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Anthony Loeppert 06-21-2012 08:42 PM

Ordered murder
 
Continuing on a thread: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=21384

Is obeying murder orders ok... or did I misunderstand?

Chris Parkerson 06-21-2012 09:36 PM

Re: Ordered murder
 
Anthony,

You said, "Certainly, as soon as you start your own thread. In the mean time should I prepare receipts?"

So, can you tell me?

Chris

Anthony Loeppert 06-21-2012 09:40 PM

Re: Ordered murder
 
Quote:

Chris Parkerson wrote: (Post 311400)
Anthony,

You said, "Certainly, as soon as you start your own thread. In the mean time should I prepare receipts?"

So, can you tell me?

Chris

It seems this thread is for something else... and I started it.

BTW: I don't fear your questions, simply ask them in the proper forum. Actually I invited you to start just such a thread earlier.

Chris Parkerson 06-21-2012 09:42 PM

Re: Ordered murder
 
Then I am bowing out.

Be well.

Chris

Anthony Loeppert 06-21-2012 09:51 PM

Re: Ordered murder
 
Quote:

Chris Parkerson wrote: (Post 311402)
Then I am bowing out.

Be well.

Chris

Really? Did the sand start to shift?

Come on man. You're a body guard! Did I "bow out" on your request to start a new thread?

These threads are not the same.

Start your own thread and you might catch me in some hypocrisy.

Anthony Loeppert 06-21-2012 10:24 PM

Re: Ordered murder
 
Quote:

Anthony Loeppert wrote: (Post 311403)
Really? Did the sand start to shift?

Come on man. You're a body guard! Did I "bow out" on your request to start a new thread?

These threads are not the same.

Start your own thread and you might catch me in some hypocrisy.

It was a long night yesterday and I'm going to sleep early. I'll catch your reply tomorrow.

lbb 06-22-2012 07:23 AM

Re: Ordered murder
 
This appears to me to be a private conversation.

Anthony Loeppert 06-22-2012 08:50 AM

Re: Ordered murder
 
Quote:

Mary Malmros wrote: (Post 311433)
This appears to me to be a private conversation.

But now you're here it's a party! Anyway, it sort of started this way, but it was a serious topic open to all. The issue I raised was being the (possible) ethic dilemma of taking a life on orders of another.

I used an example of someone taking another's life which I felt justified, which was not ordered?
http://healthland.time.com/2012/06/2...-face-charges/

Contrast that, for example, with a random soldier dropped in a foreign country "just doing his job". It gets a little shakier ethically does it not?

genin 06-22-2012 02:08 PM

Re: Ordered murder
 
It's only ethical if it is justified under the rules of combat/engagement as outlined by the Military force that individual is a part of.

Anthony Loeppert 06-27-2012 07:40 PM

Re: Ordered murder
 
Quote:

Roger Flatley wrote: (Post 311473)
It's only ethical if it is justified under the rules of combat/engagement as outlined by the Military force that individual is a part of.

Phew. I thought it might be more complicated than that.

