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).

February 20, 2019
Anthony DiMaggio
Withdrawal Pains and Syrian Civil War: An Analysis of U.S. Media Discourse
Charles Pierson
When Saudi Arabia Gets the Bomb
Doug Johnson Hatlem
“Electability” is Real (Unless Married with the Junk Science of Ideological Spectrum Analysis)
Kenneth Surin
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline: Another Boondoggle in Virginia
John Feffer
The Psychology of the Wall
Dean Baker
Modern Monetary Theory and Taxing the Rich
Russell Mokhiber
Citizens Arrested Calling Out Manchin on Rockwool
George Ochenski
Unconstitutional Power Grabs
Michael T. Klare
War With China? It’s Already Under Way
Thomas Knapp
The Real Emergency Isn’t About the Wall, It’s About the Separation of Powers
Manuel García, Jr.
Two Worlds
Daniel Warner
The Martin Ennals and Victorian Prize Winners Contrast with Australia’s Policies against Human Dignity
Norman Solomon
What the Bernie Sanders 2020 Campaign Means for Progressives
Dan Corjescu
2020 Vision: A Strategy of Courage
Matthew Johnson
Why Protest Trump When We Can Impeach Him?
William A. Cohn
Something New and Something Old: a Story Still Being Told
Bill Martin
The Fourth Hypothesis: the Present Juncture of the Trump Clarification and the Watershed Moment on the Washington Mall
February 19, 2019
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Troublesome Possibilities: The Left and Tulsi Gabbard
Patrick Cockburn
She Didn’t Start the Fire: Why Attack the ISIS Bride?
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Literature and Theater During War: Why Euripides Still Matters
Maximilian Werner
The Night of Terror: Wyoming Game and Fish’s Latest Attempt to Close the Book on the Mark Uptain Tragedy
Conn Hallinan
Erdogan is Destined for Another Rebuke in Turkey
Nyla Ali Khan
Politics of Jammu and Kashmir: The Only Viable Way is Forward
Mark Ashwill
On the Outside Looking In: an American in Vietnam
Joyce Nelson
Sir Richard Branson’s Venezuelan-Border PR Stunt
Ron Jacobs
Day of Remembrance and the Music of Anthony Brown        
Cesar Chelala
Women’s Critical Role in Saving the Environment
February 18, 2019
Paul Street
31 Actual National Emergencies
Robert Fisk
What Happened to the Remains of Khashoggi’s Predecessor?
David Mattson
When Grizzly Bears Go Bad: Constructions of Victimhood and Blame
Julian Vigo
USMCA’s Outsourcing of Free Speech to Big Tech
George Wuerthner
How the BLM Serves the West’s Welfare Ranchers
Christopher Fons
The Crimes of Elliot Abrams
Thomas Knapp
The First Rule of AIPAC Is: You Do Not Talk about AIPAC
Mitchel Cohen
A Tale of Two Citations: Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” and Michael Harrington’s “The Other America”
Jake Johnston
Haiti and the Collapse of a Political and Economic System
Dave Lindorff
It’s Not Just Trump and the Republicans
Laura Flanders
An End to Amazon’s Two-Bit Romance. No Low-Rent Rendezvous.
Patrick Walker
Venezuelan Coup Democrats Vomit on Green New Deal
Natalie Dowzicky
The Millennial Generation Will Tear Down Trump’s Wall
Nick Licata
Of Stress and Inequality
Joseph G. Ramsey
Waking Up on President’s Day During the Reign of Donald Trump
Elliot Sperber
Greater Than Food
Weekend Edition
February 15, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Matthew Hoh
Time for Peace in Afghanistan and an End to the Lies
Chris Floyd
Pence and the Benjamins: An Eternity of Anti-Semitism
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail