There is obviously something wrong with my thinking as the solution TO ME is just too simple. I think this is a matter where the thinking heads of each country should get together. What is it these objecters are objecting to? My guess is it is violence and killing.............I can relate to that........as there is no way I want to be in a position where I have to kill an innocent person. Surely to God out of a population of 300 million people not all them have to be ear marked to take up arms. Is there not a way they can serve their country peacefully.....................like cooking for the soldiers or washing their socks or dressing their wounds? I guess if they object to those sort of things then there is a problem.
How so? If the wars were illegal, could they not have challenged it in court? Heroes don't run from a chance to challenge what they believe to be injustice.
And I still feel you are avoiding my point.
This is exactly how you are avoiding my point. I know you can see beyond my exaggerated scenario of soldiers ordered to rape women.
My point exactly: The moral judgement of a deserter must be based on the moral actions of the army. I used an exaggeration to clearly demonstrate this. Clearly you wouldn't condemn a deserter if he deserted because he was ordered to rape women or kill innocent people.
And surely you wouldn't condemn an old German guy who fought in the Nazi army but at one point in the war, decided to desert after finding out what was going on in the concentration camps.
This is on the extreme side of the spectrum. My point is that there IS a moral spectrum and as far as I know, the Irak war pretty much falls into the ambiguous middle of it in Canada. The way I understand it, the way you judge a deserter depends on the situation in which he deserted.
Personally, I don't think the US army was right to go into Irak the way they did. And it seems obvious to me that the biggest incentive to do it was NOT out of humanitarian concern for the people of Irak and NOT out of concern for the safety of Americans. It was purely done out of long term economic interest for the fat cats who live off selling weapons and oil.
That is what I think of the Irak war.
So who would I be to throw stones at someone who deserted to avoid the Irak war? A hypocrite. That's what I think of those who don't agree with the Irak war but vilify deserters who avoided that war.
And when it comes to our national position on the issue, I see some form of hypocrisy in the idea of condemning deserters for deserting a war we didn't want to fight.
Of course, the fools should have known what they were getting into. That's obvious.
The US did go into Vietnam not so long ago.
One ought to know that the US army tends to actually do some fighting around the world and sometimes for questionable reasons. And I'm curious about your opinion on that matter. What do you think of Vietnam deserters considering there was a draft?
I'll try to drop the condescending tone. But I'll keep my bias as you keep yours.
Let's say they are not... (North Korean and Iranian deserters)
I'm sincerely glad you weren't raped in prison.
Let all these deserters stay in Canada as long as they want I say.
Ya, so? There are no orders that remotely compare to that, being made. If you're given an order that you question the legality of, there are channels that you can take to make that known.
Yes I would. As I said, there are channels that must be taken. Running away does nothing but prove your cowardice. A truly brave Soldier would take the appropriate action, disobey the order, file a report outlining why and then proceed through the appropriate channels to make sure the Officer that gave those orders was dealt with.
Yes, actually I would, unless he was a guard at one of the facilities.
I actually agree. But that is why the US has a standing Army. To protect and advance American interests.
Then I'm a hypocite, I can live with that. It's not like it's a brand new revelation anyways.
But as has been pointed out, the US Army has a classification for Soldiers that wish to be non combatants. Even if those applications are rejected, they aren't in the business of putting those people on the front lines anyways. It's counter productive, dangerous and waste of resources.
Not to mention, if you go through the chain of command, or file a complaint with the JAG, about being given orders that you felt were against the rules of armed conflict, or the Geneva Convention. The Army is most likely going to find some quiet little corner of the world to store you in for the duration.
Again, if they have an issue, they have channels they can follow/take to either leave the service, or be billeted in some situation where they are not a danger to their fellow Soldiers, or have the issue corrected.
This is a tough question, I'm torn between knowing dodgers and deserters that I found to be high quality men, while having to balance that against my opinion of desertion and avoidance. While fully grasping the effects of combat during that action, that I have seen first hand, in family members. I also think that mandatory service is a good thing, although I do not believe that anyone serving their nation as part of mandatory conscription, should be forced to perform combat duties.
But even viewing the Vietnam war with a contemporary eye, I would have enlisted voluntarily, had I been old enough, or even born, lol. You are talking to someone that has a very deep seeded Warrior mentality, who honestly believes there are but two honorable ways to die. In combat or giving your life for another.
