No Atheists in Foxholes…

But why all the Quakers? OK maybe not Quakers, but in a volunteer military how do we end up with so many conscientious objectors? I have to admit that I’m skeptical.

This week marked the start of court martial proceedings against Army Lt. Ehren Witada, and over the weekend I had e-mail regarding the case of Kevin Benderman. At first glance I just don't have much sympathy. These guys should have known what they were getting into, and their change of heart seems more opportunistic than principled.

I would perhaps have more sympathy if they had been drafted. I've read arguments from the other angle that say since they opted in, they should be able to opt out. At a minimum, I figure they signed their hide over to the military for x number of years; if they don't follow orders for those years, they're at least obligated to sit in confinement for x years.

Is this war illegal or immoral? I can accept that it might be misguided, imprudent, or unjustified, but the judgment of what is illegal between two sovereign states is pretty fuzzy. Any prospective soldier better look at our political system and history of military action ranging from D-Day to Granada and determine the morality of our system before they take their oath.

Yes, a soldier has a duty to disobey any unlawful order. If they are ordered to massacre a village they are obligated to make a judgment against that order. But objections to the lawfulness of this war run contrary to the governmental processes that authorized it. Many politicians may now disavow the war, but the fact remains that the majority voted to authorize it. Former Rep. Cynthia McKinney may support the objectors' claims that the war is illegal, but there were dissenters even against WWII after Pearl Harbor (Rep. Jeannette Rankin, MT).

I congratulate Witada, Benderman, and others for the fortitude of their beliefs, and their conviction to sacrifice their freedom to make a point. I hope that the military has followed its regulations and given these men a fair airing of their grievances, but I expect them to serve their obligation - if not in the field, then in confinement.

Michael Smith, Republican Candidate for President

Posted by Michael Smith at February 7, 2007 1:10 PM
Comments
Comment #206975

I compare w’s attitude toward his military to the attitude hitler had toward his. In 1942 he opened a two front war, pushed into russia and lost his army at stalingrad. Hitler was ever an optimist and castigated his generals for their pessimism. As far as public opinion was concerned, he felt that if the german citizenry were not stalwart enough to win then they deserved to lose.
If there ever was a “stay the course”, “don’t confuse me with the facts”, “victory is the only option” commander-and-chief, hitler was it.

I have to laugh at those who have so mismanaged this present conflict which has unnecessarily cost the lives and health of so many young americans. some of our troops are now entering their 4th rotation into this war. I have to laugh at the distance that these “patriots” are standing behind the troops (as far as possible) while criticizing those who raise questions about the failures and disportionate sacrifice.

Posted by: charles Ross at February 7, 2007 2:52 PM
Comment #206982

Michael,

Though I can admire a principled stand when I see one, anyone that joins the military knows the job is dangerous when they join.

Where exactly was these principals when Witada joined the military?
Better yet, where were they when the military made him an officer?

I am not a blood and guts kind of guy, but I do recognize the need for a military. If anyone could just op-out when they change their mind, there would be chaos.

Whether or not the “war” is legal isn’t the point.
The fact that he signed a binding contract is, and while I can empathize with his stand, I cannot sympathize with the position he has now put himself in.
Even if he thinks himself a martyr to “the cause”, he should take the punishment meted out and move on.

Posted by: Rocky at February 7, 2007 3:21 PM
Comment #206987

I agree with Rocky’s last paragraph.

If this is moral issue, we should do these guys the favor of punishing them, so that they can demonstrate their integrity. There is not much integrity involved if you just expect to get your way.

Actually, the more fitting result would be for him pay back all the training costs salary & benefits he received. He certainly would not want to take that blood money. That might also be integrity.

Posted by: Jack at February 7, 2007 3:48 PM
Comment #206992

I agree with rocky’s post a nd Jacks last paragraph.

One should always be held responsible to the contracts they sign.

