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Old 01-03-2007, 02:23 PM   #11
Pierre Auge
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Hey my country is a get this "Constitutional Monarchy" another fancy word for Republic with respect to our historical ties to the British Crown.

It still operates exactly like a Republic, we vote for leaders who make desicions for us so that we don't have to think. Then we whine about how crappy their disicions are.

Ahhh to be human, what a circular thing...

Oh and as a soldier similar to an American it is my responisbility to follow lawful orders and to ignore unlawful orders. The following of an unlawful order does not simply put the responsibility on to those who gave it but those who carried it out. A soldier must have a conscience and political opinion even if we are not allowed to express it publicly.

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Old 01-03-2007, 03:11 PM   #12
Neal Winkler
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Of course we need to make a distinction between "lawful/unlawful" and "moral/immoral." All the Nazi soldiers were being perfectly lawful when they shoved Jews into furnaces.
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Old 01-03-2007, 04:43 PM   #13
Lynne Pitts
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Neal, you're treading on awfully thin ice here, particularly if you are in some fashion comparing our military to the Nazis. Twice. I'll hope that you aren't, but this thread has the potential to transition to Pukie's Bucket *really* fast.
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Old 01-03-2007, 05:07 PM   #14
Rodney Mark
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Lynne,I wish you would go ahead and send it to the bucket.
As a veteran of both peacetime and combat, I am finding it hard not to tell Neal exactly what I think of his comments.
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Old 01-03-2007, 05:57 PM   #15
Josh Brehm
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Part of me thinks that no one ought to state their opinion on such a matter unless they have served our country (or another's) in the armed forces. Unless I do, and until I do, I will not voice my opinion.
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Old 01-03-2007, 06:29 PM   #16
Elliot Royce
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Of course the reason that all of us are free to state our opinions is precisely because some of us and our ancestors were willing to die for them. My ancestors fought in every war this country has been in and I'm pretty sure they would encourage me to voice my (reasoned) opinion in any political debate. If only soldiers have a right to a political view, then we're back to the Roman Empire (I was in the USAR for 10 years, though, if that's any comfort to you!).

To add my 2 cents, it's pretty clear that soldiers should obey any lawful order. Otherwise you have rule by the military. I think the tricky part that is raised above is when a lawful order is given by an unlawful state. For better or worse, there is no independent judge of this. However, I feel confident in saying that the United States is a lawful state -- not without flaws of course -- but sufficiently so to remove any debate.

There is always the conscientious objection route. If you look at the Eastern European states that capitulated peacefully, basically the soldiers just gave up being soldiers and refused what were lawful orders to fire on civilians.

I must say, though, that this topic runs the risk of overheating!
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Old 01-03-2007, 06:57 PM   #17
Pierre Auge
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I think Neal brings up a good point by the fact that it angers and frustrates so many people to ask the question as to whether our own actions are moral or not.

Lawful is subjective to the Nation State from which a law stems from. Oddly enough that word subjective, or "to subjugate" is most often the reason we war in any case...
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Old 01-03-2007, 08:41 PM   #18
David Wood
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Moderator Mode on:

I think this thread continues to stay on the right side of a fine line that would otherwise send it to the bucket. It's a worthwhile topic, and one that I hope we can discuss . . . but the first post that says "All those (fill in blank), they just want to (insert simplistic political catchphrase)" will get it killed.

Moderator Mode off:

For me (as a pure civilian), I think *everyone* has a responsibility to obey higher law than his own government. Even a well-constituted and generally freedom-allowing government such as America's is not incapable of error.

But . . . I also think it's pretty much an all-or-nothing thing for soldiers / military. They take an oath to follow lawful orders (i.e., those that come from their legal superiors, and don't violate known military codes and laws) . . . if the orders simply cannot be followed (because the soldier believes they are immoral), then that person can no longer be a soldier.

Based on this, I can't buy into what a (very small) number of "conscientious objectors" have claimed . . . that they aren't opposed to all wars, only "this one" (and, no, the examples I'm thinking of go back to my youth, several wars ago). IMO, you don't get that option as a soldier . . . you fight when needed, or you no longer have the very real honor of saying you fought for your country.

You can refuse to follow orders that are immoral in your own eyes (in fact, you have a responsibility to do that) . . . but you resign your role as a soldier when you do.
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Old 01-03-2007, 08:41 PM   #19
Travis Loest
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I'm not sure why this is such a heated topic. I'm a Soldier, have been for the last 13 years. It's never affected my political views or stopped me from voting(other than not being present to vote) as I see fit. It's the Soldier's responsibility to do his job. Pierre said;
"Oh and as a soldier similar to an American it is my responisbility to follow lawful orders and to ignore unlawful orders."
It's not my responsiblity to ignore unlawful orders, it's my duty to report unlawful orders. But I understand what Pierre was trying to say. That being said, my political views are not exactly the typical views of your "average" Soldier, that doesn't stop me from doing my job, they are just my views and opinions.
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Old 01-03-2007, 09:40 PM   #20
Yael Grauer
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The legal definition of a conscientious objector is one who opposes ALL war, not just a particular war.

Gillette v. United States, 401 U.S. 437
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