my pissant two cents

Sunday, November 28, 2004

they stand on guard for thee

hockey, phil hartman, labatt's, rush, alanis morrissette.... canada has already done so much for the world that anything more is just an embarrassment of generosity. gino vanelli notwithstanding....

what the great white north is doing now is a wondrous gift in a time of giving. there is a movement afoot to exclude president bush from that fine land, barred in perpetuity as a war criminal.

according to the tyee (www.thetyee.ca), a british columbia-based online news magazine named after a tough and savvy salmon, a group of canadian lawyers is seeking to enforce a provision of canadian law that could stop bush in his tracks at the border. the immigration and refugee protection act can prohibit entry into canada of a person alleged to have committed war crimes, crimes against humanity, gross violations of human rights, aggression against another state. "it reads like (bush's) resume," laughs gail davidson, a vancouver attorney and co-chair of lawyers against the war.

while sitting heads of state and high-level diplomats are generally immune from prosecution, canada as a sovereign nation has every right to determine who gets to come inside for a visit. the refusal to admit war criminals is not frivolous. but when the accused is the 800 lb. gorilla just across your border, there's good reason to think twice before acting rashly.

which is why the canadian government is in a tight spot. prime minister paul martin and minister of justice irwin cotler have expressed their commitment to taking war criminals and human rights abusers to task. graduate students at the unversity of british columbia have already determined that there is enough evidence to indict secretary of defense donald rumsfeld under canada's crimes against humanity and war crimes act.

based only on published reports, including the report on abuse of detainees at abu graibh prison in iraq written by general antonio taguba, the students found adequate grounds to arrest and prosecute rumsfeld for his actions and inactions concerning the abuses. this view is shared by many canadian lawyers, including former u.n. high commission for human rights and war crimes prosecutor louise arbour, who has called for official investigation into violations of the geneva conventions in fallujah.

but prosecution cannot come until bush, rumsfeld or any other miscreants in the administration leave office. so they have four years to stock up on cheap curling gear and poutine.

canadians have, however, opened their hearts and homes to those of us who aren't quite so... homicidal. if you want to flee the 43rd reich and make your way across the border to the north, you may find yourself a comforting place once you get there. check out www.marryanamerican.ca.

the site was created by the good folks at this magazine (thismagazine.ca). it was intended to be a clever satire leading up to the election, an exercise in puckish canadian wit about the cranky goings on in the lower 48. apparently, they thought kerry was going to win. when he did not, they were deluged with visitors from both sides of the border. of the 750,000 visitors to the site, the vast majority logged on after november 2.

there are pictures and profiles of canadians who are interested in meeting, and maybe saving, progessive americans. the pithy politeness canadians are known for is present, as is the quirky humor. (think "kids in the hall," turned down a few clicks and with fewer gay jokes.) it's a good read, and easy to get lost in for a while.

sadly, it's not actually a dating service. they may expand to such a thing if they ever get any money, but the fact is, they're just a bunch of volunteers. it appears that when you don't have to worry about healthcare, or violent crime, or federal spooks chasing you, or religious zealots asking god to smite you, you have time to offer to such pursuits.

it seems if americans are going to be saved from their government, they'll just have to do it the old-fashioned way-- fake their own deaths and live comfortably in central america on the insurance proceeds.

como se dice, "back bacon"?

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