Re: Ordered murder
I'd like to point out that, for those living in a democratic society, this is not a moot question, even if you aren't in the military yourself. If you're of the "it's all murder" persuasion, it's your responsibility to be voting for those who, even in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, wouldn't have gone after the perpetrators. Because we knew where they were, and we knew we couldn't get them without civilian casualties.
One of the things that happens when your join the military is that you give over a degree of personal control to those in charge in your society--which for us in the US means our elected officials. There's a reason why the Commander-in-Chief is an elected position.
Yeah, in theory every soldier is required to disobey an illegal order... but you know that's a career-ending decision, even when it's the right thing to do. And in practice, 99% of the time, that's not the issue--the issue is should we be there at all, trying to do the things we're asking the military to do.
Remember the blowup about the helicopter gunship that took out a reporter by accident? The main takeaway from that screwup was that the helicopter crew played it by the book. They reported what they were seeing, got the go-ahead from their base (which was presumably not hopped up on adrenaline) and acted on their orders. The responsibility for the screwup doesn't lie on them but on those who put them there--and that's you and me and everyone else who votes in this democracy.
So I'd say, cut some slack to those who agree to be our instrument in the world. Yeah, they agreed to it--but when someone gets cut, do you blame the knife, or the wielder?