Volunteers vs Conscripts (was: RE: 'support our troops ....'

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at osu.edu
Thu Mar 27 13:47:19 MST 2003


At 3:12 PM -0500 3/27/03, sherrynstan at igc.org wrote:
>They are as diverse as the civilian sector in every respect, and
>they are no more guilty of "supporting" the system than someone who
>works at Nortel or McDonalds.  This is basic basic Marxism.

Soldiers are no more guilty of crimes against peace, war crimes, and
crimes against humanity than civilians, even by basic standards of
international law -- e.g., the Nuremberg Principles:

*****   Principle VI

The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under
international law:

a. Crimes against peace: (i) Planning, preparation, initiation or
waging of war of aggression or a war in violation of international
treaties, agreements or assurances; (ii) Participation in a common
plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts
mentioned under (i).

b. War crimes: Violations of the laws or customs of war which
include, but are not limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation
to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or
in occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or
persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or
private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages,
or devastation not justified by military necessity.

c. Crimes against humanity: Atrocities and offenses, including but
not limited to murder, extermination, deportation, imprisonment,
torture, rape, or other inhumane acts committed against any civilian
population, or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds
whether or not in violation of the domestic laws of the country where
perpetrated.

Principle VII

Complicity in the commission of a crime against peace, a war crime,
or a crime against humanity as set forth in Principle VI is a crime
under international law....

<http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/meiklejohn/meik-peacelaw/meik-peacelaw-10.html>
*****

At 7:43 PM +0000 3/27/03, loupaulsen at attbi.com wrote:
>Never expected to see combat - 45-55%

The proportion of those who never expected to see combat may be
higher than 55%, given the "teeth to tail" ratio: "Gen Richard
Hearney reminds us that during the Second World War US armed forces
had a 50:50 balance of warfighters to support personnel. Today that
ratio is 30:70" ("Teeth to Tail: Defence Reform for the New Century,"
<http://www.janes.com/defence/news/jdw/jdw010810_intro_n.shtml>).

At 7:43 PM +0000 3/27/03, loupaulsen at attbi.com wrote:
>If we can get to them and give them the tools to understand what the
>hell they are really doing and are up against, they can be our own
>best recruits.
At 3:12 PM -0500 3/27/03, sherrynstan at igc.org wrote:
>Only through consciousness can we transform the roles themselves
At 3:12 PM -0500 3/27/03, sherrynstan at igc.org wrote:
>Many times that consciousness is purchased with trauma.

It is far more difficult to carry out consciousness-raising (for lack
of a better term) inside a professional military than an army of
conscripts.  Trauma can lead the traumatized to turn right, in the
absence of a left-wing political context (e.g., the underground press
run by GIs themselves, GI coffee houses supported by veterans and
other civilians, etc., to take examples from the Vietnam War) in
which they can make sense of it.  What is to be done?
--
Yoshie

* Calendar of Events in Columbus:
<http://www.osu.edu/students/sif/calendar.html>
* Student International Forum: <http://www.osu.edu/students/sif/>
* Committee for Justice in Palestine: <http://www.osudivest.org/>
* Al-Awda-Ohio: <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Al-Awda-Ohio>
* Solidarity: <http://solidarity.igc.org/>

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