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Canada: No refuge for U.S. soldier


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#1    Fluffybunny

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 03:50 PM

As much as I think killing is wrong, I find it rather suspicious that an Airborne soldier leaves for Canada. For those that don't know, the Airborne folks are rather hardcore and usually one of the first forces to get sent into a combat theater. To be able to get into the Airborne, you have to be pretty dang agressive and you are well aware that you are going to be on the front lines of combat.

It bothers me that people joing the Army(knowing for it's history of killing), go through basic training(where you learn to kill very well), on to Advanced Individual Training(Where you learn how to kill even better), then go onto Airborne school (Where you learn to fall out of an airplane into a combat zone and kill in mass numbers) and then go on to complain about having to kill people.

There are a lot of jobs in the military that stay away from combat, and would not bring up the problem of having to kill people, but this guy chose every dang option available along the way to put himself in a postion to have to kill people. Now after all of that he wishes to say he is an objector? I don't buy it. The guy knew what he was getting into 3 years ago and was reminded on a daily basis what he was going to be doing when he was called up for duty. He cashed all of the checks and used all of the benefits until such time as he was actually needed, and then decided to run away.

I didn't like having to kill people at all, but I knew what I was signing up for from day one, and commited to an oath that I would follow the orders given to me, and protect my fellow soldiers. There were no surprises here for him.

I don't think he has a right to run to Canada; he wasn't drafted, and he knew what he was getting into 3 years ago.

Just my opinion.

TORONTO (AP) -- The Canadian government has denied refugee status to former U.S. Army paratrooper Jeremy Hinzman, a major blow to a handful of U.S. military deserters who have fled to Canada rather than fight in a war they claim commits atrocities against civilians.

Thursday's decision, which was formally announced on a government Web site, could affect at least eight -- and possibly dozens more -- American soldiers seeking refuge in Canada, yet help improve strained relations between Washington and Ottawa.

Canada opposed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. The Pentagon has urged the deserters to return to the United States and take up their concerns at their respective military bases.

The ruling, written by Immigration and Refugee Board member Brian Goodman, said Hinzman had not made a convincing argument that he would face persecution or cruel and unusual punishment if sent back to the United States.

Goodman said that while Hinzman may face some employment and social discrimination, "The treatment does not amount to a violation of a fundamental human right, and the harm is not serious."

Hinzman's attorney, Jeffry House, said his client would appeal the ruling and still believed that he would be granted refugee status in Canada.

"He is disappointed," House told CBC TV. "We don't believe that people should be imprisoned for doing what they believe is illegal."

Hinzman, 26, fled from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in January 2004, weeks before his 82nd Airborne Division was due to be deployed to Iraq. He had served three years in the Army, but had applied for conscientious objector status before his unit was sent to Afghanistan in 2002.

Hinzman lives with his wife and toddler son in Toronto, where Quakers and the War Resisters coalition of anti-war groups have taken on his cause and provided some shelter. Coalition supporters intend to demonstrate later Thursday in front of the U.S. Consulate in Toronto.

Hinzman argued before the Immigration and Refugee Board last December that he would have been taking part in war crimes if he had been deployed with his unit. He claimed the war in Iraq was illegal and he would be persecuted if forced to return to the United States.

Hinzman could face charges of desertion if sent home and would face up to five years in prison. He and seven other U.S. military deserters are being represented by House, a Wisconsin native who came to Canada in 1970 as a draft dodger during the Vietnam War.

House believes there are as many as 100 other American war resisters hiding in Canada, waiting to see how Hinzman's case is played out before coming forward. He said the 30,000 to 50,000 Americans who fled to Canada during Vietnam and were allowed to settle here, but that Hinzman would have become the first American soldier to be granted political asylum in Canada.

During the Vietnam era, young American men could be drafted into military service, but now enlistment in U.S. military is voluntary. The military attracts many young recruits with job skills training and programs that help pay for university.

Pvt. 1st Class Joshua Key, 26, of Oklahoma City is the latest war resister to flee to Toronto, arriving two weeks ago with his wife and four children. He told the Toronto Star that he served in Iraq with the 43rd Combat Engineering Company, which was deployed in April 2003.

Key said he served eight months in Iraq before he left the military when he was on leave back at the 43rd's base in Fort Carson, Colorado in December 2003.

"I was in combat the entire time I was there," said Key. "I left for Iraq with a purpose, thinking this was another Hitler deal. But there were no weapons of mass destruction. They had no military whatsoever. And I started to wonder."

link

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.

#2    twpdyp

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 04:13 PM

I am with you Fluffybunny, I am not ex-military but I am a huge believer in playing the hand you are dealt in life and playing that hand silently when you volunteered for the situation you find yourself in. This coward should at minimum be court marshaled, dishonorable discharge. I could also see the militaries position for some time in Leavenworth...

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#3    jeceris

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 08:27 PM

yeah i gotta agree with both of you.
if the draft was on and the guy didn't want to fight, then fair enough.
but he knew what he was training for.
his arguement for refuge status was weak from the beginning.
just in case you're wondering whatever happened to other american draft dodgers,circa 1960's, one of them studied medicine and became my famliy dr.
nice guy.

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#4    jjtss

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Posted 26 March 2005 - 04:12 AM

I do disagree with you all, The boy signed up to defend his country in an honorable conflict.  In his opinion and that of many others in America, and the rest of the world, the invasion of Iraq is neither legal nor honorable.  Because he agreed to follow orders, he is forced to commit murder and torture in Iraq.  I do hope that he finds asylum somewhere soon.  To return now would put his life in jeopardy.


#5    The Russian Hare

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Posted 26 March 2005 - 04:49 AM

QUOTE
he boy signed up to defend his country in an honorable conflict. In his opinion and that of many others in America, and the rest of the world, the invasion of Iraq is neither legal nor honorable.


He signed up to "obey the orders of the president and the officers appointed by him."

He doesn't just get to decide foreign policy for himself, and walk off whenever he disagrees with it.  "Gee, First Sergeant, I don't agree with our policy towards countries in the Middle East, so I'll just sit this one out." No military could function under those conditions.

He's not being asked to "murder and torture" people. He doesn't have to obey an unlawful order. Being deployed to Iraq, however, does not involve an unlawful order.

Edited by Redneck, 26 March 2005 - 04:50 AM.

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#6    Stellar

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Posted 26 March 2005 - 04:50 AM

The guy is a refuge on the basis that he'd be forced to commit war crimes in Iraq... IMO, thats nothing more than an excuse. I dont know how it is in the US, but almost every training night I hear about following law and not commiting any crimes... and that if I'm ordered to do something illegal, I have a responsibility to disobey and report the person giving me the order.



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#7    __Kratos__

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Posted 27 March 2005 - 04:23 AM

I am glad Canada denied that deserter. I fully agree with Fluffy. He knew what he was getting into.  All that money, man hours and paper work for his training. He is a disgrace and should be harshly punished.

Looking through some sites right now and I just had to add this:

Loyalty
Duty
Respect
Selfless Service
Honor
Integrity
Personal Courage

Those are the 7 Army Values. Makes me sick to see how many that guy broke.  angry.gif

Edited by __Kratos__, 27 March 2005 - 09:45 AM.

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#8    Fluffybunny

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Posted 27 March 2005 - 05:59 PM

QUOTE(jjtss @ Mar 25 2005, 08:12 PM)
I do disagree with you all,  In his opinion and that of many others in America, and the rest of the world, the invasion of Iraq is neither legal nor honorable.  Because he agreed to follow orders, he is forced to commit murder and torture in Iraq.  I do hope that he finds asylum somewhere soon.  To return now would put his life in jeopardy.

View Post




QUOTE
The boy signed up to defend his country in an honorable conflict.

Actually no he didn't, you are not correct in that assumption. He agreed to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and to follow the orders of the President of the US.

