refusing to kill civilians is not cowardice. it is bravery.

The one-year anniversary of war resister Rodney Watson taking refuge in a Vancouver church was all over the Canadian media, especially, of course, in Vancouver. In response to this story in The Province, responses were generally unsupportive. That's not surprising, given what we know about comment sections in online media - and given that the Harper government has paid operatives trolling the internet.

Here's a great letter in response to one of those misinformed comments.
Comparing war resister Rodney Watson to a firefighter not wanting to go into a burning building is ridiculous. The true analogy is that Watson did not want to be a firefighter who was forced to set fire on people after he already served his contract. He signed up to defend the U.S., but saw instead the Iraq War was based on lies, so he followed the Nuremberg principles and refused to participate in war crimes.

For this he has the support of the majority of Canadians and of Parliament, and would be a free man were it not for the minority Stephen Harper government's refusal to respect democracy.

Shame on the Harper government for trying to separate a veteran from his family and deport him to jail for standing with Canada against the Iraq War.

Jesse McLaren, Toronto

We cannot point out often enough that "he signed a contract" is not an adequate defence against war crimes. Military contracts are written to protect the interests of the military. Human rights and human life are more important.

It also cannot be repeated often enough that many of the war resisters honoured the full terms of their contracts, but the US military did not.

Short, factual letters such as this make a difference. Why not take five minutes and write one to your local newspaper?

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