I’m not going back

There are two debates suggested in the Talking Points page that we think warrant their own post. This from ZK. ‘Canada, traditionally a refuge for American military deserters, is preparing to begin deporting some back south to face trial. Any thoughts on this? Is Harper’s government right to do so?’ The man at the centre of this is American Corey Glass. Here, he makes his case for refusing to fight. Are you convinced? Are there circumstances where soldiers should be able to refuse to go to war?

46 Responses to “I’m not going back”

  1. 1 steve
    June 11, 2008 at 13:34

    There isn’t a draft, he volunteered to serve then refused to obey orders. He’s a criminal and should be sent back. Had he been drafted, a clear violation of the 13th amendment, then it would be a completely different story.

  2. 2 Katharina in Ghent
    June 11, 2008 at 13:50

    As Steve said, there isn’t a draft, even though I believe that many young Americans were encouraged to join the army under (more or less) false promises. The only solid reason why you should be allowed to refuse is when there is some serious personal issue in the country where they want to send you to: a jewish soldier into Nazi Germany, a soldier of kurdish decent into Southern Iraq, or something similar.

    The other thing is that the army is just another employer, Corey Glass wanted to quit but wasn’t allowed to. If I wanted to quit I could stay at home beginning tomorrow.

  3. 3 Brett
    June 11, 2008 at 13:56

    I support any soldier who changes their minds about serving their politicians (note, not their country, because that is not what they are serving).

    Until politicians are held accountable for their decisions and actions, soldiers should not be the ones suffering the brunt of their horrible and rash decisions.

    A soldier should not be forced to go and die or risk death because at one point they trusted a country who has since betrayed them.

    The draft is completely different, theres no questioning there, I’m even more firmly against that whole system.

  4. June 11, 2008 at 13:57

    @ Steve

    I totally disagree with you! How can send back someone who sought refuge in your home to the hands of those who won’t feel any mercy for him.You pointed out that volunteered to serve then refused to obey orders.I don’t see anything wrong with that.

    Steve in our traditional culture as africans anybody who seeks protections from us will be wellcomed wether he is guilty or not.

    Soldiers are not friendly in any societies unlike teachers or nurses but we must understand that they are our humanbeings! and they are not criminals as you stated in your comments!

  5. 5 steve
    June 11, 2008 at 14:00

    @ Abdi

    So you’re saying a serial killer/pedophile would be welcomed in Africa? He is a criminal because he went AWOL and fled the country to avoid serving his obligation that he willingly took on. If he didn’t want to, he should never have enlisted.

  6. 6 Tino
    June 11, 2008 at 14:01

    As has been said, it is a volunteer army. If you joined for: education money, etc and did not expect to fight that is your own fault. His excuse of only thinking he would fight on US soil is ridiculous:
    “They have also participated in U.S. peacekeeping operations in Somalia, Haiti, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bosnia, and Kosovo as well as for natural disasters, strikes, riots and security for the Olympic Games when they have been in the States.”

    Brett, joining the armed forces does not entail picking and choosing which fights you like, sorry. You feel so on the fence – you never should have joined in the first place. Especially post 9/11, when you should be assuming you will see some action somewhere.

  7. 7 steve
    June 11, 2008 at 14:01

    @ Brett

    Should a police officer refuse to help someone whose life is in danger because the police officer is afraid of getting hurt or thinks the person he is is supposed to protect isn’t worthy of being protected? if you don’t like the duties of your job, don’t apply for the job.

  8. 8 Brett
    June 11, 2008 at 14:16

    A police officer helping someone whos life is in danger and a soldier refusing to kill or be killed, often with ideals conflicting with his own, is completely different.

    The US Army uses despicable recruitment tactics on kids often too young or naive to understand the depth of their choices. If the US Army stopped recruiting out of schools, providing false accounts of what life will be like in the army, and going after youth like they are the hot market for the newest gaming system, I would change my stance.

    Be upfront and honest about what you are getting these kids into. Until the Army is honest with it’s recruits, it cannot expect its recruits to be honest with them.

