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8

selver wrote (edited )

Yes they must be held responsible, but I don't believe in eternal damnation or anything like that. If they are currently dropping bombs, then yeah fuck them they must be fought. If they did, and now regret it, it's understandable.

Fuck the troops. Vets are debatable.

8

Nikki wrote

A lot of soldiers are poor people with no alternative. Some people join for college or other reasons that I can't think of off the top of my head. Not to mention the propaganda Americans are fed since birth that joining the military is very honorable and a great thing for your country. I'm not defending the military itself by any means, but it is something to think about.

7

shanoxilt wrote

Here's to you, Black Soldier,
fighting in Vietnam.
Helping your oppressors
oppress another man.
Here's to you, who volunteered,
your precious life to give,
while we here in the ghetto
are struggling to live.
Here's to you, who, gun in hand,
another's land dethrone,
while national guardsmen terrorize
the ones you left at home.
We hope and pray that you'll be spared
when casualties are high.
We demonstrate for your return,
and we mourn you when you die.
We've watched you grow up
from a child;
We know your strength and might.
It is no news for us to hear
how gallantly you fight.
It is a sin for you to be
upon some foreign shores,
when you are needed right here, at home,
protecting what is yours.
To know the use of weaponry,
I must admit that's good;
there is an occupation force,
in our neighborhood.
They call themselves "peace officers"
and "law enforcement groups."
But, from the acts that they commit,
we know that they are troops.
The government is cracking down,
with their oppressive hand.
They have the dream of stamping out,
resistance in the land.
But, our determination grows
and widens with the days.
We'll fight them from the rooftops,
and the alleyways.
We'll fall upon them in the night,
and put them to the blade.
We'll free the prisoners from the jails,
in calculated rage.
Just one desire burns in our hearts,
our bonds and chains to bust.
We only wish that, with your skills,
you were here with us.
Here's to you Black soldier,
in some far-off, distant land,
sometimes the question does arise,
on which side do you stand?
They called it a riot in Newark,
when the people arose as one.
In Detroit and Boston, in Cleveland and Watts,
they fought back
with firebombs and guns.
"What's the matter with these N*****?" they said,
"they seem to be going wild."
"All of this fuss over one incident:
a policeman killing a child!"
"And why are they burning and looting the stores?"
"The merchant has been their friend."
"Well, maybe he cheated for a few cents,
every now and then."
"And what about the tenements
they're burning down in the slums?"
Some dog they call a slumlord,
is losing his income.
What a scare they received
when the brother said, "No!
Let's not burn the ghetto down!"
"We'll break up in groups,
and firebomb and loot
on the opposite side of town."
So then they called in their army
machine guns and tanks,
and ordered them to attack.
The people arose together,
and used what they had to fight back.
And now that it's happened,
the questions arise,
why the fury and fuss?
If they look over their past
and examine their deeds,
they'll know what's the matter with us.
When will the promises
be fulfilled,
that they made to us over the years?
Where's the pay
that we have not received
for our blood and sweat and tears?
Where's the employment
that we need? The decent salaries?
Welfare payments will not do,
to feed a family.
They say that conditions
are this way
because we don't have skills.
But, instead, they offer us
extermination pills.
So, we sound a warning;
they better change their tune.
They don't have long to make things right,
they better do something soon.
Their law enforcement
will not work.
Whatever they conspire
will only serve to make us strong,
we will fight fire with fire.
No, that was not a riot,
they saw down in the slums,
that was a dress rehearsal
for things that's yet to come.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GaWks49wLY&feature=youtu.be&t=1m21s

7

selver wrote (edited )

I know that, but needing the money doesn't give you carte blanche to kill brown people. I don't care if you're broke, don't bomb strangers for racist imperialists. Go work at McDonalds. We all ethically compromise ourselves under capitalism, but I draw the line way before killing people.

We can have some sympathy for them, but they still need to be fought and treated as the enemy. No different than cops, bosses, politicians, etc

6

leftous wrote (edited )

I think this very question is a strategy to obfuscate responsibility on these matters. We're very conditioned to think there's always a bad guy doing the bad thing.

It's similar to the way corporations have their executive scapegoats who will take the fall when a scandal is exposed (e.g. the banking crisis or the vw emissions scandal) while those who most profited from the corruption and criminal actions remain untouched.This strategy offers immunity and plausible deniability to the higher ups; making unclear who knew what or who should be punished. Except in the military case the 'scapegoats' are recognized and propagandized (through movies, media) as heroes. And not only that but the people who get involved at the lowest levels actually believe that themselves due to cultural conditioning and indoctrination.

So to widen the scope of the question: when you are coerced by your work and superiors (e.g. by threatening your livelihood) to exploit or murder people, and you do, who is morally responsible? I would have to say it is the moral responsibility of everyone from the top down; i.e. the blame should be distributed from the top down since the system, capitalists, and policy makers are who benefit and enable the cycle of domination and violence to continue.

The soldiers don't benefit here except perhaps momentarily with some pats on the back and accolades for their service. They are pawns, who often end up plagued with physical destruction and mental distress as their humanity slowly creeps in, and they realize the consequences as their actions. In some ways you can say they do pay for their actions just by their own conscience, mental health, and physical disability.

