Originally posted by oozyism
reply to post by KSPigpen
perhaps you should work on making it not so corrosive.
I get what you mean, and I understand why you would get offended, but it is not as simple as that. If I was to make it more corrosive than who would
listen? This is an important issue, soldiers following orders blindly. It is as bad as the Jihadists who are following order blindly.
I don't think you should make it MORE corrosive...A soldier can't stop to weigh the long-term consequences of their actions. War sucks, but it's
nothing new. If these guys stop to contemplate the 'meaning' of it all when they are in these situations, then they endanger themselves and their
brothers and sisters.
'Blindly' following orders is what a soldier does. (a bit of an oversimplification) They are given objectives and must operate within their
experience, training and instinct to accomplish those objectives. There ARE such things as conscientious objectors, but once you sign on the dotted
line, you've, for the most part, given up your opportunities to be involved in the philosophical debate about your presence in any given theater.
The Iraq war which cause so much death and misery for the Iraqi people was something in mind when I was comprising this thread. American soldiers are
also responsible, you can't simply say I was following orders.
Just imagine if every killer in legal case came with the argument that he/she was following orders. That is all I'm portraying.
It's apparent that your feelings on this issue are very strong. There's certainly nothing wrong with that, but it's just as easy to make an enemy
espousing peace as it is war. Once you have made an enemy, your chances of engaging them in meaningful debate has, for the most part, evaporated.
For whatever reason, many people believe that the United States' actions in Iraq were and ARE warranted and justified. I don't buy that one hundred
percent, but when my boss tells me I have to do something, I have to do it, or get fired. The trouble with that in the military is that they have
different names for 'not listening to your boss' and the 'fix' for some of those is a bullet in the head. It's not surprising how individual
conviction tends to wane in the face of certain death.
I think it is understandable that the ability to follow orders is NECESSARY to the safety of everyone involved and not just the individual. That's
why we have squads and platoons and companies and battalions and brigades and divisions of SOLDIERS, not individual philosophers walking in the fields
alone, pondering the consequences of their actions.
Cohesiveness is required, or the unit will fail and more people will die than the one objecting.
If you ask some of the older patriots, you will get a response about how even though they DETEST your comparison of them with war criminals, they have
fought and put THEIR lives on the line, so that you can be free to have that opinion you are so proud of. It may be an overly romantic viewpoint, but
any time during historic battles, the majority of American forces could have decided that they didn't want to be part of the killing, and you know
what comes next. If Hitler wasn't stopped, or Hussein...I think there HAS to come a time when someone standing on the sideline has to stand up and
say that there has been enough.
On the off chance that Saddam would have been left in power (forgetting the ties he had with the U.S. Govt.) Would his own brand of ethnic cleansing
continue? Would he have stopped with the extermination of the Kurds? Would he have stopped at the invasion of Kuwait? Does a ruthless dictator EVER
stop on their own? Could you name on that has for me?
Why do you look at the ex-soldier as a killer and rapist, that doesn't change the fact that he was an American soldier.
I think it DOES change it, Oozy. I think at the point you make the decision to become a rapist, you give up your RIGHT to be called an American
soldier. The instant that your mind justifies the rape of a girl and the murdering of her family, you have given up your right to be called ANYTHING
but a rapist and murdered....except for maybe 'convict.'
It really IS pretty simple for me. I know that the percentage of actual crimes committed by servicemen and women is pretty low. I would guess way
lower than the general populace. Following orders and killing for your country just isn't a crime. It sucks on a few different levels, but it's not
an offense...to US.
Now, there have been some instances, particularly in WWII, where soldiers who were 'just following orders' were brought up on war crimes charges.
They were of course, Nazis, but that doesn't really matter.
I want to get this part perfectly straight. If the United States was ever defeated by Iraq, or Iran, or Afghanistan or Germany or anyone else, there
would be a real likelihood of American servicemen and women facing war crimes trials. Victory in battle may bring closure to a battle, but it doesn't
end a people's need for vengeance or their desire, however misguided, to enforce what they perceive as 'justice' against those that perpetrated
particularly heinous acts against their people.
Although it may be largely an effort to placate some, there is an Attorney General in the United States trying to figure out whether the treatment of
'detainees' and 'enemy combatants' by the United States constitutes criminal action. He is trying to determine whether or not the LEADERSHIP is
guilty of crimes. In a war effort, the private does not have the luxury of second guessing his sergeant, or their captain.
The way the US works, if a serviceman or woman creates a crime, they will be charged, typically by the jurisdiction that they are in when they commit
the act. When they are just following orders and have no intent to commit the crime, the chain of command is at fault and there are facilities within
the military to address those instances. It doesn't happen as quickly as some would like, but an evil murdering bastard will get his, in the end.
The men and women of the armed forces are NOT automatons, but must follow orders. That doesn't mean they have no sense of what is right or wrong.
Not to deteriorate this argument any, have you seen Apocalypse Now? I don't think that movie is too far off. The forces have a history of policing
themselves and bad apples are weeded out.
I don't think anyone enjoys killing, unless they have some serious issues. I think you are generalizing and turning your desire for peace into a big
stick with which you are beating on the military with. I just think there's bound to be a better way to express yourself. If you get everyone to add
you to their ignore list, who will listen then?