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Thread: Canadian Government Denies Refugee Status To American Soldier Opposed To War In Iraq

  1. #1
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    Canadian Government Denies Refugee Status To American Soldier Opposed To War In Iraq

    Canadian Government Denies Refugee Status to American Soldier Opposed to War in Iraq

    By BETH DUFF-BROWN Associated Press Writer
    Mar. 24, 2005

    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory?id=610837

    In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

    Canada on Thursday denied refugee status to a former U.S. Army paratrooper who said he would be committing war crimes if sent to Iraq, a major blow to Americans who have fled north of the border rather than fight a war they claim commits atrocities against civilians.

    The government's ruling said Jeremy Hinzman had not made a convincing argument that he would face persecution or cruel and unusual punishment if sent back to the United States.

    The 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.

    Hinzman's attorney, Jeffry House, said his client would appeal the ruling and still believed 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, N.C., 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 young 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 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.

    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.

    Immigration and Refugee Board member Brian Goodman, who wrote the ruling, said Hinzman may face some employment and social discrimination. But, he added, "the treatment does not amount to a violation of a fundamental human right, and the harm is not serious."

    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.

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

    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."

    Copyright © 2005 ABC News Internet Ventures
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  2. #2
    somebigguy Guest
    That sucks. I feel sorry for the guy.

  3. #3
    EmceeSoze Guest
    Yeah, this is crap.

    I apologize for our gov't delivering this ruling.

    Who should we throw out of the country?

    -immigrant crack dealers who enjoy welfare cheques and crack profits, and are back on the streets just days after being arrested.

    or

    -AWOL US servicemen who have identified the very things that our own government considered when we decided to abstain from joining the "coalition" invading Iraq.

    Hmmm....

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmceeSoze
    Yeah, this is crap.

    I apologize for our gov't delivering this ruling.

    Who should we throw out of the country?

    -immigrant crack dealers who enjoy welfare cheques and crack profits, and are back on the streets just days after being arrested.

    or

    -AWOL US servicemen who have identified the very things that our own government considered when we decided to abstain from joining the "coalition" invading Iraq.

    Hmmm....
    I have mixed feelings about this... when a person signs up with the service, they make a commitment... They should serve their stint...

    However, just because a serviceman or woman signs up with the military doesn't mean they lose their sense of morals, etc...

    It's obvious this war was a mistake...

    It must be very difficult for this guy... I can't imagine what it's like...
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  5. #5
    somebigguy Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by EmceeSoze
    Yeah, this is crap.

    I apologize for our gov't delivering this ruling.

    Who should we throw out of the country?

    -immigrant crack dealers who enjoy welfare cheques and crack profits, and are back on the streets just days after being arrested.

    or

    -AWOL US servicemen who have identified the very things that our own government considered when we decided to abstain from joining the "coalition" invading Iraq.

    Hmmm....
    Hey Emcee, Canucker eh??? Me too... Couldn't agree more.

  6. #6
    EmceeSoze Guest
    Man I can only say, I don't even remember what I used to be when I was 18, 19, or 20. What I thought about the world, who I identified as good and bad, etc.

    Then I hit my mid-twenties and began to round-out my worldview somewhat.

    Then in 2001 I was put into a state of shock - a state that had even ME considering joining the military. I wanted to get revenge, to join my American friends in the hunt for Bin Laden. It was the stuff of fantasy of course, pure emotional kenee-jerking, but I really wanted to help in some way.

    I'd guess that thousands of US citizens younger than me felt these very emotions and had the opportunity to act on them - by joining the military.

    Soldiers aren't supposed to "grow-up" or evolve intellectually while they serve. Not many do. The few that do face something they never imagined and something the majority of people wouldn't understand.

    Anyway, what manager or CEO would want an employee that didn't agree with the company's business practices? Don't they want the best most enthusiastic minds working for them? People they can count on in the most pressurized situations? People who WANT to be part of the team?

    As in business, conscience is a no-no in war. Profit machine. Killing machine.

  7. #7
    somebigguy Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Gold9472
    I have mixed feelings about this... when a person signs up with the service, they make a commitment... They should serve their stint...

    However, just because a serviceman or woman signs up with the military doesn't mean they lose their sense of morals, etc...

    It's obvious this war was a mistake...

    It must be very difficult for this guy... I can't imagine what it's like...
    Hey Jon, this guy signed up to protect America from threats home and abroad (or whatever that saying is). Point being he went and saw no threat and therefore doesn't want to continue killing innocent people.

  8. #8
    EmceeSoze Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by somebigguy
    Hey Emcee, Canucker eh??? Me too... Couldn't agree more.
    Standing on guard for thee, matey! In Vancouver, BC

  9. #9
    somebigguy Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by EmceeSoze
    Standing on guard for thee, matey! In Vancouver, BC
    Fort Erie, ON.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by somebigguy
    Hey Jon, this guy signed up to protect America from threats home and abroad (or whatever that saying is). Point being he went and saw no threat and therefore doesn't want to continue killing innocent people.
    I KNOW what he's protesting ding dong... and I agree with his protest...

    My point was people who sign up do so knowing that they may be called into war... even wars they don't agree with...

    They HOPE that their Government would NEVER put them in a threatening situation for no good reason... They THINK that their Government would never do it...

    However, if they sign up, they have a responsibility to serve... that's just my opinion... If they had the ability to pick and choose which wars they fought in, we wouldn't have much of a military.

    But I do agree with his protest... It's a very sticky situation.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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