Should US deserters from Iraq be given refuge in Canada, a country that welcomed tens of thousands of Vietnam draft-dodgers and deserters?
It's a burning question in Canada as the authorities prepare to deport 25-year-old Corey Glass to face trial in the US.
Here, Corey argues he should be allowed to stay, while below Jonathan Kay from Canada's conservative National Post newspaper says deserters should be sent home.
COREY GLASS, CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR/DESERTER
In 2002, I joined the Indiana National Guard. When I joined, I was told I would only be in combat if there were troops occupying the United States.
I signed up to defend people and do humanitarian work filling sandbags if there was a hurricane. I had no conception I would be deployed to fight on foreign shores.
But in 2005, I was deployed with my unit to Camp Anaconda near Balad, Iraq. My job in Iraq was in military intelligence.
Through this job I had access to a lot of information about what was happening on the ground in Iraq. I realised innocent people were being killed unjustly and I tried to quit the military while in Iraq. My commander told me I was stressed out and needed R&R, because I was doing a job I was not trained to do.
I went home on leave and said I was not coming back. I was told desertion is punishable by death. I was Absent Without Leave (AWOL) in America for eight months.
I searched the internet and found out about US war resisters in Canada. I arrived in Toronto two weeks later.
I should have been in New Orleans after Katrina, not in Iraq. I believe the Iraq War is illegal and morally wrong. I believe I have a duty to refuse to take part in a war not sanctioned by the United Nations, started on the basis of lies.
TIMES THEY HAVE A CHANGED
During the Vietnam War, Pierre Trudeau declared Canada ''a refuge from militarism''
Tens of thousands of American draft-dodgers and deserters took refuge in Canada
Canada's immigration laws are much stricter now: refugees must prove that they would face persecution - not just prosecution - if sent back home
On 3 June, Canada's parliament passed a non-binding motion in favour of allowing deserters to stay
I have been in Toronto since August 2006. In my time here, I have been self-sufficient and I have made many friends. I have built a life here.
Last week I was in Ottawa, when the House of Commons passed a motion saying that the Canadian government should make it possible for conscientious objectors to get permanent residence in Canada. The motion also said that all deportation proceedings against us should be stopped.
But I may be deported anyway. On 21 May I was told that my last chance to stay in Canada had failed, and I must leave by 12 June (since extended to 10 July). I know that if I return to the US I will face imprisonment and possibly a criminal record.
I don't think it is fair that I should be returned to the United States to face unjust punishment for doing what I felt morally obligated to do. I am hoping that Canada, which stayed out of the Iraq War for reasons similar to my own, will reverse the deportation order and let me stay, as parliament has urged.
There are several dozen other war resisters like me in Canada now. They all deserve to stay here and get on with their lives.
I hope the new American President will end the Iraq War and bring the troops home. But until that happens, I believe it is every soldier's right to refuse to take part in that war, if that is what his or her conscience says they must do.
JONATHAN KAY, CANADA'S NATIONAL POST
Should Corey Glass have enlisted in the US National Guard back in 2002? Probably not. From what I saw and heard of his 21 May press conference in Toronto, my first impression was that this pale, lanky 25-year-old should be playing synth in a Gothic emo band - not kicking down doors in Iraq.
But for whatever reason, Glass did sign up for military service. There's no draft in the United States - as there was in the Vietnam era: No one forced him to put on a uniform. Why should Canadians help this deserter go back on his freely given word?
America's fair-weather soldiers shouldn't be permitted to make a mockery of a Canadian refugee system that was originally designed to protect migrants fleeing assassination and torture.
During his 21 May appearance, Glass said he was "morally obligated" to desert the US military rather than return to fight an "unjust war" in Iraq.
At the same press conference, anti-war activist Jane Orion Smith argued that Glass is legally entitled to asylum in Canada because the applicable UN standard covers conscientious objectors involved in military actions that are "condemned by the international community".
Even if this label could fairly be applied to the 2003 liberation of Iraq (a premise I would dispute), it definitely did not apply to the Iraq conflict in 2005, which is when Glass deserted.
By that time, the UN Security Council had already passed Resolutions 1483 (recognising the United States and Britain as "occupying powers" under international law) and 1546 (endorsing the creation of an Iraqi Interim Government).
Glass's mission was not to invade Iraq, his mission was to help protect the emergence of a free, peaceful, sovereign Iraqi state.
Does Canada really want to cast itself as the protector of fair-weather American soldiers fleeing their duty?
