Iraq is not the “second Vietnam” yet, but the US Army already has deserters as in the period of Vietnam war.
Two US Army soldiers requested Canadian authorities to grant them asylum. They do not want to serve in Iraq.
One of them is 18-year old Brandon Khagei from San Angelo, Texas. Currently he is living in the family of Quakers in San Katarinas, Ontario, and is preparing the papers to submit them to Canadian authorities. Another soldier, 25-year old Jeremy Khintsmann did not follow the order to depart for Iraq, but left the military base in Fort Bragg, NC. He hopes to be granted asylum in Canada for himself and his family: wife Nga Nguen and son Liam whom has not turned 2 years old yet.
Khagei and Khaintsmann are requesting the refugee status, Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported.
”I believe that the war in Iraq is contradicts the international law, and I am not in the position to fight in this war”, soldier Khaintsmann said.
Like Khaintsmann, Khagei joined the Army when he was 17 years old. The young men was going to earn money for studying in college. Being in the Army, the two young soldiers raised doubts about the war in Iraq and shared them with their commanders. The commanders recommended them to “think less”.
Surfing the Internet, Brandon met the man who promised him to help enter Canada. The soldier deserted on March 2, before the deployment of his military unit in Iraq. The activist of pacifist movement helped Brandon to cross the Canadian border: they pretended to be basketball fans heading for the game of their favorite team in Toronto.
The people who accommodated Khagei, helped him to meet the lawyer and Khaintsmann. Khagei became a peace movement activist: he frequently speaks out at anti-war demonstrations in Canada.
However, lawyers believe that there is no chance for the two soldiers to be granted asylum in Canada. In 2003 the record number of Americans (317) requested asylum in Canada (marijuana smokers and Moslems concerned about prosecution of them in the USA). No request was satisfied by Canadian authorities.
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