December 06, 2004

Traitor, or Contiencious Objector?

Petty Officer Third Class Pablo Paredes has a problem with the war in Iraq. He was recently assigned to join a transport ship ferrying Marines to Iraq, and Petty Officer Paredes has decided that he could not in participate in that activity, as he disagrees with the war.

"I don't want to be a part of a ship that's taking 3,000 Marines over there, knowing a hundred or more of them won't come back," he said. "I can't sleep at night knowing that's what I do for a living."

While I can somewhat understand that he may not be in favor of the war, I feel that PO Paredes has been in the Navy long enough to have known what the job of the Armed Services consists of, and if he had a moral objection to obeying lawful orders, he should have applied for CO status and release from his military obligation long ago.

The individual service member doesn't have the right to pick and choose which wars he will participate in, thats part of the contract he undertook when joining the service. He may disagree with his CiC, but he still has the obligation to obey his orders as passed down through the chain of command.

I do believe him when he states that he isn't afraid for his own life, but doesn't want to be a contributor to the deaths of any Marines, but he gave up the right of that choice when he raised his hand and took the oath, and he of all people should understand that each and every Marine voluntarily made his or her own choice to be where they are, and doing what they do.

At least he had the integrity to announce his intentions and states that he is willing to take the consequences. That, at least, shows that he does realize he has to take responsibility for his decisions. I hope that owning up to his responsibility will comfort him in his stay at Leavenworth.

To not fullfill an obligation he freely undertook is nothing less than hubris, and if he takes the actions that he says he intends to, he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible under the UCMJ.

Posted by Delftsman3 at December 6, 2004 08:22 PM
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