Regards,
Anthony

mathewjgano 06-28-2012 11:33 AM

Re: Ordered murder
 
I'll take a stab at it, but being that this is going to pertain to the hypothetical, it's going to be hard to avoid the usual pitfalls. Add to it the somewhat sacred ground that is the military and the right to live and it can very quickly turn into an emotional conversation.
....I consider the military to be sacred. I would never presume that just because someone is a soldier that they are noble, never mind heroic, but the role of the warrior is a sacred one. As such, I think they deserve the highest degrees of scrutiny, but with the highest levels of respect attached. Regardless of their personal motivations, they are put into tough situations and essentially give up large parts of their autonomy for the sake of that noble role.
I don't think "simply doing my job" is ever a justification for doing bad things intentionally, but it's easy to point to bad intentions and condemn. It's this bad intent which constitutes murder in my mind and those events, where the intent is proven, are easy to point to as bad. Mai Lai is an example of ordered murder. Perhaps not everyone involved murdered people, but those who did deserve the death penalty or something appraoching that severity. Again, easy to say, but much harder to pinpoint who all specifically deserves what. Fights are chaotic enough; wars are chaotic to the extreme. In general, where bad intent is ruled out, I tend to blame our politicians for the devastations of our more recent wars more than I do the soldiers themselves.
Some folks have argued to me in the past that a soldier shouldn't have the stress of worrying about whether or not to engage an unknown; that in a warzone they need to worry first about survival of themselves and the members of their team. I don't think it's so clear-cut as that, although I do agree with it to an extent. Then again, in our society soldiers opt for the task. However, this is muddied a bit by the fact that many of our soldiers accept the noble task from incentives which are not "noble warrior"-related. They want the GI Bill or the health care or the promise of a nice resume, for example. So I recognize that while many people choose the life of a soldier, not everyone is embracing it equally. It's a complicated thing; our civilian population doesn't appreciate this enough; they don't generally understand it sufficiently for the strength of the opinions they usually seem to have, regardless of being a "hawk" or a "dove." In a sense, it's business as usual...in general, Americans apparently hold a higher opinion of themselves than is warranted (thinking of a study I heard of in which the only thing Americans were number one in was in confidence), but this is an unusual circumstance so our ignorance is a recipe for disaster. In other words, I remember the case being put forward for going to war in Iraq and seeing the emotion-inducing props used. I was relatively unimpressed by them, while others I know saw the props and were instantly in awe and ready to act regardless of the logic behind them. So I also blame our out-of-touch civilian population, in addition to the powers that be, for the terrible fact of collateral damage. We hardly take part in our government processes, but we're very quick to bitch about them.
I'll finish with an event I had related to me by a soldier who I know to be a good person who was trying to do the right thing by being a soldier.
He described a vehicle approaching his column and who ignored all signs to stop. The vehicle was decimated. It was never made clear if any dangerous elements were discovered after the fact, but it wasn't his job to inspect, either, so he might not have had access to that information. I often think of this because I can easily imagine a frantic person not paying attention to signals designed to save his life. It affects me on a deep level to think an innocent person fleeing Sadam's regime might've be killed by his would-be saviors. That said, I'm inclined to think the action was justifiable considering the circumstances described. Soldiers must defend their position and a vehicle can be strapped with some enormous explosives very easily. Anyone approaching a column of soldiers should be cautious, particularly during wartime. Assuming fo the moment that the people were innocent folks, it would be a true tragedy; there would be no honorable way to spin it otherwise. People should consider these kinds of realities before making their choices, whether it is to be apathetic to the mechanisms of our government, or to throw support in some definite direction.
There are rarely any easy answers outside the world of ideas; reality is vastly more complex and deserves our highest respect and demands our highest levels of critical thinking.
For what it's worth.
Sincerely,
Matt
p.s. please excuse any apparent short-comings to this post. It's not intended to be a factual statement so much as one person's imperfect attempt at addressing a poignant and, I believe, important issue. Also please, anyone choosing to respond, let's do our best to demonstrate the civility and tact we would have others employ...especially in the face of any perceived disrespect.

Anthony Loeppert 07-01-2012 10:26 AM

Re: Ordered murder
 
Quote:

Matthew Gano wrote: (Post 311964)
they are put into tough situations and essentially give up large parts of their autonomy for the sake of that noble role.

Exactly so. I simply doubt whether there can be such a noble cause which would persuade me to give up my autonomy in such a manner. Outsourcing decision making on that level disturbs me greatly.

Quote:

In general, where bad intent is ruled out, I tend to blame our politicians for the devastations of our more recent wars more than I do the soldiers themselves.
100% agreed, which is why my mind keeps drifting to my previous point above. Situations that 'need' violence as a solution may exist but isn't that what a militia is for? People of their own accord deciding something needs to be done about xyz... might go a long way to avoiding the awkward situation of having to make split second choices as your friend made - and hundreds of thousands like him or her.

Quote:

There are rarely any easy answers outside the world of ideas; reality is vastly more complex and deserves our highest respect and demands our highest levels of critical thinking.
Yep.
Take care,
Anthony

Kevin Leavitt 07-02-2012 08:44 AM

Re: Ordered murder
 
For me it has not been hard to justify when you see the suffering and harm the folks I have dealt with cause in the world. I guess you have never seen a grown man beat the crap out of a little kid or women while other grown men stand by and watch. Also kinda changes your mind when you see a women walking around with no nose or ears too.