If our military can not uphold that little bit of integrity, what is the point of upholding all other integrity.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at February 7, 2007 4:01 PM
Comment #207003

“Whether or not the “war” is legal isn’t the point. The fact that he signed a binding contract is”

I’d love to see the results of this rationalization for any action in a court of law, military or otherwise. On second thoughts, we have had many such examples after WW II. Isn’t this similar to the same rationalization many War Criminals used to justify their “following of orders.”

I won’t argue if this War is legal or not, but a person has a moral responsibility to make that judgment him/herself regardless if they are in the military or not. In defense of the military personnel in question, I would suggest it bodes well that the consensus is that this war has been bungled from the start. This may not carry any weight in a Military Court of law, but wields tremendous power in the Court of Public Opinion.

Posted by: Cube at February 7, 2007 4:40 PM
Comment #207006

Bryan,

If our military can not uphold that little bit of integrity, what is the point of upholding all other integrity.

I found that today *only* military still uphold a bit of integrity, while all other people try their best at escaping their responsibilities and/or blaming others for their own failures.

Like… like, how ironic, the military *civilian* commander in chief.

Do what I say, not what I do. How could leadership by counter-example works that long?

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at February 7, 2007 4:46 PM
Comment #207009


The classification of humans as Homo sapiens sapiens is a ridiculous misnomer.

Posted by: jlw at February 7, 2007 5:02 PM
Comment #207011

cube,

“Isn’t this similar to the same rationalization many War Criminals used to justify their “following of orders.”

No it is not.
This man wasn’t forced into the service, he volunteered, and he is an officer. He knew what the consequences of his actions would be.
He should at very least be court martialed and released with a dishonorable discharge, and should surrender any benefits he has already received.

“I’d love to see the results of this rationalization for any action in a court of law, military or otherwise.”

Rationalization?

This guy isn’t a sports star that feels he isn’t being adequately compensated for his service.

Career or not, joining the military is serious business.

Posted by: Rocky at February 7, 2007 5:06 PM
Comment #207017

In my opinion Lt. Witada got his free college education and fully intended to not go to Iraq. Many words or phrases describe the scenario. A set up, a plot, and pre-calculated. He knows that civilian law and military law is different. He knows that if any individual can choose when he can go and where he can go in the military when ordered to do something else, that his action enacts immediately anarchy. The Lt. is just testing the military and law and trying to set a precedent. I hope he utterly fails in so doing.

Just heard on the news that a mistrial has been declared by the military judge.

Posted by: tomh at February 7, 2007 5:17 PM
Comment #207022

Rocky,

Career or not, joining the military is serious business.

So true.
Too bad the one(s?) controlling the military are not always aware about it, but excel at passing their blame down.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at February 7, 2007 5:20 PM
Comment #207026


One aspect of a voluntary army is that cowardly chicken hawks can runoff at the mouth.

Posted by: jlw at February 7, 2007 5:35 PM
Comment #207029

Phillipe,

A man is only as good as his word.
That the politicians that command this man don’t appear to take this war seriously should have no impact what so ever on what this man believes.

Regardless of the morons at the top, this is an all volunteer military.

Posted by: Rocky at February 7, 2007 5:41 PM
Comment #207030

I agree jlw.
People like Sean Penn should be ignored and so-called soldiers like these cowards should be tried and jailed for a long long time.

Posted by: kctim at February 7, 2007 5:43 PM
Comment #207033

kctim,

I don’t know if I would go as far as to call Benderman a coward. He at least did some time in Iraq, and has done his time in prison.


http://new.savannahnow.com/node/148560

“He said soldiers should follow the proper channels for discharge rather than go absent without leave.

“I could have gone AWOL a long time ago, but that’s wrong,” he said. “You need to follow regulations. How can a person make a statement against something they feel is wrong by doing something wrong themselves?….”

“….These protesters bring out the Sixties love beads and signs and lay on the floor at the Capitol. But what does that really do?

“On the other side, you have people who pay $2 for a yellow ribbon magnet on their car and they think they’ve done their part.

“When are we going to stop the image building and do something of substance?”

Posted by: Rocky at February 7, 2007 5:51 PM
Comment #207037

Our invasion of iraq was clearly a violation of an agreement we signed specifying that war against another U.N. signatory was only legal with a united nations resolution authorizing action or if another country presented an “imminent threat” to us. (why do you think bush so assiduously argued the “imminent threat” aspect of it before he started the war?) Clearly, as it turned out, Iraq did not present an imminent threat. So, of course the war is illegal. It is a moot point because, although we did sign this agreement, the bush administration neither respects the united nations or our obligations to the rule of law, national or international.
Also, the relationship of individuals in the military and the civilian government which they serve, form obligations BOTH ways. The argument this kid is making is that he, in the contractual relationship he has formed with the government, has no obligation to engage in activities that break international law.
Like it or not, he may have a point.

Posted by: charles Ross at February 7, 2007 5:55 PM
Comment #207042

When you scribble your name on the dotted line your but belongs to whatever branch of the military you joined for the amount of time you signed up for. You are then obligated to obey any and all lawful orders. It doesn’t matter if you like the orders or not.
Even if the anti war crowd doesn’t like to admit it, this war is a legal war. And these two cowards by refusing to go to Iraq disobeyed lawful orders. Both these lowlife cowards need to spend a very long time in Leavenworth at the very least.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 7, 2007 6:02 PM
Comment #207049

ron brown, what specifically do you know that tells you that we are in compliance with the United Nations Charter to which we are a signatory? You say that we had the legal right to invade Iraq; what information do you have to support that?

P.s. Did you hear that w has an uncle named “bucky” bush? I can just hear the conversation between w, jeb, and hw: “did you hear they caught bucky on the take? What’er we gonna do now??”

Posted by: charles Ross at February 7, 2007 6:22 PM
Comment #207052

charle Ross,

“…only legal with a united nations resolution authorizing action…”

We have one of those from desert storm and it hadn’t expired by the time we declared war, that is why the U.N. is so irritated, but can’t press trial against us despite there being no emminent threat after the fact.

Other wise they could put several people on trial for falsified evidence, which we already proved exists.

Hence the repeatedly coined term ‘legal war’.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at February 7, 2007 6:27 PM
Comment #207062

Charles
Both houses of Congress gave Bush the authority to go into Iraq. That’s what makes this war legal, like it or not. It doesn’t matter what the UN says or doesn’t say. It’s prove itself an ineffective weak kneed organization ever sense it was organized. It has never stopped a war and has never fought one.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 7, 2007 7:00 PM
Comment #207067

Surrendering our sovereignty to the UN is extremely dangerous. I know the UN Charter is a treaty, unfortunatly. One of the best acts this government could perform is to withdraw from the UN Charter Treaty. All they do is suck up some of our resources. The benefit to mankind is nil. The UN is rife with scandal continually.

Anyway Lt. Witada will be tried again and hopefully it will be some stuff for journalists to write about and that is all.

Posted by: tomh at February 7, 2007 7:07 PM
Comment #207070

tomh:

“…to withdraw from the UN Charter Treaty. All they do is suck up some of our resources. The benefit to mankind is nil. The UN is rife with scandal continually.”

I second that motion.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at February 7, 2007 7:15 PM
Comment #207081

I have a question for everyone:
Conscientious Objection. Is it a valid reason to not serve?

Posted by: gergle at February 7, 2007 7:59 PM
Comment #207098

to clarify - According to Witada’s website he did not go to school on Uncle Sam’s dime.

Still, you sign your name, raise your hand, and you should be held to your word. I did it twice, but not the third time after getting married and having a family. I understood the risks, and evaluated my priorities. I served about 7.5 years, got good educational benefits while serving, but always understood that the USAF owned my hide.

Posted by: Michael Smith at February 7, 2007 9:13 PM
Comment #207103

It’s an interesting issue. When you enlists, you are saying that you will not develop moral/ethical qualms later. But how can we predict our own development? Regardless, when you takes a principled stand, you must be prepared to face the consequences.

