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Week 12.docx

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North American Studies
Course Code
Kevin Spooner

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Week12:MaherArarandMoniaMazigh Peacekeeping, 9/11 and the Road to Afghanistan April 3, 2013 Maher Arar and Monia Mazigh: His Life and Their Ordeal Maher Arar  Born in Syria and comes to Canada with family at 17  Canadian citizen as of 1991  A year after 9/11, on Sept 26 2002 Arar is returning to Canada from a vacation in Tunisia, through the United States  Telecommunications engineer  Had never been in trouble with the law – when his name was entered in the computer in the airport in New York, he was pulled aside, finger printed and photographed – belongings were searched  Police and FBI were summoned to the airport  Arar asks to speak to a lawyer – told he has no right to a lawyer b/c he’s not american citizen  For the next week, questioned about affiliation with al-Qaeda and individuals that he knew in Canada  Continued to press the authorities for a lawyer – granted, but could only speak to that lawyer once  During this week, visited by a Canadian diplomat  American official tells Arar he is going to be deported – choice: Canada or Syria o Chooses Canada  October 8, woken up at 3 am and told that the director of INS has decided to deport him to Syria  But then, the Syrians refuse to take Arar directly o Fly him first to Jordan, and flown to Jordan via Rome o When he arrives in Jordan he is blindfolded, shackled, and beaten o Taken to Syrian border and handed over to Syrian officials o “extraordinary rendition”  Once he’s in Syria, he’s placed in a small basement cell – beaten, tortured with a shredded electrical cable – threatened with electric shock  Detained in Syria for almost a year o In this time, only visited by Canadian diplomats 7 times o Canadian gov’t was fully aware of what was happening  His wife is Monia Mazigh–Arar was repatriated to Canada largely due to her effort  Becomes an outspoken critic of the government’s actions  After he has returned, they fight tirelessly together to clear his name  January 2004, federal government announces a commission of inquiry into actions of Canadian officials surrounding his case  Justice Dennis O’Connor o Releases a report – it categorically clears Arar’s name o No evidence that Arar had committed any offences nor ever been a threat to Canadian security o Concludes that the RCMP had actually given misleading and inaccurate information to American authorities o Mounties went on to publicly start a campaign and blemish his reputation o Also concludes that the RCMP knew that by providing this misleading info to the FBI, they were ensuring that Arar would be deported to Syria and upon his arrival would be tortured o States that they may have done it deliberately  January 2007, Harper government issues a public apology and Arar is given 10 million dollars  Their story suggests that values of equality and justice are not equally distributed among all Canadians What is the Canadian Peacekeeping Legacy?  Peacekeeping amounts mostly for why Canadians view themselves as good global citizens  Maybe peacekeeping origins were in 1956 – Suez Crisis o UN makes decision to resolve this crisis by sending in peacekeepers for the first time (thousands of soldiers) o Lester B Pearson is the one that negotiates this – invents the modern idea of peacekeeping  Wins the Nobel prize  94% of Canadians believe their country is well-liked by other nations  59% of Canadians identify their country as one that stands out as a positive force in the world today  26% of Canadians identify peacekeeping as Canada’s most positive contribution to the world  Late 2006/early 2007 o Surveyed 28,000 people in 27 different countries asking to rate 12 countries as having either a positive or negative influence in the world o Canada received best rating out of all
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