Double Standards and Canada’s Pro-War Government: How Bush Came to Canada In the Same Week That an Anti-War MP Was Barred
By Joshua Blakeney
March 24, 2009 "Global Research" —
A gross violation of constitutional and international law occurred this week heralding a dark day for Canadian governance and society. The credibly accused war criminal George W Bush was allowed entry into Canada in violation of Canada’s ratified international and constitutional obligations.
A legal group named Lawyers Against the War wrote to the Prime Minister of Canada weeks before the war criminal’s arrival emphasizing: “first, the Minister of Immigration is legally bound to prevent Bush’s entry into Canada at any time and for any reason; second, if Bush enters Canada, the Attorney General of Canada must prosecute him for torture or provide consent to private prosecution.” The two enshrined acts which were applicable to Bush’s Crimes Against Humanity were the: Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act. On March 17th, hundreds of citizens amassed on the streets of Calgary to protest the hosting of this credibly accused war criminal by the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and its corporate affiliates such as the Bennett Jones legal firm. One of the bravest activists, Splitting the Sky, a Mohawk activist and Attica veteran, was unjustly incarcerated, for attempting a citizens arrest, by police who were defending those complicit in the illegal act of hosting a credibly accused war criminal and torturer. The Canadian government’s politically motivated negligence has illuminated for the world that from their perspective domestic and international law exists only for the marginalized and weak people and governments, whilst rich people and rich governments are to be afforded impunity and police protection.
The Canadian government’s complacency in regard to the war criminal’s visit, was starkly contrasted with the haste of the government in banning the anti-war British MP George Galloway from entering Canada, who was planning to speak to an anti-war church group in Toronto in the coming weeks. James Clark of the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War condemned the Harper government’s censorship as “a frontal attack on free speech.”
The double standard is obvious. The very same legal codes which the Canadian government were prepared to defenestrate to accommodate the war criminal George W Bush were preyed in aid by the Canadian Minister of Immigration, Jason Kenny, to inform the peace activist Galloway that he would not be welcome in Canada based on his opinions on the illegal war in Afghanistan. Jason Kenny, a Calgary MP who recently embraced the so called People’s Mujahedeen of Iran (banned by most European governments for being a terrorist group) and who scolded the Lebanese prime minister, for his criticisms of Canada’s support for the Israeli War Crimes against Lebanon in 2006, branded Galloway: “an infandous street corner Cromwell” (an interesting formulation seeing that Cromwell was a man who stood against arbitrary government).
It soon became apparent that there was some lucrative lobbying occurring behind the scenes. The Jewish Defence League in an ironic alliance with Canada’s far right government vociferously lobbied to prohibit the anti-racist, anti-fascist British MP, from entering Canada. Meir Weinsten of the JDL debated Galloway on UK Channel 4 this week, labelling him: “a threat to Canadian security” and a “proxy agent” for Hamas and Hezbollah, finishing by threatening all of the Canadian pro-Galloway supporters that the JDL: “will be looking into these organization to expose their links to terrorist organizations.” Galloway described the fulminations of the JDL representative as: “venal and brute threats”, and called for debate rather than exclusion.
It is curious that the JDL is ostensibly planning to launch a witch hunt against those on the Canadian anti-war left who support anti-racist, socialist figures like Galloway, whilst they ally themselves with a far right government, governed by a party which has its genesis in the highly bigoted Reform Party. Surely such folly exposes these groups as being merely political mouthpieces for Israel rather than genuine humanitarian watchdogs? Mr Galloway is, contrary to the claims of the JDL, famous for his hostility towards those who spew the poison of anti-Semitism. In November 2007 Galloway organized a protest against the infamous Holocaust-denier David Irving who many believed, myself included, should not have been provided with a platform at Oxford University to deny the Holocaust.(see: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-496301/Oxford-students-sit-protest-fails-silence-Holocaust-denier-David-Irving-BNP-leader-Nick-Griffin.html). Moreover Galloway, who hosts a radio show twice a week, regularly traduces those who would seek to criticise Israel with anti-Semitic slurs
These nuances were deliberately glossed over by – what Professor Denis Rancourt, of University of Ottawa, characterizes as Canada’s “Israel Lobby” – who pressured the Canadian government to censure Mr Galloway from speaking to Canadians. The “Israel Lobby” charges that Mr Galloway is a supporter of Hezbollah and Hamas and because of this he should not be permitted entry into Canada as Canada is one of only five countries in the world which classifies Hezbollah and Hamas terrorist organizations (soon to be four because Britain is planning to recognize Hezbollah as a legitimate resistance movement involved in democratic politics).
