American Deserters coming to Canada

There has been a lot of talk lately of members of the American Armed Forces coming to Canada and trying to enter as refugees. While I agree with their motives, I don’t believe these people should be allowed in. 2 UPDATES

Canada has a long history of offering safe harbour to people fleeing conflict, persecution and distress. I am very proud of that tradition, as I believe most Canadians are.

The Iraq war is front and center in the world political theatre right now, and so every issue remotely related will come to the forefront of the media. That fact is demonstrated with the overblown reaction to Jeremy Hinzmans’ application for refugee status in Canada.

He is a deserter from the US Army. He was once stationed in Afghanistan, but when he heard his paratrooper unit was headed to Iraq, he decided to take his family North.

To be brief, I don’t think Canada can let him in. He joined the Army voluntarily, he signed a contract for however long, and he is bound to that contract. He is only suffering now because of the direct actions he took as an individual, they were not brought upon him without his intent.

While I agree with his points on the reasons against the Iraq war, those have little to do with him being a refugee.

There are thousands, nay millions, of people in this world that are in far more diar need of humanity and compassion than this one man who decided he made the wrong choice.

He and people like him have to face the music and either go to Iraq, or not, and deal with the concequences of each.

UPDATE 1

While I don’t agree with Hinzman, his testimony does bring to light many disturbing stories of the war in Iraq. While I understand, at least as much as a civilian can, the mentality that soldiers must take to fight a war, I think some of what Hinzman says speaks to the indiscriminate nature of killing that the US forces are applying in Iraq. At the very least Hinzmans testimony should provide more reason to avoid war at all costs, not because the US military is any worse than any other war machine, but because war itself creates these very situations and does nothing to really solve a problem.

UPDATE 2

Citizen Smash has another story of a deserter in San Diego, and Smash gives his reaction, as an active member of the US Navy.

4 thoughts on “American Deserters coming to Canada”

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  3. I’m confused by your comments about Hinzman’s application for refugee status. Do you really think its moral put a soldier in jail for deserting from a war that most people regard as unjust? Every soldier signs a a contract thinking they will DEFEND their, not ATTACK others. If they think otherwise, the contract is null and void. Do you really think most soldiers who signed up thought they would be told to invade another country that never attacked the US? Your philosophy is backwards. Putting people in jail for refusing to kill is wrong, no matter what contract was signed. (Why all the loyalty to a contract? Get real!) He should be given refugee status, of course. He didn’t do anything wrong. If you want to talk about legalities, then lets! There’s lots of illegality in the US administration and military to go around.

    Besides, legally, the US military is actually contravening the law and are in no way defending their constitution as is their purpose. While you blog about how people like Hinzman should “face the music”, others are deciding how the US military command itself, along with the administration, can be brought to justice, hopefully under the scope of an international criminal court.

    If there is a real threat, people will mobilize for war. The entire idea of ‘serving’ in the military or committing yourself to so many years of servitude is wrongheaded. If we want a better world, people with good morals like hInzman need to be supported.

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