference pledges help for Iraqi refugees
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
CBC News

Other countries must help Iraq's neighbours handle the cost and high volume of refugees fleeing the country's ongoing violence, the head of the UN refugee agency says.

Delegates from 60 countries at the UN's two-day conference on Iraqi refugees agreed Wednesday to step up efforts to help the estimated four million people displaced from their homes, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres told reporters.

Millions of Iraqi refugees need world's help: UN
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
CBC News

The world isn't doing enough to help Iraqis displaced from their homes by fighting and violence, the United Nations refugee agency says.

More than two million Iraqis have fled to neighbouring countries while an equal number have left their homes but remain within Iraq, which has a total population of about 27 million.

And as we discover in an article at Islam In Europe December 23, 2006 Sweden: Top address for Iraqi refugees

"Countries neighbouring Iraq remain, however, their preferred destination. At the beginning of November, there were more than 700,000 Iraqi refugees in Jordan, at least 600,000 in Syria and 100,000 in Egypt, the UNHCR said."



Iraq: Draft UN resolution fails to address human rights and humanitarian crisis
Amnesty International today expressed deep concern that a draft resolution before the Security Council to expand the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) fails to acknowledge and address meaningfully the grave human rights and humanitarian situation in the country that have rightly been highlighted by the most senior UN officials.

In June, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon emphasized the growing number of detainees resulting from intensified security operations and the UN's chief humanitarian official has stressed that Iraq is now witness to the largest population displacement in recent history in the Middle East.

"The draft resolution is completely silent on the gross human rights abuses taking place on a daily basis in Iraq, and on the deepening humanitarian crisis in the country," said Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

"The Security Council must strengthen the current text to express its deep concern about continuing grave human rights abuses and their dire humanitarian consequences," said Irene Khan. "The Security Council must take account of the sectarian and other killings of civilians by both armed groups and government forces, the continuing detention of thousands of Iraqis without charge or trial by the US-led Multinational Force and Iraqi security forces, the widespread reports of torture, the sharp rise in the use of the death penalty and other gross abuses."

"The least the Security Council can do is to call on all parties concerned to halt and prevent further human rights abuses, to protect civilians including internally displaced persons and other vulnerable groups, and to put an end to impunity. We call on the Security Council to strengthen UNAMI's mandate and resources to monitor, promote and protect human rights. The vague and inadequate human rights provisions in the current draft must be substantially revised to give UNAMI a clear mandate to monitor, analyze, help protect and publicly report on human rights in Iraq," said Irene Khan.

"The Security Council must also address the Iraqi refugee crisis, including the urgent need to provide humanitarian assistance to the more than two million internally displaced persons," said Amnesty International's Secretary General.

And check out :

From ALTERNET: Iraq Death Toll Rivals Rwanda Genocide, Cambodian Killing Fields By Joshua Holland, AlterNet. Posted September 17, 2007

Greenspan Iraq oil confession & One Million Iraqi deaths Sept. 17,2007, By Gideon Polya at MEDIA WITH CONSCIENCE

And from The Guardian:
Greenspan admits Iraq was about oil, as deaths put at 1.2m Peter Beaumont and Joanna Walters in New York Sunday September 16, 2007 The Observer

And from BBC NEWS: BBC NEWS Sept.17,2007 Iraq shootout firm loses licence -Iraq has cancelled the licence of the private security firm, Blackwater USA, after it was involved in a gunfight in which at least eight civilians died.

also see for controversy over Burga :
AHMED ISMAIL:Islamophobe Geert Wilders in new bid to ban burqas
July 13th, 2007

take care,

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