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Originally posted by johnpauljones:The Deserter's Tale by Joshua Key is featured in this weeks edition of The Hill Times Books:Upcomming Releases section.
[url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic&f=39&t=000128]A second attempt at discussing the book johnpauljones was wanting to discuss in this thread.[/url]
Former Private First Class Joshua Key is originally from Oklahoma. He fought with the US Army in the Iraq war, but deserted after witnessing numerous human rights abuses. After hiding out for fourteen months in the US, Key fled north to Canada, where he is currently seeking refugee status and a permanent home. He lives with his wife and his four children, and is active in the War Resisters Support Campaign.
[url=http://www.counterpunch.org/fantina01102007.html][b]Prosecution or Persecution?[/b]:[i]punishing deserters[/i][/url]
Lance Corporal Ivan Brobeck, Sergeant Ricky Clousing, Sergeant Kevin Benderman, Sergeant Camilo Mejia: each a veteran of the Iraq war, and each charged with desertion. Mr. Benderman, Mr. Mejia and Mr. Clousing were convicted, sentenced and have completed prison time. Mr. Brobeck is currently serving an 8-month sentence. Yet with government studies indicating that thousands of soldiers have deserted during the Iraq war, why are only a few charged, while so many others are basically ignored?This is not a new phenomenon. As communication has improved over the two centuries of America's life, the ability for war resisters to reach a wider audience has greatly increased. The four brave men listed above demonstrated their courage first on the battlefield. They then not only further showed their bravery by leaving the U.S. military--a tremendously brave act in and of itself--they went the additional step of speaking out publicly against the war. This, it seems, is what brought down the wrath of the U.S. government upon them.
The United Nations Refugee Agency sets out guidelines, which Canada claims to accept, as to when "prosecution" becomes "persecution".
171. Not every conviction, genuine though it may be, will constitute a sufficient reason for claiming refugee status after desertion or draft-evasion. It is not enough for a person to be in disagreement with his government regarding the political justification for a particular military action. Where, however, the type of military action, with which an individual does not wish to be associated, is condemned by the international community as contrary to basic rules of human conduct, punishment for desertion or draft-evasion could, in the light of all other requirements of the definition, in itself be regarded as persecution.
In the case of Iraq, the UN Charter was violated as a consequence of the invasion. The Charter has been deemed one of the "basic rules of human conduct" by The World Court.