I can respect someone who acts on his principles, even if those principles developed after a commitment not to develop new principles. Some of these guys served in Afghanistan but balk at Iraq. Clearly cowardice is not the issue. It takes courage to face imprisonment and the barbs of public opinion; I’m certain that many who feel the same way just took the easier path and did what they are told.

Posted by: Trent at February 7, 2007 9:40 PM
Comment #207106

I’m reminded of Huck Finn’s moral crisis. He risked damnation and imprisonment by going against the law and public sentiment in helping Jim flee to freedom. Ultimately, moral individuals have to follow their own consciences.

Posted by: Trent at February 7, 2007 9:43 PM
Comment #207107

To be clear, I’m not necessarily saying these guys should achieve CO status or that they should not be punished. However, I am saying that it is intellectual glibness to assume they are cowards. Perhaps some are, but we know that some are not. We can’t truly know what is in the heart of another.

Posted by: Trent at February 7, 2007 9:48 PM
Comment #207111

I second that motion.

And I third it.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 7, 2007 10:13 PM
Comment #207115

gergle

I have a question for everyone:
Conscientious Objection. Is it a valid reason to not serve?

During the draft it was a legal way not to get drafted. It was created for folks with religious beliefs against serving in the military and/or war.
Unfortunately during Vietnam folks like Cassius Clay misused it. They had no problem with the military until they received their draft notices. Then all of a sudden they had religious beliefs against war.
Today with an all volunteer military and no draft I see no reason for someone to try to use it. If you have objections to war or serving in the military you simply don’t have to enlist. Using it after enlisting is nothing but cowardliness.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 7, 2007 10:24 PM
Comment #207117

Michael
Thankyou for your service to our great country.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 7, 2007 10:26 PM
Comment #207119

Rocky,Micheal Smith your posts are right on,I was 17 when I quit school and went in the Army in 1973. It was right at the end of the draft and begining of the all volunteer army. Nixon was president when I went in and Carter was president when I got out.Didnt care for either one as presidents go but I knew that I would go where ever I was ordered to go when I was ordered to do so.Any clear thinking person knows you cant have an army where its idividual soldiers can decide who what when and where they want to fight.You take an oath to protect and defend the constitution and the United States when you go in. Remember men and women that make up the military today are republican, democrats, independents and undecided voters but they all swear to obey the orders of their commander and chief no matter which party the president may be. I agree that this young man has done his duty and he deserves credit and thanks for that duty. He can disobey orders to deploy but he will have to suffer a courtmarshal. Also remember that a democratic president will want a military that follows orders also because our military is what keeps us free to live the lives we live.

Gergle,
Concientious Objecter really ended at the end of the draft.
If you dont want to fight now you simply dont enlist.
When I was in the service, which I admit was some time ago, they had a general,honorable discharge that soldiers that wanted out could get if they just wanted out before their ETS date. But they couldnt disobey direct orders.

Posted by: dolan at February 7, 2007 10:33 PM
Comment #207129

To make it clear to all. Witada does not claim to be a conscientious objector. He offered to fight somewhere besides Iraq. His contention is that the Iraq war is an illegal war of agression and therefore he is not compelled to fight in it and may well be obligated to refuse. That is not the same thing.He has made no religious claim to be against war.

Posted by: BillS at February 7, 2007 11:36 PM
Comment #207134

The reason I asked the question was not about the legality or whether the Military accepts it, but I wonder if the readers and posters believe that it is a valid argument against serving in battle.

It presents a interesting conflict about freedom, nationalism or socialism, and even religious belief.

If we were taken over by a Nazi Regime, would it be Moral then? Why not in a supposedly free nation?

I don’t have an answer. I am often reminded of the film Sgt York. It is resolved rather simplisticly in the film, but with the real-word notion that you fight to save the lives of your buddies. But does a Nation based on freedom have the right to compell you to fight? Even in the face of disaster, what differentiates us from them?

If we cannot draft, can we win a major conflict?

I do believe that something as dramatic as war, would tend to focus the mind and reveal CO status feelings in an individual that may have never really considered the idea until he had to kill or be killed.

Posted by: gergle at February 7, 2007 11:51 PM
Comment #207135

BillS,

“His contention is that the Iraq war is an illegal war of agression and therefore he is not compelled to fight in it and may well be obligated to refuse.”

These are not his decisions to make. Treaty or no, the United States does not recognize the UN as a “law making” body.

During his court martial the judge ruled that he couldn’t use the term “illegal war” as a defense.
That is why there was a mis-trial.

Posted by: Rocky at February 7, 2007 11:51 PM
Comment #207147

Rocky,

Because he used the word, or because the judge exluded the term?

Posted by: gergle at February 8, 2007 1:06 AM
Comment #207158

The judge excluded the term.

Posted by: Rocky at February 8, 2007 8:04 AM
Comment #207187

BillS
If that was the case the Army most likely would’ve just sent him to Afghanistan and sent someone else to Iraq. It seems to me that there’s more here than meets the eye.


gergle
Sgt York as you might know was a real person. He didn’t believe in war but because his religion didn’t hold his beliefs he couldn’t get an exemption. After he failed to get an exemption he obeyed the law and reported for duty. He obeyed orders and went to France where he became a hero.
There are several jobs that someone that doesn’t believe in killing can do in the military. I know a boy that is a Brethren (Quaker to most). His church doesn’t believe in killing. He enlisted right after 9/11 because he felt he had to do something. He didn’t want to go into combat because he didn’t want to go against his beliefs. So he asked if he could serve at a desk job or as a medic. The Army made him a medic and has stationed him at Ft. Sam Houston. I don’t know if they do that on a regular basis or not but it shows it can be done.
If we were taken over by a Nazi regime I doubt very much that anyone could claim CO status without being executed.


Posted by: Ron Brown at February 8, 2007 12:32 PM
Comment #207195

Ron,

My understanding is that recruits don’t get much say in what jobs they will do. I know that they are promised many things, but once you sign, those promises often vanish into thin air.

The other side of this, is, of course, the recruiting tactics used. Let’s remember that we are talking about very young men, essentially still children. We’ve all seen those exposes on television showing the lies they are told. Have there been any cases of people getting out based on false representation by military recruiters? If we are talking about contracts here, then both parties have obligations.

I saw something the other day about the tactics the military uses to try to retain enlisted men about to get out. They are subjected to many lectures in which they are told, basically, that if they leave, they will have to run back to “mommy” and that they will be losers. It’s hard to get a job, they say, etc., etc. Funny, if someone outside of the military said something like that about military personnel, many here would instantly get in a tizzy about dissing the troops.

At any rate, I find it despicable that some here are hurling harsh labels at those who say their morality or whatever makes it difficult for them to serve. Some are, no doubt, just trying to get out of their obligations, but some, no doubt, truly are suffering a moral crisis. That’s what it means to be a moral person, the conflict between what your heart tells you is right and what the rest of society says. It takes courage to buck the system; it’s far easy to just go along.

Posted by: Trent at February 8, 2007 1:12 PM
Comment #207215

Trent your beliefs and what you heard are just plain wrong about enlisting in the armed forces. I enlisted in the army in 1973. Their were no promises made to me about what i would do as a MOS. I wanted to be a paratrooper so I got to go to jump school at Ft Benning Ga. I graduated from jump school so I went to the 82nd abn. Had I failed jump school I would have ended up in a leg unit. You can pick a job (MOS), but if you fail to meet the qualifications or fail the school they will find another job for you.The present day all volunteer army does not use methods such as you discribe. Easy on how you comment on things you do not know.

Posted by: dolan at February 8, 2007 4:50 PM
Comment #207220

Well, dolan, I always indicate the degree of certainty I have. I even indicated my sources — TV news shows. In no way did I say I knew the gospel truth. You, however, are using your experiences of more than 30 years ago to make blanket statements, and you have decided to be snotty, to boot. Bleh.

