Wednesday, July 19, 2006

MPs don't want to help dual citizens in Lebanon.

Apparently, some MPs think dual citizens shouldn't be evacuated from the Middle East. As a dual citizen (British and Canadian), I have to say I find this sort of thinking disturbing. If you're a dual citizen, you're obligated to obey the rules of two countries (depending which are in force wherever you are). In return, two countries are obligated towards you in various ways -- at the very least, the countries are obligated to give you right of residency. So, if one country can't protect you (in this case, Lebanon), the other country should (in this case, Canada), if appealed to for aid. But some MPs -- both Cons and Libs, I note (so much for the difference between those two parties) -- apparently think that Canada's obligations to its citizens vanish whenever these citizens are also Lebanese and in Lebanon. Certainly, the Canadian government couldn't offer protection against the Lebanese government (that's the downside of dual citizenship), but now they shouldn't offer protection against the Israelis, when the Lebanese can't help?

I have to think this is driven by bottom-line thinking -- a way to try to artifically reduce the numbers of people needing to be saved. That it's sickeningly wrong should be, I hope, evident.

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