LAST WEEK THE BARRY O CHEERING SQUAD -- AKA U.S. PRESS -- USED OFF THE CUFF WORDS SPOKEN BY MITT ROMNEY TO DISTRACT FROM BARRY O'S FAILURES WHICH LED TO THE DEATHS OF 4 AMERICANS IN LIBYA DESPITE WARNINGS THE WHITE HOUSE RECEIVED, DESPITE REQUESTS FOR BEEFED UP SECURITY.
THIS WEEK, THE BARRY O CHEERING SQUAD AGAIN OBSESSES OVER AN OFF THE CUFF REMARK BY MITT ROMNEY TO DISTRACT FROM THE FACT THAT OBAMACARE WILL FORCE 6 MILLION MIDDLE CLASS AMERICANS TO PAY A PENALTY TAX.
BUT DON'T WORRY WHEN THE PRESS GETS OVER THEIR OBSESSIVE WALL-TO-WALL ABOUT GOSSIP THAT DOESN'T MATTER, THEY'LL SPEND 4 SECONDS ON THE TAX OR SOMETHING ELSE THAT EFFECTS YOU, JUST LONG ENOUGH TO DISMISS IT AND INSIST EVERYONE ALREADY KNEW ABOUT IT.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
It's really not about being a veteran or her stance as a war resister. Kimberly Rivera is both of those things. But she's not in the military now. What is she? A young mother of four children -- the youngest being only 18-months old. And she and her husband have made a home for those children in Canada. She and her husband went to Canada to make a home there. And now she may be forced out.
She's been ordered by the Stephen Harper government to leave Canada by tomorrow. If she doesn't, she faces deportation.
She went to Canada to have a safe home for her family. That wasn't requesting the world, that wasn't asking for the moon and the stars. She wants to become a Canadian citizen and has done her part to go through that process.
Stephen Harper and Jason Kenney would apparently rather kick out a mother, risk separating her from her children, than offer the most basic kindness of residency or citizenship to this woman who has spent over five years in Canada embracing the country she wants to make her own. Patty Winsa (Toronto Star) reports today:
A Thursday deportation order looms, despite frantic calls from supporters, politicians and even a Nobel Peace Prize winner to stay the order and allow Rivera and her family, including two Canadian-born children, to remain. Rallies were slated at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in front of the Federal Court building and in several other cities from Halifax to Vancouver.
Ottawa, which in the 1960s allowed both draft-dodgers and Vietnam deserters to immigrate freely, has taken a hard line this time.
They're "not genuine refugees under the internationally accepted meaning of the term," Alexis Pavlich, a spokesperson for Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, wrote in an email. "These unfounded claims clog up our system for genuine refugees who are actually fleeing persecution."
Rivera has applied to stay permanently on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. That request continues despite the deportation order that followed a negative "pre-removal risk assessment," which is based on whether the person's return could result in persecution, torture, cruel and unusual punishment, or even loss of life.
Does Stephen Harper not grasp how cruel he's going to look on the world stage if he deports a mother? That the obvious question in people's mind -- or, better, accusation, is going to be, "Oh, that Harper, yeah, he'd deport his own mother if he could." It's not going to look good, it's not going to increase his standing. Offering Kim residency or citizenship could change things immediately, could improve his image and have the whole world talking -- saying good things -- about him. But maybe he's okay with being considered Little Bush? John Howard took that route and, outside of Australia, most people don't know his name but think of him as a min-George W. Bush. Is that the fate that Harper wants? He could do so much for his own image just by doing something so minor to him but so major for Kim, her children and her husband.
The War Resisters Support Campaign staged rallies throughout Canada today. CBC notes, "Members of the Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War set up camp in front of the Federal Building at 55 Bay St. North on Wednesday in support of former American soldier and conscientious objector Kimberly Rivera." In addition, the Canadian Press notes, "A number of people have gathered in downtown Toronto for an eleventh-hour protest against the planned deportation of U.S. war resister Kimberly Rivera." Krystalline Kraus (Rabble) reports, "According to Michelle Robidoux, a spokesperson for the War Resisters Support Campaign (WRSC). '(Kim) faces a court martial and jail sentence, which, based on what other people have gotten, is a harsh jail sentence,' Robidoux said. 'She will be separated from her family. Her husband suffers from a disability and he's going to have four kids on his hands'."
Cracks about deporting his own mother? If Stephen Harper deports Kim, people will be saying things like, "Forget saying the inn was full, Harper would have denied Mary the manger as well!" Who is advising Stephen Harper, who is telling him, "This is the way you, the Prime Minister of Canada, wants to be seen by the whole world"? He's not getting good advice.
Yves Engler (iPolitics.ca) reports on Kim and notes what she saw in Iraq:
While Rivera expected to spend her time unloading equipment at a Colorado base she soon found herself guarding a foreign operating base in Iraq. It was from this vantage point that she became disillusioned with the war. Riviera was troubled by a two-year-old Iraqi girl who came to the base with her family to claim compensation after a bombing by U.S. forces.
"She was just petrified", Rivera explained. "She was crying, but there was no sound, just tears flowing out of her eyes. She was shaking. I have no idea what had happened in her little life. All I know is I wasn't seeing her: I was seeing my own little girl. I could imagine my daughter being one of those kids throwing rocks at soldiers, because maybe someone she loved had been killed. That Iraqi girl haunts my soul."
Deporting Kim will haunt the reputation of a number of Canadian officials. Archbishop Desmond Tutu calls for Kim to remain in Canada. Erin Criger (City News) notes "Amnesty International, the Canadian Labour Congress and the United Church of Canada have all supported Rivera." In addition, many individual Canadians support her as well as organizations such as the United Steelworkers of Canada which issued a statement calling for the government of Canada to let Kim and her family stay and Canada's National Union of Public and General Employees which also issued a statement. She also has the support of the United Church of Canada. Joining the call today, Luke Stewart observes in his letter to the editor of The Record, "It was guarding the front gate of a forward operating base in Baghdad where Rivera's conscience grew with every fatal day. She decided she could no longer participate in the war that Kofi Annan, then the UN Secretary General, said in 2004 was illegal under the United Nations Charter." Leah Bolger and Gerry Condon of Veterans For Peace note in their open letter, "According to the UN Handbook on Refugees, soldiers who refuse to fight in wars that are widely condemned by the international community should be considered as refugees. Unfortunately, the Immigration and Refugee Board in Canada has yet to grant asylum to a single person who refused to kill in the war against Iraq, a war that has most certainly been condemned by peoples and nations around the globe."
19,739 people have now signed the War Resisters Support Campaign's petition for Kim to stay. It's a new petition, started only a few weeks ago. There is support for Kim. What is done to her and her children will register -- across borders, around the world. Stephen Harper has a chance to do something that will help a family and also enhance his worldwide standing. Or he can deport her and turn himself into a joke. Again, I have to wonder who is advising Harper because the humane thing to do here is also the politically smart thing.
RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
"Mass arrests continue in Nouri's Iraq"
"Kim Rivera has 24 hours"
"Lucy Madison is not up for a fact check"
"Press down plays abuse by teacher"
"The strike is over"
"matt lauer needs to go"
"It's just like a Lifetime movie!"
"Heart on CBS This Morning Wednesday am"
"Remake and pig"
"THIS JUST IN! THE PRESS IS HURTING, NOT HELPING!"
"How the press destroys Barry O's shot at re-election"