  9. 9 steve
    June 11, 2008 at 14:26

    @ Brett

    It’s still a soldier’s job to do what he’s told, just like it’s a police officer’s job to help people the officer may not like. If someone joins the military thinking only of getting an education and a trade, then they’ve got something coming. That’s what he signed up for. IF you don’t want the burdens, then don’t enlist. Why stop recruiting out of schools? Can they say “no” like I did?

  10. 10 selenayvonne
    June 11, 2008 at 14:36


    No! Not everyone can say no! Not everyone can have your luxury of saying no.

    Are you intelligent? Were you born in the slums? Did your family have medical insurance? Did you have any problem paying for your education?

    Take off the rose-colored glasses, Steve. You are living in a country where often, if you are poor and of average intelligence, the only way to get ahead is to join the Army.

    Need I go on?

    A soldier’s job cannot be compared to any other.

  11. June 11, 2008 at 14:48

    The guy signed a pact with the devil and failed to read those fine Terms Of The Contract usaully spelt out in the footnote. When you sign up for the force, you are saying OK to all the Rules And Regulations including bombing Churches and Mosques, killing women and children as well as maiming innocent civilians. Those are the fine lines he failed to read and charges must follow his direliction of duty.

  12. 12 Tino
    June 11, 2008 at 15:16

    “You are living in a country where often, if you are poor and of average intelligence, the only way to get ahead is to join the Army.”

    Then the army should be demonized by you guys for offering an opportunity? No one can possibly say they did not thing they would ever end up fighting – when joining the MILITARY. No 18-year old is ‘naive’ enough to think that. Hell, I bet no 10-year old is that naive. I was aware of what the armed forces were for pretty early. Stop making excuses for poor behavior. If you could just get free schooling without fighting – everyone would do it. There is a cost associated and everyone knows exactly what it is.

  13. 13 steve
    June 11, 2008 at 15:16

    @ selena

    “Are you intelligent? Were you born in the slums? Did your family have medical insurance? Did you have any problem paying for your education? ”

    Not everyone who is not intelligent, or who is poor, or who doesn’t not have insurance, or who has problems paying for education joins the military. In fact, most do not. Hence it was their CHOICE to join the military, hence their responsibility to do what they’re told and not run away at the first time they don’t like having to do what they signed up to do. He wasn’t drafted. It’s his own fault, and I hope he sits in jail for a long time.

    it’s not my fault, or anyone else’s who doesn’t have the ability to simply say “no thanks”.

    PS: I paid $200,000 for my education and will be repaying it for probably my entire life.

  14. 14 selenayvonne
    June 11, 2008 at 15:36


    I am certain that you had every economic advantage when you were growing up. Or, if you didn’t, you were smart enough to look after yourself. Actually, you strike me as a smart person who believes everyone can be like you.

    Why do I say that?

    Well, it is only people who are advantaged in money and/or intelligence that can ignore the very real challenges facing people in difficult economic and average intelligence circumstances.

    You also ignore the challenges facing women and the elderly, but that’s another story. I have many friends like you, my dear Steve.

    Don’t forget! Before we criticize people we have to walk a mile in their shoes!

  15. 15 steve
    June 11, 2008 at 15:40


    “Don’t forget! Before we criticize people we have to walk a mile in their shoes!”

    So when a police officer refused to protect you because they don’t like you, refusing to do their duty, we shouldn’t criticize him because he might have a very good reason for not liking someone he’s never met before?

    Again, there are plenty of disadvantaged people that don’t join the military, most don’t join the military. Why not hold people responsible for their decisions?

  16. 16 Brett
    June 11, 2008 at 15:40

    Stop making excuses for poor behavior. If you could just get free schooling without fighting – everyone would do it. There is a cost associated and everyone knows exactly what it is.

    Do you not think that the Army uses marketing tactics which include ‘false advertising’? Not even just a little bit? With so many companies being held to account for their false advertising and lies to consumers, should the US Government be any less accountable? Lives are at stake, not a poor purchasing decision.
    Or is the argument, “Well despite what the Army shows life will be like in its commercials and brochures, everyone knows what it’s really like?” Wrong, not everyone knows what it is really like until they live it. It is the governments responsibility to adequately portray the positive AND negative sides of the choices facing these youngsters. Anything less, and the current way of recruitment, is disingenuous and thus hindering a kids ability to make a well-informed decision.

  17. 17 Count Iblis
    June 11, 2008 at 15:46

    Steve, what about Iraqi soldiers who listened to Bush when he said that: “don’t fight for a dying army” and deserted? They violated Iraq law and no one in their right mind would suggest that they should be prosecuted. However, from your reasoning one cannot arrive at this conclusion. 🙂

  18. 18 Shirley
    June 11, 2008 at 15:47

    Carey knew what he was signing up for. He was enlisting with the National Guard. The National Guard is not intended for foreign deployment. Its mission is to remain in the country, defend against attacks from within our borders, and assist with natural and other disasters. Carey says himself that “I was told I would only be in combat if there were troops occupying the United States” and that his intention was “to defend people and do humanitarian work filling sandbags if there was a hurricane.” Furthermore, he came to the conclusion that he was fighting in an unjust war: “I realised innocent people were being killed unjustly and I tried to quit the military while in Iraq.” Carey has every good reason to be a conscientious objector, and I don’t think that we should begrudge him that.

    I am also surprised that even though the House of Commons passed a motion saying that the Canadian government should make it possible for conscientious objectors to get permanent residence in Canada and called for an end to deportation proceedings, Canada is moving forward with the deportation of those who came there to avoid fighting in a war in which they do not believe.

    Jonathan Kay does not appear to understand the subject at hand. He said, “this pale, lanky 25-year-old should be playing synth in a Gothic emo band – not kicking down doors in Iraq.” Carey was not on the front lines. He worked in intel. Jonathan also stated that “Glass did sign up for military service.” He did not acknowledge the distinction between the Army and the National Guard. Either he did not know, or he was hand-picking those details that supported his argument and leaving aside anything that weakened it.

  19. 19 selenayvonne
    June 11, 2008 at 15:50

    @ Brett

    You have stated the position much better than I ever could.

    Very few young persons going into the Military are making well-informed decisions.

    That is the crux of the matter, as far as I am concerned.


    As stated before, there is no comparison between the police and the military.

  20. 20 steve
    June 11, 2008 at 15:52

    @ Shirley

    So you’re suggesting that because he signed up for the National Guard, that he’s justified in deserting? Last I checked, the National Guard is still the military. He didn’t learn how to make wicker baskets and take arts and crafts. He learned how to fire weapons. Gee, should we let everyone decide whether they believe in a war or not and refuse to serve based upon that?

    ““I realised innocent people were being killed unjustly and I tried to quit the military while in Iraq.””

    maybe he was referring to the terrorists who lovingly blow themselves up in front of crowds of civilians becuase they belong to the “wrong” sect. Oh no, of course not, US soldiers unintentionally killing civilians is FAR worse than deliberately killing civilians due to them worshipping fictional deity differently than the bomber does.

  21. 21 selenayvonne
    June 11, 2008 at 15:54

    @Count Iblis

    Good point!

    Logic is often one-sided! 😉

  22. 22 judy
    June 11, 2008 at 16:01

    He should be sent home to make his case, which is weak. He may have signed up thinking he would never need to really serve, but I didn’t see any sign that he is really a Conscientious Objector or would qualify for that status. Do you really think he would have signed up if he were? Not real likely that he thought he would be filling sandbags considering the training he was given. More likely he thought he would be getting something for nothing.

  23. 23 steve
    June 11, 2008 at 16:04

    Bravo @ Judy

    He will be held accountable for his actions. Don’t wanna be put into combat? Don’t join the military. It’s not like he was drafted. He willingly made the decision to join up, and ran from his obligation, while trying to take all the benefits given to him.

  24. 24 ZK
    June 11, 2008 at 16:06

    Can someone please enlighten me as to whether what he claims is correct, that deserting the military is a capital offence?

  25. 25 steve
    June 11, 2008 at 16:09


    I’m not sure if it still is. Desertion used to lead to execution, now it’s just a bit of jail time. The last US soldier to be executed for desertion was in WW2, and it only happened one time. Back in WW1, it was common to be executed. See Paths of Glory.

  26. 26 judy
    June 11, 2008 at 16:31

    What I read about his version of the story seems more like drama (probably suggested by an attorney) to gather sympathy for him. He should be allowed to make his case at home, knowing that he may be held accountable and these days that would more likely be a slap on the hand, or time served.

