FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

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).

Weekend Edition
April 20, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Ruling Class Operatives Say the Darndest Things: On Devils Known and Not
Conn Hallinan
The Great Game Comes to Syria
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Mother of War
Andrew Levine
“How Come?” Questions
Doug Noble
A Tale of Two Atrocities: Douma and Gaza
Kenneth Surin
The Blight of Ukania
Howard Lisnoff
How James Comey Became the Strange New Hero of the Liberals
William Blum
Anti-Empire Report: Unseen Persons
Lawrence Davidson
Missiles Over Damascus
Patrick Cockburn
The Plight of the Yazidi of Afrin
Pete Dolack
Fooled Again? Trump Trade Policy Elevates Corporate Power
Stan Cox
For Climate Mobilization, Look to 1960s Vietnam Before Turning to 1940s America
William Hawes
Global Weirding
Dan Glazebrook
World War is Still in the Cards
Nick Pemberton
In Defense of Cardi B: Beyond Bourgeois PC Culture
Ishmael Reed
Hollywood’s Last Days?
Peter Certo
There Was Nothing Humanitarian About Our Strikes on Syria
Dean Baker
China’s “Currency Devaluation Game”
Ann Garrison
Why Don’t We All Vote to Commit International Crimes?
LEJ Rachell
The Baddest Black Power Artist You Never Heard Of
Lawrence Ware
All Hell Broke Out in Oklahoma
Franklin Lamb
Tehran’s Syria: Lebanon Colonization Project is Collapsing
Donny Swanson
Janus v. AFSCME: What’s It All About?
Will Podmore
Brexit and the Windrush Britons
Brian Saady
Boehner’s Marijuana Lobbying is Symptomatic of Special-Interest Problem
Julian Vigo
Google’s Delisting and Censorship of Information
Patrick Walker
Political Dynamite: Poor People’s Campaign and the Movement for a People’s Party
Fred Gardner
Medical Board to MDs: Emphasize Dangers of Marijuana
Rob Seimetz
We Must Stand In Solidarity With Eric Reid
Missy Comley Beattie
Remembering Barbara Bush
Wim Laven
Teaching Peace in a Time of Hate
Thomas Knapp
Freedom is Winning in the Encryption Arms Race
Mir Alikhan
There Won’t be Peace in Afghanistan Until There’s Peace in Kashmir
Robert Koehler
Playing War in Syria
Tamara Pearson
US Shootings: Gun Industry Killing More People Overseas
John Feffer
Trump’s Trade War is About Trump Not China
Morris Pearl
Why the Census Shouldn’t Ask About Citizenship
Ralph Nader
Bill Curry on the Move against Public Corruption
Josh Hoxie
Five Tax Myths Debunked
Leslie Mullin
Democratic Space in Adverse Times: Milestone at Haiti’s University of the Aristide Foundation
Louis Proyect
Syria and Neo-McCarthyism
Dean Baker
Finance 202 Meets Economics 101
Abel Cohen
Forget Gun Control, Try Bullet Control
Robert Fantina
“Damascus Time:” An Iranian Movie
David Yearsley
Bach and Taxes
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail