Saturday, May 7, 2011

Extradition, Canada, and War

Maybe the U.S. won't go to war with Pakistan, maybe we will be too busy in our war with Canada.

The pretext for the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan was that the government of the country, controlled by the Taliban, refused to extradite Osama Bin Laden when the U.S. government demanded that after the successful al-Qaeda attack on September 11, 2001. I don't believe refusing to extradite a criminal is grounds for war, but the United Nations failed to protect Afghanistan from U.S. aggression, or even to condemn the U.S. Thus the de facto standard for international relations seems to have become that refusing to extradite is an act of war.

Given that, expect war between the U.S. and Canada soon. According to the Associated Press, on Friday the Canadian Court of Appeal confirmed a lower court decision to not extradite Abdullah Khadr to the United States. Mr. Khadr was wanted on the same charges as Osama Bin Laden, terrorism, specifically supplying al-Qaeda with weapons used to fight U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Of course, the U.S. will not actually go to war with Canada over the issue. Nations refuse to extradite people to other nations all the time. It usually is no big deal. The United States itself harbors many people convicted of crimes in other countries. Some times we extradite them, some times we don't. For instance, if some one had been found guilty in Iraq of murder, but the murder had been an act of resistance to the Saddam Hussein regime, the U.S. would certainly have refused to extradite.

If if refusal to extradite a government's allies is not a pretext for war (my position, and seemingly one in accord with international law), then there was no legitimate pretext for the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. George Bush and crew, and Barack Obama and crew, are simply war criminals.

If it is okay to fly a few troops into Pakistan to capture a criminal wanted in the United States, why was that tactic not used in Afghanistan in the first place? The CIA could have located Osama while the U.S. engaged in endless negotiations with the Taliban. Then would could have grabbed or killed Osama. We would have violated international law, and the Taliban would have been mad, but we would not be in an endless ground war in a nation not worth conquering.

We went to war against Afghanistan because we are ruled by a cabal of people who profiteer from war. George W. Bush was a failure as a manager of an oil company, but by attacking Afghanistan while most Americans were too emotional about the September 11 attacks to think clearly, he made himself popular. The price paid by the American people was the destruction of America from within by greed running out of control. We did not pay the price until the economic collapse of 2008.

The last time we fought a war with Canada, in the War of 1812, Canada was part of the British Empire, and we lost the war. We lost it rather badly, truth be told (see Life of Jackson: Battle of New Orleans). We launched the War of 1812 with the idea of grabbing Canada and Florida to add to the United States.

So the real question is, does the U.S. ruling class want Canada at this point of our history. If they do, the Abdullah Khadr decision can be used as a pretext for war. Otherwise, it will simply be forgotten.

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