The NY Times has an article up about Iraq war deserters. One of the complicating issues about filing for conscientious objector status is brought to light in this article. Many soldiers are not opposed to fighting a war if they believe the cause is just and therefore do not qualify as ‘objectors’ and so have sought asylum in Canada.
The majority of the deserters in Canada have chosen not to make the authorities aware of their presence. Like any other illegal immigrants, they have settled for invisibility. A few dozen, though, followed Hinzmanâ€™s lead. Most found their way to Jeffry House. One young Army medic named Justin Colby read an AOL news posting about Hinzmanâ€™s case while stationed in Iraq. He telephoned House from Ramadi and showed up in his office a few months later.
House would eventually represent between 30 and 35 American deserters. Most of them, like Colby, say they joined the military in part out of patriotism. â€œI thought Iraq had something to do with 9/11,â€ Colby says, â€œthat they were the bad guys that attacked our country.â€ But unlike Hinzman, most did not apply for conscientious-objector status. They tend to say they arenâ€™t opposed to all wars in principle â€” just to the one they were ordered to fight. It wasnâ€™t until Colby arrived in Iraq that he started to see the conflict as â€œa war of aggression, totally unprovoked,â€ he says. â€œI was, like, â€˜This is what my buddies are dying for?â€™ â€ Midway through his tour, he decided: â€œIâ€™m never going to do this again.â€ He went AWOL the day before his unit left to train for a second deployment. House says that more than two-thirds of his clients have been deployed to Iraq at least once. â€œOne is resisting a third deployment.â€
These young resistors have many reasons for choosing this path and one of the strongest is that they swore to uphold the constitution and believe they have been put into a situation which conflicts with that pledge. There is an organization which supports war resistors Courage to Resist