Buzz Flash on Bush

by Chad Rubel

We have noted that travel will be limited for top Bush luminaries, including Bush himself. Europe is definitely not in the cards, but what about Canada. Would Canada stand up and detain George W. Bush for the purpose of arresting him for war crimes?

Bush is scheduled to give a speech in Calgary on Tuesday, so the opportunity could present itself. However, Calgary is prime territory for the Conservative Party of Canada, and Stephen Harper, the country's Prime Minister.

And there should be the possibility that Bush won't be able to enter the country. There is a serious question as to whether Canada should let him in. As we have noted numerous times before, Bush needs a waiver every time he enters Canada due to his DUI conviction. But this time, Bush also needs a waiver, or perhaps could be denied entry based on Canada's Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which notes that foreign nationals (Bush) who have committed war crimes or crimes against humanity, including torture, are "inadmissible" to Canada.

Canada denied entry to CodePink and Global Exchange cofounder Medea Benjamin and retired Colonel and diplomat Ann Wright simply for being arrested for protesting Bush's Iraq war. Admitting Bush would be a cruel irony.

Assuming Bush will get in, will anything happen to him? Vancouver lawyer Gail Davidson thinks Canada should do something.

"The test isn't whether the person's been convicted, but whether there's reasonable grounds to think that they have been involved," says Davidson, who's with Lawyers Against the War (LAW). "...It's now a matter of public record that Bush was in charge of setting up a regime of torture that spanned several parts of the globe and resulted in horrendous injuries and even death. Canada has a duty."

Arresting a sitting president might be a difficult task, regardless of politics. But arresting or detaining a former president, where there are credible allegations, should be easier. After all, Bush isn't going up to Calgary in any official capacity -- he will give a speech, shake a few hands, and make a lot of money.

Does Canada have an obligation to stand up for the rest of the world, and if nothing else, draw attention to the actions of George W. Bush?


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