FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

The Deportation of Jeremy Hinzman

The news that Jeremy Hinzman was ordered deported from Canada struck like lightning!  Hinzman, a 29-year-old war resister who has been living in Canada since 2004 lost his bid to remain in Canada by way of a decision of Canada’s Border Services Agency.  The agency found that Hinzman did not qualify for compassionate or humanitarian consideration in his bid to remain in Canada.

Hinzman’s story is not all that different from many other war resisters.  He joined the Army out of a sense of adventure and to get money for college.  Like many others, when he heard the chant “Trained to kill!  Kill we will!” in basic training he was revolted and sought a way out.

Hinzman applied twice for conscientious objector status.  The first application was lost and the second one was denied.  While waiting for a decision on his second application for C.O. status he was sent to Afghanistan and fled the military when he learned he would soon be deployed to Iraq.  He fled to Canada. If Hinzman is convicted by court martial, which is likely given the public nature of his case, he faces a five-year prison sentence. It seems that the Canadian government gives more consideration to war resisters who have already served in Iraq, a fact that was not good news for Hinzman.

It is not so strange that Jeremy Hinzman’s case brings back so many memories.  When I visited with war resisters in Montreal in early 1970, I had just returned from basic training in Georgia.  The chants of “Charley,” and “Gooks,” both pejorative references to the Vietnamese, were fresh in my mind.  The recruit who shot his foot off rather than a certain deployment to Vietnam was equally disquieting.  The knowledge of war atrocities on the part of the U.S. was widely known.

The major difference between 1970 and the present is that Pierre Trudeau, then the liberal prime minister of Canada, had declared that nation a haven from “militarism.”  The present government of Canada is now led by the conservative Stephen Harper, who contrary to public opinion supporting the several hundred resisters now living in Canada, cannot do enough to please U.S. President George Bush.  Bush’s military record in and of itself is enough to make the entire understanding between governments both suspect and immoral.

Eventually, war resisters living in Canada in 1970 would total about 90,000 men.  According to the New York Times, about 25,000 of those resisters still reside there.  A total of about 209, 517 men became draft violators during the Vietnam War, and about 550,000 were military resisters.*  The scene I vividly recall in the meeting room of the American Deserters Committee was gloomy, with many men wandering in during the morning I visited with them.  Most still wore their green Army fatigue jackets.

All of these years later I recoil at the news that a fellow war resister will in all likelihood be deported back to the U.S.  Only a final appeal can stave off that result.  The U.S. continues to fight wars of aggression.  Now the military is made up of volunteers, but that does not mitigate the reality that many men and women are not able to tolerate the brutality of war, its immorality and horrors, and the rude awakening that awaits many in the training process.

HOWARD LISNOFF is an educator and freelance writer.  He can be reached at howielisnoff@gmail.com

*Jordan, Harold.  “What Happened to Vietnam Era War Resisters.” American Friends Service Committee, undated.

 

 

 

Your Ad Here
 

 

 

 

More articles by:

Howard Lisnoff is a freelance writer. He is the author of Against the Wall: Memoir of a Vietnam-Era War Resister (2017).

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
September 20, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Unipolar Governance of the Multipolar World
Rob Urie
Strike for the Environment, Strike for Social Justice, Strike!
Miguel Gutierrez
El Desmadre: The Colonial Roots of Anti-Mexican Violence
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Pompeo and Circumstance
Andrew Levine
Why Democrats Really Should Not All Get Along But Sometimes Must Anyway
Louis Proyect
A Rebellion for the Wild West
T.J. Coles
A Taste of Their Own Medicine: the Politicians Who Robbed Iranians and Libyans Fear the Same for Brexit Britain
H. Bruce Franklin
How We Launched Our Forever War in the Middle East
Lee Hall
Mayor Obedience Training, From the Pet Products Industry
Louis Yako
Working in America: Paychecks for Silence
Michael D. Yates
Radical Education
Jonathan Cook
Israelis Have Shown Netanyahu the Door. Can He Inflict More Damage Before He Exits?
Valerie Reynoso
The Rising Monopoly of Monsanto-Bayer
John Steppling
American Psychopathy
Ralph Nader
25 Ways the Canadian Health Care System is Better than Obamacare for the 2020 Elections
Ramzy Baroud
Apartheid Made Official: Deal of the Century is a Ploy and Annexation is the New Reality
Vincent Emanuele
Small Town Values
John Feffer
The Threat of Bolton Has Retreated, But Not the Threat of War
David Rosen
Evangelicals, Abstinence, Abortion and the Mainstreaming of Sex
Judy Rohrer
“Make ‘America’ White Again”: White Resentment Under the Obama & Trump Presidencies
John W. Whitehead
The Police State’s Language of Force
Kathleen Wallace
Noblesse the Sleaze
Farzana Versey
Why Should Kashmiris be Indian?
Nyla Ali Khan
Why Are Modi and His Cohort Paranoid About Diversity?
Shawn Fremstad
The Official U.S. Poverty Rate is Based on a Hopelessly Out-of-Date Metric
Mel Gurtov
No War for Saudi Oil!
Robert Koehler
‘I’m Afraid You Have Humans’
David Swanson
Every Peace Group and Activist Should Join Strike DC for the Earth’s Climate
Scott Owen
In Defense of Non-violent Actions in Revolutionary Times
Jesse Jackson
Can America Break Its Gun Addiction?
Priti Gulati Cox
Sidewalk Museum of Congress: Who Says Kansas is Flat?
Mohamad Shaaf
The Current Political Crisis: Its Roots in Concentrated Capital with the Resulting Concentrated Political Power
Max Moran
Revolving Door Project Probes Thiel’s White House Connection
Arshad Khan
Unhappy India
Nick Pemberton
Norman Fucking Rockwell! and 24 Other Favorite Albums
Nicky Reid
The Bigotry of ‘Hate Speech’ and Facebook Fascism
Paul Armentano
To Make Vaping Safer, Legalize Cannabis
Jill Richardson
Punching Through Bad Headlines
Jessicah Pierre
What the Felicity Huffman Scandal Says About America
John Kendall Hawkins
Draining the Swamp, From the Beginning of Time
Julian Rose
Four Funerals and a Wedding: A Brief History of the War on Humanity
Victor Grossman
Film, Music and Elections in Germany
Charles R. Larson
Review: Ahmet Altan’s “I Will Never See the World Again”
David Yearsley
Jazz is Activism
Elliot Sperber
Captains of Industry 
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail