US Soldier Seeks Asylum In Germany From Iraq War

During the Vietnam war, thousands of young Americans fled to Canada to escape being drafted and fighting in a war they believed was immoral. The Iraq war has undoubtedly resulted in hundreds of members of the military deserting, and some have gone to Canada. Sgt. Andre Shepherd became the first American soldier to leave the army and seek asylum in Germany. As he entered the detention camp where his pleas will be processed, he noted: “It’s crazy, but I haven’t felt this safe in a camp in a long time.” Sgt. Shepherd thought about his service in Iraq and began questioning why he was fighting in a war that appeared to be unjustified. He felt that he had taken “an oath on the American Constitution which prohibits wars of aggression of any nature, such as the one in Iraq.” He came to the conclusion if he continued participating in fighting in Iraq, “it would make me a criminal.”\

The European Union in 2006 stated that a person who refuses to participate in a war that violates international law, is entitled to be protected as a refugee and can not be deported. Shepherd believes the Iraq war has violated the Geneva Conventions on treatment of captured soldiers and is a war of aggression. In his view, “the people responsible for this(war) are sitting in Washington.”

Perhaps, it is time for the American people to come to grips with their own mistake in voting for George Bush and his criminal actions. There is need for a bipartisan commission to examine the origin of the Iraq War in order to determine if there was either violation of American law or International law.