More evidence that Iraq is not like Viet Nam
I don’t remember this kind of thing happening in the sixties:
Brandon Hughey is a teenager living among strangers, thousands of miles from his friends, family and home in San Angelo, Texas. The 18-year-old is one of two American servicemen who recently deserted their units and fled to Canada to claim asylum as refugees. “We plan to argue that the war in Iraq is illegal under international law and that I have a right not to choose to participate,” he says.
Hughey, who has been taken in by a Quaker couple in the Ontario city of St Catharines, spends his days preparing his legal case. For breaks, he takes solitary walks downtown. He seems mature, composed, and hopeful that he will be able to build a new life for himself in Canada.
Hughey signed up for the army when he was 17, during his final year in high school. “I joined because it was the only way I was going to get a college education,” he says. He went through basic training, and in his spare time began learning about the campaign in Iraq on the internet. He says he became increasingly uncomfortable about the mission, then so disturbed that he considered killing himself. He brought his questions to a commanding officer, who told him to stop thinking so much.