With the recent deployment of the Iraqi army to Basra, Mosul and the Sadr City neighbourhood of Baghdad, that goal is now close to being realised - no thanks to Glass, nor to the dozens of other "conscientious objectors" now residing in Canada.
Moreover, from a purely political standpoint, giving asylum to the likes of Glass would send a terrible message. It would undermine America's war effort in Iraq - even as Canadian and American soldiers fight side by side on another front in the war on terror, Afghanistan.
Given this shared enterprise, does Canada really want to cast itself as the protector of fair-weather American soldiers fleeing their duty?
Six years ago, Corey Glass picked the wrong career. Three years ago, he picked an illegal way to abandon it. It's time for this ex-soldier to go home and pay the price for what he's done.
Jonathan Kay is managing editor for comment at Canada's National Post newspaper.
Some of your comments on the story…
He was a part of the National Guard. The last line to go to war, so the fact that he was sent to Iraq says a lot about the situation within our military and this "war", who will we send next, the merchant marines?
Tresor Gopaul, Montclair NJ, USA
Jonathan Kay really needs to look up what the term "National Guard" means. Glass was the US equivalent of a reservist. So they shipped a reservist overseas when the country isn't even formally at war (and when the Nation, which he signed up to Guard, is not under threat), and Kay thinks this is something he signed up for? Geez.
Sergiy Grynko, Toronto, Canada
Send him home. He needs to learn to stand up and fulfil his commitment instead of being a coward. It may not be pretty in Iraq, and he may not agree with what is being done, but he signed up for it regardless. I'm sure there were plenty in Vietnam that didn't agree with the policies, but still did what was asked of them.
Mike, NC USA
I sympathise with this guy, but guilty or innocent is not the question here: The point is that that's up to America to decide. He should make his case and be judged there. Canada has no responsibility either way.
I am a Canadian who supports Corey Glass in his struggle to stay in Canada. Not only that, I support any US military person who has decided to come to Canada on the grounds that the war in Iraq is wrong. Thousands of Viet Nam-era draft dodgers and deserters came to Canada and have since become outstanding Canadians. They were pardoned by Jimmy Carter. Why shouldn't Iraq objectors be given the same treatment, instead of having to lay down their lives for George Bush?
Paul Brooke, Vancouver, Canada
I joined the Army National Guard in 1992. We all knew and it was made perfectly clear many times, before and after we joined, that we were in the United States Military and were required to defend the nation at home and abroad. We were never once told, nor was it inferred, that all we would do is "fill sandbags" for humanitarian reasons.
Corey Glass joined the "ARMY National Guard" not the Peace Corps, Salvation Army, or any other humanitarian organization. The difference is that the Military pays more money. That is why Corey Glass joined. You train with guns, grenades, claymores; you train to fight a war. Not once in basic training was Corey Glass trained, nor was it ever mentioned in any class, or any Army field manual how to fill sandbags to stop a flood. Corey Glass learned to fill sandbags for a bunker to defend a military forward operating base from enemy attack. If it is for moral reasons then do what other conscientious objectors with standards have done: serve your time in a military prison for going back on the oath you gave to your country and fellow military personnel.
CK, LIC, NY
I would have thought it was the duty of any country to offer refuge for anyone refusing to fight in an illegal war.
Stef Robertson, London, UK
I believe that Corey Glass and other conscientious objectors who originally signed up to U.S. National Guard service should be given the chance by Canada to stay on Canadian soil and be productive members of Canadian society. It is an outrage and disgrace that National Guard members, who everyone who I've ever talked to had understood them to be ONLY utilized for service on U.S. soil, have been sent overseas for ANY mission. Canada, please continue to be a beacon of human rights that the U.S. has failed to be. Please protect our National Guard soldiers who were misled and misused.
Laura Luckey, New Mexico, U.S.
Mr. Kay's argument is based on the concepts of A) Consequences for one's actions and B) World perception of Canadian policy. Regarding A) it may be said that Mr. Glass's flight to Canada is also the consequence of his action- to board a plane to Iraq and see things in person before making a decision to not be a part of that anymore. Regarding his comment that Mr. Glass shouldn't have joined up, is Mr. Kay indirectly suggesting that if Mr. Glass had made his decision not to participate via second-hand information obtained through the media it would be respected but it being based on first-hand information is not grounds for respecting his decision to no longer participate?
