Should Canada Still Offer Refuge to American Military Deserters?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Principessa, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. Principessa

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    Head-to-head: Refuge for deserters?

    Should US deserters from Iraq be given refuge in Canada, a country that welcomed tens of thousands of Vietnam draft-dodgers and deserters?

    It's a burning question in Canada as the authorities prepare to deport 25-year-old Corey Glass to face trial in the US.

    Here, Corey argues he should be allowed to stay, while below Jonathan Kay from Canada's conservative National Post newspaper says deserters should be sent home.

    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 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.

    I went home on leave and said I was not coming back. I was told desertion is punishable by death. I was Absent Without Leave (AWOL) in America for eight months.

    I searched the internet and found out about US war resisters in Canada. I arrived in Toronto two weeks later.
    TIMES THEY HAVE A CHANGED
    During the Vietnam War, Pierre Trudeau declared Canada ''a refuge from militarism''
    Tens of thousands of American draft-dodgers and deserters took refuge in Canada
    Canada's immigration laws are much stricter now: refugees must prove that they would face persecution - not just prosecution - if sent back home.

    On 3 June, Canada's parliament passed a non-binding motion in favour of allowing deserters to stay.

    I should have been in New Orleans after Katrina, not in Iraq. I believe the Iraq War is illegal and morally wrong. I believe I have a duty to refuse to take part in a war not sanctioned by the United Nations, started on the basis of lies.



    I have been in Toronto since August 2006. In my time here, I have been self-sufficient and I have made many friends. I have built a life here.


    Last week I was in Ottawa, when the House of Commons passed a motion saying that the Canadian government should make it possible for conscientious objectors to get permanent residence in Canada. The motion also said that all deportation proceedings against us should be stopped.


    But I may be deported anyway. On 21 May I was told that my last chance to stay in Canada had failed, and I must leave by 12 June (since extended to 10 July). I know that if I return to the US I will face imprisonment and possibly a criminal record.
    I don't think it is fair that I should be returned to the United States to face unjust punishment for doing what I felt morally obligated to do. I am hoping that Canada, which stayed out of the Iraq War for reasons similar to my own, will reverse the deportation order and let me stay, as parliament has urged.

    There are several dozen other war resisters like me in Canada now. They all deserve to stay here and get on with their lives.

    I hope the new American President will end the Iraq War and bring the troops home. But until that happens, I believe it is every soldier's right to refuse to take part in that war, if that is what his or her conscience says they must do.

    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).
    Does Canada really want to cast itself as the protector of fair-weather American soldiers fleeing their duty?
    Glass's mission was not to invade Iraq, his mission was to help protect the emergence of a free, peaceful, sovereign Iraqi state.

    With the recent deployment of the Iraqi army to Basra, Mosul and the Sadr City neighbourhood of Baghdad, that goal is now close to being realised - no thanks to Glass, nor to the dozens of other "conscientious objectors" now residing in Canada.

    Moreover, from a purely political standpoint, giving asylum to the likes of Glass would send a terrible message. It would undermine America's war effort in Iraq - even as Canadian and American soldiers fight side by side on another front in the war on terror, Afghanistan.

    Given this shared enterprise, does Canada really want to cast itself as the protector of fair-weather American soldiers fleeing their duty?

    Six years ago, Corey Glass picked the wrong career. Three years ago, he picked an illegal way to abandon it. It's time for this ex-soldier to go home and pay the price for what he's done.


    Jonathan Kay is managing editor for comment at Canada's National Post newspaper.
     
  2. Principessa

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    Head-to-head: Refuge for deserters?

    Should US deserters from Iraq be given refuge in Canada, a country that welcomed tens of thousands of Vietnam draft-dodgers and deserters?


    I have to say I am conflicted on this. Not the topic so much as Corey Glass. I think he's an idiot.

    I don't know why he thought enlisting in the the National Guard meant he would never leave the continental USA. :confused: Heck when I was 18 I knew that enlisting in the National Guard or the Coast Guard Reserves both of which I strongly considered meant I could end up patroling the Han River in Vietnam. That's part of why I didn't enlist, even though we weren't at war with anybody in 1984.

    What's that line they use on legal shows? "Ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking the law." Just because he claims he didn't know he might be sent to war, is not a reason for Canada to validate his desertion. For Chrissakes he enlisted after 9/11 anyone with half a brain had to know Bush would retaliate. :rolleyes: :duh:

    Now here's where I waffle on this issue. I appreciate Canada having offered a safe haven to Vietnam draft dodgers. However, we have no more business being in Iraq or Iran than we did in Vietnam; but that's a post for another day.

    I think that Corey Glass should face his court martial or whatever they do for this, like a man and not a child. He's a grownup and grownups, especially those in the military don't get do overs.
     
  3. Principessa

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    *BUMP*
     
  4. rawbone8

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    Send him back. I am generally about as liberal as anyone politically, but this is really a mockery of conscientious objection. Volunteers to armed forces are valued citizens doing service, and he got himself into a predictable situation by volunteering.

    Canada owes him nothing. We ought to reserve refugee status for those truly in need of shelter.
     
  5. kalipygian

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    A person not being allowed to leave the military any time they choose is a relic of feudalism.
     
  6. TurkeyWithaSunburn

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    I think he picked the natl guard cuz he DIDN'T want to actually fight, instead of one of the federal armed services.

    Most of the time the nat'l guard is at the dispatch of governors, during times of weather emergencies, or local disturbances (Los Angeles riots of '92? come to mind) [ahhh please correct me, I know I'm wrong in some way]

    As I remember one person from the FIRST Gulf War saying about National Guard. N.G., No Go as in they thought they wouldn't leave American soil.
     
  7. D_Tintagel_Demondong

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    I find the first article to be confusing.

    These statements are suspiciously contrary.

    I thought that many, possibly most, people joined the National Guard to prevent being sent to war.

    It would send a message of compassion, something lacking in this vengeful world lately. Canada is in Afghanistan to fight terrorism. Canada is targeting Al-Qaeda and superstitious extremists who are hell bent on killing innocent Westerners. Since Al-Qaeda was never in Iraq, sending troops to Iraq would make no more sense than sending them to Pago Pago. If I enlisted to fight terror and ended up fighting local civilians in endless skirmishes, I'd want out too!

    The American government should not rely on Canada to buttress their portrayal of a war that Canada opposed all along.

    Shared enterprise? Canada's involvement with Afghanistan is completely different that America's involvement with Iraq.
     
  8. B_henry miller

    B_henry miller New Member

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    Canada should offer refuge to my penis!
     
  9. vince

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    The second article is not a 'fair and balanced' analysis of the situation. Kay's opening paragraph says it all- "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." He starts out with an ad hominum attack and his support for the war is clear.

    I think he should go home and face the music. He signed up and should have completed what he started.

     
  10. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    I agree with vince. That article blows.

    Glass sounds like any one of millions of naive kids who have entered the military and deeply regretted it. In that sense, I feel sorry for him because he has likely realized he's actively involved with the taking of innocent human lives; something nobody should ever be forced to do. His soul will likely be haunted the rest of his life.

    I think much depends on what kind of message Canada wants to send to the US and the world about the Iraq war. Ultimately the decision is up to Canada, who may do well to remember that pardon is still the choicest flower of victory (military or moral).

    As a civic American, I think he should be returned. He took an oath, he should have known what he was getting into and what he might be called upon to do. As human among his common men who wishes to be empirically compassionate and reasonable, age and experience have taught me that sometimes compassion and second chances can mean all the difference between a ruined life and one that is fulfilling and contributory. Here in the US he'll rot in a prison, cost us money, and be denied many opportunities for the rest of his life as a prisoner of conscience. In Canada he seems to have made a life and contributes to Canadian society.
     
  11. B_Austin Blue

    B_Austin Blue New Member

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    Since he simply can't quit the armed forces he joined - he's free to stay in Canada as far as i'm concerned.
     
  12. Principessa

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    The National Guard is the reserve unit (or back up) for the US Army, and has been so since about WWI. It is possible that the recruiter lied to him about what his duties might entail. However, he should have known better than to trust Uncle Sam.

    For chrissakes has he never seen M*A*S*H. :tongue:

    About the National Guard
    The National Guard, the oldest component of the Armed Forces of the United States and one of the nation's longest-enduring institutions, celebrated its 370th birthday on December 13, 2006. The National Guard traces its history back to the earliest English colonies in North America. Responsible for their own defense, the colonists drew on English military tradition and organized their able-bodied male citizens into militias.

