I’m unconvinced that Citizenship and Immigration Canada is up to anything devious with the announced of new centralization of military deserter cases, as described in the Globe and Mail yesterday. Nevertheless, I think that MP Gerard Kennedy’s response to the changes gets to the heart of the matter. The G&M quotes Mr. Kennedy as saying the changes are “part of a propaganda campaign … to cast war resisters as criminals.”
To cast war resisters as criminals requires a propaganda campaign?
I think not. It’s no stretch to consider them criminals.
These are United States citizens, military volunteers, who are justly wanted by authorities in that country to face a variety of charges stemming from their desertion. No, they are not “criminals” yet, since they have yet to be convicted due to the fact that they are in hiding in another country. But once they do return, they will face the charges. Most of those who have already returned have been found guilty and served time.
I’m unclear as to Kennedy’s motivation here. Is he suggesting that such desertion charges are somehow wrong or immoral? Is he advocating the repeal of similar Canadian laws that our own soldiers face? I don’t believe he has considered the full implications on Canadian military discipline of his proposals.