View Poll Results: What do you think about conscientious objection?
Job abandonment and for good reason. 5 23.81%
Job abandonment and for no good reason. 4 19.05%
Traitor. 2 9.52%
Not sure. 2 9.52%
Not job abandonment at all regardless of the reason behind it. 8 38.10%
Voters: 21. You may not vote on this poll

Conscientious objection

It is not my intention to turn this in to a holy war - I am not religious.

The point I am interested in having addressed is this:

Now - imagine someone invading your country and no one being there to defend you.
Originally Posted by three rivers curly
If troops from (insert invader of choice here) entered your country with force, you would be screaming for the military to come in and shoot to kill. If it were your home that was being threatend, your family, your friends and your way of life - would you really want your military to say, "Gosh, we don't really believe in war - we're just in it for the travel." No one likes war - and yet there has been a war going on in some part of the world everyday in recorded history. It isn't going to change, so it needs to be dealt with.
Better everyone think your a fool, than to open your mouth and prove them right.

Perception is not reality.

http://public.fotki.com/hmiklos
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 6,581
It is not my intention to turn this in to a holy war - I am not religious.

The point I am interested in having addressed is this:

Now - imagine someone invading your country and no one being there to defend you.
Originally Posted by three rivers curly
If troops from (insert invader of choice here) entered your country with force, you would be screaming for the military to come in and shoot to kill. If it were your home that was being threatend, your family, your friends and your way of life - would you really want your military to say, "Gosh, we don't really believe in war - we're just in it for the travel." No one likes war - and yet there has been a war going on in some part of the world everyday in recorded history. It isn't going to change, so it needs to be dealt with.
Originally Posted by three rivers curly
If I were an Iraqi, and my country was invaded (using a realistic example), and some members of our military did not believe in war and bailed, I would not personally hold it against them. I think enough people would be willing to fight that it wouldn't make that much of a difference. I think the ideal would be to have a military force that is big and threatening enough that that itself would be a deterrent to an invasion.

I voted "not sure" to the OP.
So I expect other people who feel the same way I do would not be in the military either.
Yes, but a lot of 18 year old kids dont know what sort of person they are at that early stage in their life.

If they are called upon years later to do something that they now know is immoral, I cant support forcing them to do it.
Originally Posted by *Ani*
Not all members of the military sign up at 18 - my brother was 32.

Do you honestly believe that every person in history who has been in a war, believed in what they were doing? Come on. Not to mention, with modern fighting (meaning non-hand to hand combat) casualties are considerably lower than they were even as recently as Vietnam.

Yes - every life has meaning. No - no one deserves to die in such a way. But - war is a reality of human existence, look at some of the neighborhoods in our own country. People get killed everyday for the wrong reasons.

At least they know what they are getting into when they sign up. If they aren't ready to die, then they shouldn't sign up. I know that sounds cold, and harsh - but this is the military not charm school. It isn't community service to look good on your resume. It isn't an after school job to get money for school.
Originally Posted by three rivers curly
ITA with every thing you have said.

I realize that many people, and probably most people, in the military have no idea what they are really getting into.

This is probably true of many things, say like becoming a police officer, fire fighter, kindergarden teacher, small business owner. People get in over their head and don't realize it until they are in the situation.

Going to war is a serious thing that perhaps can never truly be understood until one is there. I believe that anyone should be able to reconsider their position on important matters such as war. I believe in his right to raise conscientious objection.

But it is absolutely 100% job abandoment when it comes to the military and I can't understand why someone would think otherwise.
Sometimes long held convictions change. For many reasons, we come to a point in our lives where we say, "I no longer believe that" or "I now believe this". I think this is part of growing up and developing maturity. Sgt. Benderman's convictions have changed since he has enlisted and he has given his reasons. However, a change of heart/conviction also sometimes demands that a price be paid.
Originally Posted by Maudie
Well said.
It is not my intention to turn this in to a holy war - I am not religious.

The point I am interested in having addressed is this:

Now - imagine someone invading your country and no one being there to defend you.
Originally Posted by three rivers curly
If troops from (insert invader of choice here) entered your country with force, you would be screaming for the military to come in and shoot to kill. If it were your home that was being threatend, your family, your friends and your way of life - would you really want your military to say, "Gosh, we don't really believe in war - we're just in it for the travel." No one likes war - and yet there has been a war going on in some part of the world everyday in recorded history. It isn't going to change, so it needs to be dealt with.
Originally Posted by three rivers curly

You're not religious, but you felt compelled to state what a religion supposedly feels about war as a way of trying to make Christians look inconsistent or like hypocrites for not supporting it. Yet if you actually study Christianity in depth, you will find a strong case for pacifism (and others who support just war theory, but I'm not one of them.) But anyway....

No, I would not be screaming for the military to shoot to kill if my country was invaded. I would hope that we would look at a peaceful resolution. If violence did happen, I would just be extremely saddened and disappointed. I certainly would not applaud or encourage it.

And the wars that the US and Canadian military participate in have nothing to do with our countries being invaded or self defence, anyway, much as our governments try to tell us otherwise.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











Despite, my objection to this war in Iraq, I totally agree with TRC and Sky and other posters. An enlisted soldier can certainly hold a personal view that differs from his command at a time of war, but it cannot interfere with his duty. I think its more than job abandonment - joining the military is not just a job. You are signing up to put your life on the line for your country and you have commited to be there to do the job when its asked of you.

Now maybe recruiters prey on gullible young men, or lie to potential recruits. If that's the case, then that is the issue that needs to be addressed. But I don't see how a country's military can function if its soldiers are allowed to come and go as they please. It just doesn't work that way.

I do agree with a PP (sorry, I can't remember who!), that conscientious objection does make sense to me in the time of a general draft.

[/i]
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 6,581
Despite, my objection to this war in Iraq, I totally agree with TRC and Sky and other posters. An enlisted soldier can certainly hold a personal view that differs from his command at a time of war, but it cannot interfere with his duty. I think its more than job abandonment - joining the military is not just a job. You are signing up to put your life on the line for your country and you have commited to be there to do the job when its asked of you.

Now maybe recruiters prey on gullible young men, or lie to potential recruits. If that's the case, then that is the issue that needs to be addressed. But I don't see how a country's military can function if its soldiers are allowed to come and go as they please. It just doesn't work that way.

I do agree with a PP (sorry, I can't remember who!), that conscientious objection does make sense to me in the time of a general draft.

[/i]
Originally Posted by mad scientist
I think this is why I'm unsure. I feel it should be just a job, just like being a police officer and putting one's life on the line is still just a job/career choice. At the same time, I don't know what exactly these people agree to when they sign their contracts, and if there is an "evaluation period" worked into those contracts.
No, I would not be screaming for the military to shoot to kill if my country was invaded. I would hope that we would look at a peaceful resolution. If violence did happen, I would just be extremely saddened and disappointed. I certainly would not applaud or encourage it.
Originally Posted by Amneris
So essentially, you would want the government to stick its head in the sand and let the opposing forces take over - because that is what would happen. It is how the world works. We all want a nice happy peaceful world, it just isn't realistic.
Better everyone think your a fool, than to open your mouth and prove them right.

Perception is not reality.

http://public.fotki.com/hmiklos
I'm against the Iraq invasion, and pretty much anti-war. I am disgusted that the "hawks" never fight and send others to do their dirty business.

However, if someone doesn't want to fight in a war, DO NOT SIGN UP FOR THE MILITARY. (We're not talking about the draft, yet.)

I don't care what excuses people have, or if the recruiters lie (horrible that they've done that), one has to be pretty much completely ignorant if they do not know what the purpose of a military is for.

IMO, it looks like some people want free training, free education, and to see the world from the military, then when it's time to be called up for active, dangerous, military duty, they decide they are anti-war.

People who join the military and become "conscientious objectors" when their life is on the line are the worst form of cowards.

I am anti-war.

My father was a military officer killed during duty in Viet-nam. He was only 35. He knew what he was getting into when he enlisted into the service.
BSL of thick 4a/ 3c coils.
Member since 1999.
Well stated.

I'm sorry for your loss.
Better everyone think your a fool, than to open your mouth and prove them right.

Perception is not reality.

http://public.fotki.com/hmiklos
I am completely against the war. That said, I don't think someone should be able to CO without repurcussions when that person enlisted voluntarily.
You can't pick and choose the parts of your job you'd like to do. The war is unjust and we were led into it under false pretenses, but you can't quit working and still expect to keep your job.

And yes, recruiters do lie. My tenant's husband just finished basic training, and while he was being recruited and even when he was in basic training, he was told he'd be stationed in the US or in Italy. He was specifically told that he would not be deployed to Iraq. Now that he's graduated, he's being told he'll be sent to Iraq or Korea. It's been very hard on his wife (who is expecting a baby), as I'm sure some of you can understand.

I have to go back to work now.....
I agree with TRC. Regardless of changing maturity and ideals, when you make a committment, you should stick with it. It happens in all areas of life, not just this.
There's no such thing as global warming. Chuck Norris was cold so he turned up the sun.
What TRC said. If you voluntarily sign up for the military, you know you may go to war. If you seriously don't know that you might go to war when you sign up for the military, perhaps your IQ is sufficiently low that you shouldn't have been permitted to join the military in the first place.
And yes, recruiters do lie. My tenant's husband just finished basic training, and while he was being recruited and even when he was in basic training, he was told he'd be stationed in the US or in Italy. He was specifically told that he would not be deployed to Iraq. Now that he's graduated, he's being told he'll be sent to Iraq or Korea. It's been very hard on his wife (who is expecting a baby), as I'm sure some of you can understand.

I have to go back to work now.....
Originally Posted by Mayamax
I'm not saying recuiters don't lie...but they cannot make promises of where you will be stationed. They also cannot promise you will not be deployed to Iraq. Honestly, if someone is naive enough to believe this, they made need to research the military a little more.
An Akasha,
I'm so sorry for your loss, and appreciate the sacrifice your father made.
The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics - Thomas Sowell
And yes, recruiters do lie. My tenant's husband just finished basic training, and while he was being recruited and even when he was in basic training, he was told he'd be stationed in the US or in Italy. He was specifically told that he would not be deployed to Iraq. Now that he's graduated, he's being told he'll be sent to Iraq or Korea. It's been very hard on his wife (who is expecting a baby), as I'm sure some of you can understand.

I have to go back to work now.....
Originally Posted by Mayamax
I'm not saying recuiters don't lie...but they cannot make promises of where you will be stationed. They also cannot promise you will not be deployed to Iraq. Honestly, if someone is naive enough to believe this, they made need to research the military a little more.
Originally Posted by sariroo
ITA.. I can't imagine someone entering into the military these days not expecting to be sent to the Middle East at some point, because it's gonna happen.

I was in the military for 6 yrs. up until 6 mos ago when I made the decision to get out because of my feelings regarding the war in Iraq and other reasons. Had I chosen to reenlist, regardless of my opinions, I feel I would have been obligated to do my duty because when you enlist in the United States military you take an oath to follow the orders of the President of the United States. That's exactly what I did. I supported the war effort up until the day I got out.

Mayamax.. as for your friend possibly going to Korea or Iraq?? She better pray he goes to Korea. At least she can visit him there. I spent a year there in 2002-2003, so I know.
The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.
Oscar Wilde
And yes, recruiters do lie. My tenant's husband just finished basic training, and while he was being recruited and even when he was in basic training, he was told he'd be stationed in the US or in Italy. He was specifically told that he would not be deployed to Iraq. Now that he's graduated, he's being told he'll be sent to Iraq or Korea. It's been very hard on his wife (who is expecting a baby), as I'm sure some of you can understand.

I have to go back to work now.....
Originally Posted by Mayamax
I'm not saying recuiters don't lie...but they cannot make promises of where you will be stationed. They also cannot promise you will not be deployed to Iraq. Honestly, if someone is naive enough to believe this, they made need to research the military a little more.
Originally Posted by sariroo
I'm pretty sure that recruiters don't actually assign soldiers to their posts so anyone listening to a recruiter and counting on their word for where they will and will not be deployed should have their head examined.

I had a Reservist friend who was counting on only State side assignments when he signed up and this was before Iraq. Well this held true up until the War.

His life hung in the balance as one day he was told he was going overseas, the next day he wasn't, then next he was completing his 3rd training session, then no he was being deployed...finally it turned out he was sent to Kuwait for 8 months!!!! He never, ever thought he'd be sent overseas and had to leave his wife and 2 young children as a Reservist!!

Listen, don't sign up for the military if you think your going to hang out at your local military base and/or get a cushy assignment in Europe. You go where your needed and those decisions are not made by recruiters.
From reading the original link, I gathered that Sgt Benderman's issue was a conviction against deployment to Iraq for a second term:

I've received e-mails from people who said that I was a coward for not going to war, but I say to them that I have already been, so I do not have anything to prove to anyone anymore.

I first realized that war was the wrong way to handle things in this or any other country when I went to the war zone and saw the damage that it causes.
He states that he has been a soldier for 10 years and apparently served in Iraq already, so I would think the issues of him being naive when he signed up or unwilling to serve in a danger zone may not necessarily apply.
Maudie
From reading the original link, I gathered that Sgt Benderman's issue was a conviction against deployment to Iraq for a second term:

I've received e-mails from people who said that I was a coward for not going to war, but I say to them that I have already been, so I do not have anything to prove to anyone anymore.

I first realized that war was the wrong way to handle things in this or any other country when I went to the war zone and saw the damage that it causes.
He states that he has been a soldier for 10 years and apparently served in Iraq already, so I would think the issues of him being naive when he signed up or unwilling to serve in a danger zone may not necessarily apply.
Originally Posted by Maudie
Yeah, he's a decorated soldier.

We were talking in general about the "recruiters lie" excuse.
Yes, I know that recruiters can't make promises, and ITA that anyone who enlists today and thinks they won't end up in the Middle East should have their head examined. I always thought her husband would end up in Iraq, but I only said it once(to him, because he asked what I thought of him enlisting), then I went about my business. Many times, recruiters are dealing with people who are young and inexperienced or who don't have many other job options. They are eager to believe what they are told, or they are too inexperienced to know better. It's a hard lesson to learn. I'm not trying to make excuses for either side- I'm just saying that I personally know of at least one case where it has happened that a recruiter has lied.

And yes, redheadfullofcurls, she is hoping for Korea.

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