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Old 02-15-2005, 11:25 AM   #1
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The Canada Envy Thread

It doesn't look like Canada wants to become overpopulated.

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Canada should not open doors to U.S. deserters
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/Con...l=968350116795

ROBERT SMOL

I am becoming increasingly convinced that the invasion and occupation of Iraq is illegal and will go down in history as a political and human tragedy for the United States. Much like Vietnam.

But that does not mean I would advocate that Canada open its doors to American military deserters, like we did during the Vietnam War.

Iraq war deserters chose their own fate. For us to open the door to them could harm our delicate relations with the United States. Iraq may yet become America's second Vietnam, but the circumstances of those who fought in these wars are different. Many deserters who came here during Vietnam were conscripts who could make the legitimate claim that they never chose to fight.

But today, the U.S. military is an all-volunteer force. Thus it makes little sense that American military deserters can come to this country and claim the same victim status as someone fleeing the civil war in Sudan or elsewhere.

"The war in Iraq is a completely separate issue than was the case in Vietnam," says Russell Terry, founder of the Iraq War Veterans Organization. "They signed a contract and that involves a commitment to do whatever they were told, as long as that order was a lawful order."

It is the legality of the order sending troops to Iraq that is used as justification by many of the deserters and those helping them in this country.

"This contract that the U.S. serviceman signs today is not unlimited," says Lee Zaslofsky, co-ordinator for the War Resisters, a Toronto-based support group that provides assistance to American military deserters. "A contract has two parties and the other party, the president of the United States, has been clearly proven to have launched an illegal war on the basis of fraudulent information."

But before we open the border to deserters solely on the grounds that the war is illegal, Canadians should first ask themselves: Who in the U.S. should have the power to place restrictions on the president? In other words, should any democratic society sanction insubordination and desertion as a right that all military or police personnel can freely exercise whenever they may feel the political mandate for their task may not be legitimate under domestic or international law?

Or, should the power to challenge government policy in a democratic society come from the voters and their elected representatives? More importantly, if we open the door to American military deserters we may be accused, at least in the court of American public opinion, of indirectly meddling in that country's internal affairs.

The White House has already hinted that the war may continue for some time, and Americans are becoming increasingly aware of the trickle of military deserters coming to Canada. Should this trickle turn into a flood, it is quite possible a U.S. politician would claim that allowing American deserters to remain here is a government-sanctioned attempt to deliberately weaken the already strained ranks of the U.S. military.


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Robert Smol is a graduate of the Royal Military College and a Toronto-based freelance writer.

Related Articles:
http://sympatico.msn.cbc.ca/story/ar...ore041105.html
http://www.dailytrojan.com/news/2004...y-794551.shtml
http://www.politicalgateway.com/main...l?col=190&id=9
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Old 02-15-2005, 11:32 AM   #2
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"Should this trickle turn into a flood, it is quite possible a U.S. politician would claim that allowing American deserters to remain here is a government-sanctioned attempt to deliberately weaken the already strained ranks of the U.S. military."


And we all know that the US military is also the acting Canadian military.
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