Wednesday, February 08, 2006

American deserters in Canada: I am not amused

Hey, you g***amn little traitor, howcome you get to work? I'd like to have a part-time job, it would help in dealing with things here, but I don't dare while I'm waiting for my Permanent Residency.

Besides the fact that you're a g***amn little traitor.

Yes, I am in a bad mood, I've been having migraines for over a week now -- but, also, dude, the reason you join the f***king Army is to g***amn well kill people. I mean, hello? Everything else is secondary. You hope you won't have to, but, you know, the tuition and everything else is secondary to the main purpose, which is -- defending the U.S., a.k.a. the popular phrase, "killing people and breaking things". So you know what you do? You just resign when your tour is up, if you develop "qualms" and/or marry a Buddhist. This ain't the Vietnam era, in more ways than one.

Will War Deserters Find Asylum in Canada?

TORONTO -- Attorney Jeffry House has a simple message for the dozens of young American soldiers and Marines seeking his help staying out of Iraq: He understands exactly where they are coming from.

. . . Now a prominent human-rights lawyer here, Mr. House is working to keep another generation of young Americans out of a contentious war. He is the lead attorney for Jeremy Hinzman, the first U.S. service member to formally seek political asylum in Canada because he refuses to fight in Iraq.

. . . But there are major differences between Mr. Hinzman's case and those who resisted the Vietnam War. Because the war in Southeast Asia took place while the draft was in effect, deserters could claim they had fled to avoid being forced into service they had neither sought nor agreed to fulfill. Today's military is an all-volunteer force, which means that all of Mr. House's clients willingly agreed to serve. That has led to a healthy degree of skepticism about the deserters' true motivations even in Canada, a place where antiwar feelings run deep and the Iraq war is deeply unpopular.

. . . Today, the Hinzmans live on a tree-lined street in a working-class part of the city. Unable to gain acceptance to college until his case is settled, he works as a bike messenger [my emphasis]. A ruling on his case is expected in a couple of months.

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