An American war resister who has called Vancouver home for the past two years has been ordered to leave the country by Friday.
Rodney Watson, who fled to Canada after finding out that his contract would be extended and he would be returned to a war zone in Iraq or Afghanistan, left a press conference Thursday without taking questions to attend a hearing at Federal Court in Vancouver.
“The hardest thing for me would be to leave my son,” said a choked-up Watson, who has an eight-month-old with his Canadian fiancée. “I don’t want to be torn away from him … I know that if I’m deported and sent to prison I will not be able to see any of those moments for who knows how long.”
Sarah Bjorknas, a member of the War Resisters Support Campaign, said resisters who are returned to the U.S. face about a year in prison. (here)
Last July, I told you about Robin Long, another American who - even though he voluntarily signed up to join the US military in a time of war - decided he didn't want to go to war. Go here,
here, and here to get background.
Now Rodney Watson is crying the blues and the usual suspects are trying to rally support for him. His supporters can all call him what they like. They can invoke Vietnam and Canada's history of taking in draft dodgers. Fact is, during the Vietnam era, the American military was NOT volunteer; it is now. Anyone who signs on to join the military does so of their own free will. Nobody forces them. Disingenuous to say the least to decide you don't want to go to war, having once signed on the dotted line.
I could go on and on about the ignorance, naivete etc etc of the misguided, manipulating, manipulated supporters who rally behind the cause of these US soldiers who flee to Canada and start new lives. I could, but I won't. I could reiterate what I think of these "resisters" (the words 'fake' and 'coward' come to mind) but I won't.
Instead a message for Mr Watson et al:
You say you are standing on your principles, and that the hardest part of being ordered out of Canada is that you will miss important milestones in your baby son's life. Newsflash: Sometimes principles cost more than empty rhetoric. If you really believe in your principles, one year is a very short time to pay to stand by those principles. Many other of your countrymen have paid far more than one year to serve the principles of America. If you really feel so strongly, go back to your country, do the time, then get on with the rest of your life. You have that luxury.
Don't let the door hit you on the way out.