Regarding B) I think it is well established by now that the world community does not support an attack on, or the invasion and occupation of a sovereign nation except in defense of a prior attack or through consensus of the world body, the UN, whether or not it is deemed a "liberation" (one man's meat, etc.) It should also be noted that as many have done before, he links the American war effort in Iraq with the war in Afghanistan. Surely the significant presence of Canadian troops in Afghanistan but not in Iraq itself is lucid indication of what image of itself Canada wishes to project.
Given all this, I realize that cause and effect are universal truths. Fairness and unfairness are human inventions. So, by the way, are good and evil.
danin, Santa Cruz, CA
Corey is a victim of deception (bait-and-switch), and should have the right to break his duplicitous contract with the U.S. military. Even if this were not so, he should be awarded conscientious objector status and given an honorable discharge to be a free man, to live wherever he chooses. Canada should remain a beacon of hope and refuge for oppressed immigration aspirants from around the world, including the USA's monstrous military machine.
Phil Klein, Coralville IA USA
I agree very strongly with Mr. Kay on this point. I have known men to have registered as conscientious objectors in WW1 and WW2. In the former case, a young Christian man was dragged in chains through the streets of Kilwinning for holding firmly to his Christian beliefs about war. In the latter case, I know of a man who was locked in gaol because the government lost his CO paperwork. Another friend and mentor lost any chance of a career in enginnering because of his CO status. These were men who peacably refused to renege on their beliefs about war and paid a very heavy price for it in their society.
Corey Glass volunteered for the military and now he's changed his mind because he's seen war up close and personal. If he really believed the US government could not send its National Guard abroad legally he should have refused to go in the first place. Or he sould have learned that the National Guard supplied 40% of America's WW1 army in France and supplied 19 divisons in WW2. !
Furthermore, if Canada does allow him to remain it makes a mockery of the Conscientious Objector. The man's a coward and his behaviour is shameful to soldier and CO alike. Well said, Mr. Kay.
Graham McDonald, Cumbernauld, UK
I view Mr. Glass as a hero. There is nothing wrong with deserting a military unit once it has served YOUR purposes. I certainly would want my son to do the same.
Regretfully, I didn't possess Mr. Glass' good sense and bravery when I enlisted in the Marine Corp back in 1980. I joined out of a sense of loyalty and patriotism to my country. Now, I just feel like a chump as I'm sure others do upon returning from Iraq. Those four years I lost forever could have been better spent in college.
Many people make poor career choices but only in the military can you face criminal charges. It's not a job you can just quit as Mr. Kay implies. I would like to ask what branch of Canada's military did he serve. And if he is so impressed by the progress we're making in Iraq, why doesn't he take Mr. Glass' place.
Chris Perricone, Springfield, Virginia, USA
As a U.S. Marine and patriotic American citizen, I fell Corey Glass has abandoned his country. Whether or not the War in Iraq is morally right or wrong, Glass still swore an oath to defend the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic. That means if a nation halfway around the world is a threat to U.S. national security, it is his job to go in and stop them. It doesn't matter if he joined the Marine Corps or the National Guard.
I'll bet Glass was one of those who enlisted for the benefits and college money, hoping he wouldn't have to give back for what he's taking. It's a selfish way to think. Well, his country called and he is now refusing to give back. Last time I checked, no one in this country is forced to "sign the dotted line." No, he made a choice to volunteer to serve in the American armed forces. I agree with Jonathon Kay wholeheartedly. The burden is not on Canada. It is on Corey Glass. Send that coward back to the U.S. and let a military court martial decide his fate.
Nick Dunn, Milford, NH, United States/Twentynine Palms, CA, United States
I don't think that my country should accept any american refugees for a reason or another, but at the same time, I understand this is a major problem and we should try to solve the problem because it keeps happening everyday.
But Mister Kay sounds like he's too confident about the US Army and thinks the situation over Iraq is under control. Maybe we should send him to Iraq and see what will be his opinion about deserting a country with millions of people who don't like you.
The US Army forces are not welcomed by any Iraqi people. When you enroll to help people and want feel like you're doing something good,"protecting" the emergence of a free, peaceful, sovereign Iraqi state like Jonathan Kay says doesn't make you feel good when you this war is a big scam. I think we should put pressure on the United States government so they can change their policy on deserting from a war 70% of people around Earth disagree with.
Bruno, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Although the National Guard is the oldest component of the Armed Forces of the United States, its primary function is to defend the Nation in case of attack and help in case of natural disasters.
Corey Glass' case is not rare, several americans serving in the NG were taken by surprise when they found out that they were sent to Iraq.