Never said that the my profession is noble, but unfortunately, it is necessary and I sleep well at night with no remorse with the thought that maybe I have helped the less fortunate have some hope for a better future. Actually now that I think about it, maybe it is noble.

As you earn your living on a computer some of which the parts are made from rare metals in some of these same countries think about the fact that in some way we are all hypocrites and not one of us has the abitliy or the right to take the morale high ground as our very lives are based on the suffering of others in some way.

Also, for those that pratice a "martial art" and profess the morale high ground...how do you get around the hypocracy of the fact that you are at the base level particpating in what is essentially refined and organized violence.

genin 07-02-2012 11:13 AM

Re: Ordered murder
 
A murder, by definition, is an unlawful killing. Any soldier following those orders could be held accountable for murder. But given the circumstances, the punishment may fall back onto his superior officers. For instance, in the heat of battle, a soldier may not have the time or mental wherewithall to decipher the consequences of the order. So he simply pulls the trigger and obeys his superior. That would be an extenuating circumstance, such as being under duress in the heat of battle.

Also, that incident with people charging into checkpoints and road blocks is not the soldier's fault, not even close. Imagine being invaded by a foreign military. You see them all over the city, bombing and shooting, stopping cars and checking them. Then all of a sudden you feel like it's okay to drive your car at them full speed and have no idea on earth why all these men with guns are waving, yelling, and signaling to you to stop. To be fair, I think that some situations trigger the fight or flight response. And the same way that some people run from cops (only to be caught), some people think they can just gun it past an armed checkpoint.

Kevin Leavitt 07-02-2012 03:44 PM

Re: Ordered murder
 
It has never been an issue for me to debate or to question when to pull the trigger or not. It has always been crystal clear with no gray area either way. It really is not as ambiquous or questionable as you think...at least for me.

Benjamin Green 07-02-2012 06:05 PM

Re: Ordered murder
 
If it's a lawful order, then I'll shoot them; if it's them or me, then I'll shoot them; if it's them or my mate, then I'll shoot them; if I think they're going to become a threat, then I'll shoot them; if they're in the way, and they're not civilians, then I'll shoot them.

If it's an unlawful order, then you can shoot them yourself if you want them dead so bad.

You might debate over the morality of joining the military - but, by the time you're actually out there, you'd better have made up your mind that you're going to be fine with killing anyone who you think's a threat, or stands a reasonable chance of becoming one. Wars aren't a great place for soul searching and moral revelations

Never let it become personal. If you find yourself in some god-forsaken place, and the killing starts, just do your job and never feel sorry for it. They were going to do it to you too.

Personally, I've never drawn much of a distinction between the economic / political system and its military consequences. It makes no difference to me whether people are ending up dead because of something I do with a credit card or a gun. Whether it's poverty or war that does them in, they're just as dead. Even in just impoverishing a man, or refusing to help him, there's the same underlying reckless intent: My interests before yours.

People can't comfortably live any other way.

That's how I've thought about it for as long as I can remember. Growing up, having reasoned along those lines, a generalised and extreme reluctance to kill has always seemed a matter of taste, rather than anything of moral consequence. How greedy are you? How selfish? Those are the underlying questions and they're not confined to warfare. Just because someone has no taste for killing face to face doesn't make it any more than a taste for a different style of selfishness.

George S. Ledyard 07-02-2012 06:17 PM

Re: Ordered murder
 
Quote:

Kevin Leavitt wrote: (Post 312158)
As you earn your living on a computer some of which the parts are made from rare metals in some of these same countries think about the fact that in some way we are all hypocrites and not one of us has the abitliy or the right to take the morale high ground as our very lives are based on the suffering of others in some way.

Also, for those that pratice a "martial art" and profess the morale high ground...how do you get around the hypocracy of the fact that you are at the base level particpating in what is essentially refined and organized violence.

War is a Racket By General Smedley D. Butler

Kevin Leavitt 07-03-2012 02:07 AM

Re: Ordered murder
 
George assuming you posted MG Smedley's position on war as a demonstration of hypocracy. Based on that perspective, I agree there is hypocracy everywhere, which is exactly my point.

However, on another note, I don't necessarily agree with his over simplification of the definition of a "just war"...things tend to be a little bit more complex than that.

Where it gets tricky is in "definition of defense of the home or home land". Economic interest are certainly a part of the spectrum and consideration of all wars....has been and will continue to be. I also think that today that our national stability and security is even more complex and policies of isolationism simply do not work. A world of have and have nots creates a dangerous situation.

Also, at what point to you stop ignoring attrocities and genocide?

I am certainly not naive to think that western socieites are altruistic and act solely out of compassion....if that were the case we'd been doing much more in Africa alot sooner.

I agree though that economic concerns and fear tend to be the motivating factors for us to take action.

That said, that while economics and fear are motivators...it does not mean the war is unjust...it might simply be the motivator that forces us to take action.

overall though, I agree hypocracy abounds.

I think the original discussion dealt with the base concerns and ethics of the warrior.

Chris and my postion (not to put words in his mouth) was "how much thought/concern does the warrior put into the decision to protect or fight?"

At the base level, the warrior simply concerns himself with the immediacy of the mission he has been given. At the base level he is only concerned with the ethics of the immediate situation and not the bigger picture.

A key part of budo for me is living your life in such a way that your karma or associations put you in situations that are more positive. However, once you get there, you can't really concern yourself with "second thoughts" or get philosophical. A warrior as chosen a path and made a commitment and must stick to that.

genin 07-03-2012 10:14 AM

Re: Ordered murder
 
I still think the premise/direction of this thread is incomplete and not fully defined. Outwardly its a yes or no question: Is a soldier obeying murder orders ok? Yes or No?

But to answer that in the form of yes or no is pointless, and lends nothing to a further discussion or exploration into this issue. Then you have us speculating as to what mindset some generic warrior/soldier possesses when it comes to receiving orders to kill. As though we (non-soldiers) can accurately speak for soldiers the world over.

Perhaps more meaningful questions would be: What would make a soldier choose to commit murder, and what are the implications of that choice? Justifications and consequences?

Kevin Leavitt 07-03-2012 12:38 PM

Re: Ordered murder
 
Answer is no...it is well defined in the military. Geneva convention, law of armed conflict, rules of engagement etc.

Kevin Leavitt 07-03-2012 12:40 PM

Re: Ordered murder
 
Btw...not all killing is murder by definition.

Anthony Loeppert 07-03-2012 04:09 PM

Re: Ordered murder
 
Quote:

Kevin Leavitt wrote: (Post 312158)
For me it has not been hard to justify when you see the suffering and harm the folks I have dealt with cause in the world. I guess you have never seen a grown man beat the crap out of a little kid or women while other grown men stand by and watch. Also kinda changes your mind when you see a women walking around with no nose or ears too.

Never said that the my profession is noble, but unfortunately, it is necessary and I sleep well at night with no remorse with the thought that maybe I have helped the less fortunate have some hope for a better future. Actually now that I think about it, maybe it is noble.

As you earn your living on a computer some of which the parts are made from rare metals in some of these same countries think about the fact that in some way we are all hypocrites and not one of us has the abitliy or the right to take the morale high ground as our very lives are based on the suffering of others in some way.

Also, for those that pratice a "martial art" and profess the morale high ground...how do you get around the hypocracy of the fact that you are at the base level particpating in what is essentially refined and organized violence.

It seems like we have shifted towards the specific situation of Afghanistan, unless I read something not intended into your comments.

I have never seen the horrors you describe. I do not know how I would react. I have no solution how to drag those that wish to live in the stone age into the present and 10 years later I see our dear leaders don't either.

To training and hypocrisy:
On my less idealistic days, I see Aikido as learning to converse in another language - physical confrontation being one form of (non-verbal) communication. It is uncomfortable to ignore reality and not be at least conversant.

On my more idealistic days, I see Aikido as a path to moving through space from stable configuration to configuration.

