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Volunteer does not mean "I control"

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  • User profile image
    Cybermagell​an

    Disclaimer: This is not meant to insight moral right from wrong or personal values....

    Officer Faces Court-Martial for Refusing to Deploy to Iraq


    again....I don't care about if it is right or wrong to go....my point is though....

    "Military historians say it is rare in the era of the all-voluntary Army for officers to do what Lieutenant Watada has done."- basically he refused to deploy to Iraq.....

    OK for anyone who has done time in the military you swear your alliegiance to the Commander of the United States or (National Guard the Govenor of your State).

    If you volunteer for something...and you raise your right hand, what makes you think you can call the shots? Would you think that?

  • User profile image
    Minh

    Why didn't he declare conscientous objector?

    "A conscientious objector is an individual following the religious, moral or ethical dictates of his or her conscience that are incompatible: (1) with being a combatant in military service, or (2) being part of the armed forces as a combatant organization. In the first case, conscientious objectors may be willing to accept non-combatant roles during conscription or military service. In the second case, the objection is to any role within armed forces and results in complete rejection of conscription or military service and, in some countries, assignment to an alternative civilian service as a substitute for conscription or military service. Some conscientious objectors may consider themselves either pacifist or antimilitarist."

    Edit:
    Ahh...

    "He was not asking for leave as a conscientious objector, Lieutenant Watada said, a status assigned to those who oppose all military service because of moral objections to war. It was only the Iraq war that he said he opposed."


    ---

    I think every congressman, senator, and the president should have 1 child in the military service. I wonder if the Iraq war would happen then.


  • User profile image
    Minh

    "Lieutenant Watada conceded that the military could not function if individual members decided which war was just. But, he wrote to Colonel Townsend, he owed his allegiance to a “higher power” — the Constitution — based on the values the Army had taught him: “loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage.”"

    ...

    "Lieutenant Watada said he began his self-tutorial about the Iraq war with James Bamford’s book “A Pretext for War,” which argues that the war in Iraq was driven by a small group of neoconservative civilians in the Pentagon and their allies in policy institutes. The book suggests that intelligence was twisted to justify the toppling of Saddam Hussein, with the goal of fundamentally changing the Middle East to the benefit of Israel."

  • User profile image
    out180

    This is why the "middle management" leadership in the Military is so bad. 

    When I joined it was to serve my country.  Was I involved in things that I didn't agree with?  I never thought about it really.  It wasn't my job to judge.  I was simply a cog in the war machine and I KNEW my place.

    Honestly, if he had objected and kept it within his chain of command I could probably respect him for the individual thought.  Making it a big public affair is a whole other story.

    Toss him a big chicken dinner and be done with him.  We don't need that kind of leadership in our Military.  Not because he disagrees with the war... because of how he deals with it.

  • User profile image
    Cybermagell​an

    I think of joining the military like being married (and their oddly the same)....

    1. Don't you volunteer for both?
    2. Shouldn't you know everything about the subject before you commit to it?
    3. Aren't they both sometimes "till death do you part"
    4. You can wind up in jail for not listening.
    5. You're always told what to do.
    6. The only constant is change
    7. You're obligated to things you don't want to do.
    8. You screw up they take half your money.
    9. Hooah, and Uuugh sound sadly the same....
    10. You raise your right hand, and sign papers for both.

    Wow, I wonder if this guy is married.

  • User profile image
    rjdohnert

    That guy is a coward and deserves to be court martialed.  My only hope is goes to Fort Leavenworth and gets butt-raped the entire time he is there.  He has bought shame and dishonor to his entire family.

  • User profile image
    AdamKinney

    A coward is the most ill-suited name for him.  Can you imagine how hard it would be to stand up to the whole USArmy because you don't believe in one of the wars they are currently waging?

    I agree that he's not doing everything he's asked without question or deliberation so he needs to leave the Army.

  • User profile image
    Yggdrasil

    out180 wrote:
    When I joined it was to serve my country.  Was I involved in things that I didn't agree with?  I never thought about it really.  It wasn't my job to judge.  I was simply a cog in the war machine and I KNEW my place.


    Really, doesn't this seem at all... well... bad to you?

  • User profile image
    Yggdrasil

    "Volunteer" doesn't mean you get to call the shots, but it does mean you can opt-out if you don't feel what you're doing is the right thing.
    If the man feels he cannot condone the army's actions in Iraq - if he feels this isn't the army he joined and the causes he is willing to fight for then it is perfectly legitimate - no, imperative - for him to resign his commission and leave the army. This isn't defection under fire - this is a resignation letter delivered ahead of time.

    The claims of "you can't allow any soldier to pick what wars to fight" - he's not asking to stay in the army and be assigned elsewhere. He is asking to leave the army over "irreconcilable differences", if you will.

