US Army deserters seek political asylum in Canada

While some Americans are contemplating moving to Canada, a few US soldiers have already fled north to Canada, and are seeking political asylum here. During the Vietnam war, many US citizens fled to Canada in order to avoid the forced draft there. These are called "draft dodgers" in Canada, and have integrated well. You cannot even tell they were American.Several cases have been reported in the Canadian media during summer of 2003. However, Jeremy Hinzman's hearing today was the most sensational so far.You can read about it on the BBC, CBC, Globe and Mail, and the Christian Science Monitor. The most strongly worded article though is not from Canadian nor British media, but from the Associated Press (AP), as reported in the Jamaica Observer., with the title: "US Army drilled to see all Arabs, Muslims as terrorists - deserter in Canada":

He said US military training since Sept 11 is designed to "foster anattitude of hatred. It gets your blood boiling to carry out themission."Hinzman is arguing that the war in Iraq is illegal and fighting in it would have made him a war criminal.

Hinzman is not alone in saying this. Another refugee seeker said similar things:

Jimmy Massey, a staff sergeant whoserved in Iraq before being honourably discharged after 12 years withthe Marines, testified on behalf of Hinzman, saying US soldiersroutinely committed atrocities against innocent Iraqis."The code of silence you take inthe Marines is much like the one in organised crime," he said, notingit was not uncommon for Marines to fire on wounded Iraqi combatants - aviolation of the Geneva Conventions."I have witnessed Marines puttingrounds into enemy combatants who are expiring," Massey told thetribunal. Massey, whose unit was stationed at a checkpoint in thesouthern Baghdad district of Rashid, said his men killed more than 30civilians in 48 hours, including unarmed demonstrators."We were shooting up people asthey got out of their cars trying to put their hands up," said Massey,who was with the 7th Marine weapons company. He said there wasconfusion communicating with Iraqis, who may have misconstrued theMarines' warning shots as a sign of celebration."I don't know if the Iraqisthought we were celebrating their new democracy," he said. "I do knowthat we killed innocent civilians."

While I don't know the extent of change from pre-Sept 11 and post-Sept11 training, I can relate to how Marines training indoctrinate youngimpressionable often disoriented and often alienated youth with the urge to kill. I recallseeing a program more than a decade ago on PBSabout boot camp for Marines. I certainly recall the Marines being"broken in" by the sargeants and moulded into maleable shapes. I alsorecall how the recruits were shouting in unison: "I am a kill crazy,blood thirsty Marine recruit, Sir!"While armies and war tend to bring out the worse in people, one wonders how some in the US Army would turn into exactly what they were set to fight: evil!



Welcome to Canada, deserters

We welcome people with guts and backbone to stand up for thier right to live in peace and not kill others because the military needs warm bodies.

Come to Canada, particulary Torrington, Alberta.

We need you, our economy is booming. Jobs are abundant for skilled and non-skilled hard working people. Land and real estate is reasonably priced.

Great climate, good recreation, especially in winter.

Summers are moderate, not too hot, cool nights, great for swimming, fishing, and living.

I hour NE of Calgary, Alberta. Population 1 million+.

I have only one thing to ask of you, be a good person!

if that's true, please sign me up

I have disagreed with American policy (foreign and otherwise) for years. If we don't elect a decent, smart, non-crazy President this election, I've had it--I'm out. I've just seen the VP debate and people's reaction to it, with "positive" ratings every time the crazy Sarah Palin comes up with pointless generalities about 'mavericks', etc., and I can't hack it anymore. I will marry anyone, work for anyone, etc., as long as I'm not literally sleeping out on the street. I've had it. (FYI, I have a college degree, am easy on the eye--though 39--and easy to get along with.) It's not my fault I'm American.

Charlotte Gardiner

police state

America's on the road to becoming a police state. How are things in canada?

not all is bad with american and the military

As a recent college graduate of Saint Leo University ( and a four year vet of the military, I would like to put in my 2 cents and say not all Americans are like that and that my experience in the Military was very positive. It depends on who influences you and how you stand up to them. I'm sure Canada is a great country though :)

I too have been persecuted

I too have been persecuted here in the US. Although I have fought for whats right, I have lost everything, and gladly. One cant do business in the US anymore, without being corrupt, or so it seems. There are still good people here, but not enough. Most people act in their own best self interest without any regard of their decisions longterm rammifications. The police have a tough time, but they too have been a problem by being overly obtrusive. I believe that the problem started with the passage of the Patriot Act.

I am looking to relocate also, as my conscience must ultamately guide me.