DISCLAIMER: This is my own personal opinion. This might piss you off. You might not agree with me… and that’s fine. We are all entitled to have an opinion and I encourage you to respectfully share yours.
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During the Vietnam War – many draft-dodging Americans fled to Canada to avoid conscription and fighting overseas in a war that Canada had no part in. Between 1963 – 1973, Canada became a liberal-oasis ‘refuge’ for as many as 22,000 – 26,000 draft dodgers – some number claim to be as high as 125,000. While some eventually returned to the States, many remained behind for fear of imprisonment. They didn’t have an option to refuse – military service was forced upon them. But that is no longer the case.
With the war in Iraq, the number of deserters and Americans fleeing to Canada is at yet another record high (while some are politcally disgruntled, many are deserters). ABC News reports:
The number of U.S. citizens who moved to Canada last year hit a 30-year high, with a 20 percent increase over the previous year and almost double the number who moved in 2000.
In 2006, 10,942 Americans went to Canada, compared with 9,262 in 2005 and 5,828 in 2000, according to a survey by the Association for Canadian Studies.
But this time around… many Americans have found a slightly less receptive Canada. So far, Canada Border Services Agency and Immigration and Refuge Board have been deporting almost all of the deserters, refusing to provide asylum to soldiers.
Now – I am far from a supporter of this war. In fact, I find it to be the biggest bullshit blindfold ever created under the guise of War on Terror. And I don’t blame Americans AND Canadians for NOT wanting to participate in this war… nor volunteer for it based on what we know today.
BUT – cause there’s always a but – conscription was abolished in the US in 1973 (it was abolished in Canada in the 1960s). Therefore, military service is on a volunteer basis. One must be WILLING to join military service and perform the duties set out during peace time AND in times of war. Whomever thought that war was just and legal is a blind fool. There is nothing humane about war and the crimes committed while at war. You will do things and see things that are illegal… while trying to do your duty and protect the innocent casualties of war. If you volunteered for military service since 2001 – you will NOT be on peace keeping missions, even if you joined the USMC. And you will have to shoot people, and yes, at times kill innocent and not so innocent people in the process.
This is a fact. In the history of mankind – there hasn’t been a war were terrible injustices, unnecessary violence and bloodshed occurred. There is NO SUCH THING as a ‘just war…’ That is what you must face as a soldier. Make no mistake about it. This isn’t a video game. Its real life. People will die. You will face certain death. You will do bad things. You will see terrible things. You can and possibly will be emotionally scarred for the rest of your life by what you will do and have to see during war. You are trained for and to slaughter… often inhumanly. This is no walk in the park.
I hate this fact. But it is a FACT. It is a disgusting, grim reality of volunteering for military service. You are not forced to take this route – no matter of your social status as some may claim (25 yrs old Robin Long facing deportation said he enlisted in the army because he came from a lower-class family and didn’t have access to adequate health care and education.) – but it was an option that you chose to take. I didn’t come from money either and had very few options available to me – and yet I chose a different route in spite of the recruiters beautifully painted canvassed ideologies of military service. We ALL have choices to make and with each and every choice, there are consequences. Some are good… some are bad.
If you changed your mind and realized this isn’t the life you thought you wanted – then face up to your decision and the consequences of that choice. If you run to Canada, you will be surprised to find a less than receptive people.
“(Here) …Although Canada’s government has opposed the war in Iraq and refused to send its soldiers to fight in the U.S.-led campaign, some Canadians have denounced Hinzman and his fellow deserters for fleeing the U.S. military. The men enlisted voluntarily, only to desert when war broke out, these critics say.
“Despite Canada’s meek support for U.S. policy and our opposition to the war in Iraq, Canadians are generally admiring of their own military and not enthusiastic about deserters,” The Calgary Sun said in an editorial.”
And I believe that if your choice is to desert, then the consequences of dishonourable discharge and perhaps even time-served isn’t necessarily that bad.
What pisses me off the most… isn’t so much the fact that they are deserting the army in spite of volunteering for military service with foolish ideas of traveling the world without getting their hands dirty… but that they refuse to be accountable for the decisions they are making. And when they appeal to Canada… our Canadian Agencies are doing their jobs… only to have the following occur
Here… “None of the claims have been successful but the Federal Court has ordered the Immigration and Refugee Board to take another look at the claim of another U.S. army refugee claimant.
Last week the court concluded that a soldier who refuses to take part in military action which “systematically degrades, abuses or humiliates” either combatants or non-combatants might qualify as a refugee. It was the first ruling in favour of the roughly 200 American soldiers who have fled to Canada.”
My stance is simple: this is a fucked up war based on lies. No one should have to fight or die for such lies. But – if you volunteered for military service – especially after 9/11 AND fully knowing there were no weapons of mass destruction found – then you made the choice to live to those rules. This isn’t a video game. There is blood, autrocities, violence, illegal activities, death, violence and stress. And yes – there are also moments of heroism and good deeds. You volunteered to do this. YOU VOLUNTEERED TO LIVE THIS LIFE. Therefore – there are consequences for such actions. AND if you decide to change your mind midway thru your duties – face up and be a man/woman and face the consequences of your actions. Take responsibility for your actions and stop hiding behind borders for fear of going to jail. Those are the consequences of deserting your military post. Face up.
And I think its wrong for the Federal Court to not make these people face the consequences of their actions. They are NOT victims of circumstances. They VOLUNTEERED… and WILLINGLY joined… therefore they should volunteer and willingly face the consequences of their actions.
It’s about accountability.
And it pisses me off when people don’t take responsibility for their own ignorance and stupidity… nor the consequences of the decisions they made. If I have to be accountable for my decisions and actions – so must you.