    As for jaylittle's claim - no, he did not know what he was getting into if he joined before Iraq and he sees Iraq as a big change.
    Additionally - even if he did, is he not allowed to leave? Every contract has an escape clause. He might have his benefits revoked and might be forced to pay some sort of fine, depending on the contract. But a contract that you're not allowed to break isn't a contract, it's conscription.
    EDIT: I see that if court-martialed, he could be subject to a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of pay and 7 years in prison. To me, the first two seem understandable while the third seems excessive. Of course, I am not versed in US military law, or in the social ramifications of a dishonorable discharge.

  • User profile image
    out180

    Yggdrasil wrote:
    
    out180 wrote: When I joined it was to serve my country.  Was I involved in things that I didn't agree with?  I never thought about it really.  It wasn't my job to judge.  I was simply a cog in the war machine and I KNEW my place.


    Really, doesn't this seem at all... well... bad to you?


    No, it doesn't but it is a choice and a lifestyle not suited for everyone.  Personally I have no problems with a chain-of-command, taking orders, and following my leaders, even when I don't agree.  Some may reword that as "blindly following" but alas that is the military.  Everyone isn't told the grand agenda nor should they expect it.

    Really it's no different than following your bosses directions at work.  You can object, and face the punishment, or comply and continue on.  You know what joining the military consists of just like you know what your job consists of.  If you aren't willing to follow your leader into battle then the military isn't a place for you becaues it is an obvious possibility considering the job itself.

    It is a world that cannot be compared to anything else and difficult, however not impossible, to understand outside of it.

    As far as a volunteer having the right to opt-out if they so choose brings up a different point.  The use of Volunteer has to be a careful one here.  The volunteer part simply refers to walking into the recruiter's office and signing up and not being drafted.  From that point on you are under contract.  A contract with stiff punishment if broken.  Everyone in the US military has the choice to quit so to speak, but that choice carries some serious things with it.

    I don't think the guy is a coward at all.  In fact he's just the opposite.  It took courage to stand up and do what he did.  The fact still remains that he is disobeying orders and in breach of his contract if he wishes to terminate early.  He has to stand up and take that punishment.  If he really feels as strongly as he lets on he will welcome that punishment in order to stand by his convictions.

  • User profile image
    rjdohnert

    A soldier, sailor, airmens job is not to question but to complete his assigned tasks and to follow orders to the fullest.  By refusing to go to war he is not following a direct order and in my opinion he is abandoning his country in its time of need.  I consider what he is doing as treason.  Disloyalty to nation or state.  When I was in the service sure, I had orders I disagreed with.  There were plenty of times I questioned the motives of my superiors and there were times I disagreed with em but as long as they are lawful, I followed those order 150%.

  • User profile image
    AdamKinney

    Correct its a very different world when you sign yourself over to the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice).  WHen I said "so he needs to leave the Army", I meant by whatever means possible and legal.  There's no explicit opt-out clause, at least not after the first 180 days.

    That's why calling him a coward is wrong, he knew he would get in trouble and he stayed, he didn't flee and hide.

    I used to be in the Army, its not a joke, you can't have someone stop and question an order, especially in combat.  And I'm sure if he did deploy he would do what was necessary.

    edit:this was posted before reading out180's post, but it looks like we're about on the same page

  • User profile image
    SlackmasterK

    Minh wrote:

    I think every congressman, senator, and the president should have 1 child in the military service. I wonder if the Iraq war would happen then.

    The only difference:  Their children would never be deployed or stationed overseas.  They'd be spoon-fed and given a free ride.  Whenever someone threatened an LOC, LOR, A15, UIF, or bad EPR, they'd use their parent to get out of it.

  • User profile image
    dahat

    AdamKinney wrote:
    A coward is the most ill-suited name for him.

    You are right that coward isn’t a good word for him... traitor is better, although I’m a bigger fan of calling him a mutineer.

    Don’t forget, he’s not just refusing orders but doing so in time of war and at such a time if convicted he could face the death penalty.

    I just find it amazing how he’s effectively planned this mini-insurrection.

    Edit: A good video on the topic.

    P.S. Thanks for the recent mailing Adam, at the same time though... damn you! Now I need to buy a server and colo it!

  • User profile image
    Deactivated User

    Comment removed at user's request.

  • User profile image
    Jason Cox

    I'm gonna take a shot here, but why do we have our soldiers swear alliegence to the CINC and not to the Constitution?

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    Jason Cox wrote:
    I'm gonna take a shot here, but why do we have our soldiers swear alliegence to the CINC and not to the Constitution?


    Better idea: Why is the civilian president also in charge of the entire armed forces? They've got separation of church from state, but I'd much prefer separation of military from state.

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    W3bbo wrote:
    
    Jason Cox wrote:I'm gonna take a shot here, but why do we have our soldiers swear alliegence to the CINC and not to the Constitution?


    Better idea: Why is the civilian president also in charge of the entire armed forces? They've got separation of church from state, but I'd much prefer separation of military from state.


    So you want the military to be unaccountable and uncontrolable by the electorate?


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