  27. 27 Brett
    June 11, 2008 at 16:48

    For the record, I do believe that a ‘deserter’ should repay any and all benefits outside of rate-pay for the time he/she served (in these are included allowances, educational benefits, etc). No one is entitled to reap the benefits of a serviceman / woman if he / she does not do the time like everyone else. They do deserve compensation for their time and services rednered.

  28. 28 steve
    June 11, 2008 at 16:54

    The irony if he’s convicted, canada won’t even let him cross the border in the future!

  29. 29 judy
    June 11, 2008 at 17:25

    I found this about another deserter:
    “In one recent case, a soldier who went absent without leave for seven weeks was jailed for seven months and given a dishonorable discharge, which amounts to a criminal record.”
    this was writen last month

  30. 30 Tino
    June 11, 2008 at 18:18

    FYI everyone, the National Guard, as I said earlier, has been deployed overseas numerous times:

    ““They have also participated in U.S. peacekeeping operations in Somalia, Haiti, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bosnia, and Kosovo as well as for natural disasters, strikes, riots and security for the Olympic Games when they have been in the States.””

    No excuse for not knowing that if you are part of the organization.

    @ Steve

    Thank you for making the point, which no one seems to acknowledge, that the people we are fighting INTENTIONALLY kill far, far more civilians than we do accidentally. Yet we still catch the most flak for some reason. How is the deserter more upset with our accidental civilians casualties than the ones perpetrated on purpose by the people we are fighting? We try our absolute hardest not to kill civilians.

  31. 31 Brett
    June 11, 2008 at 18:25

    We try our absolute hardest not to kill civilians.

    Wrong, we (The US) often try not to kill civilians; The US DOES NOT try its absolute hardest not to kill civilians. If it did, it wouldnt use DU, cluster bombs, bombs in general, missions in densely populated civilian areas, etc.

  32. 32 Chuck Paugh
    June 11, 2008 at 18:33

    This is an issue that bears following the money trail. The American government has been giving large sums of money to various political action committees and organizations within Canada over the past decade that funnel these funds into to the pockets of Canadian politicians. The American government has threatened to withdraw these funds should Canada permit asylum seeking military deserters to remain in Canada. I believe that should Canada permit a nationwide vote on the issue, then a very large percentage of the Canadian people would support granting asylum to these war objectors. (Chuck in Portland, Oregon)

  33. 33 Tino
    June 11, 2008 at 18:33


    If we were not willing to use those things our weaknesses would be easily exploited. Kind of like how they exploit the fact that we cannot enter mosques over there. Notice the stories on caches of weapons and bomb making materials inside them over there? Think there just might be a connection? Same reason Hamas launches attacks from schools and uses human shields. We are not willing to attack back in said situations – which I agree with – but a line must be drawn. I think we set the ‘line’ in the best possible place.

  34. 34 kathi25
    June 11, 2008 at 19:12

    One point that hasn’t been raised yet: he only came to the conclusion that the Iraq war is wrong AFTER he went there, yet before he was fine with it, as long as he didn’t have to serve there??? Now there’s an ignorant person!

  35. 35 Dennis
    June 11, 2008 at 19:20

    I don’t blame this young guy, is refusing to return to the United States of America.

    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  36. 36 kathi25
    June 11, 2008 at 19:20

    @ Chuck:

    “The American government has been giving large sums of money to various political action committees and organizations within Canada over the past decade that funnel these funds into to the pockets of Canadian politicians.”

    Ha??? Such as slapping high taxes onto Canadian softwood to protect the American industry??? Canada had a budget surplus for the last 10+ years (maybe Will knows the exact number), and that because it cut spending drastically and raised taxes, not because of some under the tables money laundering!

  37. 37 Emile Barre
    June 11, 2008 at 22:51

    Only if the soldier believes the cause to be just.

  38. 38 Pangolin
    June 12, 2008 at 03:52

    The US once tried foreign nationals for war crimes completely dismissing that they were ordered to commit those crimes by their duly authorized superiors. This policy continues to this day.

    To deny US soldiers the right to refuse orders due to a concientious objection that they would be participating in war crimes stinks of hypocrisy.

