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Canada cut ties with Iran — so why don’t we?

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Posted: Saturday, September 15, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:48 am, Sat Sep 15, 2012.

Just days before the nation went into its annual "We will never forget" 9/11 memorial ceremonies, the federal government demonstrated how little concern it has for its citizens' safety and how little it learned from the World Trade Center tragedy 11 years ago that left 3,000 Americans dead.

To be sure, politicians in the heat of their re-election campaigns did and said all the right things. On 9/11, President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney declared a truce in their bitter head-to-head battle. Both pulled their negative attack ads and had no rallies scheduled.

But late this summer, behind the scenes, the U.S. Department of State announced that from more than 370,000 Iranians who registered for the 2013 Diversity Visa Lottery, 6,000 won and will received the coveted green card prize. Iran has the highest rate of DV winners among participating countries that include at least a dozen other nations known to be sympathetic to terrorism.

Since 1995 when the bipartisan Barbara Jordan recommended that Congress eliminate the diversity lottery, the program has been under fire for, among other things, its randomness. Jordan, a Democrat, was the first black southern woman elected to the House of Representatives; she served from 1967-1973.

The DV, established as part of the 1990 Immigration Act, rewards foreign nationals within the United States with permanent residency regardless of family ties (or lack thereof), their few individual skills, little education and despite the potential national security and terrorism threats they may represent. Even though the 50,000 annual visas obviously serve no compelling national purpose, killing the program off has been impossible.

During the same week that Iranians received their winning notifications, Canada Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird cut diplomatic ties with Iran, citing terrorism concerns. Baird ordered Canada's Iranian embassy closed effective immediately and gave diplomats five days to leave Ottawa. Canada also formally listed Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism.

Said Baird: "Canada views the government of Iran as the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today."

Curiously, ultra-liberal Canada has identified a potential enemy (Iran) and has severed ties with it. At the same time, the politically correct United States sticks with the DV beyond any logic and also lays out the carpet for a significant number of foreign nationals who may have anti-American sentiments.

Thirty years ago, the State Department identified Iran as a terrorist nation. In 1984, it added Iran to its original 1979 list that included Cuba, Syria, Iraq and South Yemen. According to the State Department, since 2006 Iran has shipped large numbers of weapons to Afghanistan to increase its influence. Furthermore, according to the State Department, Iranian authorities provide "lethal support, including weapons, training, funding and guidance to Iraqi Shia militant groups that target U.S. and Iraqi forces."

Congress is in a clueless, self-defeating brain lock about the diversity visa and its negative impact on assimilation, population growth and American job displacement. Remember that green cards include work authorization. The Safe for America Act of 2011 that would end the diversity lottery has a mere 44 co-sponsors, a disgracefully low total.

With 9/11's 11th anniversary fresh in our minds, Congress should be ashamed for allowing a useless and dangerous practice like the diversity visa to continue in perpetuity.

Joe Guzzardi retired from the Lodi Unified School District and now lives in Pittsburgh. Contact him at guzzjoe@yahoo.com.

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  • Brian Dockter posted at 12:57 pm on Mon, Sep 17, 2012.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2857

    Ms. Bobin wrote:

    If you want to compare Canada's influence in the world with the US's, go ahead, fool that you are.

    -Of course there is no comparison with Canada's influence in the world and the U.S. Speaking of foolish. What makes you think we aren't foolish to allow Iranians to immigrate here?

  • Brian Dockter posted at 12:44 pm on Mon, Sep 17, 2012.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2857

    Since you have no facts to back up your charge that Joe Guzzardi is implying we have a functioning Iranian embassy here I suggest you ease back before you make a complete fool of yourself.

  • Brian Dockter posted at 12:41 pm on Mon, Sep 17, 2012.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2857

    Ms. Bobin wrote:

    Finally, I did not say that ANYONE should stay in their own country to facilitate change - Mr. Smith did, so your complaint about Mexico is idiotic, as are the rest of your posts.

    -You don't have to rub it in. We all know you would never hold the Mexican government accountable, nor the families who control the governmemt, for the perpetual poverty many of the people there have to endure. And it's rather idiotic of you to constantly hold American policy accountable for the afforementioned above. But this is what people like you do to advance the cause that all the ills of the world are America's fault.
    A Side note: Please tell us some more about your belief that the shipping lanes throughout the world would be just as safe if the American Navy were to just pack their bags and come home.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 10:32 am on Mon, Sep 17, 2012.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Mr. Docktor - too bad your ADHD did not allow you to research more so as not to make yourself seem quite foolish.

