Monday, April 10, 2006

deserves a vote, not a debate that goes no where ...

Peaceniks call war illegal, demand vote
OTTAWA SUN, April 10, 2006

Tonight the debate, tomorrow the vote, peace activists will chant on Parliament Hill tonight.

They're demanding that MPs vote on -- not just debate -- Canadian troops' role in what they charge is an illegal war in Afghanistan.

Activists will rally at 6 p.m. then hold a candlelight vigil for Afghan civilians and Canadian soldiers who have been killed as parliamentarians arrive for the 7 p.m. debate.

"We want to have a public debate in the society -- not just in Parliament," said Francine Dumas of Rassemblement Outaouais Contre la Guerre.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper bowed to pressure Friday, scheduling a "note-taking" debate on the mission.

MPs won't, however, vote on whether the 2,100 soldiers should continue their mission, billed as helping rebuild the war-torn country and protecting the new democracy.

Activists argue that Canadians can't claim to be exporting democracy when there's been no public debate or parliamentary vote back home.

Meanwhile, they argue, troops are backing a U.S. occupation and local warlords and protecting future oil pipelines -- not building democracy as Canadians have been told.

"It's not an anti-terrorist war. It's a war for the control of oil," Dumas said. "That's why we have to have a debate."