December 11, 2004

Conscientious Objectors: 5,500 Have Deserted

"I was told in basic training that, if I'm given an illegal or immoral order, it is my duty to disobey it, and I feel that invading and occupying Iraq is an illegal and immoral thing to do." - Spc. Jeremy Hinzman

"I have to say that my image of my country always being the good guy, and always fighting for just causes, has been shattered." - Brandon Hughey, applying for refugee status in Canada.

"The United States is supposed to comply with treaty obligations like the U.N. charter, but they don’t. When the president isn’t complying with the Geneva Accords or with the U.N. charter, are we saying, 'Only the soldier who signed up when he was 17 -- that guy has to strictly comply with contract? The president, he doesn’t have to?' I don’t think so. I don’t think that is fair." - Toronto Lawyer Jeffry House, representing deserting US soldiers.

CBS has a 60 Minutes investigation into the growing number of US desertions. This last one kind of got me chuckling:

"I was walking to chow hall with my unit, and we were yelling, 'Train to kill, kill we will,' over and over again," recalls Hinzman. "I kind of snuck a peek around me and saw all my colleagues getting red in the face and hoarse yelling -- and at that point a light went off in my head and I said, 'You know, I made the wrong career decision.'" - Spc. Jeremy Hinzman.

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