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Old 04-30-2004, 02:15 PM   #11
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No soldier can afford to be a drone -- the famous Nuremberg plea of "I was just following orders" has been used -- and denied validity -- in just about every war crimes trial since WWII. I'm not saying that the war in Iraq is a "crime", per se, but if the two soldiers truly believed that the action was in violation of global treaties, the Constitution, etc., then from the point of view of the world community, they did what they should have done -- ran like hell in the other direction.

Imagine what would have happened if every **** soldier that had doubts about the Final Solution had jumped ship and headed for Switzerland? Most of them would probably have been put to death, of course -- but maybe their martyrdom would have inspired those on the fence to rise against Hitler and his war machine. Admittedly, the war in Iraq and the atrocities committed in WWII are hardly comparable, but the idea is the same --the world community has decided that each individual is responsible for his actions, regardless of his orders.

Bush himself has denounced the Iraqi military'* use of the "just following orders" plea as an excuse for fighting for Hussein -- but in the (extremely unlikely) case of the world community openly denouncing the war in Iraq and trying American soldiers for war crimes, will they be able to defend *themselves* by saying they, too, were just following orders?

The first **** soldiers were German patriots, angered by the state of depression their country had fallen into after WWI. They were not (all) inhuman monsters out for world domination, yet the world still cringes at the mention of their party. They went too far, because they kept following orders.

I, personally, fully support anyone who chooses to stand in the face of persecution and speak his beliefs, regardless of what those beliefs may be. The question on my mind, therefor, is not "Do they have a right to run?" but rather "Did they run based on moral principles or fear?" If (and this seems like a big if) they ran on moral principles, more power to them. If they ran because they were afraid, that'* another story, and I wouldn't be unhappy if they spent a few years in Leavenworth. Inventing a moral argument against a war to cover for cowardice isn't something I can defend.

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Old 04-30-2004, 03:27 PM   #12
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But, what sort of morals allow a person to sign a contract, make a cmmitment, and then run from that commiment? In my opinion, the morals excuse doesn't work.

I understand that the military andthe idea of going to war is not for everyone. And that'* fine, until you make a cmmitment to that military, and everyone it defends, and then turn and run as soon as you are asked to do the job.

Doesn't sound overly moral to me....
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Old 04-30-2004, 03:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MOS95B
But, what sort of morals allow a person to sign a contract, make a cmmitment, and then run from that commiment? In my opinion, the morals excuse doesn't work.

I understand that the military andthe idea of going to war is not for everyone. And that'* fine, until you make a cmmitment to that military, and everyone it defends, and then turn and run as soon as you are asked to do the job.

Doesn't sound overly moral to me....
An oath and a contract are very different -- oaths are broad and simple, whereas contracts are very specific and complicated. If upon enlistment they were presented a contract that outlined exactly what they would be ordered to do for their term of service, including the principles behind the war, how many people would die, how many of their friends would be killed, etc., not many people would sign it. Obviously this is a silly example, but the point is that an oath is generalized -- i.e., defend the constitution and take orders. The soldiers don't know when they enlist what they'll be asked to do, and of course some of them are thrust into situations that call morality into question more than others.

But the oath is not the highest level of responsibility to which a soldier is held -- he also has responsibilities as a citizen of the world, and as a human in general. If I was in such a position, I would obey that oath until such point that following an order would violate a principle I held in higher regard than the oath: i.e., your commanding officer tells you (for whatever reason) to kill an unarmed man who poses no immediate threat to you. I would refuse on the grounds that such an act is immoral as far as basic human rights are concerned, and if they wanted to court-martial me for it, so be it. At least I had my priorities straight.

You can't call someone immoral because they choose to violate one agreement in order to preserve another that he values more. It'* a Sophie'* choice -- he must choose one, and either way it'* going to hurt.

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Old 04-30-2004, 03:55 PM   #14
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Well I have to give all of you props for good reasoning and no flames. My anger is only at the 2 runners. As for the agrement about shooting a unarmed person- The UCMJ clearly defines that as not being a lawful order and you do not have to obey it. Plus they had not gone YET... I could feel sorry for them in the smallest way if they've been and had been through some combat. One thing is for shure there no Nixon to pardon them this time. Then again there might just be a Kerry.
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Old 04-30-2004, 03:59 PM   #15
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I would really like to see and read everyones opinion on this subject, I really really appreciate the maturity here in this thread on such a touchy subject coming from soldiers and non soldiers alike.

Everyones perspectives are interesting to read!
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Old 04-30-2004, 04:31 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosco the Iroc
As for the agrement about shooting a unarmed person- The UCMJ clearly defines that as not being a lawful order and you do not have to obey it.
That'* why I used it as my example -- but what'* a hypothetical soldier to do when the Code doesn't say anything about an order he disagrees with? In the middle of a mission, he certainly can't write a letter and ask for clarification. He'* forced to make a choice based on his own morals, and that choice may conflict with the oath he'* sworn to uphold.

I agree with you, though, that had they actually served in the Middle East for a while, it would have given more credibility to their argument. Of course, it'* harder to seek asylum in Canada when you're 13,000 miles away.

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Old 05-01-2004, 01:34 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MOS95B
There is no Draft in the US anymore. They chose to join the Army. The Army makes no secrets about what it'* main job is, fighting. They then chose to break the law.

They used thier right to choose. They used it poorly. That'* why laws are written, to protect the rest of us from people that don't know how too choose their rights properly.

On a personal note, does nyone actually think that any soldier honestly looks forward to war? I was scared as hell, as were my troops. But we chose that life, knew our duties, knew we were the best trained Army in the world, and did our jobs. We didn't run and hide. We faced our fears and kicked A$$

(ex) SGT John Herry
41tth MP CO
Ft Hood TX

Operation Desert Storm


DUDE THAT WAS AWESOME!
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Old 05-01-2004, 01:41 AM   #18
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I can't help but wonder how many kids signed up for the reserves and such with the promise of college funds only to find themselves having to go to war. I am very patriotic and believe that if they signed up they have an obligation.
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