Canadian Campaign to Give U.S. Deserters Refuge
NDP MP Bill Siksay is lending his support to a campaign aimed at allowing a growing number of American military deserters to find refuge in Canada.Happily, the campaign is itself meeting “resistence” in Canada. Our Canadian correspondent writes:
According to the British Columbia MP, the issue resonates with a lot of Canadians.
For example, Siksay told CTV’s Canada AM early Wednesday, Canadians are widely opposed to the prison abuse reported at the Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay prisons.
“They’re (also) outraged at the failure to produce any weapons of mass destruction, since that was one of the main reasons for going into this war,” he added.
So far, that support has translated into 15,000 signatures on a petition organized by the community-based War Resisters Support Campaign.
“There’s huge public support for these war resisters in Canada,” Siksay said.
Even the left-wing talk-radio host on CFRB, John Moore, doesn’t agree with Siksay’s position.And in the most important case to actually be adjudicated, the Immigration and Refugee Board refused to give refugee status to a deserter named Jeremy Hinzman.
Moore believes, as do I, that U.S. soldiers who flee to Canada seeking refugee status are nothing more than cowards. If you don’t want to live up to your military obligations, you should at least have the courage to face the consequences at home.
We had little sympathy with Vietnam-era deserters, and we obviously have even less for deserters in this era of the all volunteer military. Some of the arguments from the deserters would be hilarious if such a serious matter were not at issue. A fellow named Joshua Key is one example.
When asked whether that’s not just part of the job, Key told Canada AM his Iraq tour wasn’t exactly what he enlisted for. “Everybody has a false interpretation that battle’s supposed to be fought with tanks or between soldier and soldier,” Key said, describing his frustration fighting a more amorphous enemy.Unfortunately for Key, he didn’t enlist to fight only the kind of war he had in mind. He enlisted to fight whatever kind of war his country needed him to fight.