Sunday, August 24, 2008

One war resister down - 200+ more to go

"The first American war resister deported from Canada – where he had fled after refusing to be deployed to Iraq – was sentenced to 15 months in jail yesterday at a court martial hearing in Colorado.
Pte. Robin Long, 25, of Boise, Idaho, was also given a dishonourable discharge after pleading guilty to charges of desertion."

On June 3, 2008, a majority of Lib, NDP, and Bloc MPs - 137 Yeas to 110 Nays - adopted an NDP recommendation to allow U.S. Iraq War resisters to obtain Permanent Resident status in Canada; the Cons voted against it.

In July Pte. Long became the first war resister since the Vietnam War to be forcefully deported from Canadian soil and handed over to US military authorities. One down; over 200 more to go...

Long joined the army after being promised a non-combat position within the U.S. by his recruiter and went A.W.O.L. in 2005 prior to his scheduled deployment to Iraq.
Long said he had come to feel significant moral opposition to the war and the lies he had been told regarding the reason for invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Long : "Regardless of what hardships I go through, I could have put Iraqi families through more hardships. I have no regrets."

Well, so much for Canada's respect for that Nuremberg principle about soldiers taking responsibility for their actions ...

4 comments:

CathiefromCanada said...

Yes, I am ashamed that our country sent him back But at least we held on to him long enough that the war fever expired a bit in the US and they didn't draw and quarter him.

Raphael Alexander said...

Long didn't have to run and hide in Canada to avoid service in Iraq. He could have gotten his 15 months over with long ago. When you volunteer for the Army, you don't have the luxury to make personal decisions about whether to go or run to another country.

cathiefromcanada said...

What if they gave a war and nobody came?

GroovyJ said...

As pointed out in the article, it has been established since Nuremberg that a soldier is responsible for his own conduct - following orders is not his primary duty, morality is. If a soldier can be punished for following illegal orders, then when an illegal war is declared it is blindingly obvious that the soldier has not only the right but the responsibility to do whatever is necessary to avoid serving in that war.

If anyone should be going to prison, it is the soldiers who obeyed orders, went to Iraq, and murdered thousands of people in an illegal war, the consequences of which will be killing yet more people for decades into the future.

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