Threads Of Being

Of the Heart and of the Mind. Three point one four one five nine.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Mixed Standing 

"Canada denies refugee status to American Soldier"

Read the article

I'm not sure which way I'm leaning on this. On one hand, I feel people should not be forced to go to war. On the other hand, he was not drafted, he joined the Army because he wanted to join.

Side note: It blows my mind that people join the military or reserves, and then when a war occurs are shocked they have to go fight. Come on people, if you don't want to go to war, don't join the military! I already know if I'm ever drafted I will be shooting myself before I shoot anyone else (not that they'd let me fight, as my ankle is well known for unexpectedly giving out).

Back when Desert Storm started there were families with children where both parents were in the reserves. Why? Because for "only one weekend a month and one week a year", they pulled in extra money from the government. (There's a good example of advertising that worked.) Then the war - I'm sorry, "the conflict" - started, and sets of parents were called to fight. The response from many was: "You can't send us both! What about our children?" The answer was, of course, find someone to take care of them while you are gone. Many of the parents were outraged. But come on! Did they think they could get that money without someday having to serve the purpose it was for?

I had a friend join the reserves after 9/11, and when his unit received orders sending them to war he was surprised and afraid. My question was, "then why did you join?" His answer was, "because I wanted to help after 9/11 and this was the only way I could think of." To which I asked why he didn't expect once joining he would eventually be sent to war, especially knowing 9/11 had just happened and what people's reactions where. He couldn't answer. I'm sure he had never wanted to risk his life like that, but at the time of joining didn't think through what the consequences would be. All the reserves means is you aren't constantly on active duty in the military, but you are on call in case of war.

Back on topic: Now, this man appears to be just fine with going to war. It is only this specific war (on Iraq) he has objections to, because he feels it's not legal and he would be forced to commit war crimes if he were to go. I can agree with these objections, I think he's right in those statements. But I also agree with the Canadian judge that said he would not face cruel or unusual punishment in the U.S. for being a deserter (I will amend 'as a civilian' to this statement - there's no telling how the military will react to him). I believe there are enough of us that feel the war is wrong for him to be just fine here. And perhaps if he even told people what actually is happening in Iraq, and what was and was not found, he could convince others.

Yes, if he were to come back or be brought back to the U.S. he would have to go to jail for 5 years for deserting. But as I've already said, he joined the military willingly. Sometimes when your beliefs go against decisions you have made you have to live with the consequences.

I think he should be fighting the system on this one, but I feel he's fighting the wrong system. This man should be fighting the U.S. for his rights, not Canada. Draft dodgers and deserters are two different things. Canada should not be blamed for wrong doing in this case.


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