Article first published as Blame Canada! on Blogcritics.
Michael Moore has made various points and millions of dollars off of lionizing Canada for what he sees as very good qualities. His overt admiration of our low crime rates, reasonably priced health care, and corporate responsibility have drawn us fans as well as detractors who see us as socialist when we actually have Libertarianism down to a science.
Now Mr. Moore's judgmental gavel has been slammed down on every Canadian's head because of his views on the Iraq war. According to the almighty film guru, the friendly nation to the north is no longer his star because we do not consider military members who refuse to serve in Iraq as refugees. In his myopic eyes, the Iraq war is the same as Vietnam, but it is not, and here's why:
Those who are being sent by their military to Iraq and Afghanistan volunteered to serve. For those of you unfamiliar with the military, when you join, you sign a contract which essentially stipulates that you pledge to fight if you are so required. Those fleeing the Vietnam war were conscripts- they were chosen by the government against their will. Even so, Canada did not rush to open the borders to those draft dodgers of the Vietnam era in a big show of hippie love. In fact, young American men were asked at the border of their draft status and summarily turned back Many were and continue to be living in Canada unlawfully and some are only now becoming naturalized citizens.
Moreover, Canada is a sovereign nation- one not subject to the whims of America. We have our own borders because we are a separate state and have a right to defend ourselves against illegal immigration just as you do. Demanding that we invite every American who criminally refuses to honour his contract enter is an insult to our independence and national security. If you have the right to close the borders to a wave of Mexicans, we have the right to close ours to you.
In addition, Canada is involved in the Afghanistan war- our young men and women serve tours of duty that are not measured in months, but years. Our kids are fighting to restore peace, and are dying as a result. Our Prime Minister, the Hon. Stephen Harper, is a friend of George Bush and an ideological supporter of the Iraq war. The war deserters of America could have an easy ticket into Canada by joining our military, as a friend of mine did. The caveat here is that like my pub pal, they'll probably be sent to Afghanistan after completing training. Despite whatever hippie nonsense Michael Moore attempts to feed you, Canada is not anti-military at all, but She is anti-irresponsibility. Those fleeing service they volunteered for are not worthy candidates for Canadian citizenship because they put their personal interests and fears above their obligation to keep the word they swore to when signing on the dotted line.
Bill C-440 seeks to legitimize unaccountability and undermine Canada's right to decide for herself who constitutes a refugee. By clogging the refugee courts with capricious wimps, the claims of those seeking asylum from truly totalitarian regimes will be put on hold. And since someone awaiting classification cannot legally work, we are on the hook for the costs of their health and welfare payments or incarceration until such time their claims are dealt with. I'd be all for this if Mr. Moore was footing the bill instead of middle-wage construction workers like myself.
Canada is a nation independent of the United States with laws of her own; a kind nation, but also fiercely patriotic. Your neighbour is not a talking point in a Michael Moore film, nor subject to his rule. An autonomous country has the right to secure its borders against invasion by a collective of folks who want to have their proverbial cake. We did not open the borders to Vietnam draftees in the past, and should not welcome the self-enlisted today. Even still, the comparison is an invective against the intellect of Americans and Canadians alike.
Michael Moore is trying to sell you apples when they are really pickles.