Respecting U.S. army commitments

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Most people know the military’s two cornerstones are commitment and discipline.

Many people, especially in Canada, criticize the United States Army’s role and level of participation in Iraq and abroad. It’s fine that there’s lots of dissent; if anything, different points of view create discussion and hopefully open Americans’ eyes to different world views and perspectives.

But this divide bothers me when Canada permits U.S. army deserters refuge. Those individuals are committing an injustice to their nation, and I find it deplorable Canada would allow or even encourage such behaviour.

Perhaps I shouldn’t be too quick to point the finger at the Canadian government, as it’s attempting to reject most of these people " the excessive paperwork and administrative details make it tough to do so. However, Canada should show more do-diligence.

It’s one thing if a civilian is drafted to the army and truly doesn’t believe in their nation’s cause for conflict. I’m can’t say these types of people shouldn’t have options or that Canada shouldn’t sympathize in these cases. But once you enlist in the military " be it army, navy or air force " the potential for armed participation overseas is part of the job description.

You can’t just change your mind once you’ve enrolled; if those who came before us were so cowardly, we’d probably currently be governed by some despotic regime. Earlier generations of Canadian and American civilians alike were drafted for war, and the vast majority of them ponied up to fight against tyranny.

When army deserters find refuge in Canada, it shows glaring disrespect to past generations.

If you have reservations and criticisms, fine " just don’t enlist in the military. If you want to enjoy the structure, discipline and free education that comes with enlisting, you have to live with the consequences when armed conflict arises.

Regardless of whether or not the “paperwork trail” argument is a cop-out, Canada shouldn’t culture this conduct by letting deserters in.

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