Honestly, I just can't wrap my head around running away. It says clearly on my arm, "Honour, Courage, Loyalty. Never Retreat, Never Surrender."
All right. I do get your point. There are ways to make your point about not agreeing with what you are ordered to do within the rules and philosophy of the army. I can go by with that.
But I am still surprised about the Nazi soldier guy who doesn't want Jews to be burned in ovens. I mean, what was going on in the concentration camps were orders coming from the top, how do you seriously believe a soldier could rise against his own army and be taken seriously?
And that is mostly the point I'm trying to make. Desertion becomes a sensible option when the whole mission of the army you are in becomes perverted (in the sense of the deserter of course)
It's very debatable whether or not the Irak war truly advanced American interest. It advances some rather limited American interest. It's a total humanitarian and financial drain on the country. International opinion of the US has plummeted since they decided to go in unilaterally. They're supposedly fighting terrorism but are obviously planting the seeds for more. In my opinion, those who truly benefit from the Irak war don't give a **** about their country's future and their common citizens.
How do you honestly think a soldier would be treated if he openly stated (within the rules) that he does not agree with the Irak war and does not want to go?
All I can say is that we are very different. We come from very different places. I have quite the antithesis of a warrior mentality. I've barely had to deal with serious violence in my life, and my agressive tendencies are very limited.
A few days ago I played a war game at ''La Ronde'', an amusement park in Montreal. I sucked. Big time. If I was drafted, I'd probably benefit the enemy. I'd be the type of guy to panic and end up shooting myself in the foot or one of my fellow soldiers in a freak accident. I was not born to fight.
On the plus side, I am very patient and am good at taking care of people. I'm a musician, I make a living out of giving piano and guitar lessons to people of all ages, among which are dropout teenagers who need positive role models and some sort of motivation in life. This summer I'm also doing replacement in a day care so I basically spend my days playing with and taking care of children. That's not really the profile of a soldier is it?
I have good things to contribute to society but fighting ain't one of them. So if I was drafted in a war, you can be sure I'd contemplate desertion if nothing was possible to avoid it. And here you go, there is my positive bias towards the deserters.
But the deserters we are talking about were not drafted so I get most of your point.
However it is not that simple. Some of the deserters have seen their share of the sh** and just have had it. Others did not even go over there and went AWOL. One guy wasn't even going over there and F***ed up in the states and ran to escape justice. He was in the USAF for crying out loud and now he is running around Canada as if he actually saw something.
You say that it should be simple and let them change jobs. It's not that simple because it does not work that way in the military. I was in the infantry and at times it sucked. At times I wished I was passing out weapons from the armory, chilling in some admin office with women Marines, or driving AMTRAKs. I could not say...
"Sir, the Grunts (infantry) suck and I'd rather be fixing radios."
When you do that for one, then you have to do it for anyone who decides they'd rather be doing something else for whatever reason. You give one guy a break and don't give another guy then the morale falls and you have dissent. If you're a grunt and your unit is being deployed...you're going...that's that.
Since you posted this and I ended up agreeing, I thought and rethunk it and reflected on it from every angle and one thing keeps "shouting" back at me. Nobody would recommend an unsuitable person should be a doctor or bricklayer or plumber or carpenter or policeman. Why should an unsuitable person be a soldier?
That's a good point JLM.He was right. Long story eh? Well, what I am getting at was shortly after he was discharged from the Marines. Not a bad discharge, just a general discharge under honorable conditions because he simply could not adapt. IF he was a supply Marine, or an aircraft mechanic he never would have had this problem. Nevertheless he was assigned to the Infantry and the Corps just couldn't transfer him to light duty. He was a liability. You can't transfer soldiers or Marines to easy duty because they can't hang or they simply won't follow orders for whatever reason.
Phew...that could be my longest post in awhile.
Which raises a question about the medical test he must have undergone at the get go. I had a guy working with me on the survey crew (lots of walking and backpacking though steep terrain in the bush) He was asthmatic- but the rest of the crew had sympathy and would help the poor guy...........not ridicule him. Any man can only do what he can do. As long as he tries I cut him slack.