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Fri Oct 9, 2015, 12:10 AM

Objecting to War: The Human Conscience v. the US Military

Objecting to War: The Human Conscience v. the US Military

Written by Maria Santelli Published: 17 September 2015

Conscientious objection wages an active challenge to war, one soldier at a time.

Affirmation of conscience and support for conscientious objectors, or COs – helping people get out of the military - is an important part of a larger anti-war strategy, and one with real, concrete and measurable results. Military COs give us powerful insight into our own nature, and they can be strong and credible voices for peace, having fixed the opposition to war in their hearts through experiences most people will never have.

As long as there has been war, there have been conscientious objectors. One of the earliest references to conscientious objection is found in Deuteronomy in the Bible. It says, “Officials are instructed to address troops: Is anyone afraid or disheartened? He should go back to his house or he might cause the heart of his comrades to fail like his own.” This is not to say, by any means, that conscientious objection is akin to cowardice. Quite the opposite: It takes incredible courage to stand up and resist killing from within a culture that exists for that sole purpose.

Nonetheless, the point of this passage shines through: Conscience is contagious. This is why conscientious objection - affirmation of the human conscience -is so threatening to the US military and government, and why there is a history of attempts to suppress it.

The US Military and Repression of Conscience

Throughout the history of the US, we’ve seen both accommodation and repression of those who refused to fight in war.

More:
http://www.towardfreedom.com/29-archives/activism/4038-objecting-to-war-the-human-conscience-v-the-us-military

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Reply Objecting to War: The Human Conscience v. the US Military (Original post)
Judi Lynn Oct 2015 OP
Judi Lynn Oct 2015 #1
PatrickforO Oct 2015 #2
dougolat Oct 2015 #3

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Oct 9, 2015, 12:12 AM

1. The US Military and the Myth that Humanity is Predisposed to Violence

The US Military and the Myth that Humanity is Predisposed to Violence

Written by Maria Santelli Published: 10 September 2015



We have this tragic misperception that humanity is predisposed to violence.

The truth is that humanity is predisposed to peace. The default position for humanity is that of conscientious objector to war and violence.

In our work at the Center on Conscience & War, this is proven to us daily, through our individual conscientious objectors. Science has proven it, too. This tendency for cooperation over competition is evident in daily life: on an average day, most people will witness countless acts of cooperation, kindness, and humanity towards one another, and not one act of violence or competition. And most of it is so commonplace, we barely even notice it. We take our nonviolence for granted.

And so does the news. What makes the news is violence, not cooperation. Particularly, on our local news programs, the top stories are the ones that depict street crimes and “home invasions.” Seeing this interpersonal violence, I am convinced, leads us to believe that people are predisposed to acting violently toward one another. We all make decisions based on patterns we observe, and if the patterns we observe are highlighting violence, we are going to decide that humanity is violent.

How does this relate to war? If we believe that violence among humans is natural, we will believe that war is inevitable. But violence is not natural. Our conscience tells us killing another human being is wrong. And it is the military that knows this better than anyone.

More:
http://www.towardfreedom.com/29-archives/activism/4029-the-us-military-the-myth-that-humanity-is-predisposed-to-violence

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #1)

Fri Oct 9, 2015, 01:13 AM

2. Thanks. War should be banned.

People do not want wars, governments do. People want to live their lives in peace and have enough shelter, food, security and a decent job.

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Response to PatrickforO (Reply #2)

Fri Oct 9, 2015, 01:49 PM

3. Kellog-Briand Pact 1928, did just that

- Invoked for the Nuremberg Tribunal and the Tokyo Tribunal
- Used by the World Court in 1998
- Still listed as jn effect on the State Dept website (last I checked, 2013)

Unintended Consequences:
- Undeclared wars
- Concocting "self-defense" ruses, such as Iraq in 2003.

Still, a significant step in the right direction.

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