Friday, June 13, 2008

Canada: Refuge for deserters?

I think most of you know how I feel about the American servicemen and women who flee to Canada. In these times of a VOLUNTEER military, I have a hard time understanding why anyone would sign up to join the military in a time of war, and then decide they didn't really want to go to war; they didn't realise what they would be doing when they joined the war-time military. ;) Despite estimates of up to 300 Americans hiding out north of the US borders, a mere handful feel strongly enough to go public with their principles. I came across an interesting piece on the BBC site, and decided it is worth sharing.

First up, Corey Glass:


In 2002, I joined the Indiana National Guard. When I joined, I was told I would only be in combat if there were troops occupying the United States.

Corey Glass
I should have been in New Orleans after Katrina, not in Iraq
Corey Glass

I signed up to defend people and do humanitarian work filling sandbags if there was a hurricane. I had no conception I would be deployed to fight on foreign shores.

But in 2005, I was deployed with my unit to Camp Anaconda near Balad, Iraq. My job in Iraq was in military intelligence.

Through this job I had access to a lot of information about what was happening on the ground in Iraq. I realised innocent people were being killed unjustly and I tried to quit the military while in Iraq. My commander told me I was stressed out and needed R&R, because I was doing a job I was not trained to do....[yes, there is more!]

Jonathan Kay from Canada's conservative National Post newspaper says deserters should be sent home:


Should Corey Glass have enlisted in the US National Guard back in 2002? Probably not. From what I saw and heard of his 21 May press conference in Toronto, my first impression was that this pale, lanky 25-year-old should be playing synth in a Gothic emo band - not kicking down doors in Iraq.

But for whatever reason, Glass did sign up for military service. There's no draft in the United States - as there was in the Vietnam era: No one forced him to put on a uniform. Why should Canadians help this deserter go back on his freely given word?

America's fair-weather soldiers shouldn't be permitted to make a mockery of a Canadian refugee system that was originally designed to protect migrants fleeing assassination and torture.

During his 21 May appearance, Glass said he was "morally obligated" to desert the US military rather than return to fight an "unjust war" in Iraq.

At the same press conference, anti-war activist Jane Orion Smith argued that Glass is legally entitled to asylum in Canada because the applicable UN standard covers conscientious objectors involved in military actions that are "condemned by the international community".

Even if this label could fairly be applied to the 2003 liberation of Iraq (a premise I would dispute), it definitely did not apply to the Iraq conflict in 2005, which is when Glass deserted.

By that time, the UN Security Council had already passed Resolutions 1483 (recognising the United States and Britain as "occupying powers" under international law) and 1546 (endorsing the creation of an Iraqi Interim Government)....[yes, there IS more!]

Do I need to tell you whose logic I agree with? I didn't think so! Go read the rest of both these arguments on the BBC here.




orlane said...

I have to say i cant understand why people would join the military during a time of war and then say "oh i didnt realise they would actually send me to war" UMM HELLO why else would you join? Even in 'peace'time there is always the risk of going to fight. You cant join for the benefits but then cry foul when the military expects you to fullfil your obligations.

Anonymous said...

Seems like, this young man had an alternative agenda. Seems like, it is quite possible that this young man joined with the intension to make a mockery of the US Military by purposfully defecting to Canada after being told he would deploy. Quite remarkable that soon after 9/11 this young man "joins up" knowing full well we are going to Iraq, but NOT knowing Katrina is on it's way....humanitarian? In a Special Intelligence MOS? I THINK NOT.
Just saying....