    Thanks for your Wikipedia research. Checked that out three days ago.
    As far as the Swiss Embassy, we maintain an "interests section" only. As does Iran at the Pakistani Embassy in Washington, DC.

    Google what that means. I won't do your work for you.

    Hint - has nothing to do with "dialogue."

    The UN building is in New York and Ahmadinejad has been there several times. We cannot stop that either.

    Nor, as the number one power in the world, can we stop ALL dialogue with Iran. It just so happens it doesn't happen with diplomatic envoys, but with the S of S or her minions or with the president.

    If you want to compare Canada's influence in the world with the US's, go ahead, fool that you are.

    Finally, I did not say that ANYONE should stay in their own country to facilitate change - Mr. Smith did, so your complaint about Mexico is idiotic, as are the rest of your posts.

  • Brian Dockter posted at 10:29 am on Mon, Sep 17, 2012.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2857

    Ms. Bobin wrote:

    If they were uneducated, they would not be taking valuable American jobs as he claims.

    -I wish Ms. Bobin would expand onn her notion there aren't any uneducated taking valuable American jobs because I've never heard of the notion one must have an education to take a valuable American job.

  • Brian Dockter posted at 9:15 am on Mon, Sep 17, 2012.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2857

    The Swiss Embassy represents U.S. interests in Iran. So we do have dipomatic ties
    with Iran, so to speak. This very fact is just another example why Ms. Bobin has an issue with anyone daring to fact check her statements.

  • Brian Dockter posted at 9:01 am on Mon, Sep 17, 2012.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2857

    Ms. Bobin,

    We do have some dialogue with Iran. There are many countries we have dialogue with where we don't have embassies. You seem to want to ignore the whole issue of why we should continue to have any relations with a known state sponsor of terrorism. And are you unable to concede Joe is right that we should draw the line in how far we should allow Iran to go with their state sponsor of terrorism? The facts are clear and the question in Joe's tiltle to his column is valid. You have a long track record of distorting the facts people bring to the table you have an axe to grind with.
    One would think by now you could set you're differences aside for the sake of not making yourself look stupid, AGAIN.

  • Brian Dockter posted at 8:43 am on Mon, Sep 17, 2012.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2857

    Ms. Bobin wrote:

    Have you ever heard of political refugees, Mr. Smith?

    -Indeed Ms. Bobin. A good percentage of people who come to this country, legal and illegal, is because of the political landscape in their country. Take Mexico, for instance, where the corrupt politicians are payed off by the families who control and own the wealth of the country.Mexico has the rescources to eliminate the perpetual state of poverty that drives many to come here. BUT, I've never heard you saying the political refugees from Mexico should stay there to work towards change within their own country.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 11:57 am on Sat, Sep 15, 2012.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Have you ever heard of political refugees, Mr. Smith?

    That's why we have the hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese and other Southeast Asians in this country now.

    Maybe we should have left them there to "work towards change within their own country." Oh, that's right...we lost 50,000 American lives HELPING them work towards change.

  • Bob Smith posted at 11:15 am on Sat, Sep 15, 2012.

    Bob Smith Posts: 128

    I did not infer from this that we have diplomatic relations from this. I took it to mean that we are granting permanent residency to citizens of a country that even Canada has the good sense not to deal with.
    There is no need for this lottery. If you want to let 50,000 more people receive green cards each year then add them to the total immigration quota and have them go through the process that everybody else does. If our immigration policy for regular (non-lottery) green cards does not normally admit citizens from terrorism-sponsoring states then too bad. Close this loophole. Let those who wanted to come here work towards change within their own country so that we no longer have a reason to deny them entry.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 9:59 am on Sat, Sep 15, 2012.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Our weekly dose of xenophobia.

    By giving the Canadian example, Guzzardi is actually implying that the US has diplomatic relations with Iran and that there is an Iranian embassy in the US. The average uninformed person reading this column would assume this was true.

    He does rightly state that many of the "winners" of this lottery are already living in the US legally under a different type of Visa, and, there are minimum requirements for levels of education for the DV, but does HE actually know that, as he implies, all of these individuals, Iranian or otherwise, are uneducated? Probably not. If they were uneducated, they would not be taking valuable American jobs as he claims.

    Another composition of twisted facts, half-truths, out-right falsehoods and misleading implications.

    Shame once again on the LNS for publishing this tripe.


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