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American soldier flees to Canada


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#1    Nxt2Hvn

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Posted 24 February 2004 - 02:18 PM

US soldier on frontline in battle for refugee status

Family moved to Canada after private refused to fight in 'dehumanising' Iraq war

Jonathan Franklin
Saturday February 21, 2004
The Guardian

US army private Jeremy Hinzman fought in Afghanistan and considers himself a patriot. But when his unit was ordered to Iraq, he refused to go and embarked on a radical journey that could make legal history.
Private first class Hinzman left the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, taking his wife and son to Canada. Officially, he is awol (absent without leave), and, instead of fighting insurgents, he is battling the US military in the Canadian courts.

This month Pte Hinzman, 25, filed legal papers to become the first US soldier objecting to the Iraq war to be granted refugee status in Canada. His case is expected to be a test of new Canadian immigration laws and the country's traditional role of accepting refugees from the US military.

An estimated 250 Americans every year seek refugee status in Canada, the vast majority making mental health claims, according to Jeffrey House, a Toronto criminal defence lawyer who represents Pte Hinzman.

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#2    Seraphina

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Posted 24 February 2004 - 02:43 PM

QUOTE
American soldier flees to Canada, What a Coward!


While I don't agree with the term "coward"...he is, after all, practicing his beliefs about the Iraqi war, which he considers unjust...where in the cowardice in going against orders to stand up for what you believe in?...I do believe that, when you sign yourself up for the armed forces, are lose yourself the luxury of being able to pick and choose where you're sent and what you do there.

At the end of the day his country requires him to do a job, and he has an obligaction to carry that out.

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#3    Nxt2Hvn

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Posted 24 February 2004 - 02:52 PM

QUOTE
I do believe that, when you sign yourself up for the armed forces, are lose yourself the luxury of being able to pick and choose where you're sent and what you do there.

At the end of the day his country requires him to do a job, and he has an obligaction to carry that out.



Okay.. I can agree with this!  wink2.gif

Exactly!  thumbsup.gif  People need to think things through before they commit to joining the armed forces.  I think a lot of people sign up for free education and all the perks.. not thinking the possibility of military action... which is what the military is really for.





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#4    DespondentDave

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Posted 24 February 2004 - 02:55 PM

Anyone who joins the army in the first place is most certainly not a coward. Trouble is though, if you join the army, you know the rules. You know you may have to go to war, and you know you may not necessarily agree with that particular war.

A 'coward' is not the right word, but he really shouldn't have signed up in the first place if he wasn't prepared to stick with his job through thick and thin.


#5    wunarmdscissor

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Posted 24 February 2004 - 03:49 PM

Yeah dave you and seraphina are 100% right.

I agree he should have carried out his duty as he knew he was going to have to.

I dont think he should be called a coward, he has ofcourse already fought for his country and its a bit uncalled for to call him a coward.

Knew what he was gettin himself into though.

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#6    Lottie

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Posted 24 February 2004 - 03:55 PM

I agree with you people.

However peoples views and attitudes change with the times and as they get older. Could it not be possible that this man who signed up to the army was truly ready for anything at that moment in time but since then maybe his views, attitudes have changed?
This to me would be quite sad really that he feels the need to run because there is no other alternative when there should be!


#7    Seraphina

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Posted 24 February 2004 - 05:48 PM

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This to me would be quite sad really that he feels the need to run because there is no other alternative when there should be!


I might be mistaken, but aren't soldiers able to buy themselves out of the army or some such thing?

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#8    Nxt2Hvn

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Posted 24 February 2004 - 05:50 PM

QUOTE (Seraphina @ Feb 24 2004, 04:48 PM)
I might be mistaken, but aren't soldiers able to buy themselves out of the army or some such thing?

I have never heard of any such thing... but I don't know.

I know back in the day.. you could pretend to be gay and get a dishonorable discharge....but It doesn't work now days!

Edited by Nxt2Hvn, 24 February 2004 - 05:50 PM.