    International law is for the rest of you and doesn’t apply to the US. If our pRezident orders it, it’s legal.

    Jesus wept.

  39. 39 viola anderson
    June 12, 2008 at 05:38


    Really! Show some supporting proof for your assertion that the American gov’t is buying Canadian politicians or withdraw the accusation. It’s unethical to make unfounded allegations simply because you know that some people will believe anything.

  40. 40 viola anderson
    June 12, 2008 at 05:57

    The man is a deserter, period. The fact that he believes he has just cause for deserting is not even relevant. The fact that others think he has just cause is not relevant. If he is a conscientious objector, he should have sought conscientious objector status, or is that not allowed in an all volunteer military?

    Pangolin: Actually, I believe that every soldier is expected to know what is and is not legal and is required to refuse to follow illegal orders. I would think, however, that he or she would then have to prove the orders were illegal or face punishment.

    It may be true that in a combat situation it is illegal not to follow orders. Could someone knowledgable in military law clarify that?

  41. June 12, 2008 at 12:45

    While Corey Glass knew what he was getting into, the Republicans and Democrats mislead him as well. Both are at fault. Canada should let him stay instead of deporting him to face “justice” by an illegitimate government.

  42. 42 John in Germany
    June 12, 2008 at 14:37

    America is a land of many nations, a land made from emigrants, all with different roots. Over the years they have become Americans loyal to the American flag and way of life. The blood that flows through thier veins is that of their fore-fathers, carrying the genes of origin. So it is very possible that soldiers have a problem in fighting in some areas of the World. It must have been very hard for some Irish men to fight in the conflict , even though they were loyal to the Crown.

    If this type of conflict accours it would be possible to screen, so that concious problems are erased at the beginning.

    It would be wrong of Canada to send these men back to sure imprisonment.

    John in Germany

  43. 43 judy
    June 12, 2008 at 17:20

    If you live somewhere else you may not know that “conscientious objector” is a term that is used in the military and defined and not just two words to be thrown around.
    Since enlistment is voluntary you would not usually sign up if you were really an Objector.

    “Conscientious Objector Regulations
    Military regulations today provide for discharge or transfer to noncombatant status for people who object to “participation in war in any form.” ….
    At your enlistment, you signed a statement saying you weren’t a conscientious objector.”
    judy in Oregon

  44. 44 Tino
    June 13, 2008 at 14:14

    “face “justice” by an illegitimate government.”

    Yeah, certainly wasn’t elected by the people or anything.

  45. 45 Edward Ibrahim
    June 13, 2008 at 15:59

    The conscentious objector regulations as a means of introducing some form of choice in combat situation is very laughable. Soldiers from time immemorial were meant to fight wars irrespective of the enemies dispositions. The idea of legalising desertion under any form of caption is escapist. A soldier is a soldier and a deserter is a deserter however we wanna look at it. What if every one in the force decides to object conscentiously in the face of external aggression? who then defends the country? The villification of the millitary is rather unjust considering the vital role it plays in maintaining peace in the world.We must try to look at the millitary purely from a millitary perpective as distinct from the self serving actions or inactions of politicians. It is so sad that an institution deserving of respect like the millitary must be under the command of unscrupulous and some times dim witted politicians.

  46. 46 Mike
    July 8, 2008 at 00:31

    Corey Glass is a BUM and lier.

    I served during the first gulf war and there where bums like Glass and Key that said they only joined the military for what they though was free college money. They never dreamed they would have to do their actual MOS in a combat area.

    Glass is a real class act with his statement that he believed the National Guard was a humanitarian organization. The National Guard and Reserves were deployed during Vietnam and to an extent WWII. The big mistake he made was joining the military when he should have stayed at home flipping burgers. He’s one of the ones that should not have made it through boot camp without being weeded out and sent home.

    As long as he was able to show up for his monthly training and go home at night to his own bed, while getting college money he was all for the National Guard. But once he was called on to fulfill his obligation he wanted none of that. Don’t kid yourself he would have tired quickly even providing humanitarian aid in New Orleans during Katrina. But in that cause it would have been some other injustice that made him flee.

    If Canada lets them stay fine, but don’t ever let the bums back across the border. He’s blowing smoke up peoples asses and ttheir believing his crap.

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