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U.S. Military Deserters in Canada Megathread

danchapps

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I thought it was like boy scouts. Get to wear a snazzy uniform, play in the bush sometimes. Play war games. Whoa, got a wake up call today when they issues me my frag vest. You mean I actually have to do work??? What??How do I VR??? (Did I mention I'm NEVER sarcastic? ::))
 

TrexLink

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Douglas Bland has responded to Bob Rae's statement that we should let US deserters remain in Canada.

[size=12pt] Does Bob Rae endorse lawful desertion from the Canadian Forces?
National Post
July 16, 2008
Douglas Bland


In a comment published in the Toronto Star (Why U.S. war resisters deserve refuge in Canada, 11 July 2008), Bob Rae pleads for Canada to accept any member of the United States armed forces who decides to desert his comrades and country and seek sanctuary in Canada. He argues that because a solider might believe that the war in Iraq is unpopular he or she therefore “faces a conflict of values and loyalties” and thus has a right to desert. Further, Canadians ought to honour this assumed right without question. Mr. Rae puts the "all-volunteer army" in a whole new light — volunteer to enlist and volunteer to leave at any time and on any whim.

If this concept is sound enough for the US armed forces, is Mr. Rae recommending it for the Canadian Forces too?

Before he answers that, Mr Rae ought to consider these questions. As foreign minister or justice minister in a future Liberal government, what would he do if a member of the Canadian Forces deserted on the grounds that in his or her opinion Canada was conducting an unpopular war in Afghanistan (as some say is the fact today)? What would Mr. Rae do if Canadian soldiers deserted their unit because they believed that they could not be compelled to serve on any mission not authorized by the UN, as the Liberal government ordered them to do in Kosovo, for example? Would Mr. Rae support the desertion of aboriginal members of the Canadian Forces who refused to follow orders to support the civil authority in a conflict with an aboriginal community as at Oka? More generally, what amendments would Mr. Rae make to the National Defence Act to provide the rules for the lawful desertion by members of the Canadian Forces during government-ordered active operations?

The fundamental principle of civil-military relations in Canada is that members of the Canadian Forces are obliged under threat of severe punishment to obey all lawful commands issued by the government. In cases were the lawfulness of a command is in question members have several avenues of redress inside and outside the Canadian Forces. To allow, as Mr. Rae suggests, soldiers to simply decide for themselves in every instance what orders to obey and which to disobey and when to report for duty and when not to do so would not only lead to disorder in the armed forces, but might put Canada at risk in times of emergency or conflict inside and outside the country. If Canadians were to accept Mr. Rae’s concepts, no government could trust the Canadian Forces to carry out its orders or to support its foreign policies or defence commitments. Every situation would depend on the voluntary co-operation of individual members of the Canadian Forces; as history shows, a government and a nation in that position is always in grave danger.

Finally given the very New Democratic Party feel of Mr. Rae’s comments, it is fair to ask him if he is speaking for the Liberal Party of Canada. Moreover, is he implicitly promising that if the Liberals form the next government, the prime minister will not pursue or otherwise take legal action against any member of the Canadian Forces inside or outside Canada who for whatever personal reason decides to desert his or her comrades during preparations for or while deployed on military operations authorized by the Canadian government?

Mr. Rae surely understands that members of the Canadian Forces, other Canadian, and our allies, especially in Afghanistan, will be asking him these serious policy questions during the coming federal election. So to forestall confusion, it might be useful if he were to issue a Liberal Party policy paper — perhaps entitled "The Liberal Party Position on Lawful Desertion From the Canadian Forces" — to answer them in advance.


Professor Douglas Bland is Chair of the Defence Management Studies Program at The School of Policy Studies, at Queen's University.
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Link: http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2008/07/15/douglas-bland-does-bob-rae-endorse-lawful-desertion-from-the-canadian-forces.aspx
 

North Star

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I think it's a valied point.

Consider this: I hate the UN. I feel it consists of the most incompetent and corrupt civil servants the third world has to offer. Why should I "peacekeep" for them? What happens if I signed up to defend Canada, but can't see Canadian interests advanced through the UN's agenda?

