Free Dartmouth
 
  home  
  join
10/07/2004 01:36:00 AM | Timothy

Israeli Soldiers and Disobeying Orders
I said nothing when John Stevenson first made this comment on the Dartmouth Observer. Now that he has repeated himself on RockyBlog, I feel like commenting. Stevenson says this about a possible forced evacuation of settlers in the occupied territories:
“Such an action raises a whole host of questions, the foremost being: when ordered to do so should a soldier act against a fellow citizen? If we learned anything from witnessing the universally condemned horrors of the Nazi regime, or of the totalitarian terror inside the Soviet Union (with whom a number of academics sympathized at the time), it should be this: soldiers, when asked by superior officers to execute an order against a non-combatant, especially a fellow-citizen, has a moral obligation to disobey.”
Huh? Stevenson seems to be saying that soldiers should NEVER execute ANY order against ANY non-combatant. We are in danger of trivializing the horrors of the Third Reich and the USSR if we reduce its lessons to such flat and overstated banalities. One lesson from Nuremberg is that the ‘just following orders’ is not an excuse. But judgment works both ways. If we say that soldiers can be held accountable for their own actions, then we are saying they are capable of exercising that independent moral judgment. And then we should not reduce the moral complexity of what a soldier faces to such simplistic rules like the one Stevenson proclaims.

Force can be used unjustly, but surely sometimes force can be used to protect persons, and remedy injustice. Stevenson himself seems to also think that there no "reasonable" person thinks that the settlements in the West Bank are indefensible and there is only one "side" to the issue. There is some moral complexity here, but I do not think Stevenson has captured it.



Links to this post:

Create a Link

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Dartmouth
The Free Press

Alums for Social Change
The Green Magazine
The Dartmouth
Dartmouth Observer
Dartmouth Review
Dartlog
Inner Office
The Little Green Blog
Welton Chang's Blog
Vox in Sox
MN Publius (Matthew Martin)
Netblitz
Dartmouth Official News

Other Blogs
Ampersand

Atrios
Arts & Letters
Altercation
Body and Soul
Blog For America
Brad DeLong
Brad Plumer
CalPundit
Campus Nonsense
Clarksphere
Crooked Timber
Cursor
Daily Kos
Dean Nation
Dan Drezner
The Front Line
Instapundit
Interesting Times
Is That Legal?
Talking Points Memo
Lady-Likely
Lawrence Lessig
Lean Left
Left2Right
Legal Theory
Matthew Yglesias
Ms. Musings
MWO
Nathan Newman
New Republic's &c.
Not Geniuses
Ornicus
Oxblog
Pandagon
Political State Report
Political Theory Daily Review
Queer Day
Roger Ailes
SCOTUS blog
Talk Left
TAPPED
Tacitus
This Modern World
Tough Democrat
Untelevised
Volokh Conspiracy
Washington Note
X. & Overboard

Magazines, Newspapers and Journals
Boston Globe Ideas
Boston Review
Chronicle of Higher Education
Common Dreams
Dissent
In These Times
Mother Jones
New York Review of Books
New York Times
Salon
Slate
The American Prospect
The Nation
The New Republic
The Progressive
Tikkun
Tom Paine
Village Voice
Washington Monthly

Capitol Hill Media
ABC's The Note
American Journalism Review
Columbia Journalism Review
CQ
Daily Howler
Donkey Rising
The Hill
Medianews
National Journal
NJ Hotline
NJ Wake-up call
NJ Early Bird
NJ Weekly
Political Wire
Roll Call
Spinsanity

Search
Search the DFP

www.blogwise.com
Powered by Blogger

The opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of Dartmouth College or the Dartmouth Free Press.