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Canada Deports US Iraq War Deserter

Au Revoir, Sanctuary: Canada Deports US Iraq War Deserter

US Army deserter, Robin Long, fled to Canada in 2005 to avoid serving in Iraq. Yesterday, Long was deported back to the US, the first time a resister to the US war effort in Iraq has been sent home by Canadian authorities. Long claims that he fled to avoid participation in an "illegal war of aggression in Iraq."

The judge who heard his case this week, ruled that Long couldn't provide clear evidence he would suffer irreparable harm if he was sent back to the United States. Though Long was sent home, in another deportation case last week the Federal Court blocked the deportation of National Guard Sgt. Corey Glass, 25, who also refused redeployment to Iraq, while it decides whether to hear his case.

Both Long and Glass are part of a group of about 200 American deserters thought to have crossed the northern border to avoid service in Iraq. To this point, Canadian immigration officials and courts have refused to grant them refugee status, with Prime Minister Harper's consent; he's ignored a nonbinding House of Commons motion that would allow the deserters to stay.

To see how this case compares to Vietnam, and the opposition to granting refugee status,


Opponents of granting refugee status to deserters use the Vietnam War as an example, saying that unlike that war, the US currently doesn't have a military draft and deserters are instead volunteers who know the potential risks.

During the Vietnam War, about 90,000 Americans successfully won sanctuary in Canada, most of them there to avoid the military draft. Though some still remain in places like Nelson, British Columbia, the place Long fled to, a majority of the deserters went home after the United States granted amnesty in 1977.

Is the difference between volunteer service and draft, the tipping point in the debate? Is Canada right to send the deserters home?


Join The Conversation
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
If you are asked to participate in an illegal action, it is your moral obligation to fight it with every means at your disposal. Is the Iraq war illegal? I don't know, but they believe it is and I support their dissent. The same way I would support the dissent of those who peacefully disagree with any subject to which I am morally opposed.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 9 years
UnDave, I totally agree with you here. If someone voluntarily signs up to be in the military, you know that at some point you may be sent to war. If you don't want to take that chance, don't enlist.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I gotta disagree with you on that Hypno. If you want to disagree with a war, then why not all war? There is no truly just war. "War is Heck" - Ned Flanders. If you volunteer, then you plan to go somewhere where the government decides, and it's your job to point the business end of your gun at someone, and shoot. If you have moral objections to that, then don't join.
bleached bleached 9 years
I agree with hypnoticmix, if you sign on to be in the military, you shouldn't be surprised when you get called to go to battle... And Canada is TOTALLY HOT :p
NolanOB NolanOB 9 years
"I know, but the US seems too "cowboy" to be a chick" that's why she's not just a chick, she's a badass chick. haven't you seen quentin tarantino's new film? whoa nelley.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Well first of all it is not Canada's responsibility to cater and care for our military refugees. It is by their grace and compassion that staying there is even an option. I am sure that each case that comes before the Canadian court is examined on a case by case basis. I do agree that a volunteer soldier should not be surprised to see combat in their military career. However, as I've said before no oath to military or pledge of allegiance to any country will strip the fact that our humanity is our core and our soul our guide. If someone truly has a moral/ethical and or religious/spiritual grievance against a particular War that's fine follow your heart I encourage that but also know that you're subject to the consequences of your actions and you're pretty much at the mercy of luck and circumstances there after.
zeze zeze 9 years
I know, but the US seems too "cowboy" to be a chick ;)
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
You know it Zeze! Same concept!
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 9 years
This is rediculous, there is a huge difference bw NOW and the Vietnam war. Comparing the two just sounds desperate. When you sign up for military service, you KNOW that GASP you might go to war!
zeze zeze 9 years
cabaker! you're making me giggle at work! Although I always thought of it in different terms, America is the hot bad-boy who has skills and is a sweetheart sometimes, while Canada is that "nice" kid next door who you run to take advantage of and then leave ;)
syako syako 9 years
it says on facebook about our status: "it's complicated"
syako syako 9 years
:rotfl: you're on a roll today!
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
America is our hot girlfriend obviously! We love her, we hate her... its all very volatile! But at the end of the day, we always come back for more! Just check out the size our mountains... rrrrarrrrr! ;)
syako syako 9 years
And I feel for Canada, they seem to be US citizens less hot but always reliable girlfriend that they can just run to, take advantage of, and then leave. :rotfl: who is our hot girlfriend? :makeup:
MartiniLush MartiniLush 9 years
I definately think there is a big difference in deserting if you are drafted vs. volunteer.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
There's absolutely a difference in deserting a volunteer military vs. a drafted one. And I feel for Canada, they seem to be US citizens less hot but always reliable girlfriend that they can just run to, take advantage of, and then leave.
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