April 12, 2006

US like Nazis: British Iraq refusnik

ALDERSHOT (Reuters) - A British Air Force doctor on trial
for refusing to go to Iraq because he thought the war was
illegal said on Wednesday he believed the United States was the
moral equivalent of Nazi Germany.

Australian-born Flight Lieutenant Malcolm Kendall-Smith
could face an unlimited jail sentence for disobeying an order
to go to Iraq last year and four orders to prepare for his
deployment, in the first British case of its kind.

"As early as 2004 I regarded the United States to be on a
par with Nazi Germany as regards its activities in the Gulf,"
he told the court.

Prosecutor David Perry asked: "Are you saying the U.S. is
the moral equivalent of the Third Reich?" to which
Kendall-Smith replied "That's correct."

The judge in the case has already ruled that orders for
British troops to deploy to Iraq in 2005 were legal because the
British presence was covered by a United Nations Security
Council resolution passed after the fall of Saddam Hussein.

Kendall-Smith has testified in his own defense as the only
witness called in the case.

He said he initially tried to resign on learning he was
being sent to Iraq, but later concluded it was his duty to
remain in the Air Force and refuse the order.

"I love the Air Force today as much as the day I
volunteered, sir," he said.

The case, before a civilian judge advocate and a panel of
five officers, is expected to conclude later on Wednesday.