God's Politics

God's Politics


Logan Laituri: Vatican to Venerate Conscientious Objector

posted by God's Politics

Many conscientious service members have been speaking out despite an often oppressive and unforgiving atmosphere. Some of us have even been persecuted and attacked while exercising our civic duty of speaking truth to power in times of moral crises. The Rev. Lennox Yearwood, an Air Force chaplain, faces accusations of working against national security. Liam Madden, fellow IVAW member and co-founder of Appeal for Redress, is defending his project against comments that are similarly repeated daily to men and women in the armed forces who are speaking out; effectively demanding that our GIs remain silent and obey our leaders blindly.
In a few months, the Vatican will beatify a fellow conscientious objector who stood for peace over prejudice, humility over arrogance. Like a growing number of servicemen and women in our modern conflict, this soldier of conscience would not bend to demands that he serve the country’s militaristic intentions. He faced accusations of cowardice and outright treason, even of threatening national security. The book In Solitary Witness, by Gordon Zahn, revealed that Franz Jägerstätter, an Austrian farmer, was beheaded by the Third Reich in August 1943 after refusing to serve in the German army. The Catholic Peace Fellowship reports he will be beatified on October 26, 2007, in his home country, and provides information on how Jägerstätter and countless other Christians have chosen conscientious objection, often in the face of significant harassment from Christian and secular critics alike.
The United States is not, nor will it ever be, Nazi Germany, but Jägerstätter’s witness remains relevant and powerful for our current context. As Jägerstätter’s testimony attests, the question of how a pacifist would address the problem of violence as manifested by Hitler has a response: The blame does not rest solely on Hitler, but is shared by the social classes (including the German church in status confessions) that enforced strict nationalism in the pursuit of economic revival, killing its own prophets, such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in the process.
If every soldier obeyed God and their conscience rather than human leaders, as Jägerstätter did, the world would be spared just as much from the likes of the German war machine as we would the American military industrial complex. Franz Jägerstätter, just as Saints Maximilian of Tebessa and Martin of Tours before him, was courageous enough to stand by the conviction “Miles Christi ego sum; pugnare mihi non licet: I am a soldier of Christ; it is not permissible for me to fight.”
Logan Laituri is a six-year Army veteran with combatant service in Iraq during OIF II and experience with Christian Peacemaker Teams in Israel and the West Bank. He is an active member of Iraq Veterans Against the War and currently resides in Camden, New Jersey, in an intentional Christian community called Camden House, where he continues to seek ways to wage peace wherever he goes. He blogs at courageouscoward.blogspot.com.



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Sarasotakid

posted July 12, 2007 at 11:35 am


Great post! Thank you.



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Payshun

posted July 12, 2007 at 12:54 pm


Thank you for standing up for what you believe in.
p



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Eric

posted July 12, 2007 at 2:54 pm


There are two issues Laituri conflates. The first is the issue of veterans of the Iraq War and active GIs speaking out against the war. The second is the courage of conscientious objectors and Jägerstätter. These are two very distinct issues and shouldn’t be confused. The author is one of the former, not the latter.
I have no problem with Laituri or other vets speaking out against the war once they’ve left the service of the military. If that’s where their conscience leads them then that’s what they should do. I do have a problem with active duty troops speaking out against the war. They voluntary agreed to join the military and carry out whatever mission was asked of them without questioning the actions of others serving with them and their officers. (If they had been subject to a draft I’d feel differently.) If they disagree with the mission they’ve been given then they should either wait until their time of service is up and then speak out or face the consequences of trying to leave the military ahead of the time they agreed to serve. To remain in the military and publicly criticize and undermine the mission and morale of your fellow soldiers is irresponsible.
Laituri and the individuals currently serving and continuing to serve in the military are not conscientious objectors and they should not be confused with people like Jagerstatter or with individuals who refuse to serve in the military, such as Quakers. Laituri and the active duty servicemen who are speaking out are not pacifists and obviously have no qualms about the use of military force or they would never have joined the military. They just have a problem with the use of military force in Iraq. Equating someone who faced death because of his decision not to join an immoral army with people who voluntarily joined the military but decided afterwards they didn’t like the mission they were asked to carry out is poor reasoning.



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Rebecca

posted July 12, 2007 at 3:21 pm


Don’t forget Sophie Scholl!



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MadHatter07

posted July 12, 2007 at 3:42 pm


Jagerstatter firmly believed in nonviolence and went to his death for his beliefs. The current lot of COs enlisted willingly of their own accord knowing that they could be sent to do. If they did not, then they are complete idiots. It’s one thing to stay out of the military because you are against killing. If someone believes in that firmly, then I respect that completely. But, if people join up and then get a case of CO before they get deployed, then I have no use for them and would not want them coming along with me overseas. The latter fully deserves the punishment and ridicule that is coming to them.



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Weiwen

posted July 12, 2007 at 4:05 pm


In response to Madhatter, the CO rules (as I understand them) only allow someone who has developed objections to war in general to declare CO status. People who object to one war in particular, such as the Iraq war, have no legal recompense. Then again, perhaps the sheer unjustness of the Iraq war has driven some people to declare CO status at what might otherwise seem to be oddly convenient.



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Sarasotakid

posted July 12, 2007 at 5:17 pm


There are two issues Laituri conflates. Eric
The present war is unjust and immoral. There is not conflation here.
They voluntary agreed to join the military and carry out whatever mission was asked of them without questioning the actions of others serving with them and their officers. Eric
That question was settled in Nuremburg. Soldiers cannot just follow orders and commit war crimes.



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sangerinde

posted July 12, 2007 at 5:36 pm


Eric and Madhatter, please know that my friends and family serving in Iraq were in the army (some career soldiers, some coming through West Point) before 9/11 happened. It was a very different world then, and soldiers (at least my friends) had a different vision of what they might be called to do on behalf of their country–a noble, honourable vision.
Certainly we can shrug and say they should have known what they were getting into, but that’s grossly oversimplifying the case. They did not sign up for an unprovoked, unplanned, and massively destablilizing attack on a country that was not a threat to us.
I can certainly understand and admire soldiers who will go wherever their commander-in-chief sends them; but I can also understand and admire those who feel their conscience forbids participation in this military action.



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:

posted July 12, 2007 at 6:05 pm


Eric,
Have you ever been in the shoes of a soldier?
Just curious. It is easy to discredit when you yourself have not REALLY seen or experienced war first hand? You talk of “poor reasoning.” It is poor reasoning not to question authority when you believe it is the right thing to do. Despite WHEN it happens. My good friend was in the ROTC program, even “officially signed up” his freshman year at Gonzaga and fully believed in and was committed to the mission as to his fellows. Then changed his mind- dropped out of it! Wow- he had the RIGHT to use and change his mind because his values changed. That happens to people… even soldiers! Active duty soldiers can speak out if they want to. I believe in something called the constitution and that little amendment that speaks of free speech. And we need to give them (our active duty soldiers) that right. Why restrict it for them? Especially now. We ARE committing war crimes. We went to this war unjustly. Let us not forget that and President Bush should be held to “justice” for it.
Question authority-



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mark

posted July 12, 2007 at 6:07 pm


Logan, thank you for a moving article.
I think there is an important issue raised here, which the establishment hopes will never see the light of day (as witnessed by Eric’s and madhatter’s posts above). That is this:
A soldier who holds to a just war theology, and does so with integrity, will increasingly find him/herself asked to fight in wars in which s/he cannot participate with integrity. (The same person may consider it absolutely imperative to fight in other wars.) Such a person ends up with no legal right to live according to their conscience, because the demands of the state override the dictates of conscience.
While I don’t accept just war theory myself, I respect those who do and so I think that this is an unacceptable state of affairs.
It’s going to be increasingly painful here in Canada – for a couple of decades, the image of the Canadian armed forces has had more to do with peacekeeping than warfighting, but suddenly we now find the Harper government pushing troops into more offensive roles. People who joined up in the belief they could help to keep warring factions apart now find themselves as part of a warring faction, whether they like it or not. I predict a lot of pain, which no doubt will only reach the public consciousness when someone courageous and articulate like Logan is affected.
Mark



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neuro_nurse

posted July 12, 2007 at 6:55 pm


Mark,
“I don’t accept just war theory myself”
Who’s version of the just war doctrine do you reject? Bush’s version of “just war” is not the one with which I am familiar.
“The strict conditions for legitimate defense by military force require rigorous consideration. The gravity of such a decision makes it subject to rigorous conditions of moral legitimacy. At one and the same time:
“the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;
“all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;
“there must be serious prospects of success;
“the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.
“These are the traditional elements enumerated in what is called the “just war” doctrine.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2309
http://www.usccb.org/catechism/text/pt3sect2chpt2art5.htm
Seek peace and pursue it.



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uzziah baramaziah

posted July 12, 2007 at 7:48 pm


“I do have a problem with active duty troops speaking out against the war.”
Another chickenhawk armchair warrior.



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Ella

posted July 12, 2007 at 8:19 pm


Let us not forget that there are people that join the military just to get a fair shot at life–I trained with some, and I am one of them. When I was in Basic Training in ’97, there were a few CO in my company-they had joined the National Guard or Reserves to get money for college. In ’97, we NEVER thought 9/11 was even possible-much less a full scale, long term occupation in Iraq. Also keep in mind that the higher you score on your ASVAB, the more choices you have at a MOS (job)-unfortunately in war, a Guard that is a mere supply clerk is forced into combat for extended periods of time…so even if a CO joined thinking “Here is my one shot at getting away from the drugs, gangs, or abusive household” (again…I am speaking from experience) their contract says-whenever we need you-but Bush has chosen to deploy the Guard and Reserves more often and for longer periods than the regular Army…So I applaud anyone standing up and telling the Commander in Chief “Hey sir, what you are doing is not only unjust and senseless-but also makes no sense because you are sending less trained (or practiced) soldiers to fight this war.”
Unfortunately, when you sign your contract, you must also promise to defend the Constitution, without the benefit of the Constitutional Rights the rest of society enjoys…you now fall under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (which is very limited in the freedoms it allows). Which states that unless you claim CO status, you can be subject to court martial for speaking your mind. So, I believe and support what the veterans and current soldiers are doing by speaking out, although it is up to US as citizens to stand behind them and give them voice when they can vocalize their discontent themselves.



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Moderatelad

posted July 12, 2007 at 9:24 pm


OK – nice article about Franz Jägerstätter.
But I see nothing in what I have read that he would not have gone into the service if asked by Austria. He was murdered for refusing to inlist into the Greman Army and cast the only vote in his area against the Anschluss. The anology here in very thin! I think that the best example would be if when Saddan aniexed Kuait and then tried to conscript Kuaites into the Iraqi Army to fight against the Allied Forces would be a better comparison.
Peace to all!
.



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MadHatter07

posted July 12, 2007 at 9:35 pm


Coming back here after a couple of hours, I’m amazed by two things. One is the condemnation of US troops almost wholesale as a bunch of war criminals and calling on them to desert. Speaking as someone who will most likely be going there within the next few months (and who also recognizes that the leadership here in the US should have planned better), I’m a little surprised that a blog that supposedly promotes Christian values will condemn wholesale a group of people, most of whom are honest and only want to do their job, while not saying a word about the people who commit acts like those discussed in this article: http://www.michaelyon-online.com/wp/bless-the-beasts-and-children.htm The second thing is related to the first. It seems that no one here seems to give thought to what would happen after a withdrawal of US troops. While some of the more naive individuals would like to think that everyone would throw down their arms and sing “Kumbaya”, most likely it would lead to fighting and genocide that would draw in other nations in the region and around the world, including most likely the US within a short period of time. Don’t take my word for it regarding the genocide that would follow. Look up what happened to Cambodia in the years after the withdrawal of US troops from SE Asia.



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moderatelad

posted July 12, 2007 at 9:53 pm


Posted by: MadHatter07 | July 12, 2007 9:35 PM
As one who has prayed for our service personnel over the past years – with your permission I would like to add MadHatter07 to my list.
You have to understand that the Nancy and Harry crowd here on this blog will continue with their ‘condemnation of US troops almost wholesale as a bunch of war criminals’. Please do what you believe you should do and know that there are friends that will hold you in prayer for your safe return. (I have been blasted for offering to pray for people like you in the past – sure that it will happen with this one too – how sad)
Blessing on you MadHatter07 – Gods speed.
Your friend – Moderatelad
.



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Shawn

posted July 12, 2007 at 9:58 pm


“Some of us have even been persecuted and attacked while exercising our civic duty of speaking truth to power in times of moral crises.”
He lost me with, “truth to power”.
Nice cliche Mr. Laituri, but it’s also code for your desired clothing, which is that of your David vs. Cheney’s Goliath. Sorry, it’s already been done.
Also, buddying up to a conscientious objector who “objected” to Third Reich policies is more than a far-fetched allegory. It’s so ridiculous in fact, that your use of “truth to power” in terms of today’s situation is laughable.
Neither you nor any “conscientious objectors” today are risking diddly squat by objecting, unless you are military, and even then there are ways to get out if you really really want. To compare CO’s in America today to those in Nazi Germany is to compare Bush to Hitler–which of course, lots of you are doing.
Good luck with that characterization, and it’s as old as the 2000 elections. Let me know if it polls well in 2007.



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Shawn

posted July 12, 2007 at 10:20 pm


“There are two issues Laituri conflates. Eric
The present war is unjust and immoral. There is not conflation here.
They voluntary agreed to join the military and carry out whatever mission was asked of them without questioning the actions of others serving with them and their officers. Eric
That question was settled in Nuremburg. Soldiers cannot just follow orders and commit war crimes.”
Puhleaze!!! Neither your argument “immoral” and “unjust”, nor your insinuation of the absolute sense of moral or unjust, have any legal or moral standing. Using the Nuremburg trials as a basis for what is going on in Iraq is preposterous. Heck, even Laituri said America was no Nazi Germany. Invoking Nuremburg is about as looney as Noam Chomsky invoking the UN Declaration of Human Rights to hang the entirity of US foreign policy. Any deeper digging reveals that the comparisons are absurd. Any clear headed understanding of American policy reveals it to be far better than the individual policies of other UN nations–policies of the UN itself are compromises, not moral or ethical goals!
Having soldiers, sailors, airmen or marines acting by moral committee would be preposterous. I can imagine the DI’s in boot camp: “OK fellows, how’s everyone feel about doing something today?”
Those in the military are charged with a code of moral conduct and standing orders. Trust me that the military in Iraq and Afghanistan is most assuredly abiding by those orders.
If it was moral to invade Germany after we were bombed by the Japanese, then it sure was moral to invade Iraq after we were attacked (essentially) by a large element of Afghanis. Also, leaving Iraq or Afghanistan would leave terrible tyrannies (similar to the Khmer Rouge “Peace”) in both countries that would result in millions slaughtered in civil wars. Any lefties care to question the morality of THAT?
Now I understand that THE reason that ex-military are so valuable to the anti-war left in this country. It’s the ex’s who are lying that the military is misbehaving!
Support your ex-brothers in arms; quit stabbing them in the back!



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Mick Sheldon

posted July 12, 2007 at 10:58 pm


Blessing on you MadHatter07 – Gods speed.
Your friend – Moderatelad
There indeed is a special place in heaven for prayer warriors such as you . Remember the last will be first , continue to ignore them you are blessed !



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Mick Sheldon

posted July 12, 2007 at 11:02 pm


A Mom called me up yesterday , telling me of her returning son from Iraq. He got off the plane in Maine , but is trying to get back here to Washington State .
She called me because he and I had a very long conversation when he left for Iraq , and she knew I would be wanting to hear the good news .
She told me when they got off the plane , the people around them in the airport somehow found out they were coming home from Iraq , they congratulated them , honored them , offered their cell phones so they could call their loved ones .
Who cares how they felt about Iraq or the war , some people on this blog could take lessons on compassion and love from such as those people in Maine .



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Deryll

posted July 12, 2007 at 11:23 pm


[Those in the military are charged with a code of moral conduct and standing orders. Trust me that the military in Iraq and Afghanistan is most assuredly abiding by those orders.]
[Now I understand that THE reason that ex-military are so valuable to the anti-war left in this country. It's the ex's who are lying that the military is misbehaving!]
Why am I to trust you, Shawn, instead of those who were there? and weren’t we told that “the standing orders” don’t apply?



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kevin s.

posted July 13, 2007 at 1:54 am


“Another chickenhawk armchair warrior.”
Unless you support military rule, this comment is meaningless.
“Why am I to trust you, Shawn, instead of those who were there?”
Do you trust those who were there who think this effort is necessary, or only those who agree with you? If the latter, then you have your answer, in a sense.
“That question was settled in Nuremburg. Soldiers cannot just follow orders and commit war crimes.”
So what are the implications of this statement. You believe the war is illegal. Our military men and women are fighting the war. Therefore, what do you want to do with our military men and women, using Nuremberg as precedent?
I guarantee you will dodge this question with a pithy remark.



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Sarasotakid

posted July 13, 2007 at 5:34 am


Me: “That question was settled in Nuremburg. Soldiers cannot just follow orders and commit war crimes.”
You: So what are the implications of this statement. You believe the war is illegal. Our military men and women are fighting the war. Therefore, what do you want to do with our military men and women, using Nuremberg as precedent? I guarantee you will dodge this question with a pithy remark. kevin s.
Me: No, pithy remark required. I was addressing a broad statement that soldiers are to unquestioningly follow orders. It’s typical neo-conservative, blind patriotism jargon that bore correcting. You try to nit pick and paint me into a corner of your own making. I have empathy for the troops having served 8 years in military reserves myself. If I had to guess, I would guess that you spent a total of 0 years in the military.
I want to bring the troops home. I would save the Nuremburg type trials for those who committed war crimes, like the Abu Gharib types (obviously a very small minority) and the corrupt leaders who put them unnecessarily into harm’s way- like Bush,Cheney, Rice and Rumsfeld.
I find it ironic that you, the king of snide and snotty remarks would level that accusation. Well, not really. Your record speaks for itself.



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Eric

posted July 13, 2007 at 6:48 am


I’d like to address some of the criticisms some have made of my original post. First of all, Nuremberg is a bad analogy. Nuremberg was a trial of specific war crimes and at issue was the right to refuse a direct order to commit a war crime. Every soldier should have the right to resist such an order and should do so. But that also doesn’t mean they won’t be called before a court martial and asked to explain themselves. However, barring Abu Ghraib or some story I might have missed in the press there is no evidence that soldiers are being asked to commit war crimes on a regular basis. Being asked to patrol a Baghdad street is not a war crime. Nuremberg doesn’t apply here.
The excuse that some have used saying that “soldiers didn’t know what they were getting into when they signed up and should now have the right to renege on their commitment” is weak. The recent history of the U.S. military, for better or for worse, is a history of going into other countries, often times unwelcomed by the local population, and doing the hard work of fighting. Korea, Vietnam, Lebanon, Grenada, various South American countries, Kuwait, Somalia, Bosnia, Yugoslavia, Haiti, Afghanistan, and we could all add to this list. Sending troops to foreign countries where they’re not wanted did not begin with Bush and Iraq. Obviously all these situations where different, but the idea that a soldier joined the military and didn’t expect to be sent to a controversial battlefield somewhere is, as I said, weak.
In addition, the idea that this is some sort of freedom of speech/first amendment issue is even more ridiculous. No one has an unlimited right to freedom of speech. If I walked into my boss’ office right now and shouted profanities at him, or even nicely told him I thought he was doing an awful job and I wasn’t going to do what he told me to do anymore, I would probably get fired. No civil rights lawyer would take my case. This is the same in the military; there is no unlimited right to freedom of speech. An active soldier does not have the right to undermine the moral of his fellow troops and publicly question the judgment of his superiors.
Honestly, I’d like to see the vast majority of troops brought him from Iraq as soon it’s feasible, but I also recognize you cannot have a effective and strong armed forces if enlisted men, noncoms, and junior officers are able to publicly criticize the actions of their superiors and refuse to show up for work simply because they don’t like what they’ve been asked to do (obviously leaving aside the extreme example of war crimes, which are few and far between).



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Madhatter07

posted July 13, 2007 at 7:22 am


Moderatelad and others- Thank you for your prayers!!! :-)



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Sarasotakid

posted July 13, 2007 at 8:06 am


The recent history of the U.S. military, for better or for worse, is a history of going into other countries, often times unwelcomed by the local population, and doing the hard work of fighting. Eric
As with any colonial or imperialistic power, I might add. I would agree that those who volunteer for service in the U.S. military are put on notice that war is a distinct possibility. A friend of mine and fellow reservist (I’m now out so I can say what I want) used to say that when you sign that contract to enlist, you’re betting that there will be no war and Uncle Sam is betting that there will be one.
In any event, the fact that they are volunteers does not allow our elected officials to abdicate their responsibility toward the troops to use force responsibly. 3,4, or 5 tours of duty is simply unacceptable.



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Arabella

posted July 13, 2007 at 11:36 am


Eric| July 13 2007
“In addition, the idea that this is some sort of freedom of speech/first amendment issue is even more ridiculous. No one has an unlimited right to freedom of speech. If I walked into my boss’ office right now and shouted profanities at him, or even nicely told him I thought he was doing an awful job and I wasn’t going to do what he told me to do anymore, I would probably get fired. No civil rights lawyer would take my case.”
Of course no one has an “unlimited” amount of freedom of speech. But if your boss was doing something immoral, don’t you think you would have a civic and moral responsibility to talk to him/her about it? In the context of this article, some servicemen and women are speaking out because of a moral issue they have with this particular war in Iraq.
“Many conscientious service members have been speaking out despite an often oppressive and unforgiving atmosphere.” from article
I have a friend who is in the Marines that I stay in touch. She just finished three tours in Iraq and wants to start school.She may have to go back to do a fourth round which she would do no questions asked. But as she has told me first hand that she is tired and doesn’t know when it’s going to stop. Is it okay for her to speak out about this? (is this taking the freedom of speech amendment too far in your opinion?) When she speaks to me of her concern I embrace her with grace and understanding rather than serving her with a quote ” oppressive and unforgiving atmosphere.” Her concerns are relevant and a number of service men and women are in her same situation. It is a complex situation. And I agree, I’d like to see our troops home as soon as possible as well.
Thanks to your posts though.
Arabella



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kevin s.

posted July 13, 2007 at 12:27 pm


“I want to bring the troops home. I would save the Nuremburg type trials for those who committed war crimes, like the Abu Gharib types”
So Nuremburg settles the questions related to Abu Ghraib. That certainly isn’t what your previous argument suggested.
“I find it ironic that you, the king of snide and snotty remarks would level that accusation. Well, not really. Your record speaks for itself.”
Not really.
“Of course no one has an “unlimited” amount of freedom of speech. But if your boss was doing something immoral, don’t you think you would have a civic and moral responsibility to talk to him/her about it?”
Yes, but if you staged a press event about it, you would be fired.



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Sarasotakid

posted July 13, 2007 at 2:32 pm


So Nuremburg settles the questions related to Abu Ghraib. That certainly isn’t what your previous argument suggested. Kevin S.
I wouldn’t rely on you to accurately portray what any of my comments suggest given your innate talent for and propensity toward twisting words and misrepresenting peoples’ positions. Don said it, I agree with it- Kevin S. doesn’t argue fair. Oh so true…



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Mick Sheldon

posted July 13, 2007 at 4:41 pm


Annie,
That is a shame to say such a thing about people you do not know , or even know of what they have done for our nation . Many young men and women have done great things in regards to bringing medical care and hope to people in a terrible situation . I know this person personally , and I know he at least is not guilty of what you say . Your comments were what I consider perverted.
In regards to people who have done war crimes , they indeed should be held accoubntable . These were kids who were coming home from a bad situation , in a very dangerous and confused part of this world . Shame shame on you . Show some mercy , instead of using it as a shield for your politics.



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kevin s.

posted July 13, 2007 at 5:18 pm


“I wouldn’t rely on you to accurately portray what any of my comments suggest given your innate talent for and propensity toward twisting words and misrepresenting peoples’ positions”
For example? You bandy about comparisons between Bush, Cheney et al… and the Third Reich. To use the Nuremberg analogy, you would have them put to death. That’s patently ludicrous.



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Hali

posted July 13, 2007 at 7:43 pm


Kevin posted:
“”I wouldn’t rely on you to accurately portray what any of my comments suggest given your innate talent for and propensity toward twisting words and misrepresenting peoples’ positions”
For example? You bandy about comparisons between Bush, Cheney et al… and the Third Reich. To use the Nuremberg analogy, you would have them put to death. That’s patently ludicrous.”
Kevin, that is a perfect illustration.



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Sarasotakid

posted July 13, 2007 at 7:45 pm


For example? You bandy about comparisons between Bush, Cheney et al… and the Third Reich. To use the Nuremberg analogy, you would have them put to death. That’s patently ludicrous. Kevin S.
You spoke of the death penalty. Not me. I don’t believe in the death penalty. Again you put words in people’s mouths as Don’s words about you echo in my head…”Kevin S. doesn’t argue fair.”



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Hali

posted July 13, 2007 at 8:26 pm


Regarding Nuremberg, for those of you who still don’t get it, the point is not the punishment meted out to the guilty, but rather the concept that soldiers are responsible for their actions, even when they are following orders. Before then, self-abnegation and obedience were the soldier’s only moral obligation, including an obligation to obey orders that one finds personally repugnant (see “Laurette” by Alfred de Vigny, for example).
Nuremberg changed that for good. I’m not sure that’s completely fair, especially in such a stressful situation as war, but that’s where we stand now. Contrary to Eric’s claim, soldiers can no longer be blindly obedient. In fact, the soldier’s oath of office places faithfulness to the Constitution before obedience.
http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/faq/oaths.htm
We, as citizens of a democracy, and fellow human beings, have a moral duty not to put soldiers in situations where following orders would be immoral. But if we fail, soldiers are absolutely right to follow their own consciences.



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Sarasotakid

posted July 13, 2007 at 8:40 pm


Well stated, Hali. That is exactly the point I was making. Thank you for reiterating it.



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kevin s.

posted July 14, 2007 at 12:27 am


“Regarding Nuremberg, for those of you who still don’t get it, the point is not the punishment meted out to the guilty, but rather the concept that soldiers are responsible for their actions, even when they are following orders.”
Everyone gets that point, and nobody disagrees. However, when you add to it the notion that Bush, Rice et al… Should be brought to justice for war crimes, you are then in the position of arguing that our troops should be held similarly responsible.
I doubt anyone wants to see our military men and women greeted with indictments for war crimes upon their return, so the Nuremberg reference doesn’t hold water.



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Payshun

posted July 14, 2007 at 2:12 am


Well Kev,
I actually do think a small minority of our troops do deserve to hauled up on war crimes charges. But the average soldier doesn’t.
p



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bren

posted July 14, 2007 at 3:00 am


Several newspapers online on July 13 carry the story of a number of American military men and women speaking out about the civilians, esp. the children, they’ve killed because of bad intelligence and inability to control/limit firepower. It’s one thing to be asked to fight insurgents and other armies, they say; something quite else to be killing innocent women and children who are in the wrong place at the wrong time. These military men and women are not calling themselves conscientious objectors; they simply feel that the American people should know what the military are really doing. I’m sure that U.S. military leaders are outraged at the statements, but I for one, really respect them for acting according to their consciences.
As for Abu Ghraib: much worse than the question of whether or not this is a war crime is this reality confirmed by many analysts, including tonight on Bill Moyers’ show on PBS–the pictures from Abu Ghraib are the single most effective tool used to recruit new members to Al Quaida!



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bren

posted July 14, 2007 at 3:33 am


Here is a link to one of the stories on the interviews with 50 Iraq vets, best summarized by part of the title: Why? What Was This For?
This is a link to the British paper Guardian Online:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,2125142,00.html



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Sarasotkid

posted July 14, 2007 at 6:29 am


Everyone gets that point, and nobody disagrees. However, when you add to it the notion that Bush, Rice et al… Should be brought to justice for war crimes, you are then in the position of arguing that our troops should be held similarly responsible.
I doubt anyone wants to see our military men and women greeted with indictments for war crimes upon their return, so the Nuremberg reference doesn’t hold water. kevin s.
You’re on a roll, Kevin, of misrepresenting my position. Having been a reservist for 8 years I have nothing but sympathy for the troops in Iraq. I want to bring them home. If somebody did commit war crimes, they need to be tried and that goes all the way to the top.
By the way, Kevin, how much time have you spent serving your country in the Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines? Or are you like the Chickenhawks (Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld) who sent them over there?



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kevin s.

posted July 14, 2007 at 11:25 am


“You’re on a roll, Kevin, of misrepresenting my position.”
You said:
” I would save the Nuremburg type trials for those who committed war crimes… like Bush,Cheney, Rice and Rumsfeld.”
You also said:
” Soldiers cannot just follow orders and commit war crimes.”
So, by this logic, you want to see “Nuremburg type trials” for soliders who followed the order of those who committed war crimes. This is what happens when you introduce the Nuremburg principle into the equation. If the comparison between Bush/Cheney and the Third Reich is a “perfect illustration”, then our soldiers who continue to fight are quite like the nazis and deserve justice upon their return home.
If they do not, then the whole analogy falls apart.
And the chickenhawk argument still has no merit unless you wish to invoke military rule.



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Moderatelad

posted July 14, 2007 at 12:58 pm


Interesting that the talk about trials seems to be pointed at our troups when Nuremburg is brought up. As far as I can see no one of our millitary personal has beheaded, strangled, emasculated anyone of their group. Can the other side claim the same – NOT! The Allied troups are making the area safer for people to go to market, assisting with opening the schools for both boys and girls, trying to keep civilians that are there to rebuild the infurstructure safe with they work. Does the other side do that – NOT! The way the discussion seems to be going – you would think that we are the Nazi’s – oh thats correct, many of you do think that way. If the surge does work and I believe it could – what are you going to say if it does? I frankly believe that there is a good chance that it will not work. Because as Bush and the Generals try to fill the bucket. Nancy and Harry are drilling holes in the bucket. Can you imagine what the press would say if the roles were reversed – they would be screaming louder against the Reps than they are currectly against Bush – so sad.
Do have a great day –
.



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Eric

posted July 14, 2007 at 3:05 pm


If you all are talking about individual orders given to soldiers, Kevin is correct here. You can’t say that soldiers have a right and duty to resist unjust orders while at the same time not hold other soldiers responsible for following the same unjust orders. Soldiers either must resist an unjust order or be prosecuted for following an order if it is truly unjust. You can’t have it both ways. That is, unless, “unjust” is free for everyone to define in their own minds. And in that case, a soldier could refuse any order he or she didn’t feel like following.
I think the point sarasota and hali are attempting to make though is that the entire war is unjust, not any specific order a particular soldier was given. Being told to patrol a street in Baghdad or kill insurgents is not an unjust order. This is a completely different issue though than the principles enshrined at Nuremburg. This is also where I would hope that an individual soldier’s sense of duty, honor, comradeship, and responsibility to his fellow soldiers in his unit would come into play. By choosing to protest or go AWOL from a war he feels he is unjust, a soldier is neglecting his duty to his fellow soldiers. He’s hurting moral in his unit and making them a less effective force. Unless he is given a direct order to do something unjust, I think that a soldier’s duty to his fellow soldiers and his unit should outweigh any concerns about a greater military conflict. People may disagree, but that’s the essence of the debate here, not Nuremburg.
Also, one point on something Hali wrote. He/She wrote that “Contrary to Eric’s claim, soldiers can no longer be blindly obedient.” I’m not sure why you think that I think soldiers should be blindly obedient. I wrote above that “Nuremberg was a trial of specific war crimes and at issue was the right to refuse a direct order to commit a war crime. Every soldier should have the right to resist such an order and should do so.” I said the exact opposite of what you attributed to me.



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San Fran Gal

posted July 14, 2007 at 3:59 pm


Thank goodness for Nancy and Harry-
Oh, God Bless America!



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Moderatelad

posted July 14, 2007 at 5:41 pm


Posted by: San Fran Gal | July 14, 2007 3:59 PM
Thank goodness for Nancy and Harry-
So IF Ms. Clinton should win the White House. (and we keep Bill out of the Exe. Office area) Had the leadership of the Rep. party would use procedures for thwart her policies. Then when I say ‘Thanks goodness for ‘whomever’. You would be OK with that – NOT.
You see politics today has every little to do with governing and what is morally correct. It is all about maintaining power or undermining the other party. That is a page straight out of the DFL Party Handbook here in the great state of MN.
But hey – its MN. We just elected the first Muslim to the US Congress with ties to radical Islamic groups that have called for the overthrow of the US Gov’t. If this was an avg. Anglo with ties to the KKK or other radical groups in MN – they would not be elected ‘dog-catcher’ here in MN.
Have a great day –
.



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San Fran Gal

posted July 14, 2007 at 6:35 pm


It is all about maintaining power or undermining the other party. -Moderatelad
Why don’t you refresh your memory and read some of your own posts. Practice what you preach. I am amused by your posts. You like to “assume” things about other’s posts like “The way the discussion seems to be going – you would think that we are the Nazi’s – oh thats correct, many of you do think that way.” Give me a break. I take what you say with a grain of salt.
Happy in San Fran!



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Moderatelad

posted July 14, 2007 at 9:26 pm


Posted by: San Fran Gal | July 14, 2007 6:35 PM
At least I get a grain –
Not sure how long you have been on this site but I have been here quite a while and have survived many labels – some of which I would perfer to forget.
Yes – I comment about what has been said by others – but I did not ‘out’ them or accuse them. (Some about if the shoe fits comes to mind.)
Many that post here slam the US and the military and take great pride in doing so. But they forget what we are fighting against. they talk about the ‘torture’ that is at ‘Gitmo’, but provide no concret evidance. They forget about the ‘Beheadings and Murder of civilians’ that went over there to assist in the rebuilding. Several of the authors on this site, Wallis included, do not want the US involved the in rebuilding of Iraq so that US companies profit from this venture. What the %^&* at they thinking? The US is one of the only countries that has civilians willing to go over there and rebuild what Saddam destroyed or neglected because he was so focused on building palace after palace for himself. Many of those civilians have been murdered because the radicals at too ‘chicken’ to take on the Allied Armies.
So – yes, I have read and do remember what has been said on this site. If the surge does fail – do doubt there will be great rejoicing with Nancy, Harry et all, and this site will be gleeful about the same.
I am praying that we can bring the conflict in Iraq sooner rather than later and have the Iraqi people in control of their country. BUT – I will never support our military going into armed conflict ever again no matter who has the White House. I will not allow the Nancy’s and Harry’s of our Gov’t to play with the military like they have hoping to gain political ground at the cost of American Lives. We will stay home and tell the rest of the world to take a long walk off a short dock because I will care about the world just as much as Nancy and Harry do – and that is easy to do because all they have is lip-service.
Have a great evening – whatever that is for you?
.



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San Fran Gal

posted July 14, 2007 at 11:34 pm


At least I get a grain – Moderatelad
A VERY small grain at best.
San Fran Gal



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Moderatelad

posted July 15, 2007 at 1:14 am


Posted by: San Fran Gal | July 14, 2007 11:34 PM
A VERY small grain at best.
Some have so few grains to give away.
Think whatever you will / want. So many in Iraq would like the same freedoms that we have – and so few over here are willing to help them achieve their goal(s).
Have a nice night
.



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kevin s.

posted July 15, 2007 at 2:04 am


“Give me a break. I take what you say with a grain of salt.”
The comparison between this administration (which Moderatelad supports) has been made in this thread by multiple sources. Obviously, you think the comparison is ridiculous (congratulations, Capt. Sanity) so why not say as much?



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aaron

posted July 15, 2007 at 2:32 am


So, by this logic, you want to see “Nuremburg type trials” for soliders who followed the order of those who committed war crimes.
Can you put some wordsd in my mouth too while you’re at it?



