Saturday, May 24, 2008

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I am writing concerning the decision to refuse to allow U.S. Iraq war resister Corey Glass to stay in Canada. I am extremely saddened and angry to hear that our government has refused to grant him sanctuary. Did our country not refuse to participate in the Iraq war because we sided with the UN in declaring this to be an illegal and unjust war? Yet by sending Glass back to the U.S., we are basically giving a message to the United States that we agree that Glass and others like him should either have to go back to fighting this unjust and illegal war or be imprisoned for refusing to do so. That is pure hypocrisy on the part of our government. If we want to be consistent in our stance against the Iraq war, we must provide sanctuary for resisters like Glass.
Naomi Berlyne, Toronto

The above is one of three letters to the editor in response to Wednesday's Nick Kyonka's "U.S. Iraq deserter loses bid to stay" (Toronto Star). Let's stay on the topic of war resisters but expand to all who decide to self-checkout for whatever reason.

Ebony Horton helps the military out with a new line of attack on war resisters, "Military desertion prosecutions increase, cost taxpayers millions" (Dothan Eagle) and the only part worth noting from it is the following:

U.S. Navy Lt. Candice Tresch said the Navy’s numbers of declared deserters have steadily declined since fiscal year 2001.
One hundred seventy-seven U.S. Airmen have been placed on deserter status since the start of the Iraq War in 2003, according to Air Force Capt. Michael Andrews. Data showed there were 268 Airmen who were placed on deserter status between 1998 and 2003.
The U.S. Army Judiciary charged between 15 and 36 of at least 2,500 soldiers who deserted each year between 1998 and 2001, according to the Army. The number of deserting soldiers prosecuted climbed to between 79 and 108 of at least 2,400 deserters for each year between 2002 and 2007, according to data.

Tresch should be asked to produce her data. The article defines "desertion" early on as AWOL for more than 30 days. Having defined that as such (it's not always used, Agustin Aguayo was court-martialed for desertion and he turned himself in before 30 days had elapsed) and used it throughout, Horton's constructed a false premise. Someone who knows numbers and knows how to interpret data is Rick Rogers (San Diego Tribune) and, in April, his "Marine couple back after days astray"noted:

For a variety of reasons, at least 640 Marines based in California -- most of them from Camp Pendleton -- have landed in military court since June 2005 because they went AWOL, according to an analysis of Marine dockets by The San Diego Union-Tribune. Those records showed at least 30 AWOL proceedings in the past month.
Such "conduct waivers" for Army recruits rose from 8,129 in fiscal 2006 to 10,258 in fiscal 2007. For Marine Corps recruits, they increased from 16,969 to 17,413.

Creating a false construct for "desertion" (and refusing to question the numbers) allows Tresch to present a false picture. Note that Rogers is covering "Marines based in California" only. Horton should have dropped the false construct and dealt with real numbers. Had that taken place, Tresch wouldn't have been allowed to lie.

No doubt Tresch's next line of attack will be that the wounded and dead service members are also costing tax payers. (The only price tax payers are paying is that of the illegal war.)

From Alexandra Zavis' "Iraq bomb injures 6 Marines" (Los Angeles Times):

Six U.S. Marines were injured and their Iraqi interpreter was killed Friday when a roadside bomb struck their patrol near Fallouja, the military said.
There was at least one other explosion in the city during the day, underscoring fears that Sunni Arab militants loyal to Al Qaeda in Iraq may be attempting to stage a comeback in their former stronghold.
The U.S. military also announced the death of a soldier Thursday in a roadside bombing about 12 miles southwest of Baghdad. At least 4,080 American military personnel have died since U.S.-led forces invaded Iraq in March 2003, according to

Since Zavis filed her story, ICCC's total has increased to 4081.

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