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  1. #1
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    12.18.17 @ 05:01 AM
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    Default U.S. Iraq war resisters in Canada

    this is becoming a pretty big story up here. I'd be interested to know what Americans think (1) of those who are fleeing north to avoid going to Iraq and (2) how you think Canada should handle this.

    OTTAWA — Liberal MP Gerard Kennedy says he is willing to “narrow” his private member’s bill in hopes of securing parliamentary approval to allow 300-400 U.S. Iraq war resisters to stay in Canada.

    The bill to stop the deportation of deserters and allow them permanent residence in Canada is scheduled for a House of Commons vote on Wednesday evening upon second reading — or approval in principle — that would then send it to committee where amendments could be made.

    Mr. Kennedy said in an interview Monday he is open to giving up the broad part of his bill to make Canada a haven for all conscientious war objectors around the world.

    He admits the timing may not be right for that and “it’s not a requirement for me that that very broad principle now be ensconced in the Immigration and Refugee Act.”

    Mr. Kennedy would instead agree to narrow the bill down to Americans who have left the U.S. military and come to live in Canada — many of them to avoid a second tour of duty in Iraq forced by a U.S. military “stop-loss” program to deal with personnel shortages.

    In debate in the Commons, government MPs were accused of fear mongering after they alleged the bill would allow serious criminals to stay in Canada.

    “Based on how the bill is currently written, Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials have advised that military deserters could be granted permanent residence in Canada despite being inadmissible for war crimes, crimes against humanity, security or for serious criminality based on offences such as sexual assault or murder,” said Rick Dykstra, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

    But Mr. Kennedy said criminals would be screened out and amendments could be made at committee to ensure legal protections remain.

    “You don’t let just anybody in,” Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff told reporters. “They have to prove that they have a substantial objection of conscience to forced military service.

    “The issue here — and that’s why we want to get it into committee — is the issue of stop-loss, the issue of where you enlist and whether you’re compelled to re-enlist.”

    About 40 Americans who moved to Canada to avoid military duty in Iraq have applied to stay in Canada on humanitarian grounds. The cause is championed by the United Church of Canada, Amnesty International and a number of other groups.

    MPs from the other two opposition parties, the NDP and Bloc Quebecois, are on board and Mr. Kennedy said, depending on turnout, there is “a very good chance, but no guarantees” of winning the vote Wednesday.

    “In committee, we will be narrowing the terms of the bill somewhat in terms of how it works,” Mr. Kennedy said. “That’s currently in discussion with interested members.”

  2. #2
    Good Enough brownnation's Avatar
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    02.18.16 @ 03:10 PM
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    Tough, tough issue. I personally would not take a hard line on it one way or the other. We have a volunteer military and I think anyone who decides to become a soldier (warrior) knows what the logical extension of their enlistment entails.

    That being said, a certain number of them will be too young to make a decision like that and we can be understanding of a change of heart.

    I do not believe that it is criminal what deserters do, but then again, the military must be built on loyalty and sacrifice.

    Is that ambivalent enough for you?

    I think the military should publicly condemn such actions, and make sure that within their ranks desertion is seen as an egregious act. But I don't think they need to spend the time, energy or resources pursuing these "criminals" at the highest level.

    As far as what Canada should do, I think they should do the same. Publicly, they should say, "yeah, US we are on your side in this and we will cooperate", but then they shouldn't actively pursue hunting down deserters.

    This is one of those tough ones where I can see great arguments on both sides, I will be interested to hear others' opinions, particularly if they are military.
    Anonymous for fear of fatwa

  3. #3
    Baluchitherium sisca's Avatar
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    06.12.16 @ 07:51 PM
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    Leavenworth prison.

    or firing squad.

    you dont join the military for the free college and job training, thats just a perk for offering yourself to fight this country's battles. the military is there to FIGHT.
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  4. #4
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    12.18.17 @ 03:51 AM
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    You sign up for the military in this country voluntarily, no one goes into it against their will, you have to sign the papers to join.

    You can't then get a change of heart once the fighting starts.

    I would give them a choice. Fulfill your duty or serve hard labor in Leavenworth for the time remaining on your service.
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  5. #5
    Atomic Punk ziggysmalls's Avatar
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    12.18.17 @ 05:04 AM
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    Yes they are traitors because service is voluntary and you know that the sole purpose of a military is to protect the national interests of its country. You may not agree with your commander in chief but you have to follow his orders.

  6. #6
    PM Goo with your concerns OLO's Avatar
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    12.18.17 @ 08:39 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave's Dreidel View Post
    You sign up for the military in this country voluntarily, no one goes into it against their will, you have to sign the papers to join.

    You can't then get a change of heart once the fighting starts.

    I would give them a choice. Fulfill your duty or serve hard labor in Leavenworth for the time remaining on your service.
    ((Just My Two Cents))
    And thats about what its worth.

  7. #7
    Eruption C5A1B5O0's Avatar
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    04.24.17 @ 11:10 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by OLO View Post
    Coming from a US 101st Airborne Division Perspective

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  8. #8
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    12.18.17 @ 05:32 AM
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    Default

    Well, first I have to know what the story is. What is stop-loss? Were these guys set to end their term of service and then the government said, "No, you can't - you have to go back to Iraq for another tour first"? Or were they still within their term of service? Were they ever promised they wouldn't have to go back to Iraq and the government broke that promise to them?