Are you claiming that recruiters never mislead?

Posted by: Trent at February 8, 2007 6:32 PM
Comment #207221

Trent
During the draft what you said was true. But with the volunteer military recruiters have to be more careful about what kind of promises they make.
Even during the draft the military would guarantee you training in the field you wanted. And put it in writing.
A lot of guys, like my dumb ass cousin, would enlist in the Army and tell their recruiter that the wanted to fly helicopters. A lot of guys thought that was safer than crawling around in the rice patties.
So the recruiter would sign them up for pilot training. So they’d go to FT Walters to flight school. And for 90% of them the first mistake they made it was off to Ft Polk for AIT. Then it was off to the rice patties. The problem was they need a whole heap more ground ponders than fly flys. My cousin was one of that 90%. Told the little idiot that would happen, but he wouldn’t listen to his big cousin.
If they used tactics like that with today’s all volunteer military, they wouldn’t be able to make their quotas.
My son enlisted in the Air Force 1988. He told them he wanted to be an aircraft mechanic. They sent him to aircraft mechanics school. Only it was helicopter mechanic’s school. Not really his first choice, he wanted to work on fighters, but he likes it enough that he’s been in the Air Force for 18 years.
I have a nephew that is going in the Army. He’s told them he wants Airborne. That’s something that’s guaranteed and was even with the draft.

dolan
Thank you for your service to our great country.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 8, 2007 6:52 PM
Comment #207223

Ron,

I’m tempted to post the results of my Googling just now, but anyone interested can do it himself. The issue, I think, is one of degree.

Posted by: Trent at February 8, 2007 7:13 PM
Comment #207236

Ron,
Thanks, as for your cousin I can feel his pain, I too had AIT at Fort Polk La. I was an 11c 81mm mortars. As for your son, you can be very proud of him,he is serving his country and has learned a trade that he will be able to use when he retires. To your nephew going Airborne, I wish him all the best, jump school is a very tough school but he will be very proud to be part of a very elite fighting force.You are correct alot of people enlisted in the Airforce wanting to fly jets, the Navy wanting to be pilots or in subs and because of a low GT score or washing out of a school didnt receive their wants. I dont know if you served yourself but you sound like a man who eppreciates the military. You have a tougher role to play as a parent of a soldier then I ever had being a soldier.

Trent,
Sorry didnt mean to sound snotty to you, the military is very near and dear to me. My personal experience was 30 years ago, but all my closest freinds are either veterans or active service so I draw from what they tell me not what I read or see on TV. There will allways be people that either have served or are serving now that regret their time in the service that I believe is natural. The soldiers today are the smartest most informed troops we have ever had. They are dedicated to protecting our way of life. As far as recruiters misleading enlisties, it might have happened in the past it just didnt happen to me. I havnt heard any of my friends say they were mislead that have served recently or who are serving now but you are right I cant say that its never been done.

Posted by: dolan at February 8, 2007 8:21 PM
Comment #207242

dolan
I’m very proud of my son. He’s a chip off the old block in more ways than one. His choice of the Air Force had something to do with his old man serving 20 years in it. It also had something to do with his wanting to make a career in the military. He’s a MSGT and is over for his second tour in Iraq right now. I just hope he gets back safe.
I know how hard jump school is. I had to go through it during my SARS training. I was also at FT Polk during training. That’s how I knew what would happen to my cousin.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 8, 2007 8:46 PM
Comment #207244

dolan,

“As far as recruiters misleading enlisties, it might have happened in the past it just didnt happen to me.”

It might be that because not everyone can qualify for, or isn’t capable of doing the “dream” job they signed on for in the military, they believe that they weren’t told the whole truth.

Posted by: Rocky at February 8, 2007 9:10 PM
Comment #207248

Ron,
Thanks for your service,And I hope your son and nephew come home safe.

Rocky,
Good point.

Posted by: dolan at February 8, 2007 9:27 PM
Comment #207253

dolan, Ron, Rocky,

I imagine recruiters are just like everyone else. Most do their jobs ethically, but some don’t. And it’s the bad ones that get the press.

