Conscientious objector

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by witsend, Dec 22, 2010.

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  1. witsend

    witsend War Hero Book Reviewer


    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013
  2. Rumrat

    Rumrat War Hero

    I do not think I would have the balls to do what he has done. My brother did not believe in the war in Vietnam, but unfortunately he was sent anyway. He never came home.
    The Australian way with conscientious objectors was to make them state weather it was the Vietnam war or all wars they objected to. Selection was not permitted.
    My brother would have been made to serve anyway as it was just the Vietnam war he objected to, he already had done service in Borneo.
    Unfortunately, we do not get to select if or where we are prepared to fight, so I have a divided opinion on this lads actions.
    I do not however condemn (class) him as a coward.
  3. RoofRat

    RoofRat New member

    He wasn't conscripted he volunteered. What did he think he was getting into? Monday to Friday dishing out Aspirins. He was trained as a battlefield medic FFS
  4. Flagdeck

    Flagdeck New member

    I've always been under the impression that conciencious objection was in the realm of 'conscription' or the 'draft' as our American cousins called it.
    As we no longer have conscription - we have a 'volunteer' force, surely if you object to 'war' - you wouldn't join up. But if you take the 'Kings shilling', or taxpayers money, you should be expected to fulfill your obligations, i.e. obey orders.
    I fully empathise with your dilemma Rummers, the loss of your brother transcends the mutterings of old farts like me on this site. War is a bastard, but somebody has to clear up the mess.
  5. Flagdeck

    Flagdeck New member

    You beat me to it Roofs................. but more succinct !
  6. Scouse_Castaway

    Scouse_Castaway New member

    Apparently it was after reading things in the media and reading what wikileaks published that set off his conscience. I cant make comment on the guy as despite being a reservist, iv never served operationally so i dont really know afghan wise etc.. Im sure the appeals tribunal considered long and hard before delivering the verdict and all.

    I dont know. Iv always admired the conscientious objectors of the first world war era for standing firm for their belief but in the case of the modern day equivalent when we no longer have conscription it does have to raise the question of why join if you know you might have to go to afghan.
  7. Montigny-La-Palisse

    Montigny-La-Palisse War Hero Moderator

    He actually comes across alright in that article. At least he had the minerals to object and not go on the trot.
  8. Scouse_Castaway

    Scouse_Castaway New member

    Aye, he stuck around and faced the shitstorm he must have known was coming his way. Not just in this sort of thing but in life in general, many people do one and bugger off when theres trouble on the horizon.

    On a sort of side note, a lot of the conscientious objectors from the first (and i imagine the 2nd too) world war did sterling work in the theatres of war as Stretcher bearers and ambulance drivers i recall (was in a book somewhere i think).
  9. Flagdeck

    Flagdeck New member

    If yer can't fight.... wear a big hat !
  10. angrydoc

    angrydoc Guest

    If he has bother using the "eligibility matrix" and only treating eligible personnel or civilains, then he doesn't really have a role in Defence Medical Services. If he wants to treat everyone, regardless, then he should leave and join an NGO.
  11. labrum

    labrum New member

    What he has done takes courage in my view in that he has done what he believes to be right. I'm not in a position to judge his reasoning and would probably have made a different decision to his had I been in the same position; he cannot be considered a coward in my view.
  12. Rumrat

    Rumrat War Hero

    I love certain cars, I despise certain others. Why? well rightly or wrongly I have reasons.
    This chap does not condemn "war" or his part in it, he declares he objects to certain aspects of the war in Afghanistan.
    I do not deem to know if the reasons he gives are valid, I just admire his bottle to stand up and say so. That's not cowardice.
    I tried to put over the fact that lots of Australian servicemen who were fighting in Borneo (my bro included) objected to the Vietnam war and several tried to raise conscientious objections and not on the grounds of religion or faith, but on political grounds. These were denied and ignored until popular public demands made the government listen and act.
    And it will/is the same public condemnation that is forcing governments into re thinking the Afghanistan travesty.
    Most people in Britain myself included, support our service personnel 100% in their efforts in Afghanistan. In no way whatsoever do I support the war.
  13. labrum

    labrum New member

    Agreed RR; as far as Afghanistan goes the public hasn't got a clue what the lads and lasses are being asked to do out there or (maybe more accurately expressed what ends up happening in their name). I don't think public opinion will end this one; money and international relations are the only talkers here.
  14. Scouse_Castaway

    Scouse_Castaway New member

    I agree with RR and Labs and dont think he can be called a coward. He didnt run away. In his own way he stood and fought his corner for what he felt was right. Takes courage of a sort in itself. Its been an interesting thread this on what is always going to be a prickly subject
  15. fishhead

    fishhead War Hero

    It is not difficult to see why the MOD had to get the decision in their favour as having enlisted personnel deciding where and when they are prepared to serve would open the floodgates to many more such cases.It would also be unfair to those who go to do their duty regardless of danger or moral conflict.
    The old adage comes to mind "Ours is not to wonder why just to do or die"(apologies if that is not the exact quotation)
  16. Flagdeck

    Flagdeck New member

    :withstupid: Yours is not to reason why, yours is just to do or die !
    Thats what I was told very early doors !
  17. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    An interesting situation.

    We join, voluntarily, in the knowledge we will be called upon to serve in operational theatres anywhere in the world, regardless of the individuals moral, political, religious or ethical point of view - which, let's face it, will change over time as we gain experience & feedback.

    This guy served five years as an MA and (unless he was a recently trained ODP), would have completed his 2.5 years return of service after completing his standard initial training period (SITP) & eligible to submit 12 months notice to quit any time thereafter.

    Had he simply submitted 12 months notice in May 2010 upon receipt of the notice to deploy, he would be on terminal leave before he was due to deploy. My guess is that perhaps there's more to it as a Commanding Officer seldom denies the right to submit notice - unless the person is actually ineligible. If the CO simply said "No" to permitting an eligible guy to leave, then Strasbourg surely beckons.

    I'd also be interested to hear whether this claim of pivotal issues is based on WikiLeaks, Fact or hearsay:

    In summary, if he was eligible to leave and felt strongly about the UK foreign policy, then quitting prior to the arrival of a draft order would carry more credence. But, if however, he was entirely eligible to submit notice to quit & was denied that right, then doubtless the MoD will pay very dearly for their lack of foresight once again & the guy is to be commended for his stance.
  18. Scouse_Castaway

    Scouse_Castaway New member

    Time will tell it seems. God that sentence is getting a hell of a lot of use in everything these days :p
  19. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    My guess is the guy may well have been ineligible to submit notice but nevertheless submitted it, citing 'ethical issues'. Hopefully I'm wrong, but if I'm right, then zero sympathy I'm afraid.
  20. Greenie

    Greenie New member

    I was under the impression from a very early age that conciencious
    objecting was the term given to people who would not take up arms to
    fight actively in a conflict.
    The objectors in WW1 as mentioned did do front line service as medic or
    casualty care assistants .

    The MA was in a non combat medic situation -ie no arms carried no fighting -----borne for casualty or battle damage care and treatment in a base or fighting unit.



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