First up, Corey Glass:
COREY GLASS, CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR/DESERTER
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.
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, CANADA'S NATIONAL POST |
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!]