Monday, September 26, 2005
Lyndie England Convicted
I actually feel sorry for this woman and think she has gotten a bad rap. I do not condone her activities in anyway though and think she should have been punished; not punished as the "scape-goat" though.
She had the right AND the DUTY as a United States soldier to refuse to participate in an imoral activity. There is a specific point in the Code of Military Justice which states that you can and should refuse any imoral orders.
An old soldier I know, a Vietnam vet, told me he would always ask for any order he found questionable in WRITEING. That way if he was going to be compelled to carry out something he really wondered about, he'd have the means to take down whoever gave him the order.He also said it was interesting how many times an order was rethought, or in the end taken back once he asked for it in writeing!
There were other ways she was violateing correct military behavior, for example committing adultery with another soldier, resulting in pregnancy and a child out of wedlock.
I think that, if as a nation we are going to go around enforceing certain standards in this world, a certain example has to be set, and that includes by the members of our Armed Forces, maybe ESPECIALLY by the members of the Armed Forces.
For a lot of the world, they are not going to visit the U.S. ever, live here ever, meet an American tourist to their country ever, but they might just meet an American soldier, and an American soldier while he or she has no choice about whether or not they come as a warrior, or a peace-keeper or to help with humanitarian aid, but they definately are representing our country.
A soldier male or female has an awesome responsibility because of that.
I know, it doesn't seem fair, but most soldiers male or female manage at least the basics of this.
Again any soldier has both the right and the duty to refuse an imoral order.
If I feel sorry for her on any level it is because our society has had despite saveing two Muslim populations in Europe (the Bosnian Muslims, and the Kosovar Albanians) from destruction, a negative attitude toward Muslims as a whole, and our society, as a whole in particular has a negative attitude toward Arabs of whatever religion. Remember not all Arabs are Muslim.Iraq and Syria and most notably Lebanon and Palestin,have Christian minorities. I know about them, several good friends of mine were Arab Christians from Palestine, Syria and Iraq and Lebanon.
As a member of our society, Lyndie England imbibed this negative attitudem right along with her cornflakes and never been given information that would make her question it.
I know about the negative attitude all too well.
My ex husband was of the Muslim religion, although he was not particularly observant. He was a non-Arab, but at least partially of Arab and Turkic descent. My children are brown. My son looks to be part Arab.
My daughter for whatever reason has lighter colouring, but looks pretty exotic and she has a distinctly semitic nose, lucky throw of the dice, I'm part Jewish, and renenber Arabs too are Semites, so hidden nose genes must have been on both sides! :)
I happen to be Christian. I observe modest dress. Most modern Christians seem to think they don't need to do that anymore.
I took flak for it. I still take flak for it. I still do it. Because sometimes even if you are the onlye person who does it, you still have to do the right thing.
So I am well aware of the negative attitudes which are out thare which Lyndie England would have imbibed with her Cheerios.
Still we as humans have a duty to examine our lives. We have a duty to resist what is wrong, even if it costs us.
There is where I feel sorry for her, she was obviously not taught much about ethics.She does not strike me as haveing had a strong character.
The Military Code of Justice is a stricter code than the various civilian codes.
It is stricter when it comes to for example adultery.
As a civilian, if you or I as unmarried people were to go have sex with some other unmarried person, there is a moral question, there is a misbehavior question, but there isn't really a crime. In civilian life, this is only a crime when one or both participants are married to other people. Even then the social consequences while bad are not necessary overwhelming, and the legal consequences are not necesarily overwhelming.No one is going to whip you or cut your head off, or deny you a chance at custody of your children, and it's unlikely a member of your own family will kill you for it.
In the Military Code of Justice, however, adultery is defined as any sex between two people who are not married to each other. It is a crime, it has it's punishment and that punishment is strict.
There is not the same getting off on technicalities in military law that there is in civilian law.
People who join the military need to be aware of this, particularly if they are considering the military as a career.
The way in which she was most scape goated is that she was not alone in her deeds. You are right that she was pretty low on the 'food-chain'.
I hope she's not the only one tried.I hope that the ones higher up do have to face justice.I hope this for the sake of our country.
If we are to go around telling other nations, such as Serbia-Montenegro or Iraq for that matter how they ought to run things, we need to live up to the things we want ourselves!