    I do feel that should one enlist for service, one should honour that commitment. I also feel that if certain promises are made to an individual in order to encourage them to enlist, those promises should be kept as best as possible, and if there's even the slightest possibility that that promise might not be kept, it should be noted before the potential enlistee signs on the bottom line. However, if these guys knew that going to Iraq more than once was a possibility from day one, and they chose to defect rather than fulfill their commitment, then I hope they never see American soil again other than with a good pair of binoculars from the other side of one of the Great Lakes (well, not Lake Michigan!)

  9. #9
    Gird your loins Daisy Hill's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 03:53 PM
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    snic and marc would know the deats better, but stop I believe loss in the military means you ARE extended past the expiration of your enlistment, which in the time of war or conflict means they can keep you until a stated time after the conflict is over no matter when your stated time is "up". It is listed in the small print when you enlist.......I read this stuff very carefully when my kid looked into signing up and I was surprised...

    fer instance.....I didn't know that when you enlist, you are actually signing up for something like 8 (?) years including the reserve years after you stated enlistment period!

    I had another relative who spent a long time in the miltary...something like 20 years and even tho he was retired after the first gulf war, sure enough they called him back up after 9/11....it's all in the fine print

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  10. #10
    Atomic Punk MF5150's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 11:57 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave's Dreidel View Post
    You sign up for the military in this country voluntarily, no one goes into it against their will, you have to sign the papers to join.

    You can't then get a change of heart once the fighting starts.

    I would give them a choice. Fulfill your duty or serve hard labor in Leavenworth for the time remaining on your service.
    I agree with this.
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  11. #11
    Baluchitherium
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    11.25.17 @ 04:30 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by ziggysmalls View Post
    Yes they are traitors because service is voluntary and you know that the sole purpose of a military is to protect the national interests of its country. You may not agree with your commander in chief but you have to follow his orders.
    Amen!

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  12. #12
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    12.18.17 @ 03:51 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by sisca View Post
    the military is there to FIGHT.
    My father in law is a West Point grad, and in one of our discussions a statement he made has always stuck with me.

    "The job of the US military is to kill as many people as possible, as quickly and efficiently as possible. That is what we are trained to do."

    I know that is not a "PC" statement, but when thought about, it is what their core responsibility is. Defend this country and diligently fulfill the orders of the Commander in Chief.
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  13. #13
    Good Enough brownnation's Avatar
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    I agree with all the posters on here about the role of the military and the absolute responsibility of a volunteer soldier. My only concern would be in certain circumstances the "they knew what they were signing up for" rule doesn't always apply.

    Highschool aged brains actually do not always know what they are signing up for especially when the reality of what they are signing up for is "massaged" by a nice clean cut recruiter who fails to really lay out what it is exactly that they are signing up for. I am not disparaging all recruiters or recruiter tactics, I'm simply saying that I'm guessing that there are certain recruiting situations that create a situation that the recruitee involved actually doesn't comprehend the full entailment of his enlistment.

    I think the military should do what it needs to do and have the rules it needs to have and I also think that it is the responsibility of civilians (and the Canadian government) to have a check on those rules. I am of the opinion that the military should be afforded a huge respect to enforce its rules due to the nature of their role in society, but any power is never absolute, and if there are mitigating circumstances as to why someone would want to desert a situation, then I think these desertions should be dealt with on a case to case basis in a responsible manner. "String 'em up" should never be a policy that is enforced on "one strike and you're out" or "zero tolerance" platform.
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  14. #14
    Atomic Punk ziggysmalls's Avatar
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    12.18.17 @ 05:04 AM
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    The high school argument doesn't fly with me. I am pretty sure that most 18 year old kids have seen enough movies and played enough video games to know that soldiers fight wars. While serving in Iraq and Afghanistan is pretty shitty, there were 200,000+ soldiers fulfilling their orders and going on 2nd and 3rd tours.

    There are no fucking excuses on this one. If you have enough common sense to pass the ASVAB, sign a contract and repeat an oath, you have enough common sense to know that soldiers are there to fight wars. Not to collect the GI Bill, travel to exotic locations or pick up loose women. Sure that is part of the allure but you have to realize that you are there to protect the national interest of the United States. It's not to get a degree in IT.

    Shit I was 21 years old when I signed up in August of 90. A few weeks after Kuwait was invaded by Iraq. I knew what the deal was and this was before the internet and 24 news cycle. I most likely was going to see some shit if it went bad. There is not that great of a maturity level between a flunked out college student at 21 and some 18 year old in high school. Believe me if I knew what was up, these fucking traitors do.

  15. #15
    Baluchitherium loveevhsince79's Avatar
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    10.23.15 @ 04:49 PM
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    The military is very black and white in my eyes. You sign up to serve your country and commit to protect it with the use of force. Every day you are in the military is preparation to do that very thing. I have no problem if you choose not to sign up for the military as that is your choice but if you do, it is your duty. Going AWOL should be punishable to the full extend of military law. I think you would have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to understand what is expected of you when you sign up.

    That being said, if you are drafted and forced into service, I can see where people would be draft dodgers and have a legitimate excuse. Some people are just not cut out to be soldiers mentally, physically or both but that is not the case here.

    I'll also add this comment. If these soldiers are no longer mentally capable of serving and the military is not giving them a discharge because we need bodies, then they need to do what they need to do to survive. Even though you may know full well what you are signing up for, watching your buddies get shot right before your eyes is not something that everyone can handle. I would like to think there are trained professionals who can evaluate soldiers to recommend medical discharges but then again, our government and military have not always done the most ethical things.
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