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Sarasotakid

posted July 15, 2007 at 8:19 am


So, by this logic, you want to see “Nuremburg type trials” for soliders who followed the order of those who committed war crimes. This is what happens when you introduce the Nuremburg principle into the equation. If the comparison between Bush/Cheney and the Third Reich is a “perfect illustration”, then our soldiers who continue to fight are quite like the nazis and deserve justice upon their return home.If they do not, then the whole analogy falls apart. Kevin S.
Even Nuremburg did not prosecute the the average German soldier and you know that as well as I do. So your Frank Burns (M*A*S*H*) posturing can stop there. And yes, soldiers who do commit war crimes should be tried. I never said that that applied to all soldiers as you have tried to portray me as saying. I am now going to state in as plain and simple terms as possible how you have characterized my position- you lied.
I have empathy for the soldiers who are as much a victim of this war as anybody else. They are victims because of unwise, immoral and unjust leaders sent them in harm’s way with no justification and based on lies. My empathy is based in part on my Christian ethic and in part on the fact that I was a reservist for 8 years honorably serving my country. Please do tell me how much time you have spent serving this country in any of the branches of the military. Again my bet is that you would be in good company (with the likes of Cheney) who have spent no time in the military.
And the chickenhawk argument still has no merit unless you wish to invoke military rule. Kevin S.
Again you misrepresent the term. It basically applies to leaders who in the 60s avoided Vietnam but who did not hesitate to send others into harm’s way. I know that that doesn’t bother your neo-conservative sensitivities but there are some of us who do see the contradiction, you being an exception.



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Sarasotakid

posted July 15, 2007 at 8:22 am


As far as I can see no one of our millitary personal has beheaded, strangled, emasculated anyone of their group. Moderatelad
Obviously you see what you want to see. Some of our soldiers have been tried for some pretty bad atrocities already. Read your newspaper.



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Sarsotakid

posted July 15, 2007 at 8:32 am


Also, one point on something Hali wrote. He/She wrote that “Contrary to Eric’s claim, soldiers can no longer be blindly obedient.” I’m not sure why you think that I think soldiers should be blindly obedient. I wrote above that “Nuremberg was a trial of specific war crimes and at issue was the right to refuse a direct order to commit a war crime. Every soldier should have the right to resist such an order and should do so.” I said the exact opposite of what you attributed to me. Eric
Eric you made a broad statement in your original post that I quickly replied to. You have since corrected it and I am now acknowledging that. What has happened is that a certain third party has interjected himself into the discussion from what appears to be a desire to provoke and misrepresent others’ positions. It is a typical tactic of his.
In any event, I fully understand where you’re coming from.
Peace.



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Sarasotakid

posted July 15, 2007 at 8:35 am


The comparison between this administration (which Moderatelad supports) has been made in this thread by multiple sources. Obviously, you think the comparison is ridiculous (congratulations, Capt. Sanity) so why not say as much?kevin s
Because maybe some of us are tired of you acting like big babies and the offended party when you’re not.



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Moderatelad

posted July 15, 2007 at 9:29 am


Posted by: Sarasotakid | July 15, 2007 8:22 AM
Read your newspaper.
Believe me the Star and Sickle has had numberous articles on that topic. But everyone of the Islamic people are still alive – something the other side cannot say as they documented their actions of video tape for all the world to see. The personnel were held accountable for their actions and many have lost their millitary carreers over it. The other side views theirs as heroes.
Have a nice day –
.



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kevin s.

posted July 15, 2007 at 11:54 am


“I am now going to state in as plain and simple terms as possible how you have characterized my position- you lied.”
I didn’t lie. I carried your analogy to its logical extension, and said that if you don’t believe our soldiers should be tried for the war crimes that the President has ordered them to carry out, then your Nuremburg analogy is meaningless.
You changed your position to state that “average” soldiers ought bot be punished. Okay. Shall we begin with three-star generals and work our way up?
“Again my bet is that you would be in good company (with the likes of Cheney) who have spent no time in the military.”
You are using this as a bludgeon when it is immaterial to your point. I am permitted to have an opinion on matters of war whether or not I am a member of the military. Leaders are permitted to send troops to war whether or not they have been in the military. So your comment functions as simple pejorative.
“Because maybe some of us are tired of you acting like big babies and the offended party when you’re not.
That has nothing to do with my question. The nazi comparisons are bananas. Instead of pretending they haven’t been made, why not simply call them bananas. That has nothing to do with the question of whether I am a baby.



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Sarasotakid

posted July 15, 2007 at 12:31 pm


You changed your position to state that “average” soldiers ought bot be punished. Kevin S.
That was never my position. HERE IS THE EXACT DIALOG:
You: So what are the implications of this statement. You believe the war is illegal. Our military men and women are fighting the war. Therefore, what do you want to do with our military men and women, using Nuremberg as precedent? I guarantee you will dodge this question with a pithy remark. kevin s.
Me: No, pithy remark required. I was addressing a broad statement that soldiers are to unquestioningly follow orders. It’s typical neo-conservative, blind patriotism jargon that bore correcting. You try to nit pick and paint me into a corner of your own making…I would save the Nuremburg type trials for those who committed war crimes, like the Abu Gharib types (obviously a very small minority) and the corrupt leaders who put them unnecessarily into harm’s way- like Bush,Cheney, Rice and Rumsfeld.
ME TO YOU NOW: The issue has been aired. You continue to to try to misrepresent my position. You lie.
You: The nazi comparisons are bananas. Instead of pretending they haven’t been made, why not simply call them bananas. That has nothing to do with the question of whether I am a baby. kevin s
Me: I have compared some of the policies that you advocate (especially in the realm of immigration where you would not blink an eye at mass deportation of 12 million undocumented aliens regardless of the collateral consequences to their US born children) to Third Reich policies. I stand by that. You should be ashamed of even advocating such polices but you are not.
Instead of asking me “simply call” my comparisons “bananas” why don’t you cease bearing false witness?



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Sarasotakid

posted July 15, 2007 at 12:37 pm


You are using this as a bludgeon when it is immaterial to your point. I am permitted to have an opinion on matters of war whether or not I am a member of the military. Kevin S.
Which means that you have not served your country in this capacity. A simple “no” would have sufficed.



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Moderatelad

posted July 15, 2007 at 1:05 pm


Logan Laituri’s example of a soon to cannonized Austrian Myrter is flawed. Franz Jägerstätter was murdered by the Nazi’s for not joining the German Army. I have found no evidance that he would not have joined the Austrian Army or for that matter the US, UK or Canadian Armed Forces.
Like I stated before – it would be like Saddam taking over Kuait. (oh – he did that didn’t he…) Than making the Kuaiti young men join the Iraqi Army to fight the Allied Forces – which he might have done. But we also know that he murdered thousands of Kuaiti’s for his own ammuzment.
Nuremburg Trials against the millitary leadership – yes they should be brought to justice. Our millitary – I would expect nothing less than Sojo to call for this…they would not go after the Radicals that cut off heads of civilians. No, no, no…that is not the Sojo Way.
DO have a great day –
.



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Sarasotakid

posted July 15, 2007 at 2:35 pm


Nuremburg Trials against the millitary leadership – yes they should be brought to justice. Our millitary – I would expect nothing less than Sojo to call for this…they would not go after the Radicals that cut off heads of civilians. No, no, no…that is not the Sojo Way.DO have a great day – Moderatelad |
Try and frame the debate any way you want, but the head cuttin’ you’re referring to didn’t start until after we went in there. Yes, Saddam was bad but what has come in his absence is worse.
The invasion of Iraq violated the just war doctrince in two regards:
1. All other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective.
Bush made no serious effort to avoid war. He instigated it.
2. The use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated.
Saddam was bad, but I would posit that the average Iraqi is worse off today than before the invasion.
But hey, who needs the guidance of a Just War Doctrine when we can replace it with blind and unquestioning following of our leader?
By the way Modlad, is your son still set to join? I hope for his sake that they don’t let him.



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neuro_nurse

posted July 15, 2007 at 3:58 pm


C’mon Sarasotakid, we can do better than that!
“the damage inflicted [past tense, damage done, not a potential - real or fabricated - to do damage] by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain”
We were not attacked by Iraq. Iraq inflicted no damage to our nation.
“there must be serious prospects of success”
There was no exit plan to begin with – “success” was not a consideration.
All of the criteria for the just war must be met “At one and the same time.”
The invasion of Iraq met none of the just war criteria.
Seek peace and pursue it.



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Sarasotakid

posted July 15, 2007 at 4:11 pm


Right, Neuro-Nurse. I am not Roman Catholic but I do appreciate the guidance that the church can and does provide in these matters.



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neuro_nurse

posted July 15, 2007 at 5:38 pm


Thanks Sarasotakid,
but Catholics aren’t the only Christians who promote the just war principles or some variation of those found in the Catholic Catechism.
Methodists:
“We believe war is incompatible with the teachings and example of Christ. We therefore reject war as a usual instrument of national foreign policy and insist that the first moral duty of all nations is to resolve by peaceful means every dispute that arises between or among them; that human values must outweigh military claims as governments determine their priorities; that the militarization of society must be challenged and stopped; that the manufacture, sale, and deployment of armaments must be reduced and controlled; and that the production, possession, or use of nuclear weapons be condemned. Consequently, we endorse general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
“The principles for deciding about wars include right intention, justifiable cause, legitimate authority, last resort, declaration of war aims, proportionality, and reasonable chance of success. The principles for conducting war include noncombatant immunity and proportionality.”
Presbyterians:
“Just war” principles date back to the 5th-century writings of Augustine, one of the primary shapers of Western Christian thinking. Augustine said governments have the loving obligation to use force, if necessary, to defend innocent people against evil. But those who would resort to violence must demonstrate that a war would be “justifiable” according to certain criteria. Most Christians today, unless they are pacifists, believe a “just war” must meet some combination of the following conditions:
1.It must have a just cause, such as self-defense or defense of the rights of a third party.
2.It must be fought with right intention; the actual motives for going to war must match the just cause.
3.It must be formally declared by a legitimate authority.
4.It must have a reasonable chance of success (avoiding the sacrifice of human lives for hopeless causes).
5.It must be a last resort, after all peaceful alternatives are tried and exhausted.
6.The violence must be proportional to the injury suffered, using only the force necessary to achieve victory, and making every effort to avoid civilian deaths. The overall destruction expected must be outweighed by the good to be achieved.
7.The goal must be to establish a just peace.
et alia:
Religious Groups Issue Statements on War with Iraq
http://pewforum.org/docs/index.php?DocID=21
(Other links withheld because BeliefNet blocks posts with multiple URLs)



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kevin s.

posted July 15, 2007 at 6:42 pm


“Which means that you have not served your country in this capacity. A simple “no” would have sufficed.”
No, I do not serve in the military. Your point remains as irrelevant as it was before.
“ME TO YOU NOW: The issue has been aired. You continue to to try to misrepresent my position. You lie.”
What is your position, then? How do we apply the lessons of Nuremburg to our own military? Which military leadership should face justice, and which military leadership should not? Here is an opportunity to define yourself. Which military membership ought to face trial?
“2. The use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated.
Saddam was bad, but I would posit that the average Iraqi is worse off today than before the invasion.”
The “worse off” standard is not the standard you cited. Our use of arms did not produce the evils and disorders that presently afflict Iraq. They are being produced by religious extremists, and supported by Iran. I have never heard a reading of Just War theory that holds a nation accountable for wrongs committed by others, even if we did an inadequate job anticipating or mitigating against those wrongs.
“We were not attacked by Iraq. Iraq inflicted no damage to our nation.”
We were attacked by Japan. We attacked Germany. There is plenty of precedent for not waiting for an attack on our soil before engaging the military.



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neuro_nurse

posted July 15, 2007 at 7:27 pm


“We were attacked by Japan. We attacked Germany. There is plenty of precedent for not waiting for an attack on our soil before engaging the military.”
The U.S. went to war against Germany because they were at war with our allies and were allied with the Japanese – how does WWII serve as a precedent for launching an attack against a non-aggressor nation?



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kevin s.

posted July 15, 2007 at 7:39 pm


“The U.S. went to war against Germany because they were at war with our allies and were allied with the Japanese – how does WWII serve as a precedent for launching an attack against a non-aggressor nation?”
How did Saddam’s Iraq qualify as a non-aggressor nation? He invaded Kuwait, plotted to kill one of our presidents, attacked Israel etc… He was also refusing to allow weapons inspectors into his facilities. As it turns out, he was either posturing, or shipping his weapons elsewhere. But defying U.N. mandate is certainly aggressive.
Saddam had a long history of aggression, so to suggest that he was a non-aggressor is to simply assume that had grown weary of aggression. That may be the case, but we certainly had no way of knowing that.
That is not an argument for the war. A “just” war can have a negative outcome, and might not even be the right war. But the execution of the war by our military leadership certainly doesn’t rise to the level of the level of evil perpetrated by those prosecuted at Nuremburg, wouldn’t you agree, Neuro?



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neuro_nurse

posted July 15, 2007 at 8:15 pm


“How did Saddam’s Iraq qualify as a non-aggressor nation? He invaded Kuwait, plotted to kill one of our presidents, attacked Israel etc…”
By those criteria, Cuba would be justified in attacking the U.S.
“He was also refusing to allow weapons inspectors into his facilities.”
“[United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission] has reported that, in general, Iraq has been helpful on “process”, meaning, first of all, that Iraq has from the outset satisfied the demand for prompt access to any site, whether or not it had been previously declared or inspected. There have thus been no sanctuaries in space. Nor have there been any sanctuaries in time, as inspections have taken place on holidays as on weekdays. While such cooperation should be a matter of course, it must be recalled that UNSCOM frequently met with a different Iraqi attitude.
“Iraq has further been helpful in getting UNMOVIC established on the ground, in developing the necessary infrastructure for communications, transport and accommodation. Help has been given by the Iraqi side when needed for excavation and other operations. Iraqi staff has been provided, sometimes in excessive numbers, as escorts for the inspection teams. There have been minor frictions, e.g., demonstrations against inspectors and Iraqi criticism of some questions put by inspectors in the field.”
Twelfth quarterly report of the Executive Chairman of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission in accordance with paragraph 12 of Security Council resolution 1284 (1999), 28 February 2003 http://www.un.org/Depts/unmovic/new/documents/quarterly_reports/s-2003-232.pdf
“But in his final days on the job, [Hans] Blix is speaking out more — angry over how he feels he was treated by some in the U.S. government.
“In an interview in London’s Guardian newspaper, Blix said: “I have my detractors in Washington. There are bastards who spread things around, of course, who planted nasty things in the media, not that I cared very much.”
Blix takes Washington to task
By Richard Roth
CNN Senior U.N. Correspondent
Thursday, June 12, 2003 Posted: 4:17 PM EDT (2017 GMT)
http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/06/12/blix.interview.cnna/
Seek peace and pursue it.



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Sarasotakid

posted July 15, 2007 at 9:09 pm


Our use of arms did not produce the evils and disorders that presently afflict Iraq. Kevin S.
Yet another neo-conservative lie.
What is your position, then? How do we apply the lessons of Nuremburg to our own military? Which military leadership should face justice, and which military leadership should not? Here is an opportunity to define yourself. Which military membership ought to face trial? Kevin S.
My position has been clearly stated. Read my posts. Quit lying.
No, I do not serve in the military. Your point remains as irrelevant as it was before. Kevin S.
And you’re just another Chickenhawk.



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kevin s.

posted July 15, 2007 at 10:16 pm


“By those criteria, Cuba would be justified in attacking the U.S.”
Possibly. That’s why moral equivalencies don’t work so well, at least w/r/t just war theory. If all nations are equally good, and meritorious in their military efforts, then we must apply the theory evenhandedly.
As for Blix, the man was never going to support a military effort. Everyone knew that. I do not buy into the argument that Saddam was just about to be helpful after all these years when we decided to ruin it all by removing him from power.
Incidentally, how would you reconcile Wallis’ call to remove Saddam from power with your belief in Just War theory? Is it possible to remove (or kill) a leader of a nation without warring, if that leader does not wish to be removed?
“And you’re just another Chickenhawk.”
Before you said I misrepresented the term, which you said that you use to mean people who avoided military service in Vietnam who nonetheless engage in war. I did not avoid military service in Vietnam (as I was not yet even born). What does the term mean to you, and how did I misrepresent it?
“My position has been clearly stated.”
Who should be tried? You haven’t clearly stated this at all. You are dodging the question.



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Moderatelad

posted July 15, 2007 at 10:18 pm


Posted by: Sarasotakid | July 15, 2007 2:35 PM
By the way Modlad, is your son still set to join? I hope for his sake that they don’t let him.
I have two sons and they can make their mind up for themselves. If I were to guess – it will be the younger one that will enter the armed forces. Sorry My Kerry – he is not ‘stupid’ like you seem to define the military. 4.12 gpa and pres of the NHS. A fine athelate and artist. I have taught all my children that we are our brothers keeper. Just have not taught them that we have to be their caretaker for the rest of our lives.
What is your obsession with other peoples children?
Have a great week.
.



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neuro_nurse

posted July 15, 2007 at 11:57 pm


“Incidentally, how would you reconcile Wallis’ call to remove Saddam from power with your belief in Just War theory?”
I can’t think of anyone or any organization with whom I agree on everything. If I can agree with you from time to time, I don’t have to agree with Jim Wallis all of the time.
Peace!



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kevin s.

posted July 16, 2007 at 12:44 am


“I can’t think of anyone or any organization with whom I agree on everything. If I can agree with you from time to time, I don’t have to agree with Jim Wallis all of the time.”
Fair enough.



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neuro_nurse

posted July 16, 2007 at 8:16 am


“As for Blix, the man was never going to support a military effort. Everyone knew that.”
It seems to me that “everyone” has conveniently forgotten that.
Considering the outcome of the invasion of Iraq; the fact that there were no WMD, Saddam had no connections with al Qaeda, and nothing to do with 9/11, would you concede that Blix was right in not supporting the war?
I do not buy into the argument that the Iraqis as a whole are better off without him.
Seek peace and pursue it.



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neuro_nurse

posted July 16, 2007 at 8:17 am


better off without Saddam.



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Sarasotakid

posted July 16, 2007 at 9:22 am


Who should be tried? You haven’t clearly stated this at all. You are dodging the question. kevin s.
From my previous post above: “I would save the Nuremburg type trials for those who committed war crimes, like the Abu Gharib types (obviously a very small minority) and the corrupt leaders who put them unnecessarily into harm’s way- like Bush,Cheney, Rice and Rumsfeld.”
There are three explanations for you saying that I did not answer your question and accusing me of dodging it: 1) You are illiterate – Not; 2) You simply did not read it when I told you to go back and read it; or 3) You lied. In my opinion you lied.
And speaking of “dodging” we can talk about military service.
Me: “And you’re just another Chickenhawk.”
You: Before you said I misrepresented the term, which you said that you use to mean people who avoided military service in Vietnam who nonetheless engage in war. I did not avoid military service in Vietnam (as I was not yet even born). What does the term mean to you, and how did I misrepresent it?
Me: I believe that that term can be aptly applied to you in the broadest sense of the term when applied to people who advocate sending others to war and they themselves have not served. If not, I’ll stand corrected and we can adopt a new term for those so eager to send others off to war when they themselves have not served. Maybe we can directly attribute it to you- say the “Kevin Sawyer Syndrome”- although that may be overly broad as it could also apply to those who misrepresent what others say and try to put words in their mouths.



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Sarasotakid

posted July 16, 2007 at 9:29 am


What is your obsession with other peoples children?
Have a great week. Moderatelad
When I wrote that post, Moderatelad, I thought I crossed the line but it had already been posted on the message board before I could press the “stop” button- Hence a second identical message with that part missing.
Whatever your son’s decision, my prayer is that he will be safe and sound- and I mean that sincerely.



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kevin s.

posted July 16, 2007 at 10:00 am


“There are three explanations for you saying that I did not answer your question and accusing me of dodging it: 1) You are illiterate – Not; 2) You simply did not read it when I told you to go back and read it; or 3) You lied. In my opinion you lied.”
You are free to your opinion. However, if the only lesson from Nuremburg that is applicable is that we ought not allow our troops to engage in “Abu-Ghraib” type behavior, then who disagrees with you? Certainly not our government.
But, then, what does Nuremburg have to do with Eric’s original statement? Did you really think he was advocating against punishment for those involved in Abu Ghraib? You said that the war (itself, not Abu Ghraib) is unjust and immoral, and immediately followed that with a comment about Nuremburg.
I read that to mean that you were indicating that these soldiers have an olbigation to speak out, lest they simply acquiesce to authority which, as Nuremburg taught us, is no excuse. However, it seems that your comment was related to Abu Ghraib, and I am a liar for not assuming this fact, even though it had nothing to do with the original post or Eric’s response.
So yes. Settled. The soldiers involved with Abu Ghraib (and similar) should be brought to justice. The question of whether Bush and Cheney should be imprisoned is another issue, largely unrelated to Nuremburg.
“And speaking of “dodging” we can talk about military service.”
Now I am dodging military service? You know full well I did not serve in the military. It was the pretense of your question. Pointing out that your question is irrelevant is not a dodge.
“I believe that that term can be aptly applied to you in the broadest sense of the term when applied to people who advocate sending others to war and they themselves have not served.”
Right. And as I argued above, this is a flawed rhetorical tactic, and not a valid argument. My viewpoint is no less meritorious simply because I have not served in the military. If military leadership is a prerequisite to sending people off to war, in your view, then you are (whether you know it, or expressly articulate it) advocating military rule, because that is what military rule is.
If military leadership is not a prerequisite, and I can’t imagine that you think it is (if Barack Obama is elected president, must he govern as a pacifist?) then you are simply levelling a meaningless insult. Which is precisely what you are doing, which is my point.



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Eric

posted July 16, 2007 at 10:28 am


Sarasota – You wrote “Eric you made a broad statement in your original post that I quickly replied to. You have since corrected it and I am now acknowledging that.”
Why are you acknowledging something I was talking to Hali about? Hali made the mischaracterization of my comments, not you. Are you and Hali the same person?



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Anonymous

posted July 16, 2007 at 10:54 am


But, then, what does Nuremburg have to do with Eric’s original statement? Kevin S.
I have clarified that already. You ignored it. Eric made a broad statement, to wit:
ERIC Wrote: They voluntary agreed to join the military and carry out whatever mission was asked of them without questioning the actions of others serving with them and their officers. Eric
To which I responded: “That question was settled in Nuremburg. Soldiers cannot just follow orders and commit war crimes.” Sarasotakid
His statement about “carrying out whatever mission was asked of them” led me to believe that he was stating that they were to carry out whatever order asked of them. I replied that Nuremburg settled that issue. Soldiers cannot unquestioningly carry out illegal orders. So Nuremburg has a lot to do with it. Eric later on clarified his statement and that was the end of the issue. You see Eric, although he may be on the opposite end of the political spectrum has some modicum of good faith in the way he dialogs here unlike you.
A “mission” for a soldier can mean The Mission (like let’s go take over Iraq in a macro sense) or an individual mission (like “let’s take that hill” or “let’s beat the Bejesus out of those prisoners” -in the micro-sense) So a soldier given an illegal “mission” to commit a war crime cannot just “unquestioningly carry out whatever mission is given to him.” That was settled at Nuremburg. Of course you might not understand the distinction because you have never served. But I think you understood. Hali got it a number of posts back and articulated it very well which leads me to believe that it was just easier for you to lie and misrepresent my position.
WHAT DOES NUREMEBURG HAVE TO DO WITH IT?
Everything. Nuremburg stands for two propostions: 1) Soldiers cannot follow illegal orders and use that as a defense against war crimes; and 2) Leaders are not immune from war crime prosecution when they launch illegal wars.
YOU: My viewpoint is no less meritorious simply because I have not served in the military.
ME: You’re right. You’re just a hypocrite.
YOU: If military leadership is not a prerequisite, and I can’t imagine that you think it is (if Barack Obama is elected president, must he govern as a pacifist?)
ME: That is your point of view. I would expect Mr. Obama or any other elected official to not launch unjustified wars of aggression or if they do, to face the judicial consequences. I don’t have to accept your “either or” scenario which is a false choice which is so typeical of your disengenous argument style.



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Sarasotakid

posted July 16, 2007 at 10:55 am


That previousl post was mine.



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Moderatelad

posted July 16, 2007 at 12:02 pm


Posted by: Sarasotakid | July 16, 2007 10:55 AM
other elected official to not launch unjustified wars of aggression or if they do, to face the judicial consequences.
Chuck Colson and others have made a very logical argument that the Just War Theory was met when GWB invaded Iraq. Just so you know.
Blessings –
.



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Moderatelad

posted July 16, 2007 at 12:06 pm


Posted by: Sarasotakid | July 16, 2007 9:29 AM
Your cool –
I prayed for all the military personnel on my list this o morning. My list is down two as of today – one came home last week and the other will be arriving here at the Amory about 3:30 PM today. So far – everyone on my list has returned alive.
Blessings on all –
.



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Kevin s.

posted July 16, 2007 at 12:27 pm


“His statement about “carrying out whatever mission was asked of them” led me to believe that he was stating that they were to carry out whatever order asked of them.”
That was your mistake, not mine. There is a difference between a mission and an order. If you interpreted Eric to be absolving from guilt those troops involved with Abu Ghraib, then you were giving him a most uncharitable reading, which may have contributed to your error.
However, the point still stands. If you believe that the president is responsible for war crimes for conducting the Iraq war, why would you absolve those responsible for carrying out those crimes? That is precisely the opposite of Nuremburg. Here is your definition:
“Nuremburg stands for two propostions: 1) Soldiers cannot follow illegal orders and use that as a defense against war crimes; and 2) Leaders are not immune from war crime prosecution when they launch illegal wars.”
If the war itself is illegal, isn’t every order pursuant to the execution of said war also illegal? How would it not be?
” That is your point of view. I would expect Mr. Obama or any other elected official to not launch unjustified wars of aggression or if they do, to face the judicial consequences.”
Right, but according to your definition, he would be a hypocrite for launching any military effort. If you simply define chickenhawk to mean people who support the Iraq war, then you misuse the term, which Wiki defines as this:
“Chickenhawk (also chicken hawk and chicken-hawk) is a political epithet used in the United States to criticize a politician, bureaucrat, or commentator who strongly supports a war or other military action, but has never personally been in a war, especially if that person is perceived to have actively avoided military service when of draft age.”
As a civilian, I have a vested interest in the outcome of war. I am a potential victim of an invasion (or, more likely, a terrorist attack). Therefore, I have the right to support a military action designed to preserve my security and liberty, whether I have served in the military or not. That’s not hypocritical at all.
Those who do not own a home are entitled to an opinion about property taxes. Those who are not policemen are entitled to ask for more police on the streets. Your argument here is opportunistic and, ultimately, disingenuous because you would not apply it across the board.



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Sarasotakid

posted July 16, 2007 at 3:52 pm


That was your mistake, not mine. There is a difference between a mission and an order. If you interpreted Eric to be absolving from guilt those troops involved with Abu Ghraib, then you were giving him a most uncharitable reading, which may have contributed to your error. Kevin S.
ME: It was not a mistake. The statement was poorly written leaving room for ambiguity. You’re the first one here to jump on people for their lack of clarity. It’s just that your memory is short and you have one standard for yourself and one for others, kind of like the Pharisees. Eric made the correction. I responded to him. Yet you continued the argument. Given the way you interact with others here, I have nothing to learn from you about charity or honesty for that matter.
YOU: There is a difference between a mission and an order.
ME: No there is not in the soldier’s lexicon. But you wouldn’t know that, would you, since you have not served your country in the military.
ME: “Nuremburg stands for two propostions: 1) Soldiers cannot follow illegal orders and use that as a defense against war crimes; and 2) Leaders are not immune from war crime prosecution when they launch illegal wars.”
YOUR RESPONSE: If the war itself is illegal, isn’t every order pursuant to the execution of said war also illegal? How would it not be?
ME: That is not how it was handled in WWII. You know that very well. The average German or Japanese foot soldier was not tried. You know that as well as I do. Yet you persist with your silly, ridiculous argument. Why? Because in your view of reality the current violence in Iraq has no nexus to our invading the country. You are so beholden to being right that you can’t even recognize what even the most ardent neo-cons would admit.
YOU: Right, but according to your definition, he would be a hypocrite for launching any military effort.
ME: Wrong. According to my definition he would be a hypocrite for launching or supporting an unjust and illegal war- like you.
YOU: As a civilian, I have a vested interest in the outcome of war. I am a potential victim of an invasion (or, more likely, a terrorist attack). Your argument here is opportunistic and, ultimately, disingenuous because you would not apply it across the board.
ME: You certainly do have the right to your opinion. You are still a hypocrite for so avidly supporting an unjust and illegal war and supporting the effort to send others off while you yourself have not served. As for the disingenous argument, well when I consider you as a source and don’t assign much weight to your argument given your track record of twisting people’s words.



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kevin s.

posted July 16, 2007 at 4:43 pm


“Given the way you interact with others here, I have nothing to learn from you about charity or honesty for that matter.”
Okay, but you still assumed that Eric was cool with Abu Ghraib, which is uncharitable.
“No there is not in the soldier’s lexicon. But you wouldn’t know that, would you, since you have not served your country in the military.”
I have asked my military friends whether there is a difference between a mission and an order. Could the soldiers at Abu Ghraib have disobeyed an order and remained faithful to the mission? Which war did you fight in, incidentally?
“That is not how it was handled in WWII. You know that very well. The average German or Japanese foot soldier was not tried”
No, but civilian officials were, and not simply because they broke their own country’s laws, as the soldiers involved with Abu Ghraib did. Which brings us back to the question of who you wish to prosecute. You want to have your cake and eat it too, here.
“You are so beholden to being right that you can’t even recognize what even the most ardent neo-cons would admit.”
This doesn’t answer my question. If the mission (which, as you suggest, is indistinguishable from an order) is illegal, aren’t our troops obeying an illegal order? Shouldn’t they be tried for doing so?
Given that your defense of the chickenhawk argument devolved into a series of epithets, I’ll consider that matter settled.



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nad2

posted July 16, 2007 at 5:38 pm


sarasota, when someone engages in a deliberate and continuous (systematic, even) mischaracterization of what you have said, the best thing to do is to ignore that person. i think this was once your policy, it may be time to reconsider it judging by this exchange. there are numerous people on this blog and others that may disagree (and even at times become highly disagreeable) about almost everything, yet nevertheless respect the basic underpinnings of the spirit of debate – engaging each others’ ideas rather than intentionally mischaracterizing them. to those who show no respect for the elemental essence of dialogue, no respect of engaging such people needs be shown. life is just too short, and these people thrive on putting you on the defensive by deceit and will wear you out, like trying to reason with someone with dementia. there is no point other than creating a diversion to keep you from successfully making a point. just don’t dignify such tactics with response and they will be relegated appropriately to the margins. i have not been here much lately but have come back to see how some things never change.



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Sarasotakid

posted July 16, 2007 at 5:55 pm


Nad2,
Thank you for your kind words and seeing what occurred for what it is. I will go back to my original policy.
To Kevin S:
Adieu



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kevin s.

posted July 16, 2007 at 11:15 pm


Nice lovefest here. As I mentioned, I asked the question w/r/t mission/order of one of my close friends who served in Kosovo. He had this to say:
” Mission and order are not synonymous. The mission is a goal to be achieved. An order is a command that is given. In practice, there is typically many orders given to accomplish any given mission. If an immoral order is given, you are required to disobey that order. For example: A company commander ( a captain) orders a squad leader ( a staff Sergeant) to shoot a group of unarmed civilians. If the sergeant obeys the order, he will be as responsible as the one who ordered him. He is required to place the commander under arrest and the lieutenant would take command of the company, or the next highest rank. ”
Do you have an opinion on this? I can assure you it doesn’t come from a chickenhawk. Perhaps it comes from someone with whom you served? Did you serve in Kosovo?



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kevin s.

posted July 17, 2007 at 10:09 am


So the mission = order thing was a figment of your imagination, then.



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Longjohnsilver

posted July 17, 2007 at 10:42 am


Kevin,
Why would Sarasota dignify anything you say with a response. I think I’m safe in saying that the concensus around here is that you conducted yourself pretty badly. Nad2’s advice regarding you, i.e. trying to reason with you is like reasoning with someone with dementia is clearly on point. If Sarasota never addressed one more word to you, I wouldn’t blame him given your blatant misrepresentations.



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kevin s.

posted July 17, 2007 at 2:43 pm


“Why would Sarasota dignify anything you say with a response. I think I’m safe in saying that the concensus around here is that you conducted yourself pretty badly.”
How so? I think that’s the consensus among a small handful of people. I did not insult Sarasota, although he insulted me on numerous occassions. When you introduce the Nuremburg trials into a discussion of Iraq, and suggest that the President is a war criminal, there are some tricky implications, including the fact that you must, therefore, call our military men and women war criminals themselves.
That’s my own argument, used as a way of illustrating the folly of making that comparison, not an attempt to misrepresent his views at all. Reductio Ad Hitlerum is so ridiculous they even named it. It’s got its own wiki ent entry. So it is hardly as though I am coming from left field on this.



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Longjohnsilver

posted July 18, 2007 at 8:51 am


I did not insult Sarasota, although he insulted me on numerous occassions. When you introduce the Nuremburg trials into a discussion of Iraq, and suggest that the President is a war criminal, there are some tricky implications, including the fact that you must, therefore, call our military men and women war criminals themselves. Kevin S.
But you did insult him. You consistently misrepresented his positon after clarifications were offered. He insulted you after you made sarcastic remarks (remember, the first shot came from you- “pithy”).
Also, saying that articulating that concept that you cannot blindly follow orders and citiing to Nuremburg for that authority is hardly a reductio ad Hitlerium argument. Neither is saying that those who launch immoral wars should be brought to justice.
Are you able see that you went overboard in any way or is being right at all costs more important to you? You talk about Sarasota not being charitable to Eric, yet were you charitable to him when he clarified his position? I frankly saw no charity on your part.



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Kay Shively

posted July 19, 2007 at 9:43 am


It seems clear to me that those who oppose a person’s becoming a conscientious objector after voluntarily joining the military are guilty of putting the “wisdom” of the state against the conscience of the person. They seem to think that wars and military action are all equal. The situation is far more complex than that. Though I disagree with the notion that some wars are more or less moral than others, I understand why some believe this to be true. Many of our military thought they were going to Iraq to “do good” by ridding the world of the “evil-doers.” That is, after all, what George Bush said. When they got there, they found that they had been lied to; they learned that what they were being asked to do was not good at all, but was far more evil than they had anticipated. Thus, their change of conscience. I salute them for being willing and able to think for themselves and not follow the military mind.



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Bill O'Connor

posted August 10, 2007 at 1:03 pm


To Logan Laituri:
Forty years ago, as our nation’s military industrial shadow lengthened across the globe, I turned 18 and registered with the Selective Service. I was in college about a year later when I experienced the fulfillment of the promises I had heard growing up in the Catholic Church. I took my first steps as a mature Christian striving to practice my newly deepened faith. I put aside some practices that seemed not to edify. I assumed other practices that seemed to resonate with my deepening commitment to live a life guided by the Holy Spirit.
Because it resonated, I applied for conscientious objector status. I was denied.
The Selective Service board spokesman informed me that I had no grounds for conscientious objection because I was a Roman Catholic and since the Roman Catholic church advocated the Just War Doctrine I couldn’t be a CO without putting aside my faith!
And I could find no one in the Church to support me.
Reading about the Vatican’s commitment to beatify Franz Jägerstätter brought tears to my eyes. Albeit decades later, I feel the support and justification I so desperately sought as a young man and a young Christian.
Please know what I now know: you do not stand alone.



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Tamela Weisgerber

posted July 25, 2014 at 5:34 am


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