As somebody who follows Galloway’s work closely I feel obliged to expound Mr Galloway’s opinions in regard to Hezbollah and Hamas, in order to dispel this smoke screen conjured up by the corporate media and the “Israel Lobby” to demonize this widely respected individual. As a five times elected politician, Mr Galloway takes the democratic opinion that the Palestinian people and the Lebanese people should be allowed to vote for whoever they like, regardless of whether it pleases or infuriates the White House and the Israeli Knesset. In this sense he departs from Harper and Bush who merely want slave governments; either democratically elected or autocratic “compradors.” This is why Harper and Bush support Saudi Arabia’s kleptocracy, Egypt’s puppet dictatorship, and is why they have installed obedient puppet regimes in Kabul and Bagdad to replace the previous regimes which negated their imperialist orders.
Galloway openly opposes the aforementioned regimes which is why he is loved in the Arab and Muslim world and despised in right-wing political circles in the west. Indeed one of the premises for censuring Galloway, according to office of the Minister of Immigration, was because he called for the overthrow of the US-backed Egyptian dictatorship. Mr Galloway believes that we should respect the right of all people to elect whichever government they like into power. He has openly said in parliament, many times, that he does not support Hamas and that he is rather a supporter of Fatah
Nonetheless he is not prepared to neglect the Palestinian struggle against Zionist imperialism simply because they elected Hamas and not Fatah. One of Galloway’s most recent “crimes” in the eyes of his detractors was to lead a convey of aid to the starving captives of the Gaza ghetto (see: www.vivapalestina.com ). If he is guilty of providing support to Hamas, it was with ambulances, medicine and baby diapers, rather than with bombs, guns and chemical weapons as is the case with the US government to Israel.
As for Hezbollah, Galloway asserted in Parliament that if Lebanon had true democracy, rather than the sectarian constitution (imposed by the CIA in 1956), which they currently have, that: “Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah would be the president because he would get the most votes.” That indisputable fact is not to say that Galloway supports Hezbollah, it is merely to say that he recognizes that the vast majority of the people of Lebanon identify with Hezbollah and that he respects their democratic right to do so. The democratic aspirations of the Lebanese and Palestinian people are troubling to western governments – who are funded by the corporations which profit from the despoliation of the Middle East – hence they would rather attempt to censure the truth than allow the public have a full understanding of the situation.
With the same rational employed by many Canadian people who presumably defend their right to elect a government which, in the eyes of millions of people, commits state-terrorism against the people of Afghanistan, so Galloway defends the rights of the Palestinian and Lebanese people to elect whoever they want without imperialist interference or subversions. Mr Galloway’s actual opinions on Hezbollah and Hamas can be verified in all of his parliamentary speeches which are on YouTube. His autobiography “I’m Not the Only One” is also an important text, if one is to comment on Mr Galloway and his chosen path in life.
It is blatantly obvious that the Canadian government did not want an eloquent anti-war voice subverting their contrived disinformation campaign which they and their pro-war lobby groups invest millions of dollars into disseminating. It is an embarrassment that the Canadian government ignored the calls of Lawyers Against the War, Ramsay Clark (former Attorney General of United States of America) and many other righteous activists and scholars to implement its own laws and apprehend an actual terrorist, namely George W Bush, whilst at the same time censuring one of the world’s most prominent and respected anti-war activists namely George Galloway MP.
A country which lacks the rule of law is a tyranny. These far-right regimes have come for the Muslims and massacred them in their millions, now they are coming for the socialists and activists. Who will be next in this McCarthyist purge?