Hobbes' Choice wrote:Whatever Finland was or was not doing is not relevant to the thread topic.
The fact is that governments change their alliances and people who have signed up have to face the fact that they are going to be legally obligated to kill people when they know it is wrong to do so.
Well said !
The best definition of "War" that I have seen is this:
War =df.= Organized mass-murder in the name of a noble cause.
This applies to the Just War as well.
Furthermore, Just War Theory teaches that a war is justified by a package of criteria, one of which is that your land must be invaded first; and another of which is that you engaged in war as a very last resort
(after strenuous efforts at diplomacy and negotiation had all failed.)
I can't think of any U.S.A. war where these conditions were met. I had a deep conversation with a veteran, one of the last-surviving American veterans of World War II. He told me that he woke up to the fact that war is morally wrong when he looked across the trenches, in France, at the young German recruits' faces, and saw that they were as befuddled as he as to what sense it made that they were there shooting at each other. He realized then that they were draftees too - or naive volunteers - he had an insight about their common humanity. At that moment it dawned on him that war is crazy, totally an insane way for people to conduct themselves. He told me that he admired me for being a conscientious objector, and as a result doing some time in jail for it.
Those boys who volunteer for the armed forces in the USA today are for the most part quite uneducated, they do it because 'it's a family tradition' or because 'I admire an uncle who was a soldier.' They don't stop to consider the risk involved, they, in their gullibility, believe the propaganda they've heard about the glory of it all; they aren't mature. Many sign up as an opportunity to go to college, or for some other benefit promised them by a recruiter. Most all are economically poor. They have a misguided view as to how to be a patriot. They want to be patriotic, but are unaware of the relationship of ends to means. They don't have a sense of history as to how one war has led to another later on ...by sewing seeds of vengeance.
The theory of "counter-insurgency" is about "winning the hearts and minds of the people" and then killing them. Whereas the theory of "counter-terrorism" is just about killing them. What we call "an insurgent" they call "a freedom fighter." There is an obvious perception gap to be closed.
The institution of war is itself immoral and unethical. Hence to participate in it is to commit an ethical fallacy.