US Army Pvt. Brandon Hughey, 20, told the [Canadian] Immigration and Refugee Board that he refused "to kill people or lose my life under false pretenses."I know that it's unlikely, perhaps impossible, that American military refusing to serve will be granted asylum in Canada right now. Until there's actually a draft, that's the way it will be, in accordance with current Canadian law. My purpose in writing about Hughey isn't to urge Canada to do anything. It's just to highlight this one brave person, choosing to lay down his arms.
Hughey said he believed the war in Iraq was illegal and his conscience obliged him to desert his Ft. Hood, Texas army base last year. He said when he joined the military at 17 he was looking for a way to put himself through college and respected the military.
"I believe some things are worth fighting for, like defending my home and my family," Hughey told the board. "I had no moral objection to fighting back then. In some circumstances, war can be justified."
He believed US President George W. Bush had proof that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, so he initially supported the war. But he later determined he didn't want to fight a country that was not posing a direct threat to the United States "and people who were in no way threatening to me."
Brandon Hughey has a website, so we can send him our support directly. I'm sure he's getting a lot of abuse from rabid wingnuts. I figure he could use some good wishes.
Hughey's attorney is Jeffrey House, the same person representing Jeremy Hinzman, the first conscientious objector to seek refuge in Canada.
Sometimes I imagine a scenario where our new home becomes a stop on an underground railroad for draft resisters. As long as they like dogs.
Brandon Hughey's website is full of good anti-war & anti-occupation links, in addition to his own story. Good luck, Brandon. We are with you.