Friday, November 16, 2007

Hinzman and Hughey

Jeremy Hinzman attended a protest in Toronto last night, but the U.S. Army deserter didn't want to talk about his lost court battle to stay in Canada.
"He's disappointed. He's tired of talking," said his lawer Jeffry House at the demonstration outside the Federal Court on University Ave.
Yesterday the Supreme Court of Canda refused to hear appeals from Hinzman and Brandon Hughey, another U.S. citizen who fled here to avoid deployment in Iraq.
The above is from Tracy Huffman and Debra Black's "Supreme Court denies appeal by U.S. deserter" (Toronto Star). War resisters Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey are not being "thrown out" of Canada today -- as one gleeful right-winger seems to believe. There are other avenues. We noted Hinzman and Hughey's role in the large movement of war resistance last night, noted the news itself yesterday morning and the snapshot included some reactions and some resources. John Ward's "U.S. War resisters supported" (Canadian Press via London Free Press) explains the focus will now be on the federal government (Jeffry House: "I think the focus now turns to a political solution") with Canadian Friends Service Committee's Jane Orion Smith advocating Parliament "create a provision for them to stay". Ward notes that US war resister Tim Richard was present at the London rally and that he wonders, "Why is it legal for me (to stay), because my father was born in New Brunswick, and not legal for somebody else who did the exact same thing?"
Tim Richard was far from the only war resister attending the rallies yesterday. Huffman and Black note:
Kim Rivera, the first known female soldier to desert to Canada after serving three months in Iraq, said she fled because she was fighting a war she didn't support.
"I strongly believe we are doing the wrong thing in Iraq," she said to applause, adding she couldn't look at the shaken and crying Iraqi children without thinking of her own daughter in Texas.
That's Kimberly Rivera who went to Canada in February 2007 with her husband (Mario) and their two young children. It's a movement of war resistance. And a bunch of tired desk jockies in NYC can't tell you that because they don't know what's going on in the country or the world. They're not going to end the illegal war because they've never wanted to. They've wanted to rattle paper, they've wanted to sell some books, they just haven't given a damn about the illegal war. You know the type -- they suddenly 'discover' Iraq when a politician hoping to become president mentions it. Then it slips their minds again. That's been the sad and shameful reality year after year. And nothing's changed to this day for little media.
But the ground's shifted, the ground's changed, underneath them. Without their knowing it.
Rodney Watson becomes the latest war resister to go public. Suzanne Fournier (The Province) reports the 29-year-old, African-American self-checked out and moved to Canada a year ago after serving in the Iraq War. Watson explains: "I realized the war had nothing to do with 9/11 or helping Iraqis or stopping terrorists. It's all about guarding oil for the U.S." As to what happens if he is deported, Watson declares:
I'd rather do my time in jail than be a party to the racism I saw in Iraq. As an African-American, I grew up with racism. But in Iraq, I saw the same kind of abuse and mistreatment, only this was U.S. enlisted soldiers and American contractors, like security forces, abusing Iraqis.
There's no denying the impact that Hinzman and Hughey have had and the reality is that the Supreme Court verdict issued yesterday was never the end of the story -- not for the movement of war resistance and not for Hinzman and Hughey. The New York Times isn't worth noting. "Canada Rebuffs 2 U.S. Deserters" runs on A14. It's brief (we noted it last night) but it's probably (and sadly) more attention that many outlets will give the story.
The sad reality is that people do care about this issue. These are going up late because we (Jim, Ava and I) grabbed two non-planned groups this morning and there wasn't time before now (thank you to ___ for taking this morning's dictation). Desk jockeys should stay behind their desks, they wouldn't recognize the world that's out there -- it's too far from the way they misportray it.
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