Canada like most other countries recognized that the Iraq war was unjustified and that is why it did not join the US-lead forces.
Moreover, Canada has a long tradition of protecting Human Rights. The United Nations Commission on Human Rights resolution 1998/77” officially recognized that “persons [already] performing military service may develop conscientious objections.”, and that conscientious objections is a Human right.
Canada should honor its long cherished tradition and grant asylum to Corey Glass.
Francois Rose, Stockton, CA, USA
While I feel we can all sympathize with Mr. Glass and the tough situation he found himself in once deployed to Iraq, Jonathan Kay's points are well made... Mr. Glass should not be allowed to hide from his responsibilities in Canada. Among other things, he surely does not fall neatly into the category of conscientious objector. He finds war unsavory, stressful and shocking... and walked away from his unit. That's clearly desertion. Completely different situation... sorry, mate. Go face the music.
Steve Lewis, Rosseau, Canada
Corey Glass has to be sent back home, plain and simple; and there is a moral reason for doing so.
The US is one of the most democratic systems in the world. While it has its own flaws, and elections may be marred by dirty tactics - the government that currently resides in the US is one that was chosen by the political community to which Corey belonged to. That government consists not only of the Bush administration, but also of the Congress and the Senate, both of which represent American people, and both of which have approved the War in Iraq.
As a member of the American political community, Corey gave his consent to be governed by its law, whether he agrees with all of them or not. By voting in elections, paying taxes, getting education in a publicly funded school or college (these are just examples of what Corey most likely has done in his life) he implicitly declared his consent to be a member of the political community and to follow its commonly agreed on rules. Participation in wars that have been approved by the democratically elected government, if you have signed up for active duty, is one of such rules. It does not differ from rules such as bans on theft, murder, or even the status of abortion (whatever it is in any given state).
A member of a political community, once consenting to be a part of it, can not pick and chose which rules they decide to follow. The reasons for this are both prudential (it would be chaos otherwise)and moral. The moral aspect of it has to do with the common life that the community members agree to build. The common life is built on a contract between "the living, the dead, and those who are yet to be born." The rules that the political community decided to govern itself by are part of that contract. By deserting, for whatever reasons, he violates the rule and thus the contract, which is moral in nature. He is betraying not the government of the US or its policies, but the principles upon which his political community has been built upon. He is betraying his fellow country persons; and that includes those who supported the war, those who opposed it, and most of all, those who participated in it.
I objected the War in Iraq at its inception and I feel sorry for all those who had to fight, and worst of all - die, for the war that had no legal, moral, or practical basis. That, however, does not change the fact that what Corey has done is simply wrong. Finally, if Corey believes the Iraq war to be such an immoral act, he should be willing to pay the price for not participating in it, rather than trying to get out of it all together.
Amir, Vancouver, Canada and London, UK
I do not believe that Mr. Glass should be awarded Canadian Refugee status. I am vehemently opposed to the war in Iraq and it is unfortunate that he had such false illusions regarding military service. Should the United States implement a draft I would feel differently about granting refugee status to deserters but not to a soldier who made a poor career choice.
I do not feel it is Canada’s responsibility to provide permanent resident status to someone who would be granted a fair trial and a right to a lawyer when he is returned to face the consequences of his actions. Refugee status was established to protect individuals who are victims of human rights violations.
Misty, Dallas, USA
In my eyes what appears to be the main issue is whether or not someone who volunteered to serve in the military is entitled to declare conscientious objector status versus someone who was drafted by their government. Granted the notion that someone would knowingly volunteer for military service and then be appalled that they are going to be sent into a combat zone is a tad odd given the job description of a soldier is to knowingly put oneself in harms way and to do harm to others.
Mr. Glass has declared that he did not sign up to fight overseas but rather to defend American soil. This argument is valid, I believe in business it is known as a bait & switch, Mr. Glass believes he was lied to. Personally I believe Mr. Glass should be granted amnesty in Canada as all other deserters should be, honestly how sane is it say someone should be punished for wanting to live?
Drew L., Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I whole-heartedly agree with the comments made by Jonathan Kay. NO ONE made Corey Glass enlist, he did it of his own free will. What kind of message would it send, that anyone who objects to the orders they are given in the Armed Services can simply "object" and quit on their country? Isn't THAT what being in the military is about (at least partially)? Or what, now-a-days it's ok that 25 year old kids think they know what is better for the country?
A, Baltimore, MD
To me, Corey Glass represents a critical issue that challenges our freedom. In the states we have an electoral college that can override the presidential vote of every American. On top of that our legislators create loop holes to remove themselves from accountability. Our military is no different as they have set up lawyers, judge and jury all from the same pool of military conformity (see Guantanamo's current legal proceedings) This has to stop somewhere and Corey's battle is an obvious example of how our right to free thought has been infringed upon.
I don't agree with his decision but it points to a larger problem here in the US and we have the change to make him a "poster boy" for reform. America loves celebrities, and this would be soldier could start a wave of public conscience in our political development. Our freedom has been stolen and replaced with a set of laws that protect private and big money interests. Corey could be the first step in taking back our actual freedom before the power that control out country destroy it's success.
Jamison Bourque, Denver, CO
I disagree with Mr.Kay that these are "fair weather soilders fleeing their duty". Cory Glass is a prime example of the disallusionment that prevails amongst many young americans who have joined the US military. The duties of the National Guard are to stay in the country and protect against foreign invaders as well as provide aid during natural disasters. He was told he would only go to war if the US were to be invaded and occupied by hostile foreign military troops.
It has always been my understanding that The National Guard's role is to Stay in the US unlike the Army, Navy, Marines,and Airforce.
Since there is no longer a draft in the US it seems that recruiters have resorted to lying in order to secure their quota. But at least they are consistent--after all it just came out in the Senate hearings that Bush and his administration DID lie to the american public(and the rest of the world) regarding the Irag invasion.
Mr. Kay, before you condemn these "deserters", I implore you to do a little more research.
Edna Daniel, Denver, USA
I'm sorry to say I agree with Jonathan from the post, Corey made a commitment, of his own free will to sign up and serve with the national guard
A conscientious objector wouldn't sign up to serve in a military force, and can you imagine the result if for every single engagement an army got into soldiers were given a free choice as to whether they served in this particular war?
Paul, Manchester UK
The key issue is how solid was the pledge given to Mr.Glass that he would only remain in the US for the duration of his service. There is a big difference between defending your country on your own turf and invading a sovereign country for dubious reasons. And speaking of differences, Jonathan Kay makes a clear distinction between the 2003 “liberation” and the 2005 “conflict”, but would the average Iraqi do the same?
Mike Berrigan, Oyster Pond, Nova Scotia, Canada
I totally agree with Jonathan Kay. Glass signed up for duty, and by abandoning his troop he was in effect saying "I think more about myself than I do about you". As I read his message it sounded like he was using the usual points of contention about the Iraqi war, to substantiate his actions. Doesn't work Corey! If you sign up for something and you quit, your word, which is the only thing of true value you ever own, means nothing. Go home, and if you truly believe what you say, tell the US Government, and leave asylum for those truly in danger.
ann broomfield, British Columbia, Canada
My father, brother and husband are all serving in Iraq right now. I have only one word to say to this man, "COWARD."
Veronica , San Diego, CA USA
he United States is a repressive society today and any person of conscience would never receive a fair hearing there. Allow him to stay where there is a more tolerant society and things are not so politicized.
Wayne Dickson, Halifax , Canada
I agree with Mr Kay. Since the military in the United States is a volunteer force you can't be a conscientious objector. I might be a bit biased though since my father fought in Vietnam and I have met a Canadian who was there as well.
Robert Hall, Dallas, TX, USA
Corey is absolutely right and if I had sons in this situation I'd send them to Canada or Switzerland. He was told he would not be in combat unless we were at war here in the U.S. This is Bush's war on oil. Had we stayed in Afghanistan it would be a different story because it was a fight against the Taliban that attacked us. I'd send Bush in his place to Iraq.
Linda Sable, USA
As a veteran myself, I say send him back and let him rot in prison for abandoning his fellow soldiers. Fifty years ago, we wouldn't be having this conversation, he just would have been sent home in a box after a summary execution. I respect Canada and its stance, but this is purely a US matter that needs to be handled here.
Rodney Reynolds, St. Louis, MO
I believe Mr. Kay's comment ironically says exactly why Mr. Glass should be given asylum: "... giving asylum to the likes of Glass would send a terrible message. It would undermine America's war effort in Iraq..."
Canada has the golden opportunity of figuratively if not literally saving a young man's life while simultaneously helping stop a war that never should have been started.
