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There is Nothing Heroic in Fighting a Morally, Ethically and Illegal War

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Early this morning I came across an article in my local Baltimore Sun newspaper, entitled, "The problem with turning soldiers into heroes" written by Gordon Livingston, a psychiatrist and Viet Nam veteran.

A paragraph that "jumped off the page" (for me at least) read, "We owe a debt to those who have borne the battle on our nations behalf. They are in general, neither heroes nor villains. They volunteered to be where they are and do what they do. Whether they made the right decision, only they can say."

It was those words that prompted me to reflect on my own beliefs regarding our men and women in uniform that "choose" to fight in our nations wars.

To "choose" is the operative word. Our men and women "choose" to join the military. And when they "choose" to join and fight in that nation's war, it becomes their war.

For those in uniform before a war is started also have a "choice", particularly if they don't agree with that war. They can "choose" to resign (it is presumed commissioned officers have that choice) rather than be sent to that war zone, others (NCO's) could "choose" not to be sent to the war zone, (which could mean incarceration) OR each could "choose" to go to war (even if they didn't believe in that war).

When a war is morally, ethically and legally wrong, as our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are, our soldiers are just the lethal end of those wrongful wars. They certainly are not heroes. They are pawns of those officials who "chose" to authorize those wars.

The idea of extolling those serving in our military and making them out to be heroes in morally, ethically and illegal wars is an anathema to me.

When you "choose" to go to war, it's your war; because you can "choose" not to fight it.

From here, the ONLY ethical, moral and legal justification for war is in defense of the country when it is in imminent danger of being attacked or is already under siege.

The events of 9/11 were attacks by 20 terrorists. It was not an invasion by some imperial power capable of threatening the nation. These were criminals who commandeered some commercial airliners and crashed them into two commercial buildings and the Pentagon. It was a criminal offense that deserved to be seen as premeditated murder. But it wasn't a military "blitzkrieg" with a subsequent invasion and it certainly didn't justify invading and occupying Afghanistan in retaliation.

If there had been an investigation immediately following 9/11 and it was clearly determined that the perpetrators were being sheltered and in sanctuary in Afghanistan, it would have been our legal right to ask that country to extradite those accused as responsible. In the event that country refused our request then further measures could have been considered. But that is all a matter of conjecture and what ifs. It certainly wasn't the road taken by the U.S. in the aftermath of 9/11.

The path we did take, invading, occupying and overthrowing the Taliban regime in Afghanistan was legally wrong but could be defended as justified to go after the perpetrators of 9/11. But once that task was accomplished, there was no moral, ethical and legal justification to remain in that country.

The last war that could be possibly defended on moral, ethical and legal grounds was W.W.II when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. That was clearly an attack on the country by an imperial power. Joining and fighting to defend America after Pearl Harbor could be seen as a justified moral and ethical decision.

All our wars since can not be justified on moral and ethical grounds. Korea could be justified as legal as it was fought under U.N. authorization. No war since can be justified as legal.

But returning to the soldiers in our wars; "choosing" to fight in a war is a matter of conscience and a conscious choice. Again, when one "chooses" to fight in a war, it becomes their war, as one can "choose" not to fight in it.

I believe there is a popular assumption that a soldier has no "choice" but to fight in whatever war our "leaders" decide to engage in. That is a fallacy i.e., "Well he had no choice but to go and fight". That is nonsense.

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You seem to have a small view of humanity, goodnes... by Skeptic1 on Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 2:54:54 PM
That America enters other countries to save them f... by Davey Jones on Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 3:21:10 PM
Because there is just so much money and a thousand... by Skeptic1 on Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 9:12:24 PM
Dave Leftcourt,What is this bullshit supposed to m... by aberamsay on Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 7:09:48 PM
Here is a example of the truth about h... by Skeptic1 on Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 9:08:06 PM
The author is right soldiers need to consider thei... by kevin walsh on Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 8:35:20 PM
Skettic1,No matter how deep your irrational hatred... by aberamsay on Thursday, Mar 22, 2012 at 3:08:22 AM
Sorry for the glitch. Here another link. Hope it w... by aberamsay on Thursday, Mar 22, 2012 at 3:26:44 AM
Visit his site : by aberamsay on Thursday, Mar 22, 2012 at 3:38:08 AM
...and the phony dishonest unscientific rationaliz... by aberamsay on Thursday, Mar 22, 2012 at 3:48:43 AM
floccinaucinihilipilification - That's the message... by Skeptic1 on Thursday, Mar 22, 2012 at 3:53:42 AM
Skeptic1,By treating Truth as garbage you tell a l... by aberamsay on Thursday, Mar 22, 2012 at 6:09:34 AM
Your skepticism ought to be employed against the l... by Paul Carline on Thursday, Mar 22, 2012 at 12:46:21 PM
The primary thrust of what I wrote had to do wi... by Dave Lefcourt on Thursday, Mar 22, 2012 at 6:41:30 AM
Dave Lefcourt,'Choosing' is informed consent. It m... by aberamsay on Thursday, Mar 22, 2012 at 8:24:54 AM
...and not 'mind-shuttering'. Sorry for the lapse.... by aberamsay on Thursday, Mar 22, 2012 at 8:40:04 AM
There have been over 18,000 terrorist attacks all ... by Skeptic1 on Thursday, Mar 22, 2012 at 1:54:29 PM
... by Skeptic1 on Thursday, Mar 22, 2012 at 2:35:21 PM
What choice do the victims of 18,000 terrorist att... by Skeptic1 on Thursday, Mar 22, 2012 at 2:39:46 PM
Aberamsay said:   So, talking of 'choice' is... by Skeptic1 on Thursday, Mar 22, 2012 at 3:27:14 PM
Skeptic1,It is a shame and a dishonor for me to ge... by aberamsay on Thursday, Mar 22, 2012 at 3:41:52 PM
Yea, sure, The US is to blame for all of the troub... by Skeptic1 on Thursday, Mar 22, 2012 at 4:01:34 PM
9/11 was really a trivial event, considering the b... by Skeptic1 on Thursday, Mar 22, 2012 at 4:25:34 PM
Here some  figuers extracted from the archive... by aberamsay on Thursday, Mar 22, 2012 at 6:05:34 PM
But the civilized world isn't buying it. They know... by Skeptic1 on Thursday, Mar 22, 2012 at 11:27:21 PM
It is against international law for the U. S. Olig... by Mike Preston on Friday, Mar 23, 2012 at 12:45:26 AM
Kadafi and Saddam Hussein obtained power how? ... by Skeptic1 on Friday, Mar 23, 2012 at 4:08:19 AM
George Bush is responsible for the murder of close... by aberamsay on Friday, Mar 23, 2012 at 5:03:02 PM
Both of those dictators spend far more on arms tha... by Skeptic1 on Saturday, Mar 24, 2012 at 2:14:54 AM
You said: "US government has never ever helped&nbs... by Skeptic1 on Saturday, Mar 24, 2012 at 2:27:14 AM
...Cognitive Infiltration devilish agenda to fight... by aberamsay on Saturday, Mar 24, 2012 at 5:25:14 PM
Why don't you check out what a million or so pound... by Skeptic1 on Saturday, Mar 24, 2012 at 5:59:54 PM
Be sure to read this part of the thermite article.... by Skeptic1 on Saturday, Mar 24, 2012 at 6:06:42 PM
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