3

Whatsthepoint wrote

This is a good post, but isn't part of the problem how enmeshed the system is?

To cut my own point down to the brass tacks. Doesn't everyone who pays tax in someway contribute?

Given that an anti war barrista does, and this person cannot be expected to take any meaningful responsibility. Where would you say the buck stops? And does it stop before or after the bomber pilot?

5

leftous wrote

You make a good point.

There is a similar idea commonly understood in leftist thought that "there is no ethical consumption under capitalism". By being a consumer, we are in one way or another contributing to the exploitation, domination, and violence that is capitalism. E.g. purchasing products made in slave factories in the global south enables their brutal working conditions. You could say this gives people in developed countries an even greater moral responsibility to resist and fight the system.

In regard to war, soldiers have a moral responsibility themselves to resist. In many ways they do. Many ex-soldiers are at the forefront of the antiwar movement in the US, and there are groups of former IDF soldiers like Breaking the Silence. Also there are soldiers who actively resist e.g. conscientious objector or even in Israel where you are imprisoned for refusing to serve, there have lately been groups of students resisting. So I would say in terms of ethics, resisting and finding ways to undermine the system is a morally responsible action that soldiers can organize and choose to do. Failing to gives them more responsibility.

So to answer your question directly - the buck doesn't stop with anyone. We all have a responsibility (some more than others), and especially those who are directly committing these acts and know what is going on.

2

Whatsthepoint wrote

What about peace keepers though?

(Soldiers whose rules of engagement are reactionary, e.g. the Blue Helmets, who will not fire unless fired upon)

In the larger picture, they may be there as part of a globalist grab or manipulation of power, but on the ground, they are there to help or protect local people.

I find the moral area here to be quite complex.

War is an awful thing, "there can be no such thing as a war on terror, because was is terror" is a fitting quote.

But when it has begun, people (and by that I mean soldiers etc.) Are going to die.

Morally, if a pilot drops a bomb killing 20 people, but those 20 would have gone on to kill 10 friendlies, is it moral?

If not, what if the 20 'baddies' would have gone on to kill 20 friendlies.

Or what if it saved 50 friendlies,

Or was a car bomb factory and saved 100 friendlies

Would bombing 20 enemy soldiers to save 1 civilian be moral?

Where is the line?

3

leftous wrote (edited )

I will dispute that there is such a thing as 'peacekeepers'.

The blue helmets and their soldiers are hardly a noble organization e.g. the various sex abuses, child trafficking, and child prostitution they have been involved in.

Often they invade areas, led by the US, with the specific goal of empowering and strengthening a particular group that serves an economic interest to the west. So who knows whether those who fire on the UN 'peacekeepers' are actually just oppressed people who see the threat they pose, or the unchecked abuses they have been able to commit.

But let's suppose for a moment there is a UN soldier who just has no idea about the goals of the UN, and has no idea that they are actually not peacekeepers. The question becomes whether or not someone's moral responsibility is lessened by ignorance. I don't think it is.

Morally, if a pilot drops a bomb killing 20 people, but those 20 would have gone on to kill 10 friendlies, is it moral?

If not, what if the 20 'baddies' would have gone on to kill 20 friendlies.

Or what if it saved 50 friendlies,

Or was a car bomb factory and saved 100 friendlies

Would bombing 20 enemy soldiers to save 1 civilian be moral?

Where is the line?

These are obviously utilitarian style questions. Like I said, ultimately the greatest moral burden should always rest on those who make this necessary, coerce and exploit these soldiers.

You bring up a good point that it's hard to make these moral evaluations. Personally I would say they all are morally wrong - as you said there really is no way to find morality in a war. However, my point stands that there are ways soldiers (and everyone else) can resist and organize - so they don't have to be in these situations where they're forced to do oppressive, unethical, or evil things to begin with. Although I understand the point that they are victims of their circumstances and war just like everyone else when it comes down to it.

5

Tequila_Wolf wrote

I haven't thought about it much and definitely don't have all the nuances, but these are my intuitions:

All soldiers, probably. I'm guessing you get to decide whether you want to be a bomb-dropping soldier or some other kind of soldier.

Dedicating yourself to various forms of sabotage and straight-up fragging, or at least laying completely low and not participating (somehow) seems a generally (so obviously not always) good approach to being in the army.

4

ziq wrote (edited )

Yes. Killing people isn't something that can be explained away with 'but they enlisted because they were poor / they were fed propaganda'. We're not machines, we have eyes and ears and hearts. When they drop those bombs, they know they're not just killing their target (who is usually guilty of nothing other than self defence from imperialist invaders), but also everyone else in the vicinity. They justify it by calling it 'collateral damage'. These aren't people that deserves our sympathy. They're the paid assassins of the ruling class.

3

Nikki wrote

US soldiers are exposed to incredible amounts of propaganda, moreso than the average citizen. I can't really hold it against them when they genuinely believe they are doing the right thing.

-1

Whatsthepoint wrote

More than propoganda, it's literal brainwashing

1

Nikki wrote

Which just proves my point, how do you expect people to make the right decision when all their life they have been told the opposite?