Bob Rae has a wonderful gift of not being able to think beyond the immediate consequences of his actions, a gift that led to his stellar performace as Premier of Ontario. He should he asked to defend his article and prove he has what it takes to be involved in the governance of Canada.
 

tomahawk6

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North Star when you decide to serve your country you go and do whatever you are ordered to do. You dont get to choose which missions you will undertake and which one's you wont.You take the good with the unpleasant because you believe in your country.If you dont like military life at some point you can quit. The US Army deserters are cowards who had signed up to serve their country and when faced with going to the sandbox they run away letting their comrades down.Their unit either deployed short handed or someone was taken from another unit to fill the deserters spot.
 

TrexLink

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Tomahawk - I think that was NorthStar's point.  Provided that he is not given a clearly illegal order, a soldier's personal preferences, likes and dislikes must be put aside.
 

OldSolduer

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In WWI deserters were shot....period.
Oh they only joined for the college money, poor darlings!
 

The Bread Guy

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Wonder what Mr. Rae would have done when he was Premier of Ontario if an OPP officer decided not to enforce a legislation s/he felt were wrong? ::)
 

Shec

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Its a question of character moreso than of political belief.  And clearly those who renege on a voluntarily taken oath of service have no character.  Claiming political objection is a cop-out, a smokescreen, an excuse.  He just doesn't have the moral integrity to even try to keep his word.  I'd hate to be his kid.
 

North Star

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Tomahawk6,

Just being sarcastic. I love using the example of not recognizing the UN as a legitimate organization and, as such, objecting to being deployed under its flag because it drives lefties nuts to have their own arguments thrown back against them.

We have the same opinion - you sign on the dotted line in a contract with the State, you follow through with it.
 

Gunnar

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What happens if I signed up to defend Canada, but can't see Canadian interests advanced through the UN's agenda?

Well then, you'd probably get a medal.

After all, isn't this the same political party that put Canadians who were shot for desertion and cowardice on the scroll of honour for WWI (I forget the exact honour, but I do recall those who were shot got to share the same honour as those who won VC's in the same war).

And actually, "signing up to defend Canada" is exactly what the Zombies signed up for in WWII.  Still, a number of those saw the light (and the contempt in which they were held by the rest of the forces and the public at large) and went on to actually earn their way in Europe.  But I'm sure any day now that the Liberals will champion a special award.  After all, they did protect Canada from overpopulation by tigers.  See any tigers here?  Exactly.  Musta worked.

See, if everyone just loved ENOUGH, then all wars would go away.  And if we put down our guns, then they'll see how much we like them, and wars will end.  Or a genocidal wave from the red team will eliminate our participation anyway...

Same liberal crap.  Actions without consequences.  No honour, integrity, loyalty, beliefs...just range of the moment action.  Want food?  Government provides.  Or just grab some from someone.  Shelter?  Under someone else's deck is fine.  Besides, someone should have given you a house.  Defence?  Defence is violence!  Besides, we're nice, so we're safe.  Besides, the red team shouldn't hurt you, it's not nice.  Wanna shoot cocaine then drive a school bus full of kids?  Well, the public has no right to discriminate against your choice of amusement!
 

Love793

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milnewstbay said:
Wonder what Mr. Rae would have done when he was Premier of Ontario if an OPP officer decided not to enforce a legislation s/he felt were wrong? ::)

He would have given every OPP officer a province wide day off! ;D
 

greentoblue

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It is interesting to contrast the position of these deserters to that of a soldier who not only refused to go to Iraq but also stayed in the US and is going through the courtmartial process.  While I do not agree with this individual - he let his soldiers got to war without him - but at least he stayed to see through the consequences of his actions: Lt Ehren Watada http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=the_officers_war  (It should also be noted that many veterans of the Japanese American 100/442nd Regiment of WW2 - America's most decorated unit - have strongly condemned him as besmirching their legacy as he originally invoked their sacrifices as part of his defense.)

