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Old 12-04-2006, 02:31 PM   #1
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Iraq War Deserters

CNN is doing a really interesting story right now (the International version) on Iraq war deserters. They talked to a few soldiers and the Canadian families that are now sheltering them as they apply for refugee status, and their Canadian lawyer who was a draft dodger in the Vietnam war. Reasons for deserting include being ordered to do illegal things (see: Abu Ghraib), medics who said they didn't want to kill anyone but weren't granted non-combat roles, and people who signed up to defend their country but don't think fighting in an agressive war is right. The reporter (some British guy, I don't recognize him as I don't watch CNN enough) is being really biased: the tag line seems to be "Concientious Objectors or just Cowards" and he said "Basically these soldiers are cashing their paychecks in peace time and getting out when there's a war." Then he interviewed the director of Veterans of Foreign Wars who's line is that "these people are cowards." He said Abu Grhaib was individual acts (seems to be ignoring a whole bunch of supressed evindence that there were orders going up the chain of command).

It's a really interesting debate on international law, morality, and obligations and rights of soldiers who signed up willingly and weren't drafted. CNN's broadcast page doesn't have anything on this specific episode that I can find, but the program is called Insight.

What do ya'll think?
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Old 12-04-2006, 03:09 PM   #2
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You sure the title isn't Insult?

I bet the reporter hasn't been to war so far.
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Old 12-04-2006, 04:04 PM   #3
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Smartest of the bunch.
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Old 12-04-2006, 05:24 PM   #4
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They should be prosecuted for every CENT they took in from the government. They signed their names on the dotted line, they took the check when it was peace time. I have very little patience for this.

As for people being asked to do things ala Abu G......

There is a chain of command. You do not have to obey unlawful orders. You do not run.
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Old 12-04-2006, 05:35 PM   #5
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They signed the dotted line before they really knew how it will come out being in a war.
Some people think that can't be that hard and they will be able to cope with what they get confronted in war.
Then they are in that situation for months, and realize how naive they have been.
Some just can't cope with it, and even go crazy.
Instead of helping them they still get told to do their job. Many people don't know what to do and the only way out they see is to desertate.

Chain of command... in a perfect world there would always be the possibility to go the a higher superior. But in reality you're sometimes alone with your superior, and other people that don't have a problem with what they got told to do. And they won't just accept a "No".
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Old 12-04-2006, 05:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
There is a chain of command. You do not have to obey unlawful orders. You do not run.

a serious question ... what if the war itself is unlawful?
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Old 12-04-2006, 05:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511



a serious question ... what if the war itself is unlawful?
Serious answer....

It was challenged in court.....it was found to be lawful.
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Old 12-04-2006, 06:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Vincent Vega
They signed the dotted line before they really knew how it will come out being in a war.
Some people think that can't be that hard and they will be able to cope with what they get confronted in war.
Then they are in that situation for months, and realize how naive they have been.
Some just can't cope with it, and even go crazy.
Instead of helping them they still get told to do their job. Many people don't know what to do and the only way out they see is to desertate.

Chain of command... in a perfect world there would always be the possibility to go the a higher superior. But in reality you're sometimes alone with your superior, and other people that don't have a problem with what they got told to do. And they won't just accept a "No".
Well said. I know the machismo militaristic attitude is, "deal with it, tough it out." Some people can't. It doesn't make them cowards, or weak, it just means they are different than the ones who can. (Perhaps they have a harder time turning off their compassion.) When they aren't given support, or when they're forced to do things they explicitly signed up not to do (like the medic who signed up for noncombattant duty and was later told tough shit), that is not their own failing but an organizational failing.

One of the saddest things is, there are many who won't desert and later on they'll end up like so many fucked up, PTSD'd, forgotten Vietnam vets.
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Old 12-04-2006, 06:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Vincent Vega
Chain of command... in a perfect world there would always be the possibility to go the a higher superior. But in reality you're sometimes alone with your superior, and other people that don't have a problem with what they got told to do. And they won't just accept a "No".
I am an Army officer - and I always have the right to refuse an immoral or illegal order. I am also prohibited from giving such orders.

The post World War II Nuremburg trials proved that "I was only obeying orders" is not a valid defense.
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Old 12-04-2006, 07:11 PM   #10
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That's probably why all the high ranks were sued after Abu Ghreib.

In normal circumstances that's always possible, but when you are kind of isolated you can't always escape that easily.
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Old 12-04-2006, 09:21 PM   #11
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I'd like to see that show. There are plenty of reasons why people deserted rather than go to Iraq. In a perfect world we wouldn't have monumental screw-ups like the war. But we have it, and we have to figure out how best to deal with the mess we've created.
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Old 12-05-2006, 07:31 PM   #12
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i have a hard time watching cnn period.
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