The guy doesn't get to decide what he feels is fair or not; it is his job to follow orders and go where he is sent; he does not have the freedom to pick and choose, and that is made very clear the first few days of boot camp. He knew what his obligations were right off the bat, and on top of that went through an incredible amount of work to move into one of the most agressive groups in the military that had an incredible record in combat.

Many non military people do not understand that once you dedicate yourself to the military you lose your individual rights, people that are furthe up the food chain make the decisions and very often, you cannot see the full picture to know what is going on. Regardless your orders to do whatever are as critical as the next guys in order to accomplish a task.

QUOTE
Because he agreed to follow orders, he is forced to commit murder and torture in Iraq.

An airborne soldier commiting murder; imagine that... Ofr course he was going to commit murder, that is what the Army does best, and what they get paid for, and anyone that thinks different is fooling themselves. The Army(or the military in general; all branches) is not the police department; they are not obligated to protect life at all costs. They are there to kill the enemy whoever they may be. I was in a unit in Iraq where guys had killed more people that John Wayne Gacy, but yet got medal for their actions. That is what it all boils down to, and that is what he signed on for 3 years ago, and what he decided to actively work towards.

If the guy had been drafted, or filed is objector status right off the bat, then I would have no problem with him at all. I knew many guys that wanted to serve their country, but yet did not wish to kill and the Army was very accomodating and got them equally important jobs as support personell that would keep them out of combat situations; they could serve without having to worry about having to kill. It was well documented that their personal beliefs did not allow them to do so, and the Army supported that and did not force them to do any front line combat.

The timing of his objector status claim(shortly before shipping out) , shows me that he had no right to all of a sudden say he was against killing when he had worked hard for three years to put himself in a unit that was a front line attack unit known for its killing practice. In previous wars his supperior officers could charge him with cowardice and have him executed. There were more than a few field executions in the first and second war where people choose to just walk off the field of combat when they were needed most; they put their fellow soldiers at great risk, and that cannot be tolerated.

This guy should pay dearly for his actions.

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.

#9    __Kratos__

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Posted 28 March 2005 - 03:13 AM

QUOTE
Article 85—Desertion

“(a) Any member of the armed forces who—


(1) without authority goes or remains absent from his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to remain away therefrom permanently;

(2) quits his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to avoid hazardous duty or to shirk important service; or

(3) without being regularly separated from one of the armed forces enlists or accepts an appointment in the same or another one of the armed forces without fully disclosing the fact that he has not been regularly separated, or enters any foreign armed service except when authorized by the United States Note: This provision has been held not to state a separate offense by the United States Court of Military Appeals in United States v.

Huff, 7 U.S.C.M.A. 247, 22 C.M.R. 37 (1956), is guilty of desertion.
(B ) Any commissioned officer of the armed forces who, after tender of his resignation and before notice of its acceptance, quits his post or proper duties without leave and with intent to remain away therefrom permanently is guilty of desertion.

© Any person found guilty of desertion or attempt to desert shall be punished, if the offense is committed in time of war, by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct, but if the desertion or attempt to desert occurs at any other time, by such punishment, other than death, as a court-martial may direct.”
Source

I had read some where that deserters will only get about 7 years in prison.  no.gif Unless its time of war. Then you have a much higher punishment, possible death.

QUOTE
I, ___________________________________, do solemly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed overme, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.
Source

An oath spoken, an oath broken.  angry.gif

QUOTE
Hinzman said. “I signed a contract for four years, and I was totally willing to fulfill it. Just not in combat arms jobs.”
Source

Then why in heck did he pick a combat arms job?

QUOTE
As he marched with his platoon of recruits, chanting “Train to kill, kill we will,” he said he realized that he had made the “wrong career choice.”
Source

What the heck did he think he was going to do? Make cupcakes?

And well $%&#! I just did a search for jeremy hinzman and got this                       Jeremy Hinzman's Website. It has a FAQ page.

