conscientious objectors

Now this is why Brian Edwards and I are good friends

My good friend Brian Edwards has looked at the terrorism/armed forces/war thing, and it is no surprise he’s come to the same conclusion I have.

…in today’s Herald on Sunday, I read that “… The Defence Force has confirmed soldiers will be given the chance to withdraw from the controversial deployment.”

This is apparently part of being “a good employer”. Personal or family circumstances or “ethical grounds” qualified as the principal justifications for not wanting to be deployed in Iraq. Apparently this has always been the case provided the serviceman or woman “had legitimate reasons”. “Otherwise,” said the Former Chief of Army, Major General Lou Gardiner, “your mates would always see you as a person who opted out. It’s human nature.”

It is indeed. But I would have thought that “legitimate reasons” for not being sent to a war zone would include not wanting to be injured or killed. That too is “human nature”. And, as a Defence Force spokesman reminded us, “military personnel are people who have lives and families and individual circumstances that mean they are less appropriate for a particular deployment”. Read more »

Defence Force to allow conscientious objectors

New Zealand troops will be allowed to “opt out” of going to Iraq.

Five days after Prime Minister John Key announced 143 personnel would be sent to the Middle East to train Iraqi forces in the war on Islamic State fighters, the Defence Force has confirmed soldiers will be given the chance to withdraw from the controversial deployment.

The Defence Force says it is part of being a “good employer”.

In a statement to the Herald on Sunday, a Defence Force spokesman said military personnel could indicate “any matters” they believed made them unsuitable for the mission, including personal or family circumstances.

Consideration would also be given to any troops who said they didn’t want to go to Iraq on ethical grounds.

“The same consideration would be given as that applied to any other issue that may impact on their ability to deploy,” the spokesman said. Read more »