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New generation of conscientious objectors

Posted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 12:22 am
by Nimble
The following is an article from the New York Times. The whole story was way too long for a post and following the link required registering with their site, but I think I have adapted. I have posted part of the story with a link that worked when I tested it._______________________________

Un-Volunteering: Troops Improvise to Find Way Out
By MONICA DAVEY

Published: March 18, 2005

Richard Patterson for The New York Times
Staff Sgt. Camilo Mejia last month in Florida after he was released from military jail. He was among the first soldiers to refuse to return to Iraq.

The night before his Army unit was to meet to fly to Iraq, Pvt. Brandon Hughey, 19, simply left. He drove all night from Texas to Indiana, and on from there, with help from a Vietnam veteran he had met on the Internet, to disappear in Canada.

In Georgia, Sgt. Kevin Benderman, 40, whose family ties to military service stretch back to the American Revolution, filed for conscientious-objector status and learned that he will face a court-martial in May for failing to report to his unit when it left for a second stint in Iraq.

One by one, a trickle of soldiers and marines - some just back from duty in Iraq, others facing a trip there soon - are seeking ways out.

Soldiers, their advocates and lawyers who specialize in military law say they have watched a few service members try ever more unlikely and desperate routes: taking drugs in the hope that they will be kept home after positive urine tests, for example; or seeking psychological or medical reasons to be declared nondeployable, including last-minute pregnancies. Specialist Marquise J. Roberts is accused of asking a relative in Philadelphia to shoot him in the leg so he would not have to return to war.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/18/national/18soldiers.html?adxnnl =1&adxnnlx=1111122564-xHHvt9eGBM9nd9CmCJVljQ

<small>[ March 17, 2005, 11:24 PM: Message edited by: Abraham ]</small>

Re: New generation of conscientious objectors

Posted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 10:43 am
by sagan
It would be interesting to compare the rate of conscientious objection with for the first two years of Vietnam with the first two years of the Bush war in Iraq (two years tomorrow). Then we had a large percent of conscripts versus the current situation of largely domestically hired mercenaries or volunteers.

Re: New generation of conscientious objectors

Posted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 10:47 am
by sagan
Baby: If you wrote a post that did not bounce around through 50 unrelated subjects, and was not so long that people passed out of fatigue by the end of it, and had a point to it, do you think anyone would object?

Re:

Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 12:36 pm
by Dopey Dwarf
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Re: New generation of conscientious objectors

Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 7:20 pm
by jimbo71
Isn't it remarkable these people want to belong in military units as long as the drills & money are easy.? But when they are called on to fill out the tough going they suddenly get religion & want to drop out? They must know what joining the military could potentialy entail from the start! :mad:

Re: New generation of conscientious objectors

Posted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 1:35 am
by Haley
If organized fighting is what it takes to be an American, then to **** with patriotism.

<small>[ March 23, 2005, 12:37 AM: Message edited by: Haley ]</small>

Re: New generation of conscientious objectors

Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2005 10:24 am
by jimbo71
Haley! What do you think this country would be like if everyone had your opinion?

Re: New generation of conscientious objectors

Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2005 6:34 pm
by Deb Richardson
Haley is OK jimbo, she just needs to get a little more life and maturity under her belt. My hope for her is that as she matures and experiences a little more life she grows less cynical.

Re: New generation of conscientious objectors

Posted: Sun Mar 27, 2005 2:13 pm
by TenaciousT
if everyone in the country objected to organized fighting? jeeeeeeezus! think of the consequences. Why, we wouldn't be able to kill as efficiently. We'd almost have to think like ghandi or sri chinmoy. We'd all be saying repulsive dreck like "replace the love of power with the power of love." We'd be strutting around like a bunch of fairies, not wanting to fight, just getting along. Makes me sick. If that were the case, i'd flee the country. I'd start my own land, and teach my kids the importance of vital kill zones and boming strategies. And slowly but surely, i would raise my spawn to organize, to take over countries. We could pillage! we could control! Think of how much stuff we could buy! Stuff everywhere. We could buy SUV's and pack 'em full! Put tv's in 'em to watch while we drive to our huge houses. We could hire people to Feng Shui for us. And we'll hire all you non-fighters to cook and clean for us, because you won't have any money. You'll probably just be giving stuff to each other. Trading and bartering, secretly dreaming of a land where i can teach you to throw a grenade. We can build bombs and guns. THE WORLD WILL BE OURS! Who's with me!?

Re: New generation of conscientious objectors

Posted: Sun Mar 27, 2005 5:55 pm
by Haley
TenaciousT states my point rather astutely.

Does maturity suddenly require the urge to go kill people?

Re: New generation of conscientious objectors

Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 12:41 am
by TenaciousT
Thanks hales. I got your back.

Re: New generation of conscientious objectors

Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 1:27 am
by IAMWHATIAM
Haley- Fortunately for this country our early generations didn't have the same views as you. None of us would even have the priviledge of sitting here discussing these issues as we do, were it not for the forsight and courage of patriots to organize and fight. The very right you have enjoyed to be raised as an American in this country was paid for by those who were and are patriots. I just watched my best friend send his only son to Iraq, knowing what the risks are because he is a patriot as is his son. I hate war more than you will ever understand unless you are unfortunate enough to experience it. My guess is you are young or have experienced a sheltered life to have developed the opinions you express. I don't hold that against you but think about what you are saying "to **** with patriotism"? And no, Maturity does not require the urge to kill people, Don't insult those who have accepted the responsibility to do that which you so detest. They don't like it any more than you.

Re: New generation of conscientious objectors

Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 9:40 am
by Kerry Tobin
All right, time to chip in...

I have no sympathy for someone who signed up for the military (an organization who's lone reason for existence is to fight wars!) and now decides they don't want to go back to Iraq or Afghanistan because now they don't agree with that war.

They signed a contract. The military follows the President's orders, it's well known and something they should have expected could happen.

My God, I joined the Army and now they want me to fight???

Re: New generation of conscientious objectors

Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 10:54 am
by tinman
I agree with Kerry to a point. If you join the armed forces, whether it's during peace time or a time of war, you need to go into it with the mindset that this is what you signed up for. Don't do it just because you want your college education paid for. I think alot of young people have done just that because they didn't want to be burdened with the cost of financing their education and now they are fighting in a war that most of us didn't expect to happen. Go into it with your eyes wide open fully expecting to serve, even if things are peaceful at the time that you sign up.

Re: New generation of conscientious objectors

Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 4:16 pm
by NurseNell
Originally posted by Kerry Tobin:
All right, time to chip in...

I have no sympathy for someone who signed up for the military (an organization who's lone reason for existence is to fight wars!)
As a veteran, fighting wars is not the lone reason for the existence of the military. We need a military for protection. The military exists in times of war and peace, as it should.

One can always serve their country as a conscientious objector, performing duties not related to war. Many such CO's served during Viet Nam when I was in.

Re: New generation of conscientious objectors

Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 4:32 pm
by Haley
Enough with the personal attacks.

I speak for myself alone, and I don't speak for those who have signed up for the military--they knew what they were getting into. I alone do not think that patriotism requires killing. I've been told to get out of the country because I don't support the war--is that any more mature? Do I really need to express my reasoning here? No.

However, were it ever to come to a draft, I wager that you'll see millions of 20-year-olds express their apparent "immaturity"... as conscientious objectors.

http://www.objector.org/

Originally posted by NurseNell:
As a veteran, fighting wars is not the lone reason for the existence of the military. We need a military for protection. The military exists in times of war and peace, as it should.
I agree with this sentiment! Back when I graduated, I was originally thinking about going into the Americorps or something similar! That line of work is just as honorable (if not more, in many circles) as serving in the military. If people want peace, then they should join an organization that promotes peace and goodwill.

<small>[ March 28, 2005, 03:38 PM: Message edited by: Haley ]</small>

Re: New generation of conscientious objectors

Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 7:49 pm
by NurseNell
Originally posted by Haley:
I agree with this sentiment! Back when I graduated, I was originally thinking about going into the Americorps or something similar! That line of work is just as honorable (if not more, in many circles) as serving in the military.
I have long held the view that every able bodied citizen needs to serve their country for 2 years, either in the military or organizations such as Americorps, VISTA, Habitat for Humanity, Catholic Volunteer Corps, etc. We'd be a better country and each of us would be a better person for the experience.

Re: New generation of conscientious objectors

Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 8:47 pm
by Deb Richardson
Haley, I wasn't personally attacking you. I just feel that your opinions will change as you mature and experience life. This I might add has happened to many of us "oldies" that frequent this board.

As far as personal attacks go I do think you have done so yourself to others on this board (baby). Think about it. You seem to be strong in your convictions, which is great! I do believe that your are far too cynical for a young person, for any age person. Try to find good around you.

<small>[ April 08, 2005, 05:12 PM: Message edited by: Deb Richardson ]</small>

Re: New generation of conscientious objectors

Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 9:39 pm
by Marty
Haley, you really should consider the Peace Corps. It is a wonderful way to see what life is really about for some folks, while you are helping them have a better existence. I think you would really enjoy it. I also think you are on your way to becoming a fine adult!
Why I mentioned the Peace Corps to you is you are young and should take advantage of your youth and do something that you will fondly remember when you get to be around my age - slightly under 100 :D !! There are later years to work your butt off for just your own existence!

Re: New generation of conscientious objectors

Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 10:34 pm
by Nimble
Originally posted by NurseNell:
I have long held the view that every able bodied citizen needs to serve their country for 2 years, either in the military or organizations such as Americorps, VISTA, Habitat for Humanity, Catholic Volunteer Corps, etc. We'd be a better country and each of us would be a better person for the experience.
Excellent idea Nell. With that program they probably could have even found something for Dick Cheney to do, like teaching people to scowl properly or something.

One could say a contract is a contract, however, one never knows when enlightenment might occur. One's moral beliefs can evolve.

It is true we don't have official conscription, however, I do have some concerns with the nature of the so-called volunteer force. Increasingly we have to offer more and more pay and benefits, free plane tickets home for leave, free phone calls home, etc. It is beginning to look more like a domestically hired mercenary force. And a good chunk of them still come from the lower end of the economic spectrum. Needless to say, judging from the numerous torture and abuse cases and human rights violations I would say the voluntary force is not necessarily morally superior to the conscript force.

I volunteered in 1971 when an E-1 got $110/month and after boot camp they deducted for my plane ride home for a short leave and I got handed a grand total of $60 which brought me up to date on pay. Thank the gods that beer was cheap back then and of course I will always have the happy memories of Marine Corps boot camp.

Re: New generation of conscientious objectors

Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 11:07 pm
by Kerry Tobin
As a veteran, fighting wars is not the lone reason for the existence of the military. We need a military for protection. The military exists in times of war and peace, as it should.
Not to specifically argue but...

The idea of the military for protection is basically saying we're ready to fight the second someone attacks us.

The military has become a lot of things but it's main purpose and what they constantly train for is a fight of some type.

Now, the ideal! They train so well no one even tries anything because we are so good.