Tuesday, December 07, 2004
POLITICS AS USUAL: ME, FIGHT? NO THANKS. I'M A SOLDIER
Yo, Joe! Get your ass out there!
The story of army deserter Jeremy Hinzman is one that I've watched with a mix of interest and disbelief. On the even of his unit being deployed in Iraq, he went AWOL and fled to Canada with his wife and son. Now he's making a refugee claim to stay in Canada beause he fear prosecution if he is sent back to the U.S.
Firstly, I should say that being a solider is not a fun or pretty job--no question about it. It can put you in situations where there is a good chance you could get hurt or killed.
But that might be why they give you your very own gun, helmet and send you to dangerous hotspots with thousands of your closest colleagues. I'm wondering what Jeremy was thinking when he signed up to be in the Army: "Full college education? Training? Seeing other countries? And I don't really have to do anything? Sweet."
I know that many Army recruiters go to some of the poorest areas to find likely candidates to join up. And I know they do emphasize the training/education/decent pay part, and de-emphasize the whole killing/dying/getting shot part. But come on. Anyone with half a brain--and I'll include Mr. Hinzman in that lot for argument's sake--must have had some clue that there was a risk that they might be deployed into a war zone.
At 26, he's a big boy. He knows the consequences. I'm sure he was well informed of the penalty of disobeying the deployment order. And if he really believes he's right, then he should return to the States and face those consequences, not hide in Canada.
I'm not the person to tell anyone they should or should not fight a war. But they need to take some personal responsibility for their actions. Mr. Hinzman's claim should be thrown out, he and his family should be deported (they can apply as landed immigrants same as everyone else) and he should stand trial for a court martial in a military court of justice.
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