Mimi Leland, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
Mr Kay's comments are very interesting indeed. Tell me, Mr. Kay, is the Canadian economy being ruined by your governments continuing presence in Iraq? As far I know, you have no troops in Iraq, and about 2500 in Afganistan serving as part of ISAF. It's easy to be all for the war when your Nation isn't hemorraging money, your infrastructure isn't collapsing and your kids aren't getting substandard educations. And i'm sure Canadian reservists would be thrilled to be activated en mass for a deployment to Iraq. Would you go?
Edward S. Renouard, III, Spokane, Washington, USA
The very fact that the National Guard was called up to be sent overseas is absurd. If Glass had signed up for the Army, and was objecting the war, I would say - send him back. He is right, however, the National Guard are intended to be the force that stays on US soil to respond to events here - not be sent to the other side of the globe.
John, Cincinnati, US
He should definitely not be sent back. Noone should be forced to fight and kill innocent people. The US should be ashamed of their actions in Iraq and for sending their own young men and women into a dangerous and futile situation.
As Jonathan points out there is no draft, he signed up freely. When you sign up for active duty, you know full well that you might be ordered to go whereever. It is ludicris that he should receive asylum. He should be made to account for his actions. I have friends and family in harms way at the moment.They are doing their duty in Iraq, whatever their personal feeling. Just my .02
Michael Cardiff, Crowley, Louisiania USA
I was in the British Armed Forces, and despite my opposition to the Ieaq War - if I was still in the forces, I would be obliged to serve in Iraq. It's was my job!
Mr Glass signed up to serve within the US army, and I'm sure that he was not misled else thousands of other deserters would exist.
Perhaps I should refuse to pay my credit card bill as I feel morally obliged not to pay it? No - I signed up to the card and now I have the responsibility to pay anything I put on it.
Get a backbone Mr Glass.
Stephen, Cardiff, Wales
Jonathan Kay is ignoring a very important part of why many young men and women join the National Guard in the United States. To pay for college, to get out of dead end hometowns, to have an extra source of income to supplement an unfair working class wage. I believe the people who joined for Corey Glass' reasons are victims of systematic denial of access to improving their own lives in any other way.
The United States doesn't need a draft, in fact if we had one that would end the war very quickly. All my government needs to do is keep up the just and socially irresponsible systems that keep young people struggling to get a head. As long as those are around there will always be people willing to join. Corey Glass fits this picture, someone who was trying to get a head by being a good citizen, but never expected to fight a war for oil.
Daina, Washington, DC
Jonathon Kay's article is typical of what one is expected to see in mainstream media, a distortion of the facts and a language and use of words that well conforms to state ideology.
Distortion one: "From what I saw and heard of his 21 May press conference in Toronto, my first impression was that this pale, lanky 25-year-old should be playing synth in a Gothic emo band - not kicking down doors in Iraq. But for whatever reason, Glass did sign up for military service."
Corey Glass did not sign up to kick doors down in Iraq, as he himself stated he "signed up to defend people and do humanitarian work filling sandbags if there was a hurricane" in the National guard.
Distortion two: "Glass's mission was not to invade Iraq, his mission was to help protect the emergence of a free, peaceful, sovereign Iraqi state."
This is not a fact, this is one perspective of what the United States is doing in Iraq. This view is not shared by everyone and more so makes it obvious why Jonathon Kay would support deportation, he strictly conforms to the spectrum of allowed thought dictated not by Canada, but by the US.
Distortion three: "Even if this label could fairly be applied to the 2003 liberation of Iraq (a premise I would dispute), it definitely did not apply to the Iraq conflict in 2005, which is when Glass deserted."
At the time of the initial invasion the war was unilateral and illegal by international standards. This is known.
Jesse, London Canada
Glass' claim that he was told my the Reserves that he would only see duty if the US was occupied is ridiculous. Where was he when the Regular Army and Reserves were employed to fight in the Persian Gulf in 1991 and since?
This guy was in the army for 3 years before deserting, so all was well until he was sent into war... it's the army! That's what the army does, that's why most people don't sign up to it unless they like violence! "I thought I would be filling bags with sand." No, you probably thought it was cool that you could tell people you carry a gun at work. How long is minimum service? In the UK it's 3 years and then you can leave, did he sign up for a few more years of service? As the US and UK are occupying forces in Iraq as ratified by the UN, that is why they can deploy the National Guard there.
He sounds like someone who thought it would be a good idea and that his career may impress the girls but when push came to shove he fled, plus it says he was in intelligence and nowhere does it say he was near the front lines. Definitely should be deported as his reasons for "asylum" are desertion and it's consequences from a voluntary armed force (no one forced you to put pen to paper). He should have read the small print in his contract, methinks.