Can You Have A Moral Army?

Yesterday I was contacted by my friends at the BBC again, asking me to be a guest on their show, World Have You Say. Madeline Morris was the host, and in addition to myself as a guest there was a ex-British Army Conscientious Objector, a General from the Nigerian Army, a retired General from the Pakistan Army, and an officer in the Israeli Reserves. So as you can see it was a very diverse group.

In addition to the invited guests above, there were callers who were parents of soldiers in the US Army and a Vietnam veteran that called in. They added a lot to the conversation, which you will hear.

This is really worth a listen. I look forward to your comments on this posting to let me know what you think. Hopefully I represented myself well, and even though not the intention of my participation, hopefully I represented the USA well too.

Click Here to list to BBC’s WHYS “Can you have a moral Army?

7 thoughts on “Can You Have A Moral Army?”

  1. “Morality” is defined by societies and lends itself to more philosophical definition. The morality of the army, whatever that army represents, is defined by those who it does represent. Cutting the heads off of apostates is moral by al-Queda Iraq’s standards but immoral by most of the rest of the world. It’s too broad of a subject to try and define. I think you did a good job of arguing the point. The Brit objector should be happy that he has the freedom and the right to voice his objections.

  2. The interviewer seemed to be posing the question from the view of a pacifist. Self defense has always been considered a a moral act.

    Whether a war is “just” is another matter altogether – and as you pointed out so well – that issue is decided WAY above your pay grade. That point seemed to be lost on the Brit.

    St Augustine – (a doctor of the (Catholic) Church) was the one who developed the just war doctrine which has been the basis for the determination of whether a war is just or not for all for all of Western Civilization.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_War

  3. Forgot to mention –

    Contentious objection BEFORE enlisting is contentious objection.

    Claiming it AFTER you join is plain old vanilla cowardice.

    All the views he was explaining weren’t developed after he joined.

  4. Good job! I don’t think you ever “win” a debate on whether or not a war is “just.”
    JB, I think you’re right in regards to the CO.
    FYI, my husband was a CO during the Vietnam war. He even went through the hearings and articulately explained his POV, its genesis, and how he come to the conclusion. He was examined and cross examined by a rigorous panel –and after many sessions was granted CO status. It was not easy to get.

    He became a surgeon, and devoted his career to healing.

    Flash forward…. many years and wars later. He decided to join the Army as a surgeon. When they found out he had been a CO, they tried to requisition the records. All of them had been destroyed from that era! But he no longer is a CO. He has taken the oath, and he is now devoting the second half of his career to taking care of the soldiers, as well as the locals where he is deployed. He loves it.
    .-= The Kitchen Dispatch´s last blog ..Yoga: My Favorite Exercise =-.

  5. Troy you did your country proud. The Beeb always comes at these issues from a pacifist point of view and this was no exception.

    I was most intersted in hearing what the Pakistani General had to say, trying to read between the words whether or not they are going to get serious on the AfPak border.

    Very intersting mix of guests and callers. Thanks for this.
    .-= membrain´s last blog ..Old Blue is back in Afghanistan =-.

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