All I can really say is that I view him at the same respect level I give slime at the bottom of my shoe that I stepped in.

Edited by __Kratos__, 28 March 2005 - 03:15 AM.

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#10    Adramaleck

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Posted 28 March 2005 - 03:24 AM

Fluffy - you're ex military - tell me if this is false (I heard it from my friend in the army)

You don't get to choose what you're doing - you do what you're good at.

Perhaps the guy wanted to be a mechanic or something, but he was just damn good at killing people, although he didn't want to.

Also -

'You have the responcibilty, if you are asked to do something illigal, to decline'

It's also illigal to disobay an order - and you could be killed, or imprisoned for doing such a thing.  The situation was, and still is quite a quandry.


#11    __Kratos__

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Posted 28 March 2005 - 03:53 AM

I'm not Fluffy but I'm DEP for Army and in the Army you do get to choose your job. It is the Air Force and Marines I believe that choose the job for you. - Am I right Fluffy?

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#12    Fluffybunny

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Posted 28 March 2005 - 10:30 PM

QUOTE(__Kratos__ @ Mar 27 2005, 07:53 PM)
I'm not Fluffy but I'm DEP for Army and in the Army you do get to choose your job. It is the Air Force and Marines I believe that choose the job for you. - Am I right Fluffy?

View Post




You are correct. In the Army you can receive guaranteed jobs; you test up front to see what jobs you qualify for, and then get to select what you want based on the tests outcome. The better you do the bigger the list of jobs you have to choose from.

The rest of the service have similar programs; without the guarantees. You get to choose a primary and secondary option as far as what you would like to do. More often then not you get what you would like to do.

As far as objector status, you can make that claim up front before Basic Training so that you CANNOT be placed in a combat situation; you will be placed in a support role that allows you to serve without having to go against your personal beliefs.

I chose a Combat Medical Specialist; having Combat in the name was a dead giveaway to me that I stood a good chance of having to fire a weapon, and I accepted that risk although I did not look forward to it.

Going into airborne training, and getting into an airborne unit is very difficult to do, and requires a lot of work; it isn't like you are forced into the job. Getting into an airborne unit means that you have worked very hard to get their and it is something that most people cannot do; they are very very hardcore in the requirements of the job.

As I have said in previous posts, this guy knew 3 years ago what he was getting into and worked hard to get into the unit he was in; it was no suprise, and he volunteered for it repeatedly. He just opted to run away when the day came to actually do his duty.

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.

#13    Stellar

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Posted 28 March 2005 - 11:28 PM

QUOTE
I chose a Combat Medical Specialist; having Combat in the name was a dead giveaway to me that I stood a good chance of having to fire a weapon, and I accepted that risk although I did not look forward to it.


Interestingly, I learnt that a medic is actually not supposed to fire unless fired upon. You're not supposed to shoot at medics either.

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#14    Neo2005

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Posted 28 March 2005 - 11:30 PM

Canada has open arms descretly mind you to runaway soilders all the time.
Veitnam was a prime example of that.
I'm not sure if any draft dodgers extradidted back to the U.S.


#15    Fluffybunny

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Posted 28 March 2005 - 11:41 PM

QUOTE(Stellar @ Mar 28 2005, 03:28 PM)
QUOTE
I chose a Combat Medical Specialist; having Combat in the name was a dead giveaway to me that I stood a good chance of having to fire a weapon, and I accepted that risk although I did not look forward to it.


Interestingly, I learnt that a medic is actually not supposed to fire unless fired upon. You're not supposed to shoot at medics either.

View Post



You are correct, medics are only supposed to fire in self defense, or in defense of allies. You cannot just allow your fellow soldiers to be attacked and injured. You are a soldier first and a medic second. Your job of medic takes a back seat when under attack.

It is not uncommon to shoot someone and then try to repair the hole that you just put into them. War is kind of wierd that way.

Medics usually have large red crosses on their shoulder. It makes for a great target, specially for a group of people that assume the crosses are a religous symbol of the invading infidels.

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.




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