    The colonial militias protected their fellow citizens from Indian attack, foreign invaders, and later helped to win the Revolutionary War. Following independence, the authors of the Constitution empowered Congress to "provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia." However, recognizing the militia's state role, the Founding Fathers reserved the appointment of officers and training of the militia to the states. Today's National Guard still remains a dual state-Federal force.

    Throughout the 19th century the size of the Regular Army was small, and the militia provided the bulk of the troops during the Mexican War, the early months of the Civil War, and the Spanish-American War. In 1903, important national defense legislation increased the role of the National Guard (as the militia was now called) as a Reserve force for the U.S. Army. In World War I, which the U.S. entered in 1917, the National Guard made up 40% of the U.S. combat divisions in France; in World War II, National Guard units were among the first to deploy overseas and the first to fight.

    Following World War II, National Guard aviation units, some of them dating back to World War I, became the Air National Guard, the nation's newest Reserve component. The Guard stood on the frontiers of freedom during the Cold War, sending soldiers and airmen to fight in Korea and to reinforce NATO during the Berlin crisis of 1961-1962. During the Vietnam war, almost 23,000 Army and Air Guardsmen were called up for a year of active duty; some 8,700 were deployed to Vietnam. Over 75,000 Army and Air Guardsmen were called upon to help bring a swift end to Desert Storm in 1991.

    Since that time, the National Guard has seen the nature of its Federal mission change, with more frequent call ups in response to crises in Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, and the skies over Iraq. Most recently, following the attacks of September 11, 2001, more than 50,000 Guardmembers were called up by both their States and the Federal government to provide security at home and combat terrorism abroad. In the largest and swiftest response to a domestic disaster in history, the Guard deployed more than 50,000 troops in support of the Gulf States following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Today, tens of thousands of Guardmembers are serving in harm's way in Iraq and Afghanistan, as the National Guard continues its historic dual mission, providing to the states units trained and equipped to protect life and property, while providing to the nation units trained, equipped and ready to defend the United States and its interests, all over the globe.

    I hate this war just as much as the next person, but this kid needs to serve his time, either with his unit or in Leavenworth. Makes no difference to me. :cool:
     
  13. TurkeyWithaSunburn

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    A Recruiter LIE???? no way!
     
  14. 1BiGG1

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    SISSY ARMY GUY:&#8221;Duh! I&#8217;m stupider than a houseplant since I didn&#8217;t know I might be fighting when I joined the Army&#8221;

    1BiGG1: Personally I don&#8217;t want your pathetic ass back but if Canada thinks it wise to harbor criminals I think we should ruin Canada&#8217;s economy and cut of all trade immediately.
     
  15. 1BiGG1

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    Great idea! And on the note we should send the rest of the criminals up there as well since they shouldnÂ’t need to be accountable for their actions either.
     
  16. Sklar

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    The big differece here is that there is no draft as opposed to Vietnam when there was one.

    Just because he didn't do his homework on what the National Guard can and can not do, does NOT give him a free pass to cry over it.

    It's like not doing your homework in school and then be given an F and crying about how unfair that grade is.

    As for death being a punishment for AWOL (now call Unauthorized Absence) I can't even remember WHEN that punishment was last enacted. Chances are he'd just be thrown in Leavenworth for 5 or 6 years with a Dishonorable discharge or just given the Dishonorable discharge and he could go on his merry way.

    HOWEVER,

    The title of the thread is: Should Canada Still Offer Refuge to American Military Deserters?

    Canada is a soverign country and can pass any laws their elected officals want regardless of what and how America wants. It's their country, let them do what they want to.
     
  17. ZOS23xy

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    And your penis is at war with?
     
  18. ZOS23xy

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    And...didn't our current coward in chief avoid Vietnam services by involving himself in the Air National Guard? Sounds like the loopholes have been closed.

    I believe Canada should keep the man, provided he becomes a respectable citizen.

    On the other hand, the "war" was entered dishonestly, through false information and ill thought out reasons and motivations.

    The right and wrong in this arena can be endlessly debated.

    I'd go for the man's honesty, seeing as the integrity of the USA is suspect.
     
  19. ZOS23xy

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    Objecting to the war and not desiring to kill is a whole different thing than being a willing killer.

    Bad thinking.
     
  20. D_Tintagel_Demondong

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    You people who are calling him a 'coward' or 'sissy' are really answering the question at hand. If he's such a bad soldier, then he doesn't belong on the battlefield.

    I agree with Jason. If he's working and contributing in Canada, why can't he be allowed to do the same in the US?
     
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