But I don't see it as a way to do violence to someone (at least that is not what I'm in for), though definitely that application exists. I never saw an aikido technique that couldn't be defeated by uke simply letting go or walking (not running) in another direction.

I wish you well, safety, and good judgement Kevin.

EDIT: I realized just now I missed a point that integrated circuits contain rare earth metals and these can come from stressed areas of the world. I have no issue labeling these items just like diamonds. It gets confusing though, once the raw materials are processed.

Anthony Loeppert 07-03-2012 04:55 PM

Re: Ordered murder
 
Quote:

Roger Flatley wrote: (Post 312235)
I still think the premise/direction of this thread is incomplete and not fully defined. Outwardly its a yes or no question: Is a soldier obeying murder orders ok? Yes or No?

But to answer that in the form of yes or no is pointless, and lends nothing to a further discussion or exploration into this issue.

I guess the answer would be 'yes'.

Quote:

Then you have us speculating as to what mindset some generic warrior/soldier possesses when it comes to receiving orders to kill. As though we (non-soldiers) can accurately speak for soldiers the world over.

Perhaps more meaningful questions would be: What would make a soldier choose to commit murder, and what are the implications of that choice? Justifications and consequences?
That really wasn't how I intended to frame the question - as a hypothetical soldier to look down on and condemn - but rather how would I/you react being that soldier, then how might I/you feel later, etc. I was asking everyone to imagine (assuming the luxury of imagining - rather than remembering) how such a moment might happen. I can say unequivocally, I would revert to a rather instinctual vengeful creature if I saw what was happening to my daughter as the case I originally linked to. There is no decision tree needed, only observation.

As Kevin said, and I agree, all killing is not murder. Again, I am not a pacifist. It is the organisation of killing... the planning... the industry of... I'm against.

What happens when those doing start adding things up? It might be:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/militar...des/55585182/1
"Since 2010, suicide has outpaced traffic accidents, heart disease, cancer, homicide and all other forms of death in the military besides combat, the report says. One in four non-combat deaths last year were servicemembers killing themselves."

Again, I don't know - maybe only crazy people commit suicide and a higher proportion of the military is crazy. Or maybe some have done things they can't justify so easily. The actions haunt.

"Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told Congress on Wednesday that he has directed all military branches "to immediately look at that situation and determine what's behind it, what's causing it and what can we do to make sure it doesn't happen."

What is the cause?

Anthony Loeppert 07-03-2012 05:46 PM

Re: Ordered murder
 
Quote:

Kevin Leavitt wrote: (Post 312179)
It has never been an issue for me to debate or to question when to pull the trigger or not. It has always been crystal clear with no gray area either way. It really is not as ambiquous or questionable as you think...at least for me.

Regardless of your lack of ambiguity, the robots being planned to replace you will have a steadfast resolve programmed into them far greater than you can express here in this forum or in the field.

I DO NOT say this glibly or flippantly. The research is being done.

Anthony Loeppert 07-03-2012 06:36 PM

Re: Ordered murder
 
Quote:

Benjamin Green wrote: (Post 312191)
If it's a lawful order, then I'll shoot them; if it's them or me, then I'll shoot them; if it's them or my mate, then I'll shoot them; if I think they're going to become a threat, then I'll shoot them; if they're in the way, and they're not civilians, then I'll shoot them.

This reminds me of a joke (if I could find a direct link, I would provide it) by Nick DiPaolo many years ago, something along the lines of:

"I heard on the news a guy got shot at a gas station..." "...and they said he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Where do you go when your tank is on 'E', Chuck-E-Cheese?" It could be that the ones getting shot aren't in the "wrong place and wrong time" but rather the trigger puller is.

Quote:

How greedy are you? How selfish? Those are the underlying questions and they're not confined to warfare.
These are specifics not germane to the question...

Quote:

Just because someone has no taste for killing face to face doesn't make it any more than a taste for a different style of selfishness.
Yes! But. The lack of a "taste for killing face to face" yet the desire to kill is exactly the issue at hand. If I have a task and I can't hire anyone to do that for me.... well, my plan doesn't execute.

Regards,
Anthony


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