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#9    Fluffybunny

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Posted 24 February 2004 - 06:43 PM

QUOTE (Seraphina @ Feb 24 2004, 09:48 AM)
I might be mistaken, but aren't soldiers able to buy themselves out of the army or some such thing?

Not in the US, but I don't know about the rest of the world. Once you are in, you serve until you are injured, dead, or the date on your contract...

Leaving the country when you have already given your word of honor to support and defend it is frowned upon...

He can't come back to the US without serving jail time...and a dishonorable discharge.

Too many people on both sides of the spectrum have fallen into this mentality that a full one half of the country are the enemy for having different beliefs...in a country based on freedom of expression. It is this infighting that allows the focus to be taken away from "we the people" being able to watch, and have control over government corruption and ineptitude that is running rampant in our leadership.

People should be working towards fixing problems, not creating them.

#10    stillcrazy

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Posted 24 February 2004 - 07:11 PM

I'm not sure the word coward applies. The man did serve in Afganistan. But it may be that he felt that his service was completed because he had already served in a war zone, and that it was unjust to be sent back to another war zone.

the only way you can buy yourself out is if Like F/B said. disabling injury, death or discharge at completion of contract. there are other ways but those fall under the dishonorable catagory.

To avoid service you go to the national guard. but that only worked for the Viet Nam war. Right now approx 20% of troops stationed in Iraq are NG. by the end of the next rotation, those numbers will be 45% NG 55 Regular military.

Edited by stillcrazy, 24 February 2004 - 09:31 PM.


#11    Talon

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Posted 24 February 2004 - 08:58 PM

I agree that if you sign up then you know what your getting for in most nations, however if its true the US military is for life, unike the UK where its a job and you can quit then I'm have to disagree. People can change their mind, I'd hate to join up because of some on the moment nationalism of fighting terrorists only to be stuck their for the rest of my life. If he wanted out, I;m afraid he was kleft with no alternative.

QUOTE
American soldier flees to Canada, What a Coward!


If not wanting to fight is cowardly why arn't you off fighting too?  huh.gif  

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something." -Plato

#12    Nxt2Hvn

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Posted 24 February 2004 - 09:04 PM

QUOTE (Talon S. @ Feb 24 2004, 07:58 PM)
If not wanting to fight is cowardly why arn't you off fighting too?  huh.gif


No offense ... but not a very intelligent quesion... you can't just go fight war.. you have to be in the Military.

I never chose to go into the Military... but if I had.. I would be first in line to defend my country.....I just didn't choose a Military career.  This guy knew when he signed up that there was a possibility that there one day could be war and that he would have to fight.  It's not like he didn't know what he was getting himself in to.

That's what makes him a coward... he will get jail time and a dishonorable discharge.

Edited by Nxt2Hvn, 24 February 2004 - 09:04 PM.

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#13    Aslan

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Posted 24 February 2004 - 09:11 PM

Speaking personally, if ever there was a war anywhere near me, I'd be the first hiding under a rug in the attic. And honour can go swing.

Better to live as a sheep than die as a tiger has always been my motto.


#14    Talon

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Posted 24 February 2004 - 09:21 PM

QUOTE
I never chose to go into the Military... but if I had.. I would be first in line to defend my country.....I just didn't choose a Military career. This guy knew when he signed up that there was a possibility that there one day could be war and that he would have to fight. It's not like he didn't know what he was getting himself in to.


Indeed he signed up, but now he wants to be like you and stay at home, why is he a coward because he changed his mind?  huh.gif  

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something." -Plato

#15    Talon

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Posted 24 February 2004 - 09:23 PM

QUOTE
Speaking personally, if ever there was a war anywhere near me, I'd be the first hiding under a rug in the attic. And honour can go swing.

Better to live as a sheep than die as a tiger has always been my motto.


True, if someone invaded Scotland I'd fight, but I have no interest in signing up to go to a war zone on the other side of the world. Instead as a uni graduate I'll be the ones sending them  tongue.gif  grin2.gif  

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something." -Plato




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