On another note, an American soldier was courtmartialed for refusing to deploy with his unit when it was ordered to participate in the peacekeeping operation in Macedonia in 1995.  Specialist Michael New objected to wearing UN insignia and that foreign officers would have command over him.  New cited his conscience, his oath of office and the constitution as his defense; the army told him to pound sand.  No word if Bob Rae or Jack Layton offered their moral support.
 

MarkOttawa

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This is the horrible fate that one American deserter faced on return to US:

American army deserter given nine months in jail
Resister sought refuge in Ottawa but returned to U.S. earlier this year

http://www.thestar.com/News/Canada/article/461887

An American army deserter who took refuge in Canada before returning to the U.S. voluntarily was given a dishonourable discharge yesterday and sentenced to nine months in jail, a close supporter said...

So, to prevent that, Bobbity would put our relations with the US under severe strain? I don't think Mr Obama approves of desertion, either.

Mark
Ottawa
 

wdewitt

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I just send a letter referring to the fact that you can't expect our troop's decide to leave and use the same bone head excuse as these idiots do. To the Liberal and Conservative party's of Canada.
Your whole command structure would fall apart in time of war. :crybaby: :cdn:
Bob Rae is a typical politician with no backbone and left wing nut theory of life.
The NDP was going to have a discussion weather our armed forces was a terrorist group in Ontario.
With friend like them? You hope they are shot first by an invasion force int :rage:eek: Canada. ;D
 

Jarnhamar

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I was going to put this in Radio Chatter but didn't think it deserved it's own thread. Mods move it if it's better placed somewhere else please.


While at he book store picking up some books to read (duh) I was in the war and politics section looking for 'Lone Survivor'. Powerful book.
I seen a book 'Deserters tale' by Joshua Key. Curiosity got the better of me so I picked it up and read a chapter.

I'm a little more liberal when it comes to deserters. I've said if someone has served in Iraq or something, I'd at least be willing to listen to what they say.

Anyways, as I read a couple of paragraphs I was immediately reminded of comments from the Kadhar thread where someone mentioned a common attitude when a child is faced with work was ohh you don't like me, why do you hate me.
That's the impression I got from the book. It came across as very whiney to me and overly biased. Do people actually believe this stuff?
Reading about how he was lied to and tricked into joining the combat engineers, I find it quite difficult that a recruiter would promise someone that "Combat Engineers" don't see combat. The "combat" part of the name comes from blowing up bridges before you rebuild them.  In the US I'll add. Apparenty he was promised that he would never have to deploy overseas. By joining the combat engineers he would stay in the US, work 9 to 5, be at home with his family every night and never get sent over seas. 
Because he didn't want to shoot anyone.

Are you kidding me?  Combat Engineers NOT seeing combat?  How about Infantry soldiers meaning they go around protecting infants. Come on now.
I was honestly considering buying the book just to see if the whole thing was like that but I couldn't.  It sounded like a boy coming up with an outlandish lie to his parents.

Horrible. Don't bother picking it up even if you ARE curious.
 

Greymatters

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Flawed Design said:
I seen a book 'Deserters tale' by Joshua Key. Curiosity got the better of me so I picked it up and read a chapter.

AKA "Deserters excuses"?
 

OldSolduer

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Come on guys!! He only joined for the college money.....

He suffers from "lack of intestinal fortitude". He's a coward, pure and simple.
 

FastEddy

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Flawed Design said:
I was going to put this in Radio Chatter but didn't think it deserved it's own thread. Mods move it if it's better placed somewhere else please.


While at he book store picking up some books to read (duh) I was in the war and politics section looking for 'Lone Survivor'. Powerful book.
I seen a book 'Deserters tale' by Joshua Key. Curiosity got the better of me so I picked it up and read a chapter.

I'm a little more liberal when it comes to deserters. I've said if someone has served in Iraq or something, I'd at least be willing to listen to what they say.

Horrible. Don't bother picking it up even if you ARE curious.


Thanks for the Tip, it sounds like something that would would have as much impact and logic if it were called and on "Why I Raped my 90 year old Gramother".

However it does give rise to, why a Combat Veteran would not seek out his C.O or a Medical Officer (considering the recognition and advancements today) concerning his return to Combat Duty. Rather than immediately Deserting ?.

Cheers.
 
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