Laptop Anthropologist

Movement of the People

By Tara Murtha
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 4 | Posted Jul. 16, 2008

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The representative smiles at me. "Well, I think it is best that you stay behind," he says, "as this is a business meeting and if you come it will then change zee nature, yes?"


Bob Smith, a Vietnam War resister who spent more than seven months in jail in 1970 for refusing to register for the draft, is one of the four who goes upstairs.

A member of the Brandywine Peace Community, he's been working with Payday for the last 10 years.

"I thought it was very cordial and friendly," he says afterward. "It was actually the counsel general who brought up the issue of Canada's history of openness to refugee asylum. Frankly I wasn't necessarily planning on talking about my own contacts or experience in Canada."

Huh. Is this how things can get done? How understanding can be reached? With a handful of poets and vets and markers and a megaphone?


Later that day, Canada's federal court says Glass can stay while it decides whether to hear his case.

Was it internal pressure or the combined impact of small, civil global protests, like the one outside Liberty Place?

Maybe it's only another extension of the inevitable, but Glass, now a funeral director in Canada, is reportedly happy just to buy the time.

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1. lenni_lenape said... on Jul 15, 2008 at 10:43PM

“Very well done, and movements by the people are fueled by the press. The war in Iraq/Afghanistan is the result of sociopaths running the country. Canada should not give in to pressure from the US and return people who refuse to be drafted into military service. That being said, this particular individual was not drafted. There's no draft, is there? He apparently signed on, but I'm not sure when. Was it before we invaded Irafastan? His moral objections to the war are pretty much irrelevant. He joined the National Guard. What were his morals telling him then? How long did he serve? He started a family? You never say he was actually in combat as an intelligence officer. You're the anthropologist, what's this all tell you about Humankind? Maybe about a man who took a job because he had limited options. "He was told when he signed up that the only way he'd be in combat was if foreign troops occupied the United States." That's it? What did he think he would be doing? Teaching Humanities & Art to the occupying forces? Movements are fueled by a free press. This one is maybe misdirected.”

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2. scooterman said... on Jul 16, 2008 at 06:44AM

“I would "enjoy my freedom" more if I didn't think we were fighting a war so George Bush has money to retire on”

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3. Frank Sherlock said... on Jul 16, 2008 at 01:49PM

“Lenni, Glass served five months in Iraq in 2005. He reported to his ranking officers his concern with the legality of the actions he was participating in, which included what he perceived to be abusive treatment of Iraqi civilians and the failure of his superiors to address these charges. He was given a two week leave, after which he failed to report back for duty. You are correct. He's not a draft dodger. He's AWOL and was discharged. To answer your question, Corey Glass has explained what he thought he'd be doing in the National Guard when he joined in 2002 (pre-Iraq War). "I signed up for the National Guard to ... do humanitarian work, filling sandbags if there was a hurricane ... I should have been in New Orleans, not Iraq." Disaster response has in recent times been the primary activity of the National Guard. The use of the Guard for a foreign war hasn't hit the current deployment percentage since World War One. 8,700 Guardsmen were deployed to Vietnam. 86,000 have been deployed to Iraq. While Rumsfeld was blind to some aspects of the Vietnam War's history that he doomed us to repeat, he did learn the lesson of perception. It was Donald Rumsfeld's abuse of Guard deployment for his invasion and occupation (?) strategy that "dodged the draft", depleted Guard numbers in the States and left American civilian disaster victims from the Midwest to the Gulf to fend for themselves. But Corey Glass will be the one put on trial if he's forced to return. What does that tell you about Humankind?”

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4. lenni_lenape said... on Jul 16, 2008 at 06:45PM

“They're all criminals. Corey is a victim. However, if he would have taken a position like you say he started to, instead of fleeing, I could see him being "thought of by this group and sympathizers as the poster boy of the war resisters movement." As it is, he deserted a few things, and the outcome, for him anyway, looks the same. It says a lot about Humankind. The good guys only win in the movies?”

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