Posted by: Trent at February 8, 2007 10:30 PM
Comment #207271

It’s interesting to note that Watada said he’d serve in Afghanistan or anywhere else — just not Iraq, which really is, technically, an illegal war.

In any case, the case was thrown out on a technicality and I’m sure the military is hoping the whole thing will be forgotten. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Watada get a quiet discharge.


The last thing the Pentagon (and the administration) wants is a judge ruling on the legality of the war in Iraq.

Posted by: American Pundit at February 9, 2007 1:48 AM
Comment #207310

OK! Watada was up on charges of refusing a lawful order. What about Bendermen? No ones’s mentioned him. Has his case gone to trial yet? And what are the charges.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 9, 2007 12:07 PM
Comment #207589

Well, George W. Bush went AWOL and it didn’t seem to hurt him any. Why should it be any different for Watada? Maybe he has a future in politics, because he seems very well spoken to me.
I think it might be a good idea for all of you guys to listen to what Watada himself has to say.

Also, this is interesting: if they decide to retry Watada for the same crimes again it may not be legal. For this reason this law professor declares:
Watada Beats the Government

Posted by: Adrienne at February 11, 2007 12:39 PM
Comment #207604

Ron, all the facts about Benderman’s Conscientious Objector case:
Kevin Benderman Timeline

Posted by: Adrienne at February 11, 2007 2:11 PM
Comment #207622

I don’t know why anybody would deny that some recruiters are misleading, and that some flat out lie. It definitely happens, and the military punishes them for it if they can prove it. I knew several guys on my ship had been busted down in rank for misdeeds as recruiters. It definitely happens.

But that’s not what happened to these guys. They weren’t drafted, they weren’t lied to by recruiters, and they are not conscientious objectors. I do not hold it against them personally if they oppose the war in Iraq, but if that means they cannot bring themselves to follow orders, then they should be prepared to accept punishment under the UCMJ. If it means that much to them, they should serve their punishment with their head held high. I would not hold that against them for one second.

Posted by: Wulf at February 11, 2007 4:04 PM
Comment #207675

As a solider serving in Iraq i can only say this our country is at war the man volunteered he disobeyed lawful orders in a time of war therefore he be coutmartialed and if found guility he should be given the maxium sentence and dihonrably dischared. I don’t mean to sound harsh but he chose to serve he wasn’t drafted. By the way the oath doesn’t metion the un , and it would be a great thing to leave that bunch of crooks and throw there sorry tails out of the usa

Posted by: Steve at February 12, 2007 1:18 AM
Comment #207689

Steve:

The oath mentions the Constitution. Constitutionally, treaties are considered law:

“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”

Finally, the UN Charter is a treaty which the US has entered into, so constitutionally it is the law of the land. Ergo, their oath does indeed include upholding the UN Charter. QED.

Posted by: Jarandhel at February 12, 2007 9:26 AM
Comment #207693

Bryan:

“…only legal with a united nations resolution authorizing action…”

We have one of those from desert storm and it hadn’t expired by the time we declared war, that is why the U.N. is so irritated, but can’t press trial against us despite there being no emminent threat after the fact.

The authorization for action from Desert Storm speaks to removing Iraq from Kuwait. Resolution 668 specifically authorizes the use of force for “Member States co-operating with the Government of Kuwait”. Kuwait was not part of the coalition this time. It was counted as part of the coalition in the original Desert Storm, even though it had been invaded. We were not co-operating with Kuwait this time, we were acting on our own.

Other wise they could put several people on trial for falsified evidence, which we already proved exists.

Actually, since the US is not a signatory to the ICC, the UN has no way of putting the US or our leaders on trial short of authorizing its member states to invade the most powerful nation on earth… a risky proposition at best.

Hence the repeatedly coined term ‘legal war’.

The term illegal war has been coined just as many times, and is far more accurate.

Posted by: